The Nintendo NES and Famicom Guide


#1

*Disclaimer: Please remember that It is the end user’s responsibility to see to and to carry out proper implementation their own repairs and modifications. Ultimately the end users hold responsibility for how they implement their own repairs. *

Welcome to the Nintendo NES and Famicom Guide as we try to sort out the mystery of the Family Computer A.K.A. the Famicom and the Nintendo Entertainment System (for now on being refereed to as the NES).
There also many variations and versions made of this console and we are going to try to explore all the differences between each version.

The Famicom console first launched in 1983 in Japan, the Famicom was slow to generate sales and a bad patch of chips caused the original version of the hardware to crash causing Nintendo to do a product recall and replace non-working systems with those with a redesigned mother board. At the same time Nintendo changed the design of the game pad as square buttons often get jammed the buttons where changed to the circle design we are all familiar now.
In the US, the NES revived the video game industry in the United States after The video game crash of 1983. The NES was soft launched in 1985 in New York with little fan fare and by 1987 was extremely popular.

The main hardware of any NES is its CPU a custom Ricoh made MOS 6502 (licensed from Motorola) the Nintendo version of the processor different from the typical 6502 as it has expanded memory I/O mapper and custom audio hardware on the die. It drops the 6502 binary-coded decimal mode. the exact chips are the Ricoh 2A03 1.79 MHz for NTSC regions or the Ricoh 2A07 1.66 MHz for PAL regions (with sound hardware adjusted accordingly). Other notable systems that used 6502 family processors includes Apple II, Commodore 64 and the Atari 2600. The PPU or Picture Processing Unit is a co processor also made by Ricoh, the RP2C02 (NTSC version), RP2C07 (PAL version), RP2C03 (RGB, used in Vs system and PlayChoice 10) and the RC2C05-99 (used only in the Famicom Titler) which expands on the RP2CO2 with RGB capabilities. The NES runs on 2kb RAM and used mappers and mirroring tricks to expand its memory. The NES and Famicom is the successor to the Color TV Game series (with the inspiration for the game pads coming from the Game & Watch series) and the predecessor to Super Famicom/Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

Jump Ahead List:

NES/Famicom Models
Mods:
-Video Mods
-Audio Mods
-Other
Repair


#2

The Big list of all the NES/Famicom Models
When possible model numbers are given.

Japanese Models

The Original Famicom (HVC-001)

Spoiler

The Famicom model number HVC-001, the console that started it all. Came out in 1983 the Family Computer or Famicom was the successor to Nintendo’s Color TV-Game line and took design inspiration from the Game & Watch portable series for the first game pads. The console only supported RF out on Japanese Channels 1 and 2. It had short hard wired game pads and its a very basic and simple console.

http://i.imgur.com/UDg8VyG.png

Famicom AV (HVC-101)

[details=Spoiler]A Redesign for the Famicom, it phases out the RF out for AV (composite) via the Muti-out port, the same multi out that was introduced with the Super Famicom/ Super Nintendo. The NES 101 is based of it’s design.

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Sharp Twin Famicom

[details=Spoiler]An authorized 3rd party console, Sharp made the Twin Famicom under licensed from Nintendo came with a built in Famicom disk system and features both RF and AV video out put. The console features similar hardwired controllers to the HVC-001 Famicom. Comes in various color schemes. The game pads although simular to the HVC-001 game pads had its own style to them.

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Sharp Famicom TV a.k.a. Mai Konpyuta Terebi C1

[details=Spoiler]Another Famicom from Sharp, this time the console is built into a Sharp Television. The console uses the 2C03 PPU which naively supports RGB output at cost of some compatibility and color limitations with games.
This is the console of choice for many magazines form screen captures (which was done by photographing the actual screen). The Sharp Famicom TV C1 came in 14 inch and 19 inch models, both versions came in Red and Black. The system had one of the TWO authorized FAMICOM multi-carts a cut down versions of Donkey Kong Jr. and Donkey Kong Jr. no Sansuu Asobi (Donkey Kong Jr Math).

