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Am I realy lucky or does the Nintoaster get a bad rep?

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Over the years I estimate I have bought about 20 original NES systems. If see a good deal (this is very rare these days) Ill buy it clean it up and use it for trading fodder. I love cleaning these things especially if they seem abused. When I get rid of them they usually go to a collector so I know they're going to a good home. What I'm getting at is never once have I had one that wasn't very fixable. I believe most would start a game first try 9 times out of 10. I don't even do all that much. I disassemble clean out the cat hair and spider eggs remove the 72 pin clean all the contacts and resemble. I never even boiled one or bent the pins. After that its just cosmetic. I will say all of my games are obsessively clean so that helps. I always hear people say it was a horrible design that will inevitably fail. I like the design especially as a collector because you can stack on it. Maybe I'm just realy lucky, but it doesn't seem like it takes much to keep this 30 year old machine going. I've actually never had one with a failed component. That seems odd. What experiences have you guys had with this machine?

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I love the front-loading design of the NES. It feels so satisfying slapping a cart in and clicking it into place. I also like that the cart is completely covered when inside the system and like you said, you can stack other things on top of the console (back in the day I used to keep my Genesis model 2 on top. A perfect fit!).

 

In all honesty though, the reliability of the design is deserving of the reputation it has. If you want it to work 100% of the time without an expensive third party mod, it needs to be taken apart, cleaned and tweaked, and your carts need to be obsessively clean (something it looks like you don't have a problem with). The problem is, most people just want to hook a system up, pop a game in and play, and not dick around with maintenance. The NES is one of the few consoles out there that requires regular maintenance, unless you are cool with re-seating a cart 30 times before it finally wants to work correctly.

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I would say you've been really lucky, but with the number of systems you've encountered it seems like there must be something more than simple luck at play here. Do you live somewhere with very low humidity levels all year? In my experience most of the regular maintenance that NES systems require is due to tarnishing and oxidization of the 72 pin connector and cartridge contacts, but I imagine that if you lived somewhere like Arizona that had consistently low humidity levels year round you might not encounter this issue.

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Even as a kid, I remember having to blow into carts (now I know this is bad) or the preferred technique of pushing in the cart and wiggling it.

 

I love my top loader.

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If you properly clean and maintain it you will get zero problems from the toaster model. Clean your carts and 72 pin every six months, replace the 72 pin every 5-10 years, and you will have a nice reliable NES.

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Don't even replace it. I have two NESes, one of them is the one from my childhood. I cleaned the connector on it ONCE.

But otherwise, you're right, cleaning the carts and keepign the NES in a dry place to avoid oxydation is the way to go.

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It's not a made up issue to be sure. There is definitely some "luck" involved. For instance, I have three out of three Bally Astrocades that work and some people can't even get one.

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There is a possibility that the connector issue, those last 15 years, with the growth of the retrogaming market, might have been amplified with this trend of "replace, don't clean".

I remember that years ago the general advice was "get a new connector, cleaning it will last a femtosecond." the problem is that from what I've been told, ALL NES connector replacements are crap that last 2/3 years at best.

And since those connectors appeared in the mid/late 2000's, there is probably a growing number of "refurbished" NESes that come back on the market with a "new" connector that is crap and fail more than the original one, calling for mroe frequent cleaning than an original NES one.

Edited by CatPix
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So I do remember having problems as a child always having to blow into games. Now I know this obviously made the problems worse. As an adult i never do this and I clean every game i get before it goes in there. On the rare occasion my nes glitches at startup that game is immediately cleaned and it works. Also I play my nes alot. I live in Wisconsin and it can get very humid. I think corosion never realy takes hold for me just from frequency of use... I believe I actually have more issues with my snes or genesis than my nes, just because they are used less frequently used. So I'm now thinking that yes there may be some issues with the design but I do think they are highly overblown. I think that most issues actually stem from blowing into cartridges and never cleaning than any real design issue.

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Most of my friend got their NES in 87/88 and every one of them had that blinking light problem by 90/91.

 

It was then that we heard through word of mouth that by wiggling the cart around, blowing the dust out, or just slipping it in far enough to click down would help alleviate the issues.

 

Nobody blew in their cartridges before then, but the systems (rather pin connectors) STILL crapped out.

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I don't think it helped that back then you had carts swapping between so many different systems. So even if your system was clean at one point, it was going to get dirty as hell when you borrowed carts from friends or rented them from the video store.

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I went through 2-3 NES systems when I was younger and every time the systems stopped working to the point I could only get them to respond rarely. I've heard about cleaning the system and whatnot, and I'm sure that does work, but I also think using the Game Genie is what destroyed my systems. I can vividly remember every subsequent used system I'd buy would work for a while and inevitably crap out, and the ones that worked always seemed to have been from an owner that didn't have a Game Genie. There is a chance the systems were just rarely used, but I would like to think that'd be pretty slim when owned by kids (my aunt & uncle's always worked well, but they never used it), so the keep it clean ideal is one I've always had an issue with. I'm not saying I disagree, but I've watched people who literally would clean the games before inserting carts still have issues. I've also noticed on my system when I replaced the pin connector, if I pushed the cart down when it wasn't all the way in (the act of pushing it down would slip it off the inner plastic to insert) would make the cart work exponentially better than pushing it all the way in. To me, that negates the argument that cleanliness has anything to do with it and conclude that the pin connectors are just doomed, plain and simple.

