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NES repair?

Started by Agentspikey95, March 07, 2004, 11:46:15 AM

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My NES is starting to feel as old as i am, even though it's almost brand new.

The cart slot doesn't function as it's supposed to, no position works except for pushed all the way down when you push it down to lock in. i had to shove an empty genny controller top in there to make it work.

I noticed that the cart slot is just an extension, and i could make one, but no one around here sells edge connectors. If there's a way to keep my NES the same, but ditch the stupid "won't work unless car pushed down extension and go with something a little more practical, i'd be happy to know it.

thanks in advance
Why are you reading this?


So, the cart slot still locks into place, but games don't work unless it's pushed all the way down as far as it will go, right? Most NES consoles are very touchy.  When I get the lovely purple flashing screen of doom, or the soild black screen of greater doom, first I usually sigh and then curse and/or punch something (not the NES though). Slide the cart all the way back, with the cart slot locked down. Wiggle the cart slow and gentle, the NES needs a lovers touch, until you see the the main game screen start flashing in place of the ol' purple doom screen, then simply reset the system and the game should work. I don't think you'd need to jam a Genesis pad in there, the pins are at the back of the cart slot and probably just not making a good connection. Unless I completly misunderstood you and the cart slot won't lock into place, if that's true, then forget everything I said.
Hey there, fancy pants!


the cart locks in the way ti's supposed to, but the cart wont work inless pushed all the way down.  and i don't wanna spend five minutes rying to get SUper Mario Bros working, i need a fix. anybody know where i can but these damn cart slots in florida? How much are they?
Why are you reading this?


I'm sure you have, but, have you given it a good clean? If the games still work after a bit of the ol' 'move and wiggle,' then I really think it's just a dirty connection and cleaning could help, or your cart slot is junked like you said. Putting a new one in would be more fun anyways!  :) I don't think the physical plastic slot would cause the NES to malfunction and there isn't really a way of getting one of those. The 72 pin connectors are easy to get, if it comes down to surgery and all and assuming that's even the problem.

The 72 pin connectors should be like $10-$14 US.
Hey there, fancy pants!


$10-$14 yes, but where to buy them? Radioshack is the only major store round here that sells that stuff, and they don't sell edge connectors at ALL
Why are you reading this?


The only place I've ever gotten them is eBay.


Sorry, I didn't know that what you meant by edge connector, I thought you were talking about some clip to hold the slot down.  ;) You'll have to order it online.

Try any of these:

E-Bay listings

Electic Quarter

Game Part

Instructions on how to install the connector

That's about it!

Oh, I just realized I linked to E-Bay Canada, but you get the idea!
Hey there, fancy pants!


WOAH WOAH WOAH I  can help!

Its true that your 72 pin connector is warn out. But dont fall into the trap of buying a new one!

Carefully take your snes apart, Cover, Then Shield, Then Lift up Mobo, then remove the connector!

Take a tiny screwdriver (like the ones you can get at radio shack) and bend up each of the pins just a tiny little bit. I bent mine up too far so i have to put in my games without pushing them down into the loader, but thats fixable too obviously.

With your pins bent back into place your NES should be all set.

The reasons the pins get bent is the front loader, the front loader is so they wouldnt have to pay atari a patent fee.


QuoteThe reasons the pins get bent is the front loader, the front loader is so they wouldnt have to pay atari a patent fee.
This isn't quite accurate.  After the big crash no one would sell "video games" so Nintendo made their system front-loading to get away from the console image of top loading carts.  Atari didn't have a patent on cartridges or top-loading systems, that's just ludicrous talk.

The reason the NES cart slots go bad is 'cause, unlike every other cartridge port, you slide the cart in with very little contact and then (by pushing the cart down) you push the pins aside at the same time you compress any dust that's between the cart and slot.  On a normal top-loading cart (or even side loading, whatever) the teeth remain relatively stationary while putting a constant pressure against the cart, AND the in/out scraping cleans the teeth and breaks through any layer of dust.

The NES design is just bad, IMO you're better off putting the money into a $20 famicom and an adaptor to play NES carts than complicated fixes and part swapping.


Or, if you're going to scrap the NES, which to me is just sad, and you have a DreamCast, there are some very excellent free Emus for NES on the DreamCast. Try NesterDC, loads of ROMS, good features and it plays well. I don't agree with Lawrence, the connector swap is really easy and pretty fun to do and will be cheaper than getting a  new Famicom as a replacement, but buy a Famicom too, it's just a better design, mechanically and asthetically. However the hell you spell that word.
Hey there, fancy pants!


QuoteOr, if you're going to scrap the NES, which to me is just sad, and you have a DreamCast, there are some very excellent free Emus for NES on the DreamCast.

Famicom as a replacement, but buy a Famicom too, it's just a better design, mechanically and asthetically.
*shakes head while tutting*


NFG, my friend.  Check first, then post. =)


I've seen plenty of people spell poorly and not get harassed. I only missed an 'e,' that's pretty good! aEsthetically . . .
Of or concerning the appreciation of beauty or good taste, of which I have very little of either.  If emulators and the like are considered bad play, my future posts will come sans freebies. Forgiveness please!


