NES Console basic repair guide

I want to contribute in a area of console repair, I think SRK does not have much info in regards to Console repair.
And most of that is Xbox 360 or PS3.

I going to go Retro here and focus on older systems, for this thread I doing the Nintendo Entertainment system or NES. This is a work in progress, so I will add or edit to this guide as new and relevant information comes up.

What you will need?

Phillips Screw Driver

cotton swaps
Rubbing Alcohol

warm water and mild soap such as dish soap (on plastic parts only)

Nothing destroys a cart base system faster than those cart base cleaning kit that ether uses water or some solution to “clean” the connections. Forcing extra pressure and water into a electrical connector, especially one with bent or failing pins will only accelerate the wear on your system. If you have to clean anything electrical use rubbing alcohol, 70% or higher with 90% being preferred. Alcohol does not rust, does not dissolve any parts to electrical components and it evaporates quickly.

**Step 1 Trouble shoot your system. **

Make sure your A/V cables or RF switch is hooked up, you have a game in the system (preferably one with out battery back up saves example Legend of Zelda) the AC adapter is plugged in and you have a controller in the player 1 port.

** A.** Are you getting any power?

No, is the AC adapter fully in and secured (and plugged into a wall socket) ? If this is so and you still do not have power you will want to try a different AC adapter or outlet.

Also inspect to see if the voltage jack or voltage port is not damaged.

Use a multimeter to test the adapter, you should read 9 or 10 volts ac coming from the adapter, yes the NES AC adapter outputs to the NES in 9 volts Alternating Current. The NES also will work with 9 or 10 volt AC/DC adapters which happen to have the same size barrel plug, as some universal adapters and aftermarket ad adapter replacements are going to be.

If the AC adapter is fine, you also want to test the power switch for continuity.
The power switch, is a clicking push switch, pressing the switch once closes the circuit and the power should be on, press it a second time and the circuit opens. (some one later tell me the correct tern for this type of switch).

B. If you are getting power but no picture, or the picture is glitched or a solid color this is actually a good sign, chances are you system is working but there is a bad connection with your game cart or your game cart is missing.
If your game cart is in place and your getting no picture, 98% of the time the 72 pin carriage connector is bad. After you open up your console you can ether bend all those tiny pins back into place, or replace the connector. I highly recommend replacing the Pin connector over bending the pins back into place. This is because the more you bend metal the weaker it becomes and the more likely it would break.

How to replace the 72 Pin Connector, also useful to dissemble your system for other repairs
Step 2: System disassembly **

First Flip you NES upside down

You see here there are 6 screw holes, I circled in red. use you Phillips to unscrew them.

Once you done that, remove the top cover to the NES case, and flip the console back around

Remove these 7 screws so you can pull of the RF shielding (the metal you see on top)

Great, now you have to remove the game carriage (part your game cart slides into)

Remove these 6 screws, the screws circled in green are longer screws, so do not mix them up with the other screws.

Also if you want to remove the Motherboard

Do not forget these 2 additional screws near the RF/Power interface

Now carefully pull off the plastic game carriage, once that is removed, you are free to pull back on the pin connector, it should slide off

I can’t remember in this pic if I am removing or replacing the pin connector here.

Another pic of me holding the 72 pin connector

The Connector by is self

Problem is unless your pin connector is in really bad shape, you can’t tell that its worn out from looking at it; so be careful not to mix the old connector with your new or replacement connector.

Slide the connector back on and the game cart carriage, put screws back in
Step 3 Testing**

Here is me with a partially assembled NES, the top RF shield and cover is missing.

Hook up the system, and see if it now works.

Success. *Please excuse this picture, apparently besides the image on my TV nothing else came out. *

Go ahead and do a test play, see if everything works. I prefer Super Mario Bros for testing since it a good way to try out all the buttons on the NES controller. Avoid using games that have battery back up saves for testing (example Legend of Zelda) the reason is you could corrupt or wipe your game save.

If the controller not working make sure, your controller is fully plugged in, if the controller still do not work, try a different controller. If none of your controllers work, check the wires going from the controller port’s 7 pin port to the motherboard.
Step 4 Re-assembly **
Once your satisfied that everything works, resemble your system.

Happy Gaming

So odd to see something like this in 2011, the age of emulators and next-gen graphics, but it’s refreshing. Thanks!

Thanks for the comment MisterDaku, I am thinking I will do next is a SNES repair guide.

Forget emulators, there’s nothing better than the real thing IMO.

And yeah, great guide. I’ve done this to several of my friends’ NES systems over the years. Amazing just how many non-working NES system just need this simple fix.