NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Wii
LG18
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Super Nintendo Problem - Please Help.

by LG18 Fri Jul 24, 2015 1:04 pm

My Super Nintendo is unplayable because of a graphical glitch everytime I insert a game.

I've cleaned the games but the problem persists.

The problem is the same this person is having in this YouTube video, so you can see what's going on.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=h43n2FL7RYo

Any help would be much appriciated.

Thanks.
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Ziggy587
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Re: Super Nintendo Problem - Please Help.

by Ziggy587 Fri Jul 24, 2015 1:20 pm

Please describe exactly how you cleaned the carts and the console's cart slot.

One comment in the YouTube video says that the user had the same problem and was corrected by repairing a damaged PPU trace.

Assuming the cart and slot are properly cleaned, the problem could be one or more damaged traces and/or bad capacitors. Both of which are repairable (good soldering skills required).

Worst case scenario is that the RAM or PPU is garbage. This isn't repairable since the SNES uses proprietary parts.
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LG18
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Re: Super Nintendo Problem - Please Help.

by LG18 Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:45 pm

Thanks for the reply.

I used a q-tip with some window cleaner on to clean the cartridges, and then a credit card wrapped in cloth with window cleaner on to clean the slot.

In regards fixing it, I've literally just brought it on eBay.

The seller said when he sent it, it was tested and working and had been for years, but when I plugged it in (I tried several connections, various scart leads and composite cables) the image was completely distorted.

I could have a go soldering, but first I'd need a game bit to actually open the console.

Would further cleaning to the cartridge and slot be nessiary?

Maybe I didn't do it long enough - I did it twice for about 45 seconds.
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Ziggy587
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Re: Super Nintendo Problem - Please Help.

by Ziggy587 Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:27 pm

LG18 wrote:I used a q-tip with some window cleaner on to clean the cartridges, and then a credit card wrapped in cloth with window cleaner on to clean the slot.


You really shouldn't use window cleaner, or any other such cleaner. You either want to use isopropyl alcohol (aka rubbing alcohol) or electrical contact cleaner (which is mostly just alcohol). If you use rubbing alcohol, try and get the highest percentage you can find, usually something like 97%. More commonly you'll find 70-something percent, which is fine if you can't find anything stronger. Do not use 50%, that means it's half water and may not be strong enough for cleaning purposes.

Q-tips are OK to use, depending on how dirty the cart is. You may want to invest in the security bits to open carts. You can do a MUCH better job cleaning them that way. I generally open my carts to clean, unless I'm being lazy. I like to use an old (but clean!) towel or t-shirt or something, preferably white or light in color so you can see how much dirty you're cleaning off the contacts. I'll soak part of the towel with alcohol and use my finger to scrub up and down each pin. Go over them a few times, then immediately follow up with a dry part of the towel while the pins are still wet with alcohol. Which leads me to...[/quote]

LG18 wrote:Would further cleaning to the cartridge and slot be nessiary?


Yes, sometimes. Depending on how dirty the contacts are, sometimes you have to give them several passes. Also note that you can lift off dirt and grime with the alcohol, but the alcohol dries VERY quick (one of the reasons it's used) and the dirt and grime will dry back onto the contacts. This is why you want to wipe the contacts with a dry towel while they're still wet with alcohol. And this is why you might have to give it a few passes, depending on how dirty they are.

As for how you cleaned the cart slot, that seems to be the best suggestion. I would just do it again only with alcohol instead of window cleaner. Also, you want the perfect thickness for whatever you insert into the cart slot. You want it to be as thick as a cart PCB, maybe a millimeter thicker, so it can properly scrub the pins. Too thin and it might not scrub the pins well enough. Too thick and you might actually damage the pins by pushing them out too far. Whatever you insert into the slot, I find the best practice to be pushing it in all the way down, then lifting it out maybe halfway, then back all the way down again. Then repeat a number of times. Again, you might have to do several passes depending on how dirty the contacts are.

The reason you want to use alcohol and not window cleaner or some other cleaning product is because alcohol will not leave a residue. Window cleaner has TON of stuff in it, as do all cleaning products. Stuff that you don't want on your contacts. Alcohol also dries (or evaporates) really fast, which makes it easier to work with. You always want to make sure your electrical devices are completely dry before working them again to avoid damage. And speaking of damage, if you ever plan to open your SNES (or any electronics for that matter) you should remove the power source and turn it ON for at least a minute before opening it. This will hopefully drain any power that might be stored in the caps, which can lead to disasters if you open it (blowing a fuse in the best case scenario, destroying something not replaceable in the worst case).
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Re: Super Nintendo Problem - Please Help.

by BossKnight Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:53 pm

LG18 wrote:Would further cleaning to the cartridge and slot be nessiary?


Ziggy587 made a really good reply to this, I just wanted to say that if you clean the connectors and then try to get the game to play and it doesn't work then get out the rubbing alcohol and try, try again. I bought a filthy SMB3 cart from eBay, the listing said it worked fine and the cart would not work so I spent like 15 minutes cleaning it. It now works fine.
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ninjainspandex
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Re: Super Nintendo Problem - Please Help.

by ninjainspandex Sun Aug 09, 2015 5:04 pm

Just return it.
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Re: Super Nintendo Problem - Please Help.

by Soldier Blue Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:45 pm

Yep, just return it. If the seller didn't offer returns, you can still get your money back With ebay buyer protection within 60 days of buying it.
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Thierry Henry
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Re: Super Nintendo Problem - Please Help.

by Thierry Henry Mon Aug 10, 2015 3:33 am

Soldier Blue wrote:Yep, just return it. If the seller didn't offer returns, you can still get your money back With ebay buyer protection within 60 days of buying it.

The very few times I've had to use it I didn't bother with the eBay protection side of things.
I paid via PayPal, so it made sense to use their (currently) 90 day protection window.
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