I'm an Oregonian, so I'd probably be outside on a rainy day, but it's not raining. No, it's sunny and it's hot enough to fry an albino on a cancer drug sitting next to a window in less than 5 minutes. Ask me how I know from Monday…
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I dismantled my console and managed to drop a washer! I did find it though. Was a bit tough because it's not magnetic:
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It's now in the tray with everything else. Of course once it was apart I got to see some genuine 35+ year old thermal goop. Crusty.
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Fortunately there's alcohol, q-tips, and a pilfered Motel 6 keycard for getting that crud out of there. Scrape off most of it, q-tip the rest, and let's apply some fresh … uh, slightly over-spec paste.
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While I'm here, I should clean the contacts of my side port, they look a little grubby.
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There's not much I can do about this, even though it's worn down to bare copper in places.
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My understanding is that the way you fix this requires a fair amount of flux, an air station with a lot of heat and a lot of volume, and some fresh solder. And don't do it with a cheap air station because those will burn the board or melt the plastic components before they actually do anything with big planar traces like these. I'm not an engineer/technician or anything though, so … I'll leave it be.
Y'know, if I could operate a soldering iron properly, now'd be a good time to insert a diode…
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There's one more thing for me to do. The cartridge connector on these things has this little dust filter on it. It's almost certainly disgusting. I noticed gunk on a couple of my carts' edge connector and I've had a spare edge connector from Fest West 2017 … since 2017. At the very least you should take the cover off of yours, remove that foam bit from it, and just throw it away. That's the source of the gooey residue. I sprayed some deoxit in there and tried to scrub the contacts as best I could without a card edge cleaner, but that probably needs a going over by someone who's got the right little tool to go in there and clean those contacts. I assume the spare I have came from Greg who kindly reconditioned these for us. I'll have to be sure to give him this one so he can prepare it for the next person who needs one.
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Eager for F18A orders to begin, having done all of this I now know exactly how to do the installation of the thing. Hopefully this summer?
[Edit: A couple images got lost in the editing process]