View Full Version : SMS Troubles

01-08-2003, 12:42 AM
My SMS worked fine--until I put a suspected dead cart into my machine, and got a message that reads "software error." Thinking that it was the cart, and nothing else, I went on my merry way. But now, a couple days later, NO cart I plug in will work. All I get is that same message. The built-in game, Hang-On, still works perfectly. I looked at the "dead" cart I put in to the SMS, and I found that it was missing a couple pins. Did this cause my system to fry? Did I short out something? Dang it all!!! I don't know what happened, but I want it fixed! Anybody have a clue as to what's going on??

By the way--YES, I'm putting the cart in correctly. So NO, that's not the problem.

01-08-2003, 05:13 AM
Many SMS cart don't have all the pins. Have you tried cleaning the cart port?

01-08-2003, 11:58 AM
Yeah, the cart port is great. Nice and shiny, looks like new. I keep all of my carts clean too. That's why this is so puzzling (and frustrating). The hardware must be good, because I can play the built in game, so I'mat a total loss on this one. x_x

01-08-2003, 12:00 PM
Whoops! Sorry, that's me on the previous post.

01-08-2003, 12:49 PM
SMS systems have some of the worst solder ever created.. It actually cracks and doesn't make the contact that it was suppose to. This happens mostly on Joy port 1 as it gets the most use. But it can happen anywhere on the board.

First thing does the internal game(s) work? If it does then we can assume it's not a chip failure.

Second thing to try is open the system up and take out the board.. now use some compressed air to blow the board off, cleaning off the dirt. Now try it. if it doesn't work after that you will need to take a soldering iron to the solder points around the game port. Add new solder.

01-11-2003, 12:52 AM
Yup. Cleaning may help. If that cart you inserted was dirty and passed it onto the cart insert, these problems can happen. What I used to do was take a small piece of cardboard (liek a business card) and put some alcohol on the end of it. Then insert and remove that alcohol end into the cart slot on the SMS. Careful tho, as you do not want pieces of the cardboard coming off into your SMS cart port. But, If you are careful, you should be able to clean it quite well...and hopefully everything will work ok.

01-11-2003, 11:14 PM
Well, I ended up not only resoldering a couple spots on this one. When I opened it up, I found that apparently, someone (not me, I know this for a fact) had spilled a bunch of soda into the machine. So I ended up soldering out all of the important stuff (like chips and stuff), washing off the board on the advice of a friend (ever so gently) with lukewarm water, and air-drying it out. Then I resoldered everything back. Voila!!! It works again. I took out the chips because I didn't know how they would respond to getting wet--better safe than sorry I figured. But it works now! Thanks for your help guys and gals!

BTW Zektor, I knew it didn't come from a dirty cart, because I am (self described) quite anal about keeping my carts clean, especially the contacts. Nothing gets stuck in my machine's slot unless it is disease free and checked by a physician. ;) But thanks for the tip.