I recently picked up a (seems like) fully functional Apple IIc on eBay to play around with. I do have a modern TV that has RCA input port that the Apple IIc supports. However, when I plug in the Apple IIc to the TV and turn it on, the display briefly displays the Apple IIc boot up screen (black screen with Apple IIc text on top) for a second, then everything turned into snowflakes, which means the video port on the Apple IIc is definitely not bad (I can replicate this every time).

What else can I do to make this Apple IIc work on my TV?

I also have an RCA to VGA adapter coming, not sure if that will help though.


I found out that if you switched to another input source then switch back to the input sources the Apple IIc is connected to, it will display the correct text for a fraction of a second, then return to the static screen. I've also tried running the diagnostic (holding both Apple key at startup), it says system OK (I managed to catch the text during the fraction of second which it appeared correctly).

Here is a picture of the static:


  • This sounds as though it is autorunning some application that changes the screen mode to one your TV can't cope with. Do you have any cards in the Apple that could be intercepting startup?
    – Chenmunka
    Apr 18 '17 at 13:53
  • 1
    @Chenmunka It is an Apple IIc, I don't think you can install any expansion card in it. The only thing connected on the outside is the power and the display.
    – Tom Shen
    Apr 18 '17 at 13:54
  • Yes, I'd forgotten the IIc lost the slots. Still sounds like a video mode change of some sort.
    – Chenmunka
    Apr 18 '17 at 14:00
  • 1
    I'm not familiar with the IIc (only worked on II+ and IIe), but first guess is 40/80 column mode. It probably boots in 40 column mode, then switches to 80 column mode, and your TV can't handle the letter. AFAIK, there should be a 40/80 column switch next to the reset switch, or you can type ESC 4 and ESC 8 to change mode.
    – dirkt
    Apr 18 '17 at 14:49
  • 1
    Snowflakes as in TV static? Like a detuned TV? But from a composite input?
    – Tommy
    Apr 18 '17 at 17:20

The RCA to VGA adapter that just came fixed the problem. I'm not sure about the brand but it should be a generic one. The monitor I connected is a pretty standard VGA computer monitor.

  • Interesting... perhaps the monitor had a faulty connection / converter...
    – wizzwizz4
    Apr 20 '17 at 19:39
  • 3
    I know I'm late to the party, but thought I could shed light on what was happening. The Apple II does not really output a completely standards compliant NTSC signal. Oh it worked on most any "normal" (i.e. tube) TV from the era, but many modern TVs and monitors are not as forgiving, and can refuse to sync or will have various glitches in the display.
    – Glen Yates
    May 24 '18 at 22:47
  • @GlenYates I wonder if routing the output through a Time Base Corrector or Frame Synchronizer would help. Jun 21 '19 at 21:05

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