Question about Nintendo NES Console

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NES failed and won't read my games

I have been playing my NES for a really long time (almost constantly since 1998!) and throughout the years it has developed a few classic problems such as codes, "jail-bars", etc. However, recently, I went to play a little Tetris, and I absolutely could not get it to read the game, resulting in the flashing pink screen. I used every method I have learned throughout the years to get it working, all of which failed, (these methods included inserting many different games multiple times, bolwing on the connectors with difluoroethane--canned air, and several other methods). After trying for a couple hours, off and on, I opened the box and reflowed solder on any joints that appeared suspicious, still with no effect. I saw nothing else that looked suspicious. Could my game-pack socket be worn out? Could there be another issue I need to correct? What can I do to save it?

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  • Roger Gilbert Jul 31, 2007

    I was hoping to find something I could look for and have the problem fixed easily without chasing someone to change the socket, but it appears that socket replacement is necessary. I've probably used galons of alcohol and a crate or two of Q-tips on it throughout the years, so I guess it's just that time for the socket. If I had a decent hot-air heat gun to desolder it with, I would likely try replacing it myself, but I don't, so I won't.

    Has anyone tried those cleaning kits that used to be around for the Nintendo? Do they work better than a Q-tip? A Q-tip don't reach into the socket as well as I like.

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I've been doing a lot of research on console repair lately and I think it could be solved one of 2 ways.
1st you could probably get away without replacing the 72 pin connector ... you just need to manually tighten each pin. Go through with a hook or safety pin etc and pull each pin towards the center. It will loosen up again over time, but it will probably take another 8-10 years for that. Also, when you take it off the mobo, clean the area it connects to. Those connectors respond well to an initial scrubbing with an eraser followed up with the alcohol.
2nd your lockout chip may be malfunctioning. All it does is inhibit you, why not disable it? Lots of guides on the net to do this ex) http://www.raphnet.net/electronique/nes_mod/nes_mod_en.php

Hope this helps.
BTW, I have the same TV/issue you do ... I'm curious if yours is still working, if you got your hands on any sort of manual/documentation and if you could share.

Posted on Apr 22, 2009

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Ebay sells inexpensive new sockets that are supposed to not redevelop the problem. people often have luck with isopropyl alcohol wiped on the contacts with a q-tip, but if your socket is too far-gone it might just need replacement. given the number of contacts that need to be soldered, you can elect to have a lot of used game shops do the switch for you, but i'm not sure what they charge.

Posted on Jul 27, 2007

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