Need help: how 2 hook up 4 consoles without a mess


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I currently own 4 different video game console systems (If you don't count multiple Sega Genesis Add-ons) and am trying to figure out a neat and tidy way to have most, if not all of them hooked up to the TV.

I don't have a lot of space (1 bedroom apartment) and don't have a big entertainment center.

Here' the real dillema. I want the consoles to be close enough to the couch so that mulitple players can be seated in front of the screen without controller extention cords all over the place.

I also will want to be able to change the game carts/discs on a regular basis.

And to add to the challenge, here are my systems with their size and hookups:

1) Sega Genesis w/ Sega CD (2nd model) and 32X -- AV hookup/Wide and tall

2) SNES - AV hookup/small space

3) Sega Saturn - S-Video/Medium size

4) Sega Dreamcast - s-Video/ Small size

I will aparently need a s-video switchbox since my TV only has one s-video port.

I will also need a power strip for all the AC plugs.

My goal is to have a neat and accessible setup with the least amount of cord mess.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

There is a cool item I have (Litterally) that allows 4 systems to be hooked up PLUS it was a stereo unit and cooling fan for N64, PSX, and DC. Small unit but great for EXTRA sound, and it kept the units from overheating. As for controllers, get infrared joypads. Other then that cant help. But I know there are ALOT of boxes designed for game systems.

MY TV came from EB, (That samsung, I think, GX tv....was DESIGNED for the gamer. 15´ speakers opened up, sub woofer, surround sound, various TV modes and audio modes. 2 cox inputs, 2 AV ports, and one true AV output. Works GREAT =) was 200$ and was a better TV then most youd find anywhere else.
Go to Radio Shack and buy a couple S-Video Switchboxes.

THey run around 30$ each for a 4 port - and most have RGB & S-Video ports

A 6port is a bit more pricey but they are well worth it.

You can also get coax switchboxes at RadioShack

And twist ties/zip strips are your best friend... use them to keep the cords bunched together
any suggestions for arranging the monster power plugs for the Genesis, Sega CD, and 32X?

Those things are a pain!
go get a fat powerstrip - they are a bit more expensive but well worth it - most electronics stores have them, like best buy

instead of being like this:


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they look like this:


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pardon the crude ascii art but finding links to one is time consuming
ok, first thing i'll mention is that you dont say what country your from, therefor the plugstrip problem coul be anything. One thing i wanna know is if your country has two pin sockets, what do you do if your appliance needs an earth connection? bit unsafe isnt it?

anyway, if you use zipties i got a trick that makes them look nice and organised.

Instead of just attaching a tie at intervals along the bunch of cable, place one tie at one end, then place the next one right next to itreasonably tight and then drag it along the cable to the point where you want it. Then tighten it up all the way and place another tie right next to this one and so on and so on. This way all the cables are in the same order in a straight line instead of twisting over each other in between ties. This looks alot better and it makes it a bit more flexible.

Hope that helps
You could always build yoru own 120VAC power supply and arrange plugs as you need them
Actually if you look at where the cords come out the AC adaptors you can arrange quite a few AC adaptors and regular plugs onto a single power strip. One of mine has the ac adaptors for my SNES, SNES copier, Neo-Geo CD, Saturn, and Dreamcast.

You just have to work with it. I have 14 machines currently hooked up on the rack in here.

Edit: Please don't tell my local fire department
HEHE cool thanks

I am from the US, just FYI

Most of the ideas, are similar to what I had. But it's nice to get some details.

If anyone else has ideas please share.

I'm thinking of finding or building my own coffee table with a shelf underneath to put all the consoles on. Then run the cords to the front under a rug or something.

What do you think? Would that work out good?

How hard/costly would it be to build a nice setup?
Originally posted by DBOY@May 24 2002,14:05

You just have to work with it. I have 14 machines currently hooked up on the rack in here.

Hey DBOY, can you send a pic? or at least give more detail on what your setup looks like?
I advise NOT running cords under a rug. That's just asking for troublke. At least three houses a year around here burn down at x-mas time cuz of people doing that with their christmas tree lights.

Your best bet is to use some kind of shelving structure like a cart with shelves or something similar that you can wheel around a bit and back it up against a wall with your cord setup behind it. It works best when there's a slot int he back of the unit for power coreds to come out. My old shelf when I had fewer units are once was like that, it was a regular old home electronics shelf that was originally made for an early 80's stereo system with racks for LP's on the bottom. I took out the separators and used that as a component bin for my guns, 6 player adaptors, spare controllers, etc. Here's a picture. The wires hanging down in the front were from my video adaptor on the top. I only had a 3-way switch instead of a 6-way so I just kept 3 machines unplugged. Getting a 6-way buttons switch took care of that problem. If you're looking for a switch BTW, don't get the one Sony makes that Media Play & Best Buy stock. I've known 5 people with them and they tend ot always have faulty connectors on the main outputs (the most important ones!!)

Anyway hope that gives you a few ideas.
Originally posted by DBOY@May 25 2002,09:31

I advise NOT running cords under a rug. That's just asking for trouble. At least three houses a year around here burn down at christmas time because of people doing that with their christmas tree lights.

There's nothing wrong with running cables under a rug or some carpet as long as you don't exceed their current rating. I do it to cover cables on stage to reduce any trip hazard they form when they cross walkways. Have done so with no incident in ten years.

If you don't overload the cable, there is no problem.
Doesn't really relate to your connections but I have a 5-way scart converter for my stuff and it has a strange side-effect. When I switch my Saturn on, the fan in my Dreamcast starts up and the VMU turns on, even when the DC is unplugged. I like to think that the Sega consoles can talk to each other..
I always figure better safe than sorry. What we used to use to cover wires on stages, etc was those flat greay covering that can hold a few wires inside and lay flat against the floor. I imagine something like that could be used in the home but it would stand out really bad....