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NES on the fritz! Vertical lines?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 kbrackett

kbrackett

Posted 17 July 2011 - 06:30 PM

My NES is experiencing strange vertical lines. These aren't interference, so it doesn't have to do with the RF connector, or AV outputs - I get great quality with both. This is something to do with the cartridge slots or video on the motherboard I'm guessing.

Here are 3 images:

http://img854.images...allines1of3.jpg
http://img220.images...allines2of3.jpg
http://img819.images...allines3of3.jpg

Please let me know if anyone has seen this before. I haven't with the 3 NES systems I have had, and can't find any solutions on the web.

Thanks for your time.
Kevin

#2 AgentLoFi

AgentLoFi

Posted 17 July 2011 - 06:46 PM

Does the cart fit pretty snuggly in the system, it could be the 72pin connecter inside the system, they do go bad eventually, i would try a quick cleaning inside the machine, could try to bend the pins down a bit to make sure everything has good contact, don't quote me on this though.

#3 sp00ge

sp00ge

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 10:17 PM

Does the cart fit pretty snuggly in the system, it could be the 72pin connecter inside the system, they do go bad eventually, i would try a quick cleaning inside the machine, could try to bend the pins down a bit to make sure everything has good contact, don't quote me on this though.


I see this sometimes. The system connectors and the cartridge need a good cleaning. Replacing the 72-pin connector is an option, but all 9 of the NES consoles I've refurbed in the past few weeks didn't need a new connector. A few of these systems were literally unplayable when I got my hands on them, and now they work 100%, just like new.

While some people frown on it's use, I use Brasso and a q-tip to clean the carts. Put a little on one end of the q-tip, rub thoroughly on both sides of the connector, in a side-to-side motion, and you will see just how much oxidation and crap will come off. Wipe everything off with the clean side of the q-tip.

For the console, I use a console cleaning cartridge and Brasso. Use a q-tip to spread some brasso on both sides of the cleanin cart, put the cart in the console and pop it down until it clicks, much like playing a game. Push it in and out quite a few times. Pop it out and clean off the cart with a q-tip. Repeat a few times if necessary.

Make sure you clean all of your carts before playing them, as this is an issue caused by dirty connectors on both system and game.

One of these days I'll make an instructional video and show just how well this method actually works. I've never had to replace a connector and I'm fairly certain, except for the most extreme cases, new 72-pin connectors are a waste of money.


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#4 AgentLoFi

AgentLoFi

Posted 17 July 2011 - 11:57 PM

exactly what sp00ge said, good advice! I've never had to replace a connector either so don't waste your money on that.
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#5 kbrackett

kbrackett

Posted 18 July 2011 - 12:05 PM

Thanks everyone for the great advice. I really appreciate it.

I went out and bought some Brasso, and I'll tell you what - that almost completely eliminated the blinking red light problem. I would suggest it for cleaning your games and pins for anyone who is sick of blowing on their cartridges :)

Unfortunately, I am still having the weird vertical lines. It seems peculiar that they are all perfectly straight, and evenly spaced out. I am not too familiar with all of the functions of the pins on the NES, but do each one cary part of the video signal? The only thing I can think of is that every other pin is not making connection or something to that extent, and that's why the data isn't coming through. But I am skeptical that the video output has anything to do with the connections on the cart... just a guess though.

I didn't really notice any bent pins that I could re-bend into position. Some of the vertical metal pieces that connect the pins of the cart down to the mobo were slightly bent inward - and I straightened them out though. No luck.

I am pretty stumped at this point. If anyone else has suggestions, I would gladly try them.

Thanks again,
Kevin

#6 AgentLoFi

AgentLoFi

Posted 18 July 2011 - 03:41 PM

hmmm, my next option, which is a little more labor intensive, would be to get out a multimeter and check all the pins individually to see if one has a short. I also forgot to ask if you have a regular nes or one of the top loaders as the top loaders tend to have a common av problem, which a fairly easy mod can fix. If your still desperate for help check out the nesdev forums, plenty of help can be found there too.
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#7 kbrackett

kbrackett

Posted 18 July 2011 - 05:21 PM

Good idea, I might have to test it with the multimeter.

It is an original NES, not the top-loader. It is a strange problem - I've never seen something like that. The games play perfectly,and it is odd that on Mario, for example, the time and score are cut in half horizontally and the top stays stationary and the bottom half scrolls. It is very bizarre.

Thanks again for the help everyone.
Kevin

#8 FOnewearl

FOnewearl

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 08:13 PM

This is just a guess but if cleaning doesn't work and it does this with all of your games something is shot. I have a copy of Mega Man 2 that has a similar graphic problem and it's not a matter of just cleaning the contacts.
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