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Topic: Help With Nintendo (Read 6467 times) previous topic - next topic

CSGuy

I have NES games that need to be cleaned because the contacts are all dirty. I've been looking online for a couple weeks and have heard everything from Goo Gone, Alcohol, Peroxide, Orange Cleaner, Water, Oxy Clean, Magic Eraser and everything else under the sun.

I've also been told that all of that stuff damages the contacts and can damage the circuit board. I don't think any of these websites really know what they are talking about.

I figured I would ask here, since people here know about electronics, and I'm assuming that the game contacts are nothing more than solder or something similar.

I'm looking for a REAL method to clean the NES game connectors without having to worry about damaging them. Is there any method that I can use that will clean the junk off of the game contacts without damaging anything?

You can't really buy NES games easily anymore, so I don't want to take a chance of breaking them while cleaning them.

Thanks!

Paul__B


CSGuy

I tried that before. It works, but it doesn't get all the dirt off. I can still see black on the contacts. The alcohol takes all the black off, but I'm worried it might damage something.

Paul__B

If we are talking about contacts that are tracks on a fibreglass PCB, I cannot see that alcohol will damage anything.  The only thing it will generally affect is PVC paint or glue.

I also doubt that the black coating will significantly affect the operation of the connector if you have used the vinyl eraser.  Actual corrosion (green) is more of a problem.

CSGuy

Hi,

This is what I'm talking about. Can you check this video? I'm talking about the contacts that he is cleaning.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKxbE_EKmdM

Paul__B

Well, I may be a cynic, but I suspect the cleaning compound is related either to toothpaste or household cleaner such as "Jif", and the "rinse" is probably alcohol.

CSGuy

Well I don't know what it is. I was thinking it was jewelry cleaning paste which would be safe on brass.

But in any case. I'm just trying to find something that would be safe to use on those brass contacts.

I tried erasers, but dang, you can see all that black garbage that the cleaner takes off? The eraser won't do that.

Paul__B


Well I don't know what it is. I was thinking it was jewelry cleaning paste which would be safe on brass.


Actually, the contacts are - or should be - gold plated, definitely not brass!


I tried erasers, but dang, you can see all that black garbage that the cleaner takes off? The eraser won't do that.


An abrasive cleaner will remove a very fine layer of the gold, which will show as black on the cleaning cloth.  Not necessarily the same black as you see on the contacts which - if they are otherwise clean - need not be a problem.

My suggestion was that if you have cleaned with an eraser, whatever remains on the contacts should not be a problem in operation.  It has always worked for me with computer daughter (expansion) boards.

CSGuy

Dang, it's amazing how much crap you can get told on the Internet, and how many people believe it.

All the websites I've been to have told me those were brass contacts, and that's why people use jewelry cleaner on them.

I didn't know the black would be the gold coming off-that's interesting. I wonder why the gold is black, and why the contacts being dirty won't stop the game from playing. Like you said, the black shouldn't hurt anything-I would think having that black on there wouldn't give a good connection between the game and system.

Well I'm going to try it again with a pencil eraser and see what happens. I wasn't seeing all that black come off with the eraser so I was assuming that my games weren't getting cleaned.

I'm going to try to fix one game that I have that's not working.

Thanks.

Paul__B

Gold of course, does not oxidise, so that is why it is used to plate electrical contacts such as these.  If it looks like gold, it certainly should be gold, otherwise it not going to work too well.  The black deposit would be from something else, perhaps from the underlying copper or a contaminant.  As long as it is not thick, it should really be removed locally by the action of inserting the cartridge into the socket.

If you use an abrasive, the fine particles removed tend to scatter light rather than reflecting it, so look black.  (Even finer particles are likely to be transparent and in fact finely beaten gold can itself be made to look transparent with a green hue.)

A game that is not working may indicate a faulty ROM, particularly if it is actually an EPROM.  You could write an Arduino program to read the content and compare it to a known dump of the code - I believe there are a few of these on the 'net.

CSGuy

Thanks.

I'm just having a problem getting the NES to work. It's all of the games, so I know it's a problem with the NES. I took it apart and cleaned everything good and also cleaned the contacts in the NES and fixed the pin connector in the system like the online repair guides showed, but it still just blinks on and off with a blue screen when I try to play a game.

If I giggle the game while its in the system. I can sometimes get the game to start playing.     =(

Paul__B

Need to check the soldering on the socket in the cartridge dock - is that what the guide meant?  Also get an idea of the tension of the wipers in that socket.  It may need replacing.

CSGuy

I found a brown wire inside that was broken in half. It was a VERY tiny wire, the smallest I've ever seen, but I managed to repair the wire, and now the controllers are working again. I also remembered that I could use a multi-meter to check all the other wires to make sure they were working.

The connectors are supposed to be the problem in most cases, and mine look a little tarnished. Cleaning them didn't help. eBay has some brand new ones for sale, that are made of a different metal that won't tarnish.

I'm going to try to get some of these and replace the existing pins on my NES and see if that fixes it.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/380852831039

Here's hoping...... I'll post back if I ever get it working. It would be nice to be able to fix it. That means maybe I learned something from the starter kit after all.

Paul__B


I'm going to try to get some of these and replace the existing pins on my NES and see if that fixes it.


Good idea - as long as you are in America - the shipping charges prohibit sales to any other country.

And - did you notice the contact cleaning tool they sell?

CSGuy

Yes but when I contacted them, they told me the contact cleaning tool was similar to sand paper, so it sounds really abrasive to me... I'm worried that it will scratch the contacts all up.

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