Tips to Get Your NES Running Again!
NES. Known also as the Famicom (“Family Computer”) or just “Nintendo” , the Nintendo Entertainment System still stands strong today as a functioning System , and there are also companies today making reproduction NES’s . But if you’re like me and using the original products , you may have encountered problems with them , some due to age , and some due to design. You may think your old NES is worthless because it won’t function , but there is almost no way that it CAN’T be returned to functioning order ; as an added bonus , most of the methods can be used with common household products or with cheap materials.
Problems include scrambled images , the NES turning on and off rapidly , and it not functioning. This occurs from dirt / dust on the 72-Pin connector (“Cartridge reader” for those who don’t know) or on the Cartridges , and the blinking is put into action by a chip (“10NES” lockout chip) designed to lock out pirated or unlicensed Games (Supposedly , cutting the fourth pin on this lockout chip will eliminate the blinking , but I’m not willing to risk). Lastly , the 72-Pin connector may be over-worn.
Those who grew up with the NES remember blowing the Cartridge to get the Games to work with the System. That will work temporarily , but not only will the problem return , but it blows the dust and/or dirt into the insides of the Cartridge.
You will not want to blow the contacts of the Cartridge , but instead clean it with a Q-Tip or a specially designed Cleaning Swab:
It’s not required to resume function , but it is good to clean the insides if possible , but Cartridges often use special screws that can only be unscrewed with a special bit. These bits can be purchased online and are easy to find.
Follow this guide for cleaning the Cartridge and repeat if needed. Now that the Cartridge has been taken care of , we must evaluate the 72-Pin connector.
Cleaning the dust or dirt from the 72-Pin connector CAN be done by putting rubbing alcohol on a Cartridge and putting it in the NES , but this is not really a good idea , as it is not designed to clean the System and whatever dirt on the Cartridge is possibly transferred to the Pins and vice-versa. I recommend getting a NES Cleaning Kit. I bought my NAKI NES Cleaning Kit at my favorite store for a buck , and it really helps out.
This Cartridge is designed to clean the 72-Pin connector by the included solution (likely just rubbing alcohol) being applied to the “Contacts” and the Cartridge being inserted into the NES. Also , the solution can be applied to the swabs and , as shown above , can be used to clean the Cartridge contacts.
I hope my guides help you in getting your NES running! Thank you for reading , GOD BLESS!