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View Full Version : NES TOP LOADER QUESTION



cudwortho
10-21-2002, 01:23 PM
Over the weekend I recently bought a Top Loader w/ a dogbone controller, baseball stars II and super metroid for $30.00 at the local flea market. AWESOME BUY! Well this is my fist top loader I have ever owned/played. I hooked it up and there were lines on the t.v. about 3/4 to an inch apart. Besides that it worked perfectly. The lines aren't very noticeable, but still an annoying nuisance. I tried hooking it up to another t.v. and tried different power supplies and different RF adapters and still I have the same problems, those skiny lines. Is this common for top loaders? I also tried cleaning the connector and I still have this problem.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

Arcade Antics
10-21-2002, 01:27 PM
Yup, what you've described is the one (minor) drawback of the top loader - they all do it. All in all, a small price to pay for saying good riddance to the annoying flashing screen of the earlier model. :D

Achika
10-21-2002, 01:55 PM
I've seen some that don't do that, but it is a common problem. I think it's when a contact goes bad/gets damaged and requires opening and a thorough cleaning.

Raedon
10-21-2002, 03:35 PM
I've seen some that don't do that, but it is a common problem. I think it's when a contact goes bad/gets damaged and requires opening and a thorough cleaning.

Nope.

The problem with all top-loaders and the stripy graphics is a poorly engineered graphic circuit. The problem is a capasitor that is not rated high enough to supply a solid rail. This is a problem in the Super 8 to (but it doesn't look near as bad.) They both can be fixed by soldering on a new capasitor. There is a faq for fixing the Super 8, but I'm still working on the faq for fixing the US NTSC top loader along with Mark_K who maintains the Super 8/tri-star faq.

This is the fix for the super 8, the Top loader will be similar. but the cap will NOT be the same so don't go experimenting.


How to fix the "stripey graphics"
---------------------------------
As mentioned above, faint vertical stripes are visible on the Tri-Star's
picture. These are quite noticeable, especially when playing a game that scrolls horizontally, such as Super Mario Bros. Nintendo's own top-loading NES consoles have this problem too.

This problem can be easily fixed. If you open up your Tri-Star and take the top off, you will see there is space for a capacitor behind and to the left of the Famicom slot; a circle with a + sign is printed on the board there.

Buy a 1000uF electrolytic capacitor (rated at 6.3V or above; I used a 50V one). There is a fair amount of space inside the case, so it doesn't have to be very small. You can get one from Tandy/Radio Shack or any electronics supplier; it should not cost much.

Using desoldering braid and a soldering iron, remove the solder that is
blocking the two holes inside the circle. Insert the capacitor, making sure the positive terminal is in the hole towards the rear of the board (where the + sign is printed), and the negative terminal is in the other hole, nearer the front of the board. Push the capacitor down close to the circuit board so most of its legs are through the other side.

Carefully solder the two legs of the capacitor on the underside of the board, and cut off any excess wire. That's it! Put the Tri-Star back together and test it out. Enjoy your stripe-free picture.

WiseSalesman
10-21-2002, 05:44 PM
Someone on these boards told me that they called Nintendo and were able to send their toploader to the corporate office or something to have that problem fixed.

michael
10-21-2002, 06:14 PM
yeah and did he also say they sent him a box of NWC carts too?
But yeah they still do that for 40 bucks + shipping but I didnt even spend that much on either of my toploaders!!

Raedon
10-21-2002, 06:54 PM
i've heard that same thing to but i've talked to Nintendo CS many many times and they haven't supported the NES in a looong time. Thats like some sort of video game urban legend. :D

cudwortho
10-21-2002, 08:53 PM
Thanks guys. May try the super 8 mod.

sisko
03-23-2004, 02:31 PM
I'm dragging this back to the top since it answered one of my questions.

I got my first top loader today too. I cleaned it up and put a cart in, and I noticed that if I tap the cart forward, the game gets garbly and locks up (like a toaster with a bad connectorwould do). Is this a common "problem." I realize that it shouldn't matter, but I want to make sure everything is typical and okay with this unit before I sell it.

Red Warrior
03-23-2004, 03:09 PM
I'm dragging this back to the top since it answered one of my questions.

I got my first top loader today too. I cleaned it up and put a cart in, and I noticed that if I tap the cart forward, the game gets garbly and locks up (like a toaster with a bad connectorwould do). Is this a common "problem." I realize that it shouldn't matter, but I want to make sure everything is typical and okay with this unit before I sell it.

I just wanted to say that I bought my Top Loader brand new in 1994, and it had those stripy lines on the screen right outta the box, so it's just the way they were designed... not something going bad in the system.

Anyway, to answer your question, I believe it depends on how good the cart connectors are. Some games get garbled when I tap them forward or back, and some don't. The ones that do are the ones I bought used, and the ones that don't are the ones I've owned since I was a kid and took good care of... so that should say something about it. It seems to me that the better the condition of the cart, the more you can wiggle it in the slot without the screen messing up. But I would say that's perfectly normal. Heck, even my Genesis games screw up when you wiggle them in the cart slot... but, once again, only the ones I bought used. The good condition carts seem to be more resistant to excess wigglage.

Only the N64 and SNES seem to be wiggle resistant.

wberdan
03-23-2004, 03:14 PM
raedon beat me to it, but i was going to say that its probably power supply noise getting into the graphic circuit.
has anyone ever experimented to see if RF Chokes (aka ferrite clamps) on the power cable solve this problem?

willie

sisko
03-23-2004, 08:11 PM
I'm dragging this back to the top since it answered one of my questions.

I got my first top loader today too. I cleaned it up and put a cart in, and I noticed that if I tap the cart forward, the game gets garbly and locks up (like a toaster with a bad connectorwould do). Is this a common "problem." I realize that it shouldn't matter, but I want to make sure everything is typical and okay with this unit before I sell it.