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FamicomBox (hotel model)

[details=Spoiler]Used primarily in hotels in Japan, strangely the system took and accepted the US version of the game pads and had two 2nd player controller ports to accommodate for the US version of the Zapper. The Carts locked inside (with a key) were also a variation of the US NES carts (black plastic) rather than the 60 pin Famicom Carts. The side of the machine has an access panel for a coin mech for pay-to-play.

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Sharp Famicom Titler

[details=Spoiler]Last of the Many Sharp made Famicoms, this is a hybrid Famicom and video screen titler in which people can add their own subtitles to their own video. The system accepted RF, Composite and S-video input. The system has a unique PPU with can support RGB out without the color pallet issues so the unit is compatible with all games. The Console can be easily modified for RGB video output, one of the few Famicom consoles to do so.

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Famicom Floppy Disk writer Kiosk

[details=Spoiler] It’s not known to me at this time if this system is built on actual famicom hardware or is just compatible with famicom floppy disks. But its worth mentioning anyways. This is a store Kiosk where you can buy or rewrite (with another game) Fmaicom disk games, these Kiosk were in service till 2003. At some versions of the Kiosk you had the option to “fax” your high scores to Nintendo to be part of the national leader boards decades before online gaming became viable.

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US/European Models

Nintendo Entertaiment System (NES-001) (Front loader)

[details=Spoiler]Released in 1985 this is the console that got the video game industry jump started and back to it’s feet after the Big video game market crash of the 1980s. The console most people around the world is the most familiar with.
Nintendo took the extra effort for the NES to resemble a piece of home entertainment system hardware and nothing like the game consoles that came before it opting for the console to superficially resemble a VCR. Unlike it’s Japanese sibling the NES 001 supported RF and AV (mono) video out.
Along with the original Deluxe bundle the console came with a NES Zapper, the R.O.B. robot accessory and 2 (separate) pack in game carts, Gyromite and Duck Hunt. Super Mario Bros was not a pack in until months later. It was not till 1988 the Action set bundle was released with Super Mario Bros and Duck Hunt being in a Multi cart. The console design had some serious system flaws which was the cart insertion mechanism and the ZIF pins breaking and corroding easily, and has the pins loose connection the NES10 lockout chip in the cart can’t communicate with the consoles counter part causing the “Blinking Light” issues. The console came in NTSC, PAL and SÉCAM analog TV formats.

Korean version of the NES, the Comboy made by Hyundai as to get around the restrictions of Japanese products in South Korea. Except for being made by Hyundai the Comboy is identical to the US NES version of the console.

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Nintendo Entertaiment System a.k.a. NES 2 (NES-101) (Top Loader)

[details=Spoiler]Coming out after the SNES (Super Nintendo) was release to cut down on the cost of NES manufacturing and to fix some serious system flaws. Unfortunately as Nintendo got rid of the RCA AV connectors the NES 101 console only had RF and had worst picture quality then the eariler NES 001. At the time the few people that complain to Nintendo and sent their console for repairs came back with instead of a RF connector came with a Multi-out connector (Similar to the Famicom AV) and their is a very few US versions of this console that has this. It is possible to mod the console for AV Out, and when modded correctly had superior video quality than the NES 001.

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Sharp NES TV A.K.A. C1 NES TV

[details=Spoiler]The US version of the The Sharp Famicom TV C1, it does not have a RGB PPU instead having the exact same hardware specs as the NES 001, it even uses the exact same cart loading mechanism the NES 001 used.
Still the console had superior video quality to all the other consoles out there even the AV modded NES 101(except for it’s Japaneses cousin which used RGB) as its composite video was a heavily shielded and direction connection to the TV. Unlike the Japanese version it only came in 19 inches and came in black. The console even had it’s own matching version of the game pad.

