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Best NES 72-Pin Connector Replacement

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My NES has been acting really flaky lately.  My PowerPak works fine if I leave the connector up (don't push it down to lock it like you normally would) but if I push it down it won't work right.  However even if I leave it up, it's prone to crashing now and then.  Sometimes if I tap the cart it will glitch out.  My PowerPak is fine though, so it must be the connector.  IIRC it has one of those cheapo replacements that you can get for $5 anywhere in it.  I think this is the problem. 

 

Has anyone tried that Blinking Light Win connector? https://www.arcadeworks.net/blw   It's expensive, but if it works I'd be happy.  Then again, I'd rather not spend $30 if I don't have to.

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I have a BLW in my NES and it's great! Games work every time as long as they are properly cleaned! Keep in mind that if you have a Game Genie it won't fit in the system unless you cut off the black grip on it...  not that I ever really used mine. And if you want to play Famicom games as well I recommend getting a full cart length adapter otherwise it can easily get stuck in the system. 

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There really isn't one, it's best to find new old stock original, or just repair and clean an original which can be done pretty easily in minutes (once removed from the system.)

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I fully reccomend Blinking Light Win. It makes the NES cart connector work much more like a Famicom, but probably more reliable.

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Is there a way to fix the one I have?  I really have no idea why it's so flaky.  It's really tight (like I said, I don't have to push it down), so why would it be so touchy?  Is there something I can look for on it?

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look inside the connector for bent pins. If it's tight, maybe one of the pins got pushed down into the connector. 

 

BTW, another vote for BLW. It circumvents the 10NES, which is usually the cause of a blinking light in the first place. 

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2 hours ago, derFunkenstein said:

BTW, another vote for BLW. It circumvents the 10NES, which is usually the cause of a blinking light in the first place. 

I clipped the leg on that chip a long time ago, so that shouldn't be a problem.

 

I'm not getting blinking, I'm getting glitches and crashes so it's not the 10NES chip it's the connector.

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Then I'd be looking for bent pins. I got an NES for free from a guy who was just going to toss it because all his games looked glitchy. Pulled out the connector and could see the bent pin. Easy solution. 

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20 minutes ago, derFunkenstein said:

Then I'd be looking for bent pins. I got an NES for free from a guy who was just going to toss it because all his games looked glitchy. Pulled out the connector and could see the bent pin. Easy solution. 

Yeah I'll do that this weekend.  That's probably the issue.

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I put in a BLW even though I already clipped the 10NES chip... the BLW does much more than that. It's a complete redesign of the cartridge connector...

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53 minutes ago, DragonGrafx-16 said:

I put in a BLW even though I already clipped the 10NES chip... the BLW does much more than that. It's a complete redesign of the cartridge connector...

I'll take a look at the connector this weekend, if I can't fix it or find what's wrong I'll go for the BLW.

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I cracked open my NES a little and looked at the connector.  It looks good from what I can tell, but is obviously having problems.  I didn't want to take the NES apart entirely so the pictures are a little hard to see.  I'm not seeing any obvious bent pins or signs of problems. What does everyone else think?

 

nes1.thumb.JPG.1fcf3fd47c029bf75a67239a45b40095.JPG

 

nes2.thumb.JPG.60298439ca7230d4e4bb73d86ed1b60d.JPG

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Just because it looks shiny with light hitting it and straight doesn't mean it's not funky, especially away from the tips.

 

Remove connector

Use safety pin to pull lower row up towards the top

Boil in water 5min

Use NES cleaning kit or make up a knockoff, in-out that after the boil 10min

Pins will be discolored if not gooey funky

Re-do this until clean

Reassemble

 

The high heat re-strengthens the aluminum and it boils off decades of funk.

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Meh, I just decided to go with the BLW.  It's pricey but if it works as advertised it's worth it.

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I bought a nasty yellow dead NES and refurb it. I boiled the connector and cleaned the pins on it and the motherboard with Deoxit5 and it works/looks good as new.

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Boiling really does work well. It's like new afterward as long as it wasn't damaged.

Yeah, it’s a bit controversial, but it works for me every time.

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The Blinking Light Win is a great solution, but they add a bit of a 'death grip' to the cartridges. Technically nothing more than any other card edge connector would, but the recessed depth of the cart plus a wide spread of 72 contacts makes it a little harder to remove the games. I would just grasp the sides of the cart near the top and gently wiggle from side to side slightly while pulling back, that usually did the trick.

 

Regarding the OEM connectors, you shouldn't have to bend any pins, it was designed to be zero-insertion force contact. Just clean them really well. I never boiled but I have seen it recommended many times.

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A few years ago I got a new original Nintendo brand connector. As long as my carts are clean, I have no issues.

 

Years prior I did the pin bending (even wrote directions how to do it on Good Deal Games) that worked well for a while. Had a tighter grip but games worked. Then I got a funky cart, either a repro or something with a thick edge, which then caused a pin to get stuck and get yanked out of place. So after that experience along with the fact we are seeing more new cartridge being made, it's hard to recommend that approach.

 

I debated on BLW but I'll stick with the pins I have and just keep 'em clean.

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Back in the late 90s early 00s I called Nintendo and asked if I could buy a replacement 72 pin connector for my console.  They replied no you can’t, but we can ship you one for free!

 

I managed to get two of them. Installed one in an NES which I still own, and kept the other unused.  Still have the unused one today but won’t be selling it. 
 

Aside from bragging, my point is you might be able to find a brand new NOS OEM connector if you look hard enough. That would be the absolute best solution. 

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