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Construction Plans

Chapter III: Removing the RF Modulator

The RF modulator is the circuit board enclosed in a metal case on the NES circuit board.

The RF modulator on the NES serves several purposes:

The RF modulator's primary function is to take the audio and video signal for the NES and modulate it to a radio frequency that your TV can receive on channel 3 or 4.

It also amplifies the video signal so that you can also connect your NES to your TV or VCR through the AV phono plug.

Finally, the RF modulator takes the 9v AC current from the power adapter and converts it to down to 5v DC, which the NES uses.

Why remove the RF modulator?

The RF modulator is being removed for several reasons:

SIZE: The RF modulator is very big and heavy. It is also mounted in such a way that it makes the NES board much bigger then it would be without it.

POWER: The NESp needs be powered by batteries, otherwise it would not be portable. The RF modulator accepts 9v AC, but the NES board only needs 5v DC to run. Removing the RF modulator makes it possible to run the NES off batteries.

CONSERVATION: Since we want the NESp to run as long as possible on batteries, removing the modulator saves on power.

How to remove the modulator

The RF Modulator is soldered directly to the NES board at several points. There are 5 pins that connect the NES to the RF modulator. You will need to desolder these pins, and the points where the metal casing on the RF modulator is connected to the NES board. These pins are the points where you will attach the custom-made video amp that you will make in the next chapter.

The purpose of the pins that went to the now removed NES RF modulator are as follows:

(Starting from the cartridge connector side)

Pin Number



Video Signal (weak)


Audio Signal


+5v power


Old power switch pin (not used in NESp)


Old power switch pin (not used in NESp)