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M82 Retail Kiosk demo console

[details=Spoiler]The version of the NES used for store Displays, it does not use the same mech as the front loading NES 001. It does have multiple cat slots so that people can change games with a selection button. The system sports 2 player 2 controller ports so that the 2nd player game pad and NES zapper can be plugged in. The console does have a timer that automatically resets the console after a set period of time, not making it suitable for home play.

http://i.imgur.com/lkSl42w.jpg

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Nintendo NES Test Station

[details=Spoiler]A variation of the NES 001 hardware without the typical frontloader mech. It also has a internal cart famicom style that holds NES test station programs. Selection of the regular game slot or the test programs was done with a turn knob,
The test station can test game carts, controllers, (NES 001) AC adapters, the Nintendo RF switch and RCA cables. The system was often bundled with a compatible monitor and can play NES titles normally. It’s unknown if the internal famicom cart would play real famicom games.

http://i.imgur.com/I2PyU4V.jpg

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Nintendo NES Counter Tester (based on the NES 101 hardware)

[details=Spoiler]A variation of the Test station, this version unlike the original Test Station houses a full NES 101 motherboard with added AV capabilities.
It lacked a built in test cart, instead for peripheral devices has a light for pass or fail.

http://i.imgur.com/vLdfLMY.jpg

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IC Chip Tester (basically moddiffied NES 001)

[details=Spoiler]A Nintendo made modified NES 001 with a factory cut out. All the various chips are socketed, one of the Work Ram is in its own ZIF socket. This was made excursively to gets chips from a NES or Famicom.
The repair technician would have to unsolder chips from problematic consoles and insert them into the test unit to see if they worked. The technician can also install a socket in the console to be repaired to see if known good chips (most likelt from the IC chip tester or extra stock) would be a optimal repair or not.

http://i.imgur.com/BxVVj74.jpg

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Nintendo Advanced Video System
This is a Unrelased prototype that made the NES similar to computer systems like the Commodore 64. Would have came with a keyboard, a cassette tape recorder (for saving programs) and a cart loaded with BASIC.
A Keyboard, Cassette recorder and BASIC cart did get released for the Famicom.

Arcade Hardware (Mentioned mostly because of hardware similarities)
Both hardware used “carts” to swap the games in the Arcade Cabinet and various versions of both systems were made.

Vs System (Arcade)
Came out right after the NES, it uses similar hardware and it’s game roms are semi-compatible with NES hardware. Although the game code needs some modification and to address the lack of coin input on the home console.
It uses a different PPU with a different color pallet so games are not cross compatible without modification. Emulators often assign Coin to a key on the keyboard or a button on a game pad. The system featured early but harder versions of NES games denoted with a VS infront of it’s game.

Play Choice 10 (Arcade)
Another Arcade hardware based on the NES/Famicom hardware, this time their are a wider selection of titles to choose from, all are nearly identical to their home counterparts in game play. With the right adapter kit the PlayChoice hardware could run real NES or Famicom game carts. The Play Choice 10 is often the target for modders who sacrificed the board for it’s RGB PPU. See RGB Mods section for more info about this.

Remanufactured consoles (3rd party)
These are NES consoles that are rebuilt from the ground up keeping the original CPU and PPU but the rest of the consoles hardware new designed hardware.

Super 8 by low_budget http://www.lowbudgetify.com

[details=Spoiler]Available as both a DIY kit as well as prebuilt console. The Super 8 was the first complete redesign of the NES/Famicom in decades. There been many revisions since its debut in 2012. Newer kits and consoles feature both NES and Famicom cart connectors. The Super 8 features improved audio sound with “stereo” mixing, compatible with expansion Famicom sound from both cart slots (the NES slot takes advantage of the Power Pak and Everdrive N8 delivering Expansion sound) direct interface with Viletim’s NESRGB board, As of version 3.0 the console also includes a Mic port for Famicom games that require a microphone. Fully built consoles are currently $479.00 US.

http://i.imgur.com/iYMnnoE.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/1xCUilO.jpg

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Analogue Nt By Analogue Interactive http://www.analogueinteractive.com/products/analogue-nt-information

[details=Spoiler]A design by Analogue Interactive famous for their Consolized Neo Geo MVS systems (and matching wooden Arcade controllers).
The Analogue NT takes inspiration from Low Budget’s Super 8 by rebuilding the hardware from the ground up using the original CPU and PPU. Including many of the improvements Low Budget has on his kit. Unlike the Super 8 The Analogue NT comes with a built in 4 Player adapter.
The system comes with ether Viletim’s NESRGB or for a extra charge Kevtris Hi-Def NES HDMI.

http://i.imgur.com/XF3AbiV.jpg

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Notable Hardware clones

The Micro Genius ( Taiwan )
Please note: most hardware clones are of the NTSC console and not the PAL console so many clone consoles will not display or play PAL titles correctly, even if the console is designed to output PAL video.

