View Full Version : Where in the world is SNES hardware/repair info???

06-02-2003, 11:16 PM
OK, I'm a hardware geek. I like building my own computers. I like fixing things when they don't work. I like building controller adapters.

BUT, I am completely self-taught and don't have a very sophisticated understanding of how these things work. I can follow instructions written by the likes of Jay Tilton and enjoy doing so, but I can't usually design the circuits myself.

Ordinarily I find info online and work off of it. Until tonight that method had never failed me.

Tonight I am surprised to say I'm stuck, in a spot I would have never expected.

I have an apparently dead Super Nintendo. Power it up, and there is no sound, and a black screen. Using the A/V out or RF produces the same result. I tried swapping cartridges, shaking, wiggling, and jiggling the cartridges in the slot, and the power and reset buttons, all to no avail.

I've tried the same power cord, AV cables, controller, and cartridge on a different SNES and they worked fine.

SO, I hit the handy-dandy Internet. I've searched the web and Google Groups for the last 45 minutes or so, and found NO useful info at all on this. If this were a 5200 I'd be drowning in information!

Looking at the bottom of the SNES, I can't even see how to open the sucker - it looks like the system is riveted together.

SO, does anybody know what may be wrong, and how to repair it? Failing that, does anybody know an elegant (sorry Sothy) way I can at least open the damn thing up so I can have a look?


06-03-2003, 10:31 AM
You sound like me, and my name is Steve too! Here's some links:

That's all I have.

With Super NES's, I tend to go the component swap method. Remove suspected part and replace. It's the easiest way to go, but requires multiple units. I have multiple game stores giving me their broken's instead of trashing 'em. Therefore lots of parts! The downside, is not only does my collection eat space, but my parts invenotory eats space too.

I only do repairs that are "hard" (like IC replacements) for rarer or 'high value' systems, like IntelliVision and ColecoVision. I just did a controller IC repair on my 7800. Sometimes it's as much to see 'if I can', as it is to have the system. With an SNES, I'd do component swaps only, maybe an AC plug replacment.

Good Luck!

06-03-2003, 02:54 PM
Unfortunately, once you've ruled out the usual suspects, there is no definitive method of troubleshooting. The final 'easy' possibility is that the solder on the cartridge port may have given up, and needs to be touched up. Following that, the next areas to check (generally) are:

Inspect board for obviously physical problems
Proper operation of voltage regulator(s).
Check for +5V & ground at all chips
Scope timing crystal for proper signal
Scope appropriate signal lines on CPU for activity.

Each machine is truly it's own beast, and a slew of datasheets & technical information is required to proceed much further. In the event that everything above reads normal, wherever the problem lies, it's probably not worth repairing (from a cost & practicality standpoint). I've never seen the inside of a SNS-001, but the smaller 101 is full of surface mount and small chips.

I'm not trying to be discouraging, but fixing new machines can be tricky. Good luck with it, tho, and post your findings.

07-27-2003, 04:24 PM
try changing the Sound Module. if the console dont have any connected it wont boot since the Sound Init is one of the first things it tries to do.(its the big metallic box on the right back side, if you have a newer version with a built in i cant help you). another thing to try is to lift of the reset switch since it tends to get stuck and still act as it works common when combined with coke. :/