Now I'm paranoid about every word I type, thanks a lot!
Hey there, fancy pants!


Everyone should  be paranoid about every word they type.  Personally I'm sick and tired of the free ride, it's time to collectively get your shit together and learn to spell, learn to speak, learn to write.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with trying to better yourself, and being a better speaker/writer will bring the babes and big bucks!!

I have spoken, let it be law!  >=)


Thank you for the famicom tip, but HeElOo

I'm poor.

a famicom will have to wait, as will the hard to find adaptor, i can't really afford any of that right now, especially the shiping from japan.

which is why a couple of $2.75 connectors appeals to me.

The poor man has spoken, let that be the other law.

EDIT: the emulator is a very good idea, but i'd have to build a ROM dumper, because i don't appreciate going to p0rn sites thet give you broken links to corrupt zip archives containing questionable quality ROMs. i've seen it, i don't like it.
Why are you reading this?


i had a similar problem when i got my nes (very second hand and not very looked after, as soon as i opened it i could see and smell that the previous owner was an alcoholic chain smoker:P), all i did was remove the connector, then push a game in and out of the connector a couple of thousand times on a slight angle so it touched the pins hidden at the back too.. the nes works all the time now even when the cart is not clicked down.


If you are looking for edge connectors let me know what you want I will get a price for you. Email me at


well, i bought a NES recently and it wouild work on ocassion. it didnt work well, and was a pain in the ass to get to work at, even going as far as taking hours to get mario/ duck hunt to work. i found this to be part dirt/ part faulty edge connectors.

so what i did was opened it up, and cleaned off the connectors with rubbing alcohol. this works quite well despite what they say. i did they same with all of teh connectors on my NES carts.

Also, to make sure that the cartridge would sit in there nice and snuggy, i took a couple layers of cardboard (cereal boxes do quite nicely) and cut them to about the size of a nes cart, and placed them under the cart in the NES.

The NES boots all of my NES games on the first try, and i never get any problems.

its a nice safe solution that requires no repair knowledge; just remeber to let it dry before you stick it in.

for more of a in depth look at the whole cleaning with alcohol, take a look at


I certainly wasn't berating your spelling, was more about the Famicom looking better aesthetically ;)

As for cleaning a NES, it's a very easy job, just take your time and remember where all the screws go. The way I personally do this is to have a nice big flat working area and with each layer that I remove I lay out the screws on the bench in the same positions as where I removed them. Sometimes you'll find that the screws have been in there so long that the material around them moulds specifically to the supposedly standard screws, so you end up being able to not get some back in different holes, so try my method.
Basically just take your time, go sparingly and carefully with the alcohol and remember that yes there are 72 pins, this will take patience, it's not a 5-minute job although it is an easy one. Do it while you're watching TV or listening to a new CD or something.


yeah, i just cleaned it today, mario bros/duck hunt worked on the first try but that's all i guess it werks now...
Why are you reading this?


Quotebeing a better speaker/writer will bring the babes and big bucks!!
I can vouch for this personally by the way.  B)  


SINCE THE EIGHTIES if I ever encountered a "blinking" NES it was fixed in two minutes. All you need are Q-Tips/Cotton Swabs and a cart with rubbing alcohol. An official cleaning kit + rubbing alcohol works even better (And yes. The official cleaning kit's manual says to use alcohol despite the cart's label. 1 part water though.).

Just wipe a cart's connector with a rubbing alcohol-soaked swab and it should turn black with corrosion. Keep cleaning with a fresh swab until you can't get any more black stuff. Then SOAK the connector with alcohol (Quickly dip and dab the liquid on it ASAP). Cram it into the NES, depress it fullly and wobble it while holding it down (Hold it down while doing it, don't release it even if it remains depressed). You may have to remove and reinsert it a few times for a good wobble (It's kinda hard to slide back when the cart is depressed). Clean the cart again and you should get a lot more crap off it. You may want to repeat the NES cleaning part because it's very hard to get those pins rubbed very well.

The carts should work first try. As the alcohol dries, I've noticed that some NES units have a little more trouble (Never more than second or third try) because they have bent pins. NEVER anything that warranted opening your Nintendo. I've only encountered one NES that ever needed the pins bent and it only needed them for a couple games that seemed to have abnormally thin PCBs. I imagine that cramming a second cart on top to hold the first cart down or using a Game Genie is to blame for that. Also, the thin PCB games still worked fine and always first try when they had a little alcohol on them. ;)

It's startling how many people now bring up the pin-bending guide every chance they get. On many gaming forums, they have everyone convinced that it is the only problem. All of these people are bending their pins so much that the NES will boot the games without depressing them at all! It's just like that stupid fake-fix for grinding N64 controllers... After this, you will know if the pins are truely worn out but this is not true 95% of the time, though it may seem to be simply because it fixes the problem.

The official Nintendo NES Cleaning Kit included a specially-shaped cartridge which could insert and remove from the cartridge connector while depressed. It had a handle which protruded from the NES to facilitate this. It didn't hurt that "the PCB" was also some sort of friction0inducing cloth. Though I have one, I have never needed it ;)