Spoiler

The Famicom clone found in Asian and European PAL territories where Nintendo did not have a presence. The Micro Genius came out right after the Famicom did, taking the strengths of both the Japanese Famicom and US NES. Some reason many of the the Micro Genius is NTSC specs console forced into PAL standards which many cases a drop in screen quality.

http://i.imgur.com/LKQ9SO3.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/h1h2h6N.jpg

This includes the Dendy marketed in Russia and Central Europe, it very popular in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 90s. It did have competition from other companies also making Famicom clones.

http://i.imgur.com/6BCjvIF.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/rA3Uaoc.jpg

and the Pegasus (not to be confused with the Power Pegasus 16-bit which is a clone of the Sega Mega Drive) , marketed in Central and Eastern Europe

http://i.imgur.com/0Vg1krU.jpg

“NES-on-a-chip” a.k.a. “NOAC”

[details=Spoiler]Avoid these if possible, these are often built very cheaply and have terrible build quality. There are a thousand one one of these built can be cheaply found in flea markets around the world. Often sporting inferior sound, color pallet issues and incompatibility with certain titles (like early PC NES emulators).
May or may not include pack in games or even built in games. Notifiable examples include consoles from Yobo, Hyperkin, Retrobit, later Micro Genius clones, and various others, Some even come in inappropriate packaging making the console look like a Sega Genesis, N64, Sony PlayStation. Also most hand held versions of NES/Famicom clones are a “NES-on-a-chip”.
Unlike the Micro Genius and other early clones, instead of reverse engineering or sourcing the actual CPU and PPU the “NES-on-a-Chip” has most of the hardware in one integrated chip.

example of a cheap NOAC

http://i.imgur.com/Onpk8DY.jpg

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"The FPGA NES"
Unlike the “NES-on-a-chip” who tries just to get buy, the FPGA NES tries to actually emulate the real hardware, producing closer to original hardware performance for NES and Famicom games.
Notable individuals who built their own FGPA NES Brent Allen and Dan Strother, Kevin Horton (Kevtris), and Jonathon Donaldson.


#3

NES/Famicom Video Mods

Composite video mods (Famicom HVC-001 and NES-101 only)
Although the Famicom model HVC-001 and NES model NES-101 onyl does RF, the system can modified to also out put composite AV video with some rewiring and a few extra componets.

RGB Mods
Typically the NES/Famicom does not support native RGB video.
There are a few exceptions, the French SÉCAM version of the NES-001, the Famicom Titler (with restorative mod), The Japanese version of the Sharp Famicom TV C1 and The arcade hardware.
Out of all the Native RGB support, the French NES is the weakest as its video quality matches “good” Composite video.

There is ways to modify a NES/Famicom for RGB video
One I already mentioned the Famicom Titler RGB mod http://www.chrismcovell.com/gotRGB/fctitler.html

The other is sourcing a PPU from a Play Choice 10 arcade board (and certain VS system boards), this is a destructive mod as you are rendering an Arcade board inoperable until you replace the missing PPU.
This mod is often frown upon because you are destroying a viable arcade board. I will not include a ‘how to’ or a link for this Mod.

Viletim’s NESRGB board You can buy and the guide is at http://etim.net.au/nesrgb/
This is the most popular and most supported mod. This is a nondestructive mod other than any case cutting you have to make to accommodate new video connectors.
It used the original stock CPU and PPU, which the PPU is desoldered from the main board and installed on the NES RGB board. There is no timing change so their no introduced lag, the board works by intercepting data packets from the PPU and encode them in real time to a 15khz RGB signal. The board also out puts S-video and composite video encoded from RGB signals. The board can also switch between 4 (technically 3) pallet choices of Natural, Improved, and Garish. Natural is what closes matches the NES normal color pallet, Improved taken from the FCEUX emulator and Garish simulates the pallet from the Play Chocie 10 PPU. The 4th option is OFF which the RGB video board is turned off and you use the video out that already built in the console.

