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AC adapter for original NES?


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#1 Dave Farquhar OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 8, 2006 1:28 PM

I picked up an NES today for two bucks (woo hoo!), but it was the bare console, with no controllers or AC adapter. And that reminded me, I've never found my old NES AC adapter. From what I've read, it originally came with a 9VAC 1 amp (1000ma) power brick. I've seen some suggestions online that it works with a 9 VDC brick. I'm assuming polarity doesn't matter? I'd just like to get some confirmation from someone before I plug in any old power brick I have that looks about right and fits. I hate destroying old hardware, no matter how little I paid for it...

#2 Prodos8 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 8, 2006 1:33 PM

Any ~9v ac/dc with ~1 amp will work fine. I've used Genny power supplies with no problem and also 9vdc supplies for cordless phones and what not. Don't worry too much it has a rectifier inside so polarity is a non-issue. Just need to find an adapter with the right size plug.

#3 shadow460 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 8, 2006 1:35 PM

It sure does work on DC. *digs out NES brick*
Mine has the original 9VAC, 1.3A brick. I ran my daddy's NES from a 9VDC brick that was about the same size as the original.

Get at least a 1 amp brick, though. The multi voltage Wal Mart jobs probably won't push over half of that.
Best place to go is a thrift shop. they may even have an actual NES brick, but if not, you can usually pick up something for around $1.
Take it home and test it with a voltmeter before plugging it into your NES.

#4 Dave Farquhar OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 8, 2006 4:11 PM

Cool, thanks for that info. I did find my Genesis power supply, but when I put the voltmeter on it, I got a whole lot of nothing. I'll check out the thrifts and see if I can find a close-enough replacement. I know the multi-voltage "universal" bricks sold at discount stores put out about 1/5 the amperage I need, so I'll stay away from those. Either most of the thrifts right around me threw out their box of loose random AC adapters, or sold them all, but I'll find one.

I do have a 12VDC supply that's over 1 amp... Is that too much?

#5 Dave Farquhar OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 8, 2006 5:14 PM

I found a good tidbit on Usenet. Many of the old US Robotics external modems used a 9VAC, 1 amp power supply. I just happened to have one in my computer room, checked it, and indeed, it was 9VAC, 1 amp. I plugged it in, slid in a Kung-Fu cart, and got the classic blinky-blink on the power LED. So I cleaned the unit and the cart. Same thing. Time for more troubleshooting (lockout chip mod?), but hey, at least I found a good power brick.

Thanks again for the help!

#6 JB OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 8, 2006 5:51 PM

Killing the lockout chip can't hurt.

Cart slot probably needs to be bent back into shape, though. Horrid ZIF monstrosity. But if you're getting a flashing title screen, it's just the lockout.

#7 Prodos8 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 8, 2006 9:14 PM

~12 volts is probably okay, as I've used a 5200 power supply on my NES with no problems.

#8 Dave Farquhar OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 9, 2006 6:45 AM

Looks like there's a problem with the cartridge slot, as disabling the lockout chip only resulted in a gray screen at powerup, or, if I hit reset just right, sometimes I can get a few garbled graphics. So I'll either start bending pins, or I may just break down and get a couple of replacements. After shipping, the replacements cost about $7 or $8 on Ebay. I wish it were easier to tell the difference between the higher quality replacements and the originals though.

#9 Prodos8 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 9, 2006 8:56 AM

Square away the issues with the connector and you will have a good system. I have three NESs and they all work, two have good connectors and the other has a flakey one. The original connectors are good quality compared to the third pary replacements and will last for years but not decades. These systems are 20+ years old now, well beyond the expectations of the QC of the time. But, yeah had they gone with a traditional cartridge connector this would be a non-issue. I never understood why the NES needed so many pins anyway?

#10 Mayhem OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 9, 2006 2:01 PM

On a related note, is the power supply for the SNES good for the NES? Got a US NES here with no supply you see as well...

#11 Dave Farquhar OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 9, 2006 4:53 PM

When I searched, it looked like the SNES power supply is 10VDC, 850ma, so it would be OK for the NES, but not the other way around. I'd double-check the specs first just to make sure, since I don't have an actual one to check.

That cartridge connector is the only weakness I can see in the NES. I have to say, when I was looking at it (this was the first time I'd opened one up), I was pretty impressed with the design. They addressed pretty much every issue I can think of with the previous-generation consoles.

#12 shadow460 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 9, 2006 8:13 PM

I wouldn't recommend switching the SNEs and NES power supplies.
The NES could draw upward of 1 full amp in current, which will cause the SNES adaptor to stop working after a while.

Even though the NES adaptor probably measures 12 volts or so output, it's designed to kick out 9 volts under full load. Any other brick has a rated voltage which it's designed to produce under full load as well.
By switching adaptors, you're putting ten (SNES) or twelve (5200) volts on 20 year old electronics.
Everything in the NES will run a tad hotter that way.
NES's may be common, but not all of the games are. I wouldn't trust my rare games to a console that's under that kind of stress.

