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Beyond the consoles, games and electronics themselves, certain accessories can really complete a vintage technology collection. Controllers, display adapters and cleaning gear help retro gadgets function as intended.
This article explores 12 must-have accessories to enhance your enjoyment of classic tech and preserve it safely. From specialty carts to high quality cables, we’ll cover the extras every collector needs on hand for these aging devices. Protect your investment while unlocking the products’ full potential.
- High quality shielded cables prevent signal degradation
- Upscalers output sharp images from retro devices to modern TVs
- Controller alternatives fix worn-out originals for playability
- Game cartridge organizers neatly store and display collections
- Cleaning kits scrub corrosion and keep connections clean
- Rechargeable battery packs replace AA batteries
- Light guns hit targets precisely on CRT displays
- Cooling fans prevent overheating in enclosed retro rigs
- Speaker stands isolate speakers for optimal sound
Let’s dive into essential retro tech accessories!
High Quality Shielded Cables
Weak cheap cables lead to degraded video and audio. Upgrade with properly shielded modern cables:
- Gold plated connectors resist corrosion
- Triple or quad shielding prevents interference
- Optical audio isolates signal cleanly
- Thicker gauge wire improves power delivery
Carefully match connectors to retro console ports. Prioritize the video cable quality. Enjoy crisper pictures and sound.
Upscalers and Video Processors
Upscalers convert low resolution retro signals to modern digital outputs:
- Convert composite video to HDMI output
- Line doubling and scanline options
- Lag reduction for responsive gameplay
- Widescreen formatting if desired
- Brands like Retrotink, OSSC, Framemeister
Experience 8-bit and 16-bit games sharper than ever on modern TVs with upscalers. Reduce input delay too.
Original Replacement Controllers
Controllers wear out from age and use. Swap in a new first-party controller:
- Sony, Nintendo and Sega OEM quality
- Brand new condition with tight controls
- Proper form factor and button labeling
- Long cord length for playing distance
- Allows multiplayer with good controllers
Replace faulty originals and get multiplayer going again with OEM controllers. New old stock units are plentiful online.
Controller Adapters and Alternatives
Use modern gamepads and fightsticks with retro systems via adapters:
- 8BitDo makes excellent wireless controllers
- Adapters to use Xbox, PlayStation and more controllers
- Fight sticks work great for retro fighters
- Bluetooth receivers work wirelessly
- Retro bit and Hyperkin also make pad options
Reduce wear on vintage controllers and use alternatives more comfortable or familiar to you.
Game Cartridge Organizers
Plastic multi-game cartridge cases store collections safely:
- Holds full game library for a system
- Protective dust sleeves for each game
- Clear labels show spine and label
- Stackable storage drawers available
- Portable all-in-one storage solution
Neatly organize and protect loose cartridge games in handy universal cases. Never rummage through a pile of games again.
Screen Cleaning Supplies
Keep CRT TVs and device screens looking crystal clear:
- Microfiber cloths gently wipe screens
- Isopropyl alcohol cleans deeply
- Cotton swabs for tight spaces
- Pre-moistened screen wipes
- Dusting tools for hard to reach spots
- Air spray to dislodge particles
Safely remove accumulated dust and grime that builds up on screens and device surfaces over time.
Light Guns for CRT Displays
The original Duck Hunt Zapper and other light guns work via CRT technology:
- NES Zapper
- Super Scope for Super Nintendo
- Sega Menacer for Genesis
- Namco’s GunCon for PlayStation
Use recoil feedback guns on old tube TVs or CRT computer monitors for proper aim detection. Relive arcade and console shooting games.
Rechargeable Battery Packs
Rechargeable packs replace AA batteries for portable retro devices:
- Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) best for high draw systems
- Lithium-ion (Li-ion) alternates for lower power draw
- Battery holders connect via solder or connector cable
- Convenient snap-on packs available
- Use original battery lid or custom case
Save money and avoid corrosion leaks from alkaline batteries. Reduce waste too. Keep gaming handhelds juiced up.
Cooling and Ventilation
Prevent overheating in tight retro gaming setups:
- Extraction fans remove hot interior air
- Intake fans to improve airflow
- Underneath cabinet vents
- Elevate on rack or stand to raise off the ground
- Near silent and low power options available
Proper ventilation and cooling keeps systems from frying in confined spaces like entertainment centers.
Speaker Stands and Mounts
Isolation speaker stands reduce vibration and interference:
- Foam padding absorbs resonance
- Proper height aims tweeters at ears
- Get proper angle toward listening position
- Increase stability over flat speakers
- Match stand style to speakers
Speaker stands let vintage audio shine by removing surface coupling and properly positioning.
Console RGB Mod Kits
Mod kits bypass stock video for pure direct RGB video output:
- Remove limits of composite video signal
- Install board with multi-pin output
- Cleaner video than even S-Video
- Preserve digital video quality mods existed
- Brands like Retro Access and RetroRGB
Integrate RGB mods during console restoration for pristine original quality visuals on supported displays.
Equip your retro tech collection with the proper accessories for protection, playability and display. Keep those aging consoles, computers and devices functioning safely while using them for enjoyment and not just display. With some Careful upgrades, you can actually experience your prized collection as intended – and care for it even better than originally!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best places to shop for retro tech accessories online?
eBay, Etsy and Amazon offer wide accessory selections. Retro gaming specialty stores like Stone Age Gamer and RetroModding also carry great accessory options.
Can you use wireless controllers with vintage game consoles?
Yes, through wireless receivers and adapters! Brands like 8BitDo make excellent retro controllers with wireless Bluetooth support. Be prepared for some lag which may impact gameplay.
Is it safe to use rechargeable batteries in old handhelds?
Yes, with some proper precautions. Use proper voltage batteries and solder connector points or battery holder adapters to avoid damaging contacts from plugging/unplugging. Periodically remove rechargeable packs to avoid corrosion.
Why do light guns not work well on modern TVs?
They relied on analog CRT scan timing to aim. Without a proper CRT display, the aiming gets thrown off. Old CRT computer monitors work well for light gun games.
Can these accessories damage or overload my vintage devices?
It’s unlikely if you use high quality accessories and proper connectors. But always check power draws – avoid plugging too many devices into one power strip. Use caution when modifying devices. Consult experts when needed.