HDMI
Kevtris’ Hi-Def HDMI board by Kevin Horton. You can buy from http://www.game-tech.us/
Originally the Kevtris board was designed for the Analogue NT based from Kevin’s earlier work with his FPGA NES. Kevtris with the help and input of his friend Jason Rauch of Game-tech.us.
You can now buy the Kevtris’ Hi-Def HDMI board from Game-tech.us or have Jason mod your NES-001, NES-101 and the Famicom AV (HVC-101). Other NES/Famicom consoles aren’t going to be supported by Game-Tech and you are on your own if you try to mod a different console. Game Tech US also have a You Tube channel covring how he does many of his mods, installs and projects.
The HDMI board interfaces with both the CPU and PPU and offers a built-in in game menu for settings. The HDMI board also can emulate various Famicom sound chips if the Rom and Mapper is supplied but the actual sound chip is not present (like the Konami VC7 chip).


#4

NES/Famicom Audio mods

Famicom expansion sound on a US NES.

So what is this?
Well a number of Famicom games as chips to offer extra sound channels for better sound. A number of Famicom carts have a expansion chip that works as an additional sound processor, and the Famicom Disk system includes a FM sound synthesizer.

Here is a list of all Famicom games that have expansion sound

[details=Spoiler]Nintendo FDS (Famicom Disk System)
Ai Senshi Nicol
Aki to Tsukasa no Fushigi no Kabe
Apple Town Monogatari - Little Computer People
Arumana no Kiseki
Backgammon
Big Challenge! Go! Go! Bowling
Big Challenge! Dogfight Spirit
Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa
Bishoujo Hanafuda Club Vol. 1 - Oichokabu-hen
Bishoujo Hanafuda Club Vol. 2 - Koikoi Bakappana-hen
Bishoujo Sexy Derby
Chinou Game Series 3 - Chisoko Tairiku Orudora
Chinou Game Series 2 - Super Boy Allan
Chinou Game Series 1 - Adian no Tsue
Chitei Tairiku Orudoora
Cleopatra no Mahou
Dead Zone
Deep Dungeon 2 - Yuushi no Monshou
Dirty Pair - Project Eden (SFX only)
Doki Doki Panic
Dracula 2 - Noroi no Fuuin (Castlevania 2)
Egger Land
Vs. Excitebike
Exciting Baseball
Exciting Basket
Exciting Billiard
Exciting Soccer - Konami Cup
Falsion
Famicom Grand Prix II - 3D Hot Rally
Famicom Golf - Japan Course
Famicom Golf - US Course
Famicom Mukashi Banashi - Shin Onigashima
Famicom Mukashi Banashi - Yuuyuuki
Famicom Tantei Club - Kieta Koukeisha
Famicom Tantei Club II - Ushiro ni Tatsu Shoujo
Family Composer
Fire Bam
Gall Force - Eternal Story
Ginga Denshou - Galaxy Odyssey
Gyruss
Hao-kun no Fushigi na Tabi
I am a Teacher - Super Mario no Sweater
I am a Teacher - Teami no Kiso
Idol Hotline - Nakayama Miho no Tokimeki High School
Kaettekita Mario Bros.
Kalin no Tsurugi
Kick and Run
Kiki Kaikai - Dotou-hen
Knight Move
Link no Bouken (Zelda 2)
Lutter
Matou no Houkai - The Hero of Babel
Meikyuu Jiin Dababa
Metroid
Monty no Doki Doki Daisassou - Monty on the Run
Nankin no Adventure
Nazo no Magazine Disk - Nazoler Land Dai 2 Gou
Nazo no Magazine Disk - Nazoler Land Dai 3 Gou
Nazo no Magazine Disk - Nazoler Land Soukan Gou
Nazo no Murasamejou
19 Neunzehn
Otocky
Parutena no Kagami (Kid Icarus)
Pulsar no Hikari - Space Wars Simulation
Risa no Yousei Densetsu
Santa Claus no Takarabako
Seiken Psycho Calibur - Maju no Mori Densetsu
Sexy Invaders
Suishou no Ryuu
Super Mario Bros. 2
Tarot Uranai
Time Twist
Tobidase Daisakusen
Transformers - The Head Masteres
Zelda no Densetsu (Zelda)

