Wednesday, April 6, 2011

NES 2 AV Toploader Mod + LED Mod

Recently a friend of mine asked me about NES clone systems. He basically wanted a reliable system with composite video output. After some discussion about the shortcomings of clones (cheaply made controllers, lacking sound/color pallet, etc.), we concluded that an official NES toploader with an AV modification was the optimal solution. During our conversation I warned him that if he wanted me to do the modification, I might make some other aesthetic "improvements." "Cat hair mod" was mentioned.

I scored a reasonably priced ($62, shipped) unit off an eBay seller and began planning what to do with the thing. I'd never done an AV modification on an NES toploader before, but I figured it couldn't be too hard. After a bit of looking around the interwebs I came across some helpful info which basically consisted of a small video circuit and where to grab the mono audio signal. I didn't follow any particular guide, but this guy's work is pretty close to what I did (major differences being that I opted to solder the video circuit directly to the NES's circuit board and I used RCA jacks instead of a headphone jack).

Some guides tell you to steal parts from the original video circuit. My advice is to preserve the original video circuit and just buy the extra parts required for the new one. You can retain your ability to use the RF output and it should cost less than $1.00 in parts to do so.

I contemplated using some cool Megaman art or a random cat face or something like that but, while digging through some pictures I had saved on my computer, I came across the perfect art candidate: Brandon Kusma.

Before settling upon my art selection, I had also considered adding a power indicator LED to the system. I had thought of putting an LED underneath the system, for a nice under-glow, or maybe just a simple red LED somewhere visible, ... but such things do not become us.

So, there you have it: an NES Toploader AV Mod, complete with light up N64 Kid graphics.

Watch the video on Youtube.


  1. Man, I totally want an idolatrous child of the damned on my NES system.

  2. Is there any chance that you can post a parts list and step by step instructions on what I would need and how to do this? I am comfortable soldering things, but I know nothing of electrical diagrams and such and unfortunately, I have been having some difficulties following along on and the link you posted doesn't have the RCA jacks which you have added to your build, but I don't know how to wire that.

    Any help would be appreciated greatly.


  3. Just happened upon your page while looking for NES2 A/V mods. I'm comparing your install to what Dutch Retro Gamer had available, and it's pretty similar.

    However, I see that your emitter leg on your install goes to (presumably) Pin 22. Isn't pin 22 sync? Does that sync line also supply 5V?

    Also, how was the video output? Any jailbars?