I just wanted to say that I bought my Top Loader brand new in 1994, and it had those stripy lines on the screen right outta the box, so it's just the way they were designed... not something going bad in the system.

Anyway, to answer your question, I believe it depends on how good the cart connectors are. Some games get garbled when I tap them forward or back, and some don't. The ones that do are the ones I bought used, and the ones that don't are the ones I've owned since I was a kid and took good care of... so that should say something about it. It seems to me that the better the condition of the cart, the more you can wiggle it in the slot without the screen messing up. But I would say that's perfectly normal. Heck, even my Genesis games screw up when you wiggle them in the cart slot... but, once again, only the ones I bought used. The good condition carts seem to be more resistant to excess wigglage.

Only the N64 and SNES seem to be wiggle resistant.

Very helpful, thank you.

Raedon
03-23-2004, 08:16 PM
raedon beat me to it, but i was going to say that its probably power supply noise getting into the graphic circuit.
has anyone ever experimented to see if RF Chokes (aka ferrite clamps) on the power cable solve this problem?

willie

I worked with a electrical engineer friend last year on this problem sense I had a very nasty looking top loader that could be a test bed. We did everything.. replaced caps, did the AV mod, RF shielded parts.. everything we could think of and the stripes remained. We were able to change where the stripes were located and their distance from each other.

The crappy thing still works so if anyone out there has any more ideas.. I'll try them out.

The Manimal
03-23-2004, 08:46 PM
Does the Japanese A/V Famicom (can't call it a top loader becuase the original was too hehe) have the stripe problem like the US version? If it doesn't, I'll be willing to pay $100 or so for it without second thought. I like the top loader's "look" and easy care operation 1,000,000X more, but I can't play some games like RBI Baseball because that horrid stripe problem is awful on a solid color background, especially GREEN. *puke*

wberdan
03-23-2004, 08:58 PM
i just booted up my top loader and noticed the lines again-
these definetely arnt the power supply type lines-
it had been a while since i used it, so i had forgotten.

rf chokes did nothing for these, and neither did a richard gray's power company 400s. im afraid you are right about those being a circuit design flaw.
bummer!

willie

Raedon
03-23-2004, 09:44 PM
Does the Japanese A/V Famicom (can't call it a top loader becuase the original was too hehe) have the stripe problem like the US version? If it doesn't, I'll be willing to pay $100 or so for it without second thought. I like the top loader's "look" and easy care operation 1,000,000X more, but I can't play some games like RBI Baseball because that horrid stripe problem is awful on a solid color background, especially GREEN. *puke*

Get a Super 8 for your Snes and mod it.. the fix is simple and less then a $1 plus you only have one system for your NES, SNES, Fami, and Sfami though no nes gun games and the snes controllers on nes games sort of takes away from the classic feel.. I still use it more then my top loader or toaster.

omnedon
03-23-2004, 11:14 PM
My refurbed toaster's AV out is clear and stripelesss. Pick your poison I guess.

The top loader famicom indeed has proper A/V outs and is stripeless. I don't have one, but have a buddy who does.

it seems easier to repair the pin in a toaster than getting rid of those stripes on a top loader

spooie
03-23-2004, 11:23 PM
Hey... where can I find that Super-8 faq mentioned above?


thanks.

Raedon
03-24-2004, 08:48 AM
Hey... where can I find that Super-8 faq mentioned above?


thanks.

http://www.gamersgraveyard.com/repository/snes/peripherals/super8faq.txt

That is just a general faq.. I'll have to search for the repair one.. it's been a year; might not be around anymore.

The Manimal
03-24-2004, 11:19 AM
I will have to investigate/research the Super 8 and also hunt down the A/V Famicom :)

What kind of power supply was used for the Famicom's? Same as the US or different? Any mods need to be done?

jonjandran
03-24-2004, 08:15 PM
I will have to investigate/research the Super 8 and also hunt down the A/V Famicom :)

What kind of power supply was used for the Famicom's? Same as the US or different? Any mods need to be done?

It's a different power supply for the Famicoms .
A Genesis 1 power supply will work but an Nes Power upply won't.
It has to be a Dc output and not an AC like the Nes Power Supply.

spoon
03-24-2004, 08:48 PM
An NES power supply will work on an a/v famicom.

A/v famis are definitely the way to go.

jonjandran
03-24-2004, 08:52 PM
Hmmm interesting because they don't work on the RF only Famicoms.

The Manimal
03-25-2004, 12:10 AM
What about power outlets and Japanese consoles? I know that for Europe it is different, to where electronics I don't think will work at all without a power converter or something....same way for Japanese stuff to be used over here (IN USA)? I don't want to buy a Famicom or Super Famicom, plug it in and fry the thing out or knock the power out in our house LOL

Zach
03-25-2004, 01:37 AM
I can personally verify that the AV Famicom does NOT have the stripes on the screen. I have it hooked up side-by-side with my Top Loader NES and the difference is amazing.

Hunt down an AV Famicom ASAP. I've seen many of them go on eBay for under $80 plus shipping.

vilord
04-17-2004, 03:48 PM
Has anyone tried plugging a dc supply in, or perhaps just bypassing the power circuit and hooking up straight 5v dc either from a battery or a good power supply?

PentiumMMX
04-17-2004, 04:27 PM
Only the N64 and SNES seem to be wiggle resistant.

<OffTopic>
NOT TRUE!

I bumped my copy of "Donkey Kong 64" while playing, and the screen messed up!

But I cannot prove the part on SNES
</OffTopic>

optic_85
04-17-2004, 04:30 PM
My friend has a top loader just sitting in his closet. I stupidly told him what it was worth before i decided i wanted to buy it from him*slaps forehead*