Here are some tips I recently gave to a friend on the handling of a gen 1 NES. Those of you with an original NES may find them useful.

If you don’t have a new 72 Pin Connector, here are some things to try:

  1. Blow on the cart. Yes, the time old tradition of blowing on the cart actually gives the contacts a little extra moisture to connect properly with the 72 pin connection.
  2. Sometimes opening the door on the front of the NES and merely shifting the game to the left or right will help.
  3. Even though it is not recommended by the manufacturer, using rubbing alcohol and a q-tip on an old game will clear up the issue. All of your games will be used anyway–so you never know who’s grimey NES it was in. Over time, the copper contacts on the carts will corrode. An occasional cleaning with rubbing alcohol will not compromise the cartridge. The primary and secondary fears with using acetate and alcohol are that the contacts will either:
    • Potentially lift from the silicon or
    • Eventually wear out.

Both of which could have the potential to render the game useless. It’s been my experience that these carts are fairly indestructible.

The real answer here is to obtain a 72 Pin Connector off of eBay (or from somewhere else) to renew the internal contacts of your old NES. That’s what all the amateurs out there on eBay are doing–and they’re making a mint. I’ve seen systems listed at $150! Frankly, that’s ridiculous–especially when the replacement connector costs you all of $8 and a used NES at Goodwill can be had for a mere $4.

P.S. I couldn’t resist the blink tag in this instance.

Posted by Madaracs on September 26, 2006 at 4:34 pm
Posted under: Console, Retro

  1. XenolithNo Gravatar Said,

    Back in the day, I bought a cleaning kit, specifically for the NES. Had to use it more often than I wished. Never had problems with my Atari 2600 like this.

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