Namco 163
Final Lap (4 channel)
Mappy Kids (4)
Megami Tensei II: Digital Devil Story (4)
Namco Classic 2 (4)
Rolling Thunder (4)
Sangokushi - Chuugen no Hasha (4)
Sangokushi 2 - Haou no Tairiku (4)
Youkai Douchuuki (4, SFX only)
King of Kings (8 channel)
Erika to Satoru no Yumebouken (8)

Nintendo MMC5
Just Breed
Metal Slader Glory (very sparingly, mostly in SFX)
Shin 4-Nin Uchi Mahjong (uses PCM)

Konami VRC6
Akumajou Densetsu
Esper Dream 2
Madara

Konami VRC7
Lagrange Point

Sunsoft 5B (YM2149F)
Gimmick! (does not use envelope or noise)

NEC µPD7756C (Jaleco)
Moe Pro! '90: Kandou-hen
Moe Pro!: Saikyou-hen
Moero!! Pro Tennis
Moero!! Pro Yakyuu
Moero!! Pro Yakyuu '88: Kettei Ban
Shin Moero!! Pro Yakyuu
Terao no Dosukoi Oozumou

Mitsubishi M50805 (Bandai)
Family Trainer 3: Aerobics Studio[/details]

Here is the example in the differences in between Castlevania III and its Famicom counter part Akumajou Densetsu
https://youtu.be/7v9339JUK3U

There is a couple of ways to do this mod depending on what approach you take and which version of the NES you have.
For the NES-001 console (front loader) you just need to solder two pins on the expansion port together, connect expansion pin 40 to expansion pin 3. The expansion pins them selves are never used as a device was never officially released for this. Some people use the ENIO board which fits in the expansion port, making the mod reversible.

The mod on the NES-101 toploader
http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?t=7880
http://www.famicomworld.com/forum/index.php?topic=6450.0

On your Famicom to NES cart adapter you need to famicom cart pin 46 to nes cartridge pin 18. I seen people use straigth wire for this, and I seen other use a 100 kilo ohm resistor and a 1uF non-polarized capacitor.
I have not done this mod my self so I can’t comment.

And then someone done this, mod they made a custom cart of the game they have expansion audio for, no mods on the NES console it self. And a Audio line going from the cart to your mono audio out.

Stereo like sound
The NES actually produced sound two different ways (total of 5 channels) and combined them into one MONO output. You can tap into the pre-mixed audio and modify it so they each go to their own speaker. Sometimes this produces very cool sound effects, other times it can be annoying. Some games befit from this while others sound terrible.
Another solution is just use a RCA splinter to send mono sound to both speakers.
http://www.raphnet.net/electronique/nes_mod/nes_mod_en.php#2

Famicom Expansion sound fix on the Famicom AV
The Famicom AV (HVC-101) has the 5 main sound channels at a louder volume than the expansion sound. Weird thing on this one is the community is split of this is even a issue or not.
Some people claim they hear no difference between the HVC-001 and HVC-101. Despite this if you feel your audio volume is off on the expansion sound there is a mod for this.
http://www.famicomworld.com/forum/index.php?topic=7408.0


#5

Other Mods and Hacks

NES Zapper Restoration Mod for Famicom AV
The D3 and D4 inputs on the controller ports are disconnected. There is a simple mod available to add zapper support on player two by jumping two wires from the 15-pin accessory port.

http://i.imgur.com/2pAhxfq.jpg

NES-101 and Famicom AV (HVC-101) Power Light Mod
This is a very simple mod, following traces from the 5 volt regulator and traces from the power switch you can install a simple power indicator light.
The Mod is the same for both the NES-101 and HVC-101 consoles but the soldering points are different. You can drill a hole anywhere on the housing for the LED, most people put a red or white LED under the power button as the power button does let some light though and act as a diffusion lens.

