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Repairing an Old school Nintendo (NES)

Greetings, Today is going to be a very special Tutorial, We're going to fix an old school NES! (short for Nintendo Entertainment System).

now I won't even go into details why you shouldn't do this unless you know what you're doing, the primary reason being, you can make your console a paperweight.

with that out of the way let's begin.

first here's the tools you need.

[Image: IMG_20150312_194342.jpg]

A long phillips screw driver

A pair of pliers

a pair of tweezers

a multimeter

Optional: helping hands with magnifying glass for more detailed repairs (Experts only)

ok first let's have a look at the console we're going to open up and work on.

[Image: IMG_20150312_194021.jpg]

red light = powers on, That's a good sign! that means it has power!

[Image: IMG_20150312_194130.jpg]

Displays image, also a good sign, however...

[Image: IMG_20150312_194146.jpg]

Oh no! something's not working right... alright let's get this started then!

first, see if the cart is connecting ok, in this case I was using a copy of super mario world, cartridge goes into the front like so.

[Image: IMG_20150312_194202.jpg]

after some jiggling I got a clear picture again, but this is indicative of a bad connection with the cartridge, after a quick cleaning of the cartridge the issue persists so let's open it up.

Step 1: Remove the six screws on the bottom (circled in red)

[Image: IMG_20150312_194438.jpg]

this is where you need the long phillips.

Step 2: take the bottom off the case revealing the motherboard and insides.

[Image: IMG_20150312_194650.jpg] Then remove the screws to remove the top RF shield (this is to prevent interference with the console and the game via radio frequency, something still used today.), so remember to put it back during re-assembly.

at this point you can access and clean the cartridge connector easily and try the game again (making sure both are clean, I reccomend rubbing alcohol and Q tips, and or a paper towel and an old credit card that you can slide in there.

Step 3: since that didn't work I can only assume it's a bad cartridge connector, After a week of waiting around I received a replacement in the mail, typically 8 to 10 usd on ebay (including shipping), so we remove the motherboard from the console.

[Image: IMG_20150312_194858.jpg]

Step 4: remove the bottom shield.

[Image: IMG_20150312_195205.jpg]

it should slide right off revealing the motherboard.

[Image: IMG_20150312_195244.jpg]

this is what a NES actually looks like on the inside, see that black thing on the bottom, that's the cartridge connector, after all the disassembly it should just slide off with some effort (be careful but it's not easy to disconnect).

also at this point if you're careful, you can disable the NES lockout chip (known as the 10 NES chip), by breaking the 4th pin of the chip circled in red (4th on the bottom facing the capacitors)

[Image: IMG_20150312_195310.jpg]

again, 10 nes disabling, EXPERTS ONLY, do this if you know what you're doing (a pair of wire cutters works well here if they're thin, also the helping hands to steady the board and magnify for precision, one wrong move and your NES is dead.)

I've already done so previously and it works fine.

this is what the cartridge connector looks like

[Image: IMG_20150312_195335.jpg]

it's pretty straight forward from this point on, after you put your new connector onto the board (same place you removed the old one from), just follow the steps in reverse, and replace all the screws (you kept your screws right?)

and viola! it works, this is one of the easier repairs to do, but don't do it if you don't know what you're doing, consult a professional.

[Image: IMG_20150312_195945.jpg]

this has been SpookyZalost... Signing off!
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters

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