 

Over a decade ago, I replaced the pin connector on my NES. I put in Double Dragon and it worked instantly. I was so proud of myself. Then I think I put the Game Genie in and after that, it was already acting up (albeit less than before) on the day I repaired it. If a couple dirty games and one Game Genie insertion is all it takes to ruin the thing, I'm not going to waste my time. I just use emulation now, I can't even remember the last time I hooked the thing up. I've really been wanting to play some Duck Hunt, though, so I probably will have to go another round with the ol' girl and see how she fires up.

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LOL, right.. For some of us, the Game Genie was the only way to get the damn things working!

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Yeah, the design is a problem. Of course it can be disassembled and cleaned and all that... but that's the point. The better designed consoles require much less of that kind of upkeep to provide the same amount of reliability.

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When I was a child, I blew in my cartridges, wiggled them in and out and even put one cartridge on top of the cartridge to be played to improve the connection. I used the official NES cleaning kit with water. However, in the 21st century I have been exposed to the joys of almost pure isophrophyl alcohol and flash carts and those problems went away.

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If you properly clean and maintain it you will get zero problems from the toaster model. Clean your carts and 72 pin every six months, replace the 72 pin every 5-10 years, and you will have a nice reliable NES.

Sure, everything is reliable if you fix the parts that break! ;-)

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It's called maintenance...

the NES have this flaw (tho again, maybe that's because lots of people used a GG, but as I mentionned for myself, cleaning my NES every 10 YEARS isn't such a high maintenace task) but everything else aside is fine.

Car need to get filters replaced, oil levels checked and completed, engine checked every 100 000 or 300 000 km, etc... but you can reach 1 million KM with them.

Reliable doesn't mean "maintenance free".

In fact, "reliable" and "maintenance free" should always be a suspicious duo.

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Maybe the next time I open my toaster up, I should add some packets of silica gel...

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Even as a kid, I remember having to blow into carts (now I know this is bad) or the preferred technique of pushing in the cart and wiggling it.

 

I love my top loader.

 

I remember that as well with friends. I gave mine away long time ago. I got a used one off ebay for 20 bucks. Had a small chip on the side and a broken game cover but other than that it worked. Just needed a new 72 pin connector. I got lucky.

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I remember that as well with friends. I gave mine away long time ago. I got a used one off ebay for 20 bucks. Had a small chip on the side and a broken game cover but other than that it worked. Just needed a new 72 pin connector. I got lucky.

Very nice- I got my top loader for 5 bucks at a yard sale. No hookups, so I used the ones from my front-loader until I could get another set of cables.

 

I've honestly never understood where the 'nintoaster' name comes from. It doesn't look like any damn toaster I've ever used! Is it just because the carts get pushed down/pop up? Other things do that- why not call it a NES-in-the-box or something?

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It kinda sorta reminds me of a toaster oven, but not a regular toaster

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I went through 2-3 NES systems when I was younger and every time the systems stopped working to the point I could only get them to respond rarely. I've heard about cleaning the system and whatnot, and I'm sure that does work, but I also think using the Game Genie is what destroyed my systems. I can vividly remember every subsequent used system I'd buy would work for a while and inevitably crap out, and the ones that worked always seemed to have been from an owner that didn't have a Game Genie. There is a chance the systems were just rarely used, but I would like to think that'd be pretty slim when owned by kids (my aunt & uncle's always worked well, but they never used it), so the keep it clean ideal is one I've always had an issue with. I'm not saying I disagree, but I've watched people who literally would clean the games before inserting carts still have issues. I've also noticed on my system when I replaced the pin connector, if I pushed the cart down when it wasn't all the way in (the act of pushing it down would slip it off the inner plastic to insert) would make the cart work exponentially better than pushing it all the way in. To me, that negates the argument that cleanliness has anything to do with it and conclude that the pin connectors are just doomed, plain and simple.

 

Over a decade ago, I replaced the pin connector on my NES. I put in Double Dragon and it worked instantly. I was so proud of myself. Then I think I put the Game Genie in and after that, it was already acting up (albeit less than before) on the day I repaired it. If a couple dirty games and one Game Genie insertion is all it takes to ruin the thing, I'm not going to waste my time. I just use emulation now, I can't even remember the last time I hooked the thing up. I've really been wanting to play some Duck Hunt, though, so I probably will have to go another round with the ol' girl and see how she fires up.

The Blinking Light Win Is a cheap, permanent fix. Super easy to insall too! Now the front loader can finally overtake the toploader as best original nes console.

 

https://www.arcadeworks.net/blw

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I've honestly never understood where the 'nintoaster' name comes from. It doesn't look like any damn toaster I've ever used! Is it just because the carts get pushed down/pop up? Other things do that- why not call it a NES-in-the-box or something?

I actually agree it's a stupid name that somehow stuck. I think its just because its on a springy piece that pops up and down. But yea if anything its like a small pizza oven....

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never heard it called nintoaster until the real nintoaster (read NES in a toaster) came about, then the "durh hur hurs" thought it was cute

Edited by Osgeld

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