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Replacing female connector for cartridges

5 replies to this topic

#1 rallyrabbit OFFLINE  


    Combat Commando

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  • Location:North Carolina (USA)

Posted Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:09 PM

Hi All,


Does anyone have any directions for replacing the female connector on the boards?  I have a number (a lot) of carts that won't play without holding them down.  My thought is that the female connector has finally given up a bit.  So, was thinking of replacing it.


I tried solderwick on an old board.  Got as much as I could and still can't get the guide + connector off (since I know the connector is screwed into the guide).


Any tips?  I'm afraid that if I try to heat up all the pins to get it all out at once will burn the board and the leads (ie ruining the board).


Any suggestions?

#2 save2600 OFFLINE  



  • 15,481 posts
  • Location:Wisconsin

Posted Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:13 PM

Having to hold down the cartridge for it to play sounds like a cracked or cold solder joint to me. I'd start by inspecting the solder side of the board and touch up all of the cartridge connector solder joints. Look for other solder joints nearby that may need to be touched up as well...

#3 wongojack OFFLINE  


    River Patroller

  • 3,189 posts
  • Location:Texas

Posted Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:42 PM

I agree with Save2600.  You can probably fix this by reflowing a cold/cracked joint.  I somehow doubt your problem is the actual cart port.  Reflow those points that connect the port to the board (meaning just get them hot and remove heat immediately after you see the solder melt). You may see an improvement.


That being said, I have removed the cartridge port.  I used a desoldering iron and was doing it on a donor board that didn't work any more.  I was careful, but it was a lot of heat on the pins an connector.

#4 rallyrabbit OFFLINE  


    Combat Commando

  • Topic Starter
  • 9 posts
  • Location:North Carolina (USA)

Posted Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:47 PM

Thanks for the cold solder joint suggestion.  I already tried that (should have put in the original post).  The thing is all the failure games are Activision.; Atari, Parker Brothers, Mattel, Coleco are all good.  I just cracked open one of the games and the pins look terrible.  I am thinking about flowing some solder on the pins, gently, to try and resurface them now....


Does that sound crazy?

Edited by rallyrabbit, Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:48 PM.

#5 save2600 OFFLINE  



  • 15,481 posts
  • Location:Wisconsin

Posted Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:21 PM

Oh, the Activision carts are notoriously problematic. Plenty of threads talking about this, but they have a slightly thinner PCB board than others of the time, so the cartridge port doesnt grip as well. Cleaning the hell out of the edge connector and applying a thin layer of solder to each of the connectors should do the trick. But I'd just bend the pins of the cartridge port in a bit before going through all that trouble for each game.

Or just get a Harmony cartridge and play your games that way:


#6 Jason_Atari OFFLINE  



  • 455 posts
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia.

Posted Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:56 AM

It's not that hard to replace although it is time consuming. If you don't have a desoldering tool you can use a solder sucker.

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