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Thread: SNES blank screen?

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    Unhappy SNES blank screen?

    Let me start of by saying I have NO retro console knowledge at all and I HAVE searched for this issue and didn't find anything.

    I recently found an old SNES in my basement and needed to buy the proper cords, a game, and a controller. I got the cords from amazon and it said that they would work with the SNES. I got the AC power adapter (NOT an official Nintendo power adapter) and it seems to work fine. I get the red light on the front of the system. I also got the RCA cord (Yellow,Red,White) and that also seems to work fine...I think. The problem is when I turn the system on my screen flickers a little bit (as it should?) and just goes to a blank screen. I've tried it on all the TV's in my house and they all do the same thing. When I slide the reset button the screen, again, flickers for half a second and then just a blank screen.

    Some info the might help.
    I've tried the SNES on a Modern flat screen TV (42" samsung plasma TV) and an old Tube box TV. Still have the same problem.

    The RCA cable I ordered from Amazon is NOT Nintendo official but I have found my old GameCube RCA cable which IS Nintendo official. The problem still happens with both.


    Hope you guys can help!

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    First thing, what's the rating on your power adapter. The SNES requires DC 10v 850mA, with a negative tip, which looks like this on the adapter (+)----(o----(-)

    Second, have you cleaned the game connector with a q-tip and some rubbing alcohol? Also have you tried multiple games to see if any worked?

    Those are the two most common problems with the SNES, if the wire itself is showing a blank black screen as you said then the wire is working perfectly. In my experience third party power supplys tend not to work real well, especially with the SNES for some reason. But if the red light is coming on then, clean the games and see if that fixes the problem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alec006 View Post
    First thing, what's the rating on your power adapter. The SNES requires DC 10v 850mA, with a negative tip, which looks like this on the adapter (+)----(o----(-)

    Second, have you cleaned the game connector with a q-tip and some rubbing alcohol? Also have you tried multiple games to see if any worked?

    Those are the two most common problems with the SNES, if the wire itself is showing a blank black screen as you said then the wire is working perfectly. In my experience third party power supplys tend not to work real well, especially with the SNES for some reason. But if the red light is coming on then, clean the games and see if that fixes the problem.
    The power adapter looks really really cheap and only says this on it "Input:AC 110V 60Hz and OutputC 10V 1000mA"

    And I will try cleaning the game connector when I get the chance.

    EDIT: I tried cleaning both the game connector and the game itself and no luck. And I only bought the 1 game so that might be the issue....
    Last edited by Syzergy11; 09-12-2011 at 04:23 PM.

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    Hmm, well the power adapter seems to be fine 1000mA is enough since the SNES only takes what it needs which is 850mA. Link me to it on Amazon.

    How long was it in the basement for, moisture could have gotten to it and/or extreme temperature changes could have done something to it. What sucks is you can't try the game on another SNES to see if the game works perfectly.

    It leads me to believe that if you bought the game from somewhere else then, it's not the game it's the actual system, or that the connector inside the system is not making proper contact with the game.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alec006 View Post
    Hmm, well the power adapter seems to be fine 1000mA is enough since the SNES only takes what it needs which is 850mA. Link me to it on Amazon.

    How long was it in the basement for, moisture could have gotten to it and/or extreme temperature changes could have done something to it. What sucks is you can't try the game on another SNES to see if the game works perfectly.

    It leads me to believe that if you bought the game from somewhere else then, it's not the game it's the actual system, or that the connector inside the system is not making proper contact with the game.
    Power adapter:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000A7I71C

    I also got the game used on Amazon for cheap. I ordered another used game that was "guaranteed" to work so we will see in a few days.

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    Wouldn't be the least bit surprised if it wasn't a blown fuse:
    http://www.mmmonkey.co.uk/console/ni.../snes-fuse.htm
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    Have you tried removing and reinserting the cartridge several times? Old cartridge systems, even with a recently cleaned cartridge, can be finicky at times.

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    It never hurts to continuity check the reset button, too. They seem to come apart easily and if they do, the system gets stuck in a permanent reset state.

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    It's been in our basement for probobly a good 10 or so years. And is a blown fuse easy to replace? I'm willing to try anything to get this up and running.

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    Its very easy to replace the fuse,not much solder work at all.

    http://www.mmmonkey.co.uk/console/ni.../snes-fuse.htm

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    If the fuse was blown, the red light would not come on. I have a SNES with this same problem, so I'm curious as to what others have to say.

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    If you can, try a different power adapter. If it's not outputting enough power for some reason you could be getting problems, maybe it's defective. It's better to rule out possible problems like this before taking the system apart.

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    Your symptom is the exact one I get when I recently tried a game that had dirty contacts. You need to clean your games and possibly your console. My trouble game was only partly fixed with q-tip and alcohol as it would work about half of the time. A soft scrub dish pad rubbed back and forth in the cart slot a few times fixed it for good.

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    Try turning it on with no game in it. If the screen does the exact same thing, you're probably looking at dirty contacts with the cartridges. You may also want to unscew the unit and take the top off. Look for signs of rust (from being in a humid environment) or dead bugs.

    I once bought an Atari 2600 from a flea market that didn't work. When I opened it up, there were several dead roaches laying across the boards. After cleaning it up, it worked.

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    The second game I had I got today also isn't playing so I ruled out that its the game. Also when the system turns on without a game the screen does the exact same thing. Flickers quick then blank black screen.

    I used compressed air to blow out some dust on both the cartridge and the system it self and still no luck. Before I clean anything else I would like to try the soft kitchen sponge but im fairly certain you don't use a dry one. What exactly should I use to clean it?

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    To clean the cartridge slot, repeatedly insert and remove a clean game, stopping occasionally to clean the game. Repeat as necessary.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RP2A03 View Post
    To clean the cartridge slot, repeatedly insert and remove a clean game, stopping occasionally to clean the game. Repeat as necessary.
    Didnt work. I think its an issue with the connector. Might be dead? I can get the 62 pin SNES replacement connector for pretty cheap but I want to know how easy it is to replace.

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    Just follow this vid that lunkmore1 did to clean the cartridge connector.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zMVOIkR4Jk

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    Just be careful. I used that method on a NES 72 pin connector and it permanently bent the pins.

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    Alright. I cleaned both the connector on the system and the cartridge using all of the above methods. STILL has the same problem. Can we rule out that its a dirty connection?

    I was thinking that the connector is broken or damaged?

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