Saturday, August 21, 2010

My Twin Twin Famicoms

Its been about 2 months since the last time I posted anything here, my time just gets eaten up in the summer and I've neglected my Famicom collection. Until today that is.

There is nothing like finding a bargain to make one want to publish on a blog and I got a great one today. I went into one of my regular retro game shops this afternoon (Omocha Souko, which sells tons of non game stuff too but I just go because they sometimes sell Famicom stuff really cheap). A couple of weeks ago they set up a new "Junk" corner where they dump game hardware they get in but can't be bothered to test or anything and I wanted to see if they had put anything new out there. Mostly its just old Famiclones or incomplete consoles (ie without the controllers or cables) that nobody wants (like the PS1 which nobody bothers with if they have a PS2). Every once in a while though they might throw something in there which is actually worth buying.

Today was such a day as they had just put out these two babies:
Yup. Not one, but two Twin Famicoms! Oh I forgot to mention the best part: everything they dump in this junk pile costs just 100 yen (about 1$ US). So for the price of a bottle of soda I was able to score two Twin Famicoms - one in each color!

Now you might ask why I bought both of them - why not leave one for somebody else to pick up? I mean, its kind of impolite to horde this stuff.

I was thinking about doing that - only buying one of them - but I had a bit of a dilemma. The consoles they put in the junk pile are not tested and you cannot return them - you basically are taking a chance when you buy them that they won't work. And I know the Disk Systems are notoriously prone to breaking down. So what to do? I basically decided to get both of them as a form of insurance - even if one of them didn't work the other might. And even if they both didn't work I could possibly cobble together a working one by cannibalizing parts from both. And for the ridiculously low price I could afford to go for it.

So, apologies to the anonymous person who would have gladly plunked down 100 yen for a Twin Famicom but arrived at Omocha Souko after I did: you'll never know the bargain you missed out on.
Anyway, on arriving home I naturally wanted to test them but ran into two problems. One is the simple fact that I don't own a single FDS game, so I could only test the cartridge part of each.

Second and more importantly though is the fact that neither one of them came with a power cable. The red one did come with an AV cable, but the black one was console and controllers only.

I didn't think this would be a problem because pretty much every early Nintendo console used the same power cable. My Famicom (both the regular and AV) and Super Famicom all use the same power and AV cables, I just switch them over when I want to use one. So I assumed the Twin Famicom would be the same.

It isn't. I tried, but the Twin Famicom uses a different kind of power cable that isn't compatible with the regular Famicom one. Crap. So now I have to go out and try to track down a Twin Famicom power cable, which I suspect is going to be a challenge. Nonetheless, I'm glad I got them!