Play NES controllers though the Famicom 15 pin Expansion port / Play Famicom expansion controllers though the NES controller ports
Both these mods are so similar I have them listed together. Nether of these hacks require modification of the consoles them selves, but rather making a simple adapter. You can also buy a preexisting adapter to do the same thing.

For the Famicom 15 pin connector you need a 15 pin NEO GEO extension cable, the pinouts are different but both systems used deep socked DA15 connectors.

Here is the pinouts for both connectors. This particular image is for a NES pad to Famicom console adapter, but its also useful o make a Famicom 15 pin to NES adapter as well.

Some people even went as far as to rewire a NES Four Score for Famicom use. Set to 2 Player mode the Four Score works as a adapter/passthough. 4 Player mode does not work with 4 player Famicom games as the Famicom games uses a different hack then the NES to achieve 4 players. The 4 Player mode only on US/European NES games will work on the Four Score, and I have no idea if the 4 player works though the OG Famicom even with the right adapters.

Using the Expansion Port on the NES-001
You can build your own adapter or use the preexisting ENIO EXP Board

Port hacks
http://www.trapzz.com/?p=14
http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?t=7563

Enio EXP board
http://enio.chykn.com/wiki/index.php/ENIO_EXP_Board
http://www.nintendorepairhut.com/accessories/nintendonesaccessories.html

SNES game pad on the NES/Famicom.
Surprisingly enough the SNES game pads does work on the NES as they use the exact same scheme for their encoding, except for the SNES pad as extra buttons that does nothing on the NES hardware.
Both consoles uses the same protocols and same signals, so its just a matter of matching but the right SNES signal lines to its NES counterpart. I would suggest getting extension cables to make an adapter rather than modifying a SNES pad. You can also buy a preexisting adapter for this. http://www.raphnet.net/electronique/nes_mod/nes_mod_en.php#11

*Both of these next two mods are approaches to the same issue on the NES-001 Front loader. The issue do not exist on the NES-101 as the top loader uses a cart edge connector instead of the connector the NES-001 has. Also the NES-101 lacks the lock out chip entirely. *

**NES10 chip disabling/Region free Mod **
Keep in mind this is not necessary to play Famicom games, the region free is between PAL and NTSC regions lockouts.
Although most of continental Europe has the same lockout chip, the UK has a different versions that only compatible with UK game carts.
https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Disable+Nintendo+Entertainment+System+Lockout+Chip/15677

Blinking Light "fixes"
Other that the NES 10 chips disable which solves the root of the problem, the only other thing there is to replace the 72pin connector.

On the NES-001 where this is a issue the repair is quite simple. Arcade works (makers of the Omega CMVS) came out with the Blinking Light Win, which is a full card edge replacement for the 72pin connector as well as replacing the cart loading tray. https://www.arcadeworks.net/blw
This is the same as replacing the 72-pin fix but using a newer redesigned version of the connector and cart tray assembly

Famicom Disk System Hacks


#6

Repairs

72 Pin cart connector.
On the NES-001 this is the most common issue and repair for the NES. The Repair is also mentioned in the above section “Other Mods and Hacks”.


You also want to consider the NES10 chip disable mod as that chip is a source of many issues on the NES.

Cap replacement.
Capacitors often go back over the years, and Nintendo is no exception to this. Although Nintendo unlike its competitors use much better quality components and parts (cough Turbo Graphics/PC Engine cough), but they can and will fail in time. What we are concern with is electrolytic capacitors which can go back and leak. Symptoms will vary depending what cap goes bad, everything from bad sound to the reset button not responding correctly, yes the reset button has its own capacitors. The Fix sounds simple but its alot of tedious work is replacing all the effected capacitors if not all the capacitors. Please note that electrolytic capacitors does have a polarity and must be put back the correct way back in. You also only want to use capacitors with the correct microfarad (symbolized µF) rating and voltage rating. Unfortunately leaking capacitors are alot like leaking batteries, their liquid innards are corrosive and can cause board damage. Minor damage can just be cleaned up with some Isopropyl alcohol and a good scrub. More series damage would include damage traces which need to be repaired with jumper wire. This is a common repair on any console.

