Atari 800XL RF cable (and I/O cable availability?)

James james at
Thu Jan 22 17:13:41 CST 2015

Hey Jules - a great place to start for various questions is the official
Atari 8-bit FAQ:
You should find port pinouts, PSU info, etc. for each model.

One thing you'll notice right away is that, besides the coax RF hookup,
there is also a monitor port with 5 pins.  You will get better picture and
sound using the composite video and audio outputs from that port on the

>From the various vendors, I recommend a couple specifically:

B&C ComputerVisions

Best Electronics

With some looking and contacting, you may find a lot of things you want.  Of
course, eBay will have lots of stuff.  Also, check and use the marketplace
forum on AtariAge.  The folks in the 8-bit forum will also provide a wealth
of knowledge for future questions.

It's possible I might have spares of some of the things you'll be looking
for, so feel free to contact me offlist if you like to go into any detail.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at] On Behalf Of Jules
> Richardson
> Sent: Thursday, January 22, 2015 5:55 PM
> To: and Off-Topic Posts' <cctalk at>
> Subject: Atari 800XL RF cable (and I/O cable availability?)
> I picked up a little Atari 800XL bundle the other day (system, pair of
> drives, and an 850 expansion box) - cheap because it was missing cables
> power supplies.
> 1) When hooking this up to a TV via the RF input - is there any "magic"
> involved, or will a suitable braided co-ax TV cable with a phono connector
> added at the Atari end do?  I know it "works" because I lashed one up
> (and I do mean quickly, no soldering involved) and ran the machine from a
> stray +5V PSU, which obviously resulted in a fuzzy picture - but then when
> came to making a good one, I got to thinking about those little antenna
> switch boxes that US machines often seemed to come with, and wondering
> if there were a bunch of passive components in there which make a
> difference to the signal quality.
> 2) Does anyone have any spare I/O cables, or know of a source of the
> connectors so I can make my own?
> (I suppose while I'm here I may as well ask if anyone just happens to know
> what voltage power supplies the 1050's and 850 need, but I'm sure I can
> the answers to that up online if needed)
> cheers
> Jules

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