This Switch mod finds a use for your Sony Watchman

You may not remember 1986’s Sony Watchman. In fact, every ounce of muscle memory in my fingers instinctively went to type “Walkman” there, but the Watchman was something different: a portable black and white television set for those on the move. With the move to digital TV, they’re all but completely redundant now with no signal to tune into, but if you do have one kicking around, it can double up as a gloriously low-tech Nintendo Switch screen in a pinch.

On YouTube, the modder My Mate VINCE explains how, and you don’t need to open up your Watchman in any way to replicate this feat of engineering. Rather, the modder uses the Switch’s HDMI output to connect to an analogue converter wired into an old VCR, which converts the signal to RF like a small scale TV network. The VCR is then connected to an antenna with a signal booster creating a signal for the Sony Watchman to tune into.

Not being built with this hack in mind, there’s no place on the Watchman for the Switch’s Joycon controllers to stick to, so you’ll have to conjure up a solution using elastic bands, should you want to try this at home.

The main question you have to answer before you do, however, is why you’d bother. The Switch has a far better colour screen included, and although the Watchman is portable, you have to stay in range of your VCR’s broadcast to keep playing. Unless your Switch screen is broken, but it still works when docked, there’s precious little reason to replicate this – unless you want to give your Sony Watchman one more victory lap before it returns to its attic-based retirement.

Still: it does mean that there is at least one use for a Sony Watchman in 2018 – and that’s one more than most of us would have imagined when we woke up this morning.

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