View Full Version : Spiny watchman fd-20a video cable help

08-08-2015, 09:23 PM
I have two new to me fd-20a's. They work great. First one I bought was $7 with no battery holder or case untested. That works great using 6v input. Next was a great find. $15 with case and battery holder. And in fantastic condition. I bought a av cable to 3.5mm plug. It's a standard yellow white red composite cable. I can when connecting it up with the left audio(white) to video(on the DVD player). I get video that way after ground is connected. But I cannot in any connection get audio. Only video. I'm using some alligator leads to connect it up and also some multimeter mini grabber as my third lead. Does anyone have a cable which does work or know of such? I want to mess around and watch video on it. Yes I know. It's a stupid idea but I want to screw around. I enjoy watching DVDs on my commodore 1701 monitor but I want to try something else. And plus this can be useful as a portable video player with my DVD player. If I ever hack that to run off batterys. Thanks for any help.

Eric H
08-08-2015, 09:40 PM
This same issue was discussed over on the Antique Radio Forums and it was determined this set only has Video input, no Audio.

If you want to use it you will need to use something like an Agile Modulator to transmit a signal to it or use a DVD Player with a RF Modulator hooked to it's antenna.

08-08-2015, 09:58 PM
Had the same set, input is video only.

08-08-2015, 10:29 PM
At least one of the larger models (FD-40A) has an A/V jack *and * it is labelled as such on the side of the set.... Strange looking jack, however a RCA/Phone style combination.


08-09-2015, 09:03 AM
Well that sucks. Thanks for the help. I was wanting to watch videos on it but I guess I can't, without buying something. Well at least I know they both work correctly.

Electronic M
08-09-2015, 02:31 PM
Have you considered an RF modulator. There are ones that use a 12V wall wart that can be easily adapted to battery operation and would convert the A/V to RF the set could tune on CH 3 or 4...

08-11-2015, 02:22 PM
I thought these sets use a stereo type plug and jack.
It does not make since if its only a video input.

Try plugging in a one of those stereo phone plugs to RCA patch cords for hooking up an Ipod or CD player to your stereo aux input and try plugging it into the DVD player or other video source.

If you hear the video buzz from the speaker and see video sound bars on the screen.This means its plugged in backwards.Reverse plugs.

I have a Watchman here and got to check it out.

In the past these sets work great for monitoring camcorder video footage on location without looking at the small viewfinder.

You can also can use an old VCR RF modulator out of a VCR.Most run on 9 volts of 12 volts.Newer ones probably 5 to 6 volts..Just have to find out the pin out and voltage it runs on.

08-11-2015, 10:45 PM
Remember this came out in 1984, before camcorders were common and people were still hauling portable VCRs around. The video in, with headphones connected to your portable VCR would allow you to view what you had recorded on the go.