7805 Voltage Regulator and power circuits
Another common component to fail on the NES/Famicom is the 7805 a 5 volt regulator. Issues with the 7805 is the most common in the NES-101 and HVC-101 over the older consoles.
Some modders and repair technicians replace 7805 along with all the capacitors. The 7805 is next to a large 2200uF capacitor. Some people regardless of what other mods they are doing also do a full cap and 7805 replacement to bypass any issues ahead of time, and often it is one of the first they do before working on the actual mods.

Only on the NES you find also a bridge rectifier which is responsible for converting AC current to DC current as the US and European consoles were designed to use an AC power adapter rather than a AC to DC power adapter.
Do not plug a US or European Power Adapter into a Japanese console as they are designed to take only DC current. If you replace all the caps and the 7805 and still not getting power you might want to check or even replace the bridge rectifier. You can ether get the bridge rectifier as a single component or make your own from diodes.


#7

Nice progress, glad to see a centralized repository for NES info.


#8

As time goes by I going to add more information links and resources on the thread. I also do my best to field any questions people might have.


#9

Here is a good one, How Tough are NES Games?

https://youtu.be/uCLOxK6FpfA


#10

Any interest in Super Famicom stuff? I own one and could add some info…

Unless I missed it in your posts, there is an easy way to fix the 72 pin connector. Boil it in water for about 5 minutes to clean up the grime, then CAREFULLY readjust the pins. In most cases, the pins are bent (or pushed down too much) and not broken. To readjust, take a safety pin and gently pry each pin up a little. I did it to my NES (as well as cleaned my games) and it works on first try 99% of the time.


#11

That is not always fool proof, and alot can go wrong in that method, like warping the plastic. You also assume the pins are just bend and out of place instead of broken and or corroded.
I seen some 72 pin connectors that looks like a smile on a jack-o-lantern. I rather use a good contact cleaner spray to clean the pins over boiling water. If anything I would not recommend your method to anyone just for all the things that can go wrong. You still need to dissemble the console and get the connector out any ways. And once bent it does not take much for the pins to get bent again. And for all NES front loaders I do recommend disabling the NES10 chip any ways, its just of big of a flaw as the cart connector.

Here is the repair post I did myself a while back for the NES it self.

Spoiler

The most fool proof method is getting the Blinking Light Win from Arcade works. You system isn’t stock but you fixed the issue and corrected the biggest flaw in the consoles design.

As for the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo, it really needs its own thread. Its the only way to do the console justice.


#12

I guess it is risky…maybe I got lucky. None of my pins were bent too much either. Just a few that needed adjust by a hair. I’m just saying, if your NES barely works and you were going to buy a replacement 72 pin cart connector anyway, you might be able to fix it instead. Maybe a pin might break after you fix it, but I cleaned and adjusted mine almost 2 years ago and it still works like a charm.

To my knowledge, very few games used all 5 channels. I’ve broken down the music for a handful games and the only one that I can think of that used 5 channels is Castlevania II. The 5th channel was basically an additional drum track.


#13

I was thinking the best way to go with the NES is to get an AV Famicom and a flashcart so I can just have expansion sound without messing around.

Does NESRGB have “dual mono”?


#14

Not the board on its own, but what ever cable you wire up for your RGB video for your RGB modded NES or Famicom can have Dual Mono. It can be easily wired for Dual Mono inside the console or what ever custom cable you wired up. RGB modded Famicom AV can get Dual Mono with a easy solder bridge on the correct pins on the Multi-out connector.
Any NES console with RCA out can get dual mono with a RCA splitter adapter.


#15

So I found a Interesting video guide on opening Famicom carts

https://youtu.be/LgCiAOmgeFc

I considering later doing a quick guide on replacing cart batteries.