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Mordorknight
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SOS SNES/Carts don't work consistently

by Mordorknight Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:29 am

My wife recently bought me a super clean SNES 2 from a thrift store, along with a pristine copy of Street Fighter 2. Console and game both played well for a few days.

Then I went on a game buying spree (hehe) and got 15 more games - almost all in horrible condition. None of the games worked at first, so we took them apart with a jury-rigged cell phone screwdriver and cleaned them with rubbing alcohol, q tips, and erasers, and razor blades on rusty contacts/ parts which worked for 95% of the games, though sometimes I would have to insert them a couple of times to get them to work, but nothing major. All in all the games still look bad inside and out, but they were working...

Now here comes the problem
Two weeks of continuous play later only 3-4 of the 15 games work at all! So I decided to clean the console. When I opened it up I was blown away because it looked brand spanking new on the inside (oooh shiny!), but I cleaned it anyways, this time with q tips and rubbing alcohol. Still after cleaning the console, I can only get a few of the games to work consistently - and ironically street fighter is not one of them (and its in he best condition with really good clean connections). Also with 3 of the games I have noticed that they only work if I press down or forward on the cartridge while playing - as soon as I let go they glitch out. Also I should probably go into detail - most of the games that don't work now just give me a black screen (as opposed to not working at all/SNES not even turning on with a bad cart).
Did I kill my Nintendo? I should add that there were several times where I put in/took out carts with the console still on because I am a dummy, not sure if this could have ruined everything. Or are the games/console just TOO dirty? Is there a better way to clean carts/console than with alcohol(some of these games had rust on the contacts, others had been played and cleaned so many times before by resellers that the metal contacts were wearing out and you could see start to see the green board from underneath). Any help to get these games/console working well is appreciated!!!!
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Re: SOS SNES/Carts don't work consistently

by Tanooki Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:37 am

Pulling games out while it's on isn't smart but it shouldn't kill the system.

One thing caught my eye, a problem I had with my launch one some years back. The games aren't solidly in there, you said they move/wobble, and if you don't hold it down and a direction no contact. To me that screams weak pin connector, it's tired, spread out, not playing nice. My system did this, but it was from 1000s of hours of use plus removing the lockout tabs for SFC games. Late in life before I replaced it I had to fold over some paper or a slip of cardboard and wedge it in the slot with the game to stabilize it or it would fail every time it shifted in the least bit.

Suggestion since buying another console would suck, try the cardboard, see if it helps placing it behind the game as a wedge so it's pulled forward. Helps? Then you're set, and it's a patch. Going in with a long pointed hook like a dental scraper or even just an oversized safety pin stretched out, use the tip and pull those pins back out towards center.

By the way razor? Not good. If you're desperate for rust I'd suggest going with alcohol+magic eraser, that fails, move into the finest steel wool you can find or if really desperate a very fine grit sand paper. It may remove the entire top layer off the pin and it'll look all horizontally scratched but it should do it. I had to do that once on a really crusty dead Battletoads and it worked every time after just the pins were shiny but not pretty with all the horizontal lines across them.
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Ziggy587
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Re: SOS SNES/Carts don't work consistently

by Ziggy587 Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:00 pm

Inserting or removing carts while the power on isn't a good idea, but yeah, it shouldn't kill the console. The SNES mini is a bit of a pain in the ass because it doesn't have a power on indicator.

My guess is that your carts are just REALLY dirty and they're not working because they're not making good contact in the cart slot. Street Fighter II Turbo isn't working now because you used your dirty carts and now the cart slot is dirty.

Your description of your 15 dirty carts sounds bleak. Please post a picture of the PCBs so we can better suggest what to do with them.
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bacteria
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Re: SOS SNES/Carts don't work consistently

by bacteria Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:04 pm

Firstly, if you open the SNES even with the power cord out, the console retains enough voltage in the capacitors to fry the system if you touch the wrong places - flick on/off a few times to ensure voltage is emptied.

Ok, you cleaned the cartridges, that's fine however the pins in the game cart port itself sound dirty. Wrap a piece of cotton (hanky) around thin card, insert and remove in the port.

Then use a needle and pry up the pins slightly to regain contact with the game when inserted.

Should work.
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Sarge
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Re: SOS SNES/Carts don't work consistently

by Sarge Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:07 pm

Also, some people don't like it, but Brasso is passable for getting corrosion off of the contacts.

Definitely clean out that cartridge slot, it's probably all gunked up as others have stated.

Make sure your power supply isn't crapping out on you, too.
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Re: SOS SNES/Carts don't work consistently

by mas Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:12 pm

Blow in it
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Ziggy587
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Re: SOS SNES/Carts don't work consistently

by Ziggy587 Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:25 pm

bacteria wrote:Firstly, if you open the SNES even with the power cord out, the console retains enough voltage in the capacitors to fry the system if you touch the wrong places - flick on/off a few times to ensure voltage is emptied.


I was gonna mention this but forgot.

What I usually is unplug the console then turn it ON, and I leave it on while I take it to my work bench and start removing the screws. Power should be completely drained by the time I get all of the screws out.

Sarge wrote:Also, some people don't like it, but Brasso is passable for getting corrosion off of the contacts.


It's not that we don't like Brasso, it's that some people think it's cool to use Brasso INSTEAD of isopropyl alcohol or contact cleaner. People were even suggesting to use Brasso on carts that had NO corrosion, to "polish" the contacts. That's just flawed thinking. The idea isn't to polish the contacts like you're waxing a car. If the contacts are corroded, of course you're gonna need to use some other method to get the corrosion off. But whatever you do, your last step should always be alcohol or contact cleaner.
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My Sale Thread - PRICES REDUCED! I am selling around three quarters of my video game collection as well as some other odds and ends!

I want to buy Universal Game Cases, if you have any spares please PM me! I'm looking to only deal with members that have good BST feedback on this forum.
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Sarge
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Re: SOS SNES/Carts don't work consistently

by Sarge Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:32 pm

That's why I said some people. :D The advice I see is inconsistent, because some folks say never use Brasso. Mainly because it's a mild abrasive. Which, of course, fits right in with what you say about using it as a last resort. For goodness sake, don't use it on a cart that doesn't need it. 91% isopropyl alcohol is more than enough in most cases.
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Re: SOS SNES/Carts don't work consistently

by Ack Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:33 pm

mas wrote:Blow in it


Times like this, I miss Hobie.
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Ziggy587
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Re: SOS SNES/Carts don't work consistently

by Ziggy587 Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:42 pm

Ack wrote:
mas wrote:Blow in it


Times like this, I miss Hobie.


Yeah, I heard Turtle Wax is really good for getting those gold pins to shine.
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My Sale Thread - PRICES REDUCED! I am selling around three quarters of my video game collection as well as some other odds and ends!

I want to buy Universal Game Cases, if you have any spares please PM me! I'm looking to only deal with members that have good BST feedback on this forum.
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