How to Hook up the First Famicom

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You may have gotten your hands on an original Famicom game console, the Japanese version of the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), as well as a number of games for the system. Unfortunately, you may find that this system won't work on a North American television once you hook it up. But if you can interchange a part or two and know the right channels, it can be done.

  • Make sure you have all the parts from the Famicom that you will need. This includes the main console and its own power adapter (as well as its controllers and games). The one thing you won't need is its RF switch.

  • Take an RF switch from an American-made Nintendo game console, like the original NES, Super NES, N64 or GameCube. This is what connects the console to the television. The Famicom switch does not appear to work with American televisions.

  • Connect the Famicom to the TV with the American-made RF switch. The parts are interchangeable, and it should fit. Use the Famicom's power adapter to plug in the console, not one from an American Nintendo console.

  • Set the Famicom's channel switch to Channel 1. Tune your TV to channel 95 (although channels 96, 43 or 83 may work, too). Once you insert a Famicom cartridge and turn it on, the game screen should appear on one of these channels.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure you have Famicom game cartridges to use. Don't expect NES cartridges to work.
  • The older your television is, the better the Famicom may work with it.
  • Using an American Nintendo power adapter could overload the power and seriously damage the Famicom.

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