Ozyr's Odyssey2 Archive
Odyssey2 Index | Emporium Index

Odyssey2 Game Cord Replacement Hack

Replace that non-standard TV cord on early Odyssey2 units with a regular RCA type cord that will work with most TV/Game Switch boxes or TV/Video 'F' Connectors. This procedure can also be used to replace broken cords on units that already have the RCA style cords.

Note: This hack will not work with newer video input jacks on modern TV sets. You must use a TV/Game Switch box or TV/Video 'F' Connector!

Disclaimer: This 'Hack' has been done and tested before being posted on this site, and is listed as an informational resource. Ozyr's Emporium is not responsible for any damage you might do to your system. Please read the file completely before beginning. In simple terms, be careful!

Info on this Hack:
  1. This hack is for the first generation Odyssey2 and some of the second generation Odyssey2 units that have a non-standard style TV Game Cord (see picture). This type of connector will only work on special switch boxes that were included with the original Odyssey2 consoles. Using this 'Hack', you can use most newer switch boxes or the RCA 'F' adaptors.
    Yucky Connector Yucky Connector
    Original non-standard Odyssey2 TV connector
    Original TV/Game Switch for use with connector

    Replacing this cord will allow you to use standard Atari compatible TV/Game Switch boxes or TV/Video 'F' Connectors.

  2. Note that this hack involves replacing the original TV Game Cord and will involve opening up your Odyssey2 unit. This is a fairly easy hack, but please use caution when doing this.

  3. The only tool needed for this hack is a 1/4" Socket Wrench!
    hex wrench

  4. Parts need for this hack are:
    1. An RCA style video cord from another older game system, or a current RCA style video cable. NOTE: many current RCA style video cables may be shielded for better video quality, but they may not fit properly inside the Odyssey2 unit (it is a rather tight fit).
      Yucky Connector Yucky Connector
      Standard RCA old-style game cord
      Current RCA style video cable

    2. Of course, you will also need the TV/Game Switch, or you can use a Phone-to-F Adaptor. It depends on your needs. The Switch allows you to attach an antenna or cable TV, the Phono adaptor only allows for the game system. Each has it own pros and cons - this decision is up to you!
      Yucky Connector Yucky Connector
      Phono-to-F Adaptors (standard and gold)
      Standard TV/Game Switch

Game Cord Replacement Hack!
  1. Disconnect the power and video connector from the Odyssey2 unit.
    Odyssey2 unit

  2. Using a large flat surface to work on, place the Odyssey2 unit keyboard side down.
    Odyssey2 Backside

    Remove the three hex screws on the back of the unit using the 1/4" socket wrench. (Show above with red circles).
    Closeup of Screw

    Place the screws were you won't loose them!

  3. With the screws taken out, remove the back cover from the unit. It may take a little bit of force to remove this, especially if the unit is somewhat dirty. Place the back piece on the side for now.
    backside off unit

  4. On the inside of the unit, you will see a metal shield covering the inside components of the game system. Do not mess with anything beside what is in this guide (unless you feel the need to possibly ruin your odyssey2 game system).
    Inside the Odyssey2

  5. Focusing on the upper right of the unit (while it is upside down), you will see where the Game Cord attaches to the Odyssey2.
    game cord connection

  6. Remove the hex screw holding the Game Cord to the Odyssey2 unit. Place the screw on the side again where it won't be lost.
    removed game cord screw

  7. Carefully remove the Game Cord itself from the unit by pulling it to the right, away from the game console. Note that this may take a bit of force, since the connector has probably been on for over 20 years! Just be carefully you don't break anything or hurt yourself if the connector let's go suddenly.
    remove game cord

  8. With the cord removed, take the plastic strap off of the game cord (this was the part that was held in with the hex screw). Put this on the side along with the hex screw for now.
    Remove Game Cord Strap

  9. Dispose of the old game cord however you wish! You can keep it for prosperity, or in case you wish to revert back to that old crummy connector, but I leave that up to you. Personally, I would hold onto it until you are sure the hardware hack works. It should, but I make no 100% guarantee that it will work with every Odyssey unit out there. It did work with the two I tested it on, but life doesn't always go according to plans!

  10. At this point, take out the cord that you are going to put in place of the one you took out. As mentioned above, you can use any old style game cord that has an RCA plug on both ends. Many older systems came with one that was not permanently attached to the unit like the Odyssey2, such as the Intellivision or Colecovision. You may find this cord at you local electronic store too. You can also use more modern shielded video cables, but note that the connector may not fit into the Odyssey2 unit, as there is not a lot of room where the connector plugs in (Don't say I didn't warn you)! Use your best judgment on this, as it is your Odyssey2 game system.

    Regular game cord - should fit well, but may have some interference on some TV sets, as they are not well shielded.
    Strandard Videogame Cable

    Modern video cable - works great, but will barely fit inside the Odyssey2 unit. If in doubt, make sure you can get your money back if you buy one of these!
    Modern A/V Cable

  11. Take which ever type of cord you are replacing the original cord with (A/V type or Regular old-style RCA game cord) and plug it into the jack on the inside of the Odyssey2 unit. Make sure the cord in firmly attached! Note that the more modern A/V style video cords will fit very closely. Be careful not the bend the A/V cord too much or it may break (in the picture below, I unscrewed the connector sleeve to make the cord fit better)!
    Put the plastic strap from the old cord onto the new cord, loop it around as the original cord was, and re-attach the strap with the hex screw using the socket wrench. Then squeeze the cord into the slot where it would come out the backside of the unit.
    Note: With a newer A/V style cord, you will have to use a knife or dremel tool to make the gap that the cord comes out of is wide enough for the new cord to fit. Be careful if you do this, and make sure you widen the gap on the top and bottom halves of the case (see red box in picture below)!
    new rca cord
    Installed RCA style game cord
    (A/V style cord would go in the same place)

  12. Test the unit before putting it back together. Carefully put the back cover from unit temporarily back into position, making sure the replacement TV cord doesn't get pinched. Holding the unit together by hand, place the unit upright on a flat surface. Put a cartridge into the unit, plug in the power supply, and attach the replacement cord to the TV. Turn everything on and try the game out. If it works and looks good on the TV, outstanding! If not, backtrack to see if you missed something. If nothing was missed, then I would recommend putting the original cord back in place and just dealing with the old cord, or buying a new unit. This should be the exception though, as this hardware hack have been proven to work, but I cannot be certain it will work on every early unit out there.

  13. If the test worked, then turn the unit off and unplug the power cord, TV cord (from the TV), and remove the cartridge. Turn the unit back over so the backside is facing up. Make sure that the new cord fits and that the cover is properly in place. Then take the hex screws from step 2 and screw them back into place using the 1/4" socket wrench. Don't tighten them too much, or you may strip the plastic inside the screw holes! Flip the unit over and your done! You can do a final test with your favorite game, just to double check that everything is fine! Hope you enjoy your replacement cord, and may it last for a long time.
Ozyr's Odyssey2 Archive
Odyssey2 Index | Emporium Index