Permanently renewing cartridge slot pins, never blow again!

Posted on April 15th, 2012 by JMT.
Categories: Articles.

Last week I finally went about modding my NES to play imports. You can find the details on the web fairly easily, all you have to do is flip pin 4 on the region lockout chip. I also did the solder to pin 11 (gnd) for safety.

While I was at it, I was going to replace my cartridge slot assembly. My NES is at the point where even after multiple slot cleanings and cart cleanings, you still have to play the reset game for about 3 minutes to get any cart to play.

I had picked up a replacement cartslot a while back and it’s just a slide-on piece, no soldering required. But while reading up on the mod, I also read about using a pin to bend the cart pins back up to improve contact and fix the cart playing issues.

I tried that. At one point I accidentally inverted one of the pins but luckily managed to get it back together correctly. If you’re not careful it’s an easy way to brick your current cart slot.

Well, it didn’t work. Even after even more cleanings, it still requires 3 minutes of powercycle and cart shuffling to get anything to play (though my region-mod did worked, and I can now play those codemasters games).

The codemasters and other 3rd party games, even though they have that A/B switch on the back that’s supposed to make it work with any NES, it would NEVER work with my particular model of NES. But now it works.

But I still wanted to fix the cart playing issues. I finally came up with another idea. I have this electrical contact cleaner that I got from Radio Shack a while back. It’s in a spray can like those computer airdusters. I use it to fix Atari paddle controllers. You just spray into the pot inside the controller and wiggle it around a while and poof it’s as good as new.

So I sprayed the electrical contact cleaner on my eliminator cart slot cleaner (you know the big pink cart with the rubber tab), and started making sweat love to my NES with it.

I did that a few times, and POOF the contacts are now clean as new, and it plays games first try easy now!

All those years of suffering are over. In fact I plan to try it all all my cartridge based systems. It’ll no longer be an expected requirement that I need to use the eliminator fluid and felt stick on every game before I play it anymore!


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