Mar 14

How to fix the Nintendo AV cable brightness problem

Video signal wire

Video signal wire

I have a PAL Nintendo 64 and GameCube at home. Unfortunately their AV cables have become unusable. Looking around on eBay I bought two new ones from a seller shipping from China. They were cheap and they did their job very well… on a CRT screen.

I only started to notice the issue when I switched to an LCD TV some time ago. The brightness was really clipping and no configuration of the TV made that go away. After some Googling it turns out that the NTSC versions of the consoles have some internal components the PAL versions do not. Without modifying the AV cable you cannot fix this problem on a PAL system.

Too bad that when you’re in the market for buying a new AV cable, sellers rarely specify if it’s an AV cable meant for a PAL or NTSC console. But fret not! They only thing you need is an 100 Ohm resistor and some soldering skills.

There’s plenty of guides out there that explain you have to add capacitors as well, though I did not see any notable difference when adding those to the circuit. In fact, when I did the GameCube’s video signal didn’t get through properly to the TV while the N64 signal did. So, to keep things simple ditch the capacitor and just add the resistor.

The only thing you need to do is connect the video signal wire to the ground wire by using the resistor, anything around 80-100 Ohm is fine. Easy as that! If you’re not fond of fiddling with the cable yourself, there’s a website where you can order modified cables, you can check that out here.

Here’s a picture of the first cable that was modded, I did a second one as well where you barely see the cable was opened up, for that you should probably use SMD components as, in this case, size really matters.

Nintendo AV cable fixed

AV cable fixed

Aug 06

Screen brightness issues

I noticed today my laptop’s brightness could not be adjusted any more, I wasn’t sure what was causing this as I disabled some services and startup programs to conserve cpu/ram. But in the end that didn’t seem to be the cause of this issue. I googled for a couple of minutes and quickly came to a thread on the Microsoft Social boards which had numerous posts by people who have the same problem.

– These people have a wide variety of laptop brands and types
– The symptoms are the same
– There seems to be no fix yet

The problem is as follows:

Whenever you have your laptop go to standby (Windows XP) or  Sleep (Windows Vista/7) brightness adjustments won’t actually change your screen’s brightness any more, even though the slider graphic appears. I have just tested with hibernation and it does not happen with this mode. This seems to be a Windows 7 problem as I’ve seen that people who are complaining about this all have 7.

The only “fix” at the moment is rebooting your laptop. Again a problem Microsoft should fix some time.