Guides to jumpstart your Retrogaming lifestyle
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CRTGAMER
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Re: Game Cart Contact Cleaning Guide - Nintendo and Atari Carts

by CRTGAMER Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:21 am

OP Updated with a solder repair of connectors. :D

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god wrote:This method worked very well so thanks.

I had a Master System 2 that would give me either Alex Kidd or 'Software error' with any cart in, and now I'm playing most of my games with barely any issues. I had a terrible Wonder Boy 3 that looked like someone had used it as an ash tray, this cart seems to be what killed my master system in the first place, and i still cannot get that one to go
fastbilly1 wrote:
Ziggy587 wrote:Nice guide, CRT! We now have a guide to link every time this comes up! Are you planning on doing a console cleaning guide as well? I've been meaning to put one together for a while now, but haven't due to a lack of time.
I was actually planning on doing this, and console cleaning, as videos for the site in the near future.

Thanks for all the positive replies
This Guide is actually a cumulation of knowledge from members here and the links I posted. I did post on cleaning Game Consoles Contacts on the NES and Atari console contacts. I quoted Hobie's great tip about using a folded piece of cardboard in the OP. As far as a cosmetic clean of a console, it can be done with the same methods outlined in the Polishing Scratched Discs Removing Marker Stickers Guide

An expanded guide showing the breakdown of other consoles and carts can be useful. Anyone who has pics of other game carts or consoles disassembled is welcome to add them here. I'll update the OP with any useful information and giving credit by quoting the replies.

@ god - Glad it worked out for you! As for the dead cart, maybe open it up for a thorough clean. For the dead console try the Game Console connector cleaning method I quoted from Hobie in the OP.
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Re: Game Cart Contact Cleaning Guide - Nintendo and Atari Carts

by Ziggy587 Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:09 pm

CRT, a few tips for tinning bad contacts: I would recommend trying to remove any gold finish that is left. From what I've read on the following Wiki page, the gold plating will react negatively with solder. In short, it makes the solder brittle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_plating

Also, I know of an easier way to tin the pins. Just apply some flux to the pin, tin the tip of the iron (with very little solder) then drag the iron tip all over the pin to spread the solder out. After that, you can use a desoldering braid to remove any excess solder. Doing it this way, you'll avoid huge bulges of solder that you have to remove. Another thing, you should thoroughly clean the pin(s) before tinning them. I can see in the pics posted that the pins are visibly dirty before tinning. They should be cleaned as best as they can. Of course, I know you'll only resort to tinning a pin that has been heavily damage, but you should still clean it as best as possible. And of course, it should be cleaned thoroughly after tinning as well.
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Re: Game Cart Contact Cleaning Guide - Nintendo and Atari Carts

by CRTGAMER Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:56 pm

Ziggy587 wrote:CRT, a few tips for tinning bad contacts --

Thanks!

The soldering repair was quoted from another Site, I posted an intro cautionary note to it and had EDITED in a few words.

Some good additional points, I included your quote to the OP. :D
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Re: Game Cart Contact Cleaning Guide - Nintendo and Atari Ca

by CRTGAMER Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:05 pm

Updated the OP with the closeup pic
I mentioned about using an eraser as an alternate cleaning method to Alcohol or Contact Cleaner. This works well with the Game PCB removed from the cart case. No chemicals used, I shined up half of the contacts with the soft rubber end of the eraser, a comparison of before and after.
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Re: Game Cart Contact Cleaning Guide - Nintendo and Atari Ca

by Mechblue Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:54 am

good to see some one else came upon the eraser cleaning for contacts. I recommend the white latex free erasers. Staedtler is the one I've been using for years.

I don't know about removing the gold, never had to go that far. :shock: I guess for repair.

I use the eraser on every cartridge based system and also on many of the card based systems (SMS and TG16).
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Re: Game Cart Contact Cleaning Guide - Nintendo and Atari Ca

by Zing Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:29 am

I noticed that electrical contact cleaner is usually just pure isopropyl. I'm not sure if it works better than alcohol. I have a can of it and it doesn't seem to do anything extra other than leave residue.

I have had only one game that required more than cotton swabs with alcohol. I used a non-scratch green scrub pad. They are usually blue. The green ones are too harsh.
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Re: Game Cart Contact Cleaning Guide - Nintendo and Atari Ca

by ExedExes Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:11 pm

Sweet guide -- seeing how my 7800 and NES (along with my SNES) are my cartridge consoles of choice -- good for temperamental games
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Re: Game Cart Contact Cleaning Guide - Nintendo and Atari Ca

by Hobie-wan Thu May 10, 2012 2:10 am

Ugh no! Don't use a grey ball point pen eraser! They have sand in them to scrape the ink and a layer of paper off! You might as well be using sand paper which should only be a last resort when there's terrible terrible corrosion on the pins. The gold has been completely scrubbed off the pins in that last picture. That's bad! :cry:

Need to use a plastic/vinyl eraser that's grey or white. Sanford Magic Rub, Staedler Mars, or something like that.
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Re: Game Cart Contact Cleaning Guide - Nintendo and Atari Ca

by CRTGAMER Thu May 10, 2012 10:11 am

In the pic above, I already mentioned using the soft rubber end of the eraser. I'm not positive if the cart pins are plated or solid gold alloy, game console metal pins would scrape off plating faster then an eraser. The lower half of the pins above are just cleaned up with a pencil eraser. In the pic where the console pins rubbed against the uncleaned side of the game PCB, there is a little bit of the same shine. Note the right side of the PCB in the pic never gets the constant removal, the reason why it is tarnished on the uncleaned upper side.

A good point concerning the aggressive nature of the Ink Eraser. I updated the OP, use the ink side only if the cart pins have really bad buidup.
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Re: Game Cart Contact Cleaning Guide - Nintendo and Atari Ca

by Ziggy587 Thu May 10, 2012 11:33 am

CRTGAMER wrote:I'm not positive if the cart pins are plated or solid gold alloy, game console metal pins would scrape off plating faster then an eraser. The lower half of the pins above are just cleaned up with a pencil eraser.


They're plated, and the console's cart slot pins will eventually scrape it off. Just look at any old cart that's been inserted and ejected from the console a million times, you can see where the cart slot's pins wore off the gold. If the cart pins are worn like this, using an aggressive ink eraser or sand paper will eat it up a lot easier being that it's already worn down.
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