#13 JB OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 9, 2006 9:22 PM

NES and SNES also use totally diffrent power connectors, so the supplies aren't swappable in the first place.

#14 gdement OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 10, 2006 3:22 AM

I found a good tidbit on Usenet. Many of the old US Robotics external modems used a 9VAC, 1 amp power supply. I just happened to have one in my computer room, checked it, and indeed, it was 9VAC, 1 amp. I plugged it in, slid in a Kung-Fu cart, and got the classic blinky-blink on the power LED. So I cleaned the unit and the cart. Same thing. Time for more troubleshooting (lockout chip mod?), but hey, at least I found a good power brick.

Thanks again for the help!


Thanks so much for posting that. I'm in a reverse situation. I recently found a network router at a thrift store, which my sister needed. But I had to loan them my NES adapter to run the thing. My USR modem adapter was packed away separately (with the modem), so I didn't see it before when I looked for compatible power cords. Now that problem is solved and I can get my NES cord back.

A while back I checked eBay for NES power adapters, and was surprised how rare they are. Seems everybody just sells generics.

Edited by gdement, Mon Jul 10, 2006 3:26 AM.


#15 Dave Farquhar OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 10, 2006 5:42 AM

A while back I checked eBay for NES power adapters, and was surprised how rare they are. Seems everybody just sells generics.


Most people outside the game collecting hobby have no idea there's anyone who would want a power brick from an old videogame machine. And there are an awful lot of people who don't think there's any difference in power bricks, and if the plug fits, they plug it in. Fixing computers, I used to see a lot of dead hardware caused by people moving their computers and mixing up the AC adapters. They think the warning on the device and in the manual is just a ploy to sell more stuff.

If someone sold a genuine Nintendo 902 AC adapter on eBay and got more than $20 for it, they might stand a chance of ending up on Jay Leno's "Stuff we found on eBay" segment. I was going to say the empty box would probably turn more heads, but they've already seen empty boxes for other stuff go for big bucks. The question is what dollar figure would be required to catch the attention of whoever it is who looks for this stuff.

#16 Mayhem OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 10, 2006 5:47 AM

NES and SNES also use totally diffrent power connectors, so the supplies aren't swappable in the first place.


Yeah I found that out when I tried them. Now my Megadrive adapter on the other hand (10V, 1.2A) IS good for plugging into the NES and having it run fine (had it on for five minutes without trouble).

Nothing like the "opposition" helping out technical wise heh...

#17 Mark T OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 1, 2011 6:26 PM

I just bought a NES yesterday and the power supply I got with it was a dual NES SNES adapter. So I went through my random adapters I kept and found one that was used for one of my old cell phones I think?

The specs are as follows:
Input: 120v AC 60 Hz
Output: 9V DC 500 mA
Ploarity: (-)---(*---(+)

I was wondering if this adapter would work since it seems that all you need is 9V DC...or would 500 mA be too small?

Thanks for the help!!!

#18 gdement OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 2, 2011 8:07 AM

I just bought a NES yesterday and the power supply I got with it was a dual NES SNES adapter. So I went through my random adapters I kept and found one that was used for one of my old cell phones I think?

The specs are as follows:
Input: 120v AC 60 Hz
Output: 9V DC 500 mA
Ploarity: (-)---(*---(+)

I was wondering if this adapter would work since it seems that all you need is 9V DC...or would 500 mA be too small?

Thanks for the help!!!


500mA is too weak. It won't hurt anything but it probably won't work properly.
The voltage is fine, and the NES doesn't care about polarity.

The supply for an older style Genesis works well on the NES, and they seem to be easier to find.

#19 Mark T OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 2, 2011 10:27 AM

Oh ok, Thanks!
I sorta figured the current was too low :-(
Damn, I was hoping it would work cos the power supply is nice and tiny....I hate HUGE power supplies! LOL


I just bought a NES yesterday and the power supply I got with it was a dual NES SNES adapter. So I went through my random adapters I kept and found one that was used for one of my old cell phones I think?

The specs are as follows:
Input: 120v AC 60 Hz
Output: 9V DC 500 mA
Ploarity: (-)---(*---(+)

I was wondering if this adapter would work since it seems that all you need is 9V DC...or would 500 mA be too small?

Thanks for the help!!!


500mA is too weak. It won't hurt anything but it probably won't work properly.
The voltage is fine, and the NES doesn't care about polarity.

The supply for an older style Genesis works well on the NES, and they seem to be easier to find.



#20 0078265317 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 2, 2011 11:10 AM

Multi adapter. Works on "nes, snes, genesis".

http://www.amazon.co...ASIN=B000EOJ1F2

#21 Mark T OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 2, 2011 11:49 AM

Ha Ha, thats the exact same one that came with my nintendo!


Multi adapter. Works on "nes, snes, genesis".

http://www.amazon.co...ASIN=B000EOJ1F2






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