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Thread: SNES Controller won't work for some games

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    Default SNES Controller won't work for some games

    I picked up an SNES that had black screen of death. I opened it up and cleaned the connector with toothbrush and electrical cleaner. I also cleaned all the games.

    Now everything works except the controllers... but only for some games. Very strange.

    Controllers work fine for Mario World and MArio Kart, but do not work at all for Donkey Kong Country or Battletoads/Double Dragon.

    I went back and forth several times with these games. They consistently either work or not work. Hence I cannot figure out if it is something wrong with the console or the games.

    If none of the games work, I would assume it's the controller board. My first thought was I messed it up when I unplugged it to clean pin connector.

    Any ideas? Is it possible it could be the games?

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    I wouldn't think it would be the games even though some work and others don't and its consistent. My guess is that the games that don't work handle or call the commands from the controller in a different way from the ones that work and the path it takes from the controller through the system to get results is messed up in the system some where. Like a bad memory controller that can't address correctly at higher values or ram it self that doesn't get used in the games that work but gets used in the games that don't and that's where the control call is. Not saying that's it specifically but as an example

    Kinda hard to follow i know.

    Do you have any other games you can test on it? Super fx or Cx4 games? Any game you might find on these lists i think might give the most interesting results

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List...ancement_chips

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    Is your controller an original SNES controller or a third party one? I used to have a Yobo FCTwin console, and when I got an original SNES, the controllers that came with the Twin worked on some SNES games but not on others. Then, when I tried another third party controller made for a different third party console (I forgot the system name, but it wasn't Retron, i think it was that one that was pretty popular 4 or 5 years ago) that said it also worked for the real SNES, i had the same issue. I tested both controllers on my buddy's SNES to confirm it wasn't my system having issues, and like my system, neither controller had perfect compatability.

    I don't know if it's bad controller memory access that's causing your issue, but it could be the simple fact that many third party controllers just don't quite have the right frequency for sending input commands, but are pretty close, so when some programs overlap memory access with the controller, the comtroller gets dropped. This was an issue people had with the Genesis controllers when using them for Master System games, there were a handful of games where it would ignore a Dpad input in a certain direction, or it would ignore a button at seemingly random intervals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ness7281992 View Post
    Is your controller an original SNES controller or a third party one?
    The controllers I have are official/original. And there are two of them and they both do the same thing. So it would seem that it is probably not the controllers?

    A co-worker of mine said he had a similar problem to your with his NES, that a controller he had would work with some games but not others.

    I really need another SNES to try both the games and controllers. I wish I new someone that had one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Niku-Sama View Post
    I wouldn't think it would be the games even though some work and others don't and its consistent. My guess is that the games that don't work handle or call the commands from the controller in a different way from the ones that work and the path it takes from the controller through the system to get results is messed up in the system some where. Like a bad memory controller that can't address correctly at higher values or ram it self that doesn't get used in the games that work but gets used in the games that don't and that's where the control call is. Not saying that's it specifically but as an example

    Kinda hard to follow i know.

    Do you have any other games you can test on it? Super fx or Cx4 games? Any game you might find on these lists i think might give the most interesting results

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List...ancement_chips
    This seems like a good guess as to what's going on and I follow it . So you don't think it could be the connection? I was thinking of taking the board out and just looking underneath and around where the controller board plugs into the main board and maybe I'll see something. Although I have no knowledge of this sort of thing.

    I don't have any Super fx or Cx4 games on those lists. Super Mario Kart I have, that has the DSP-1/1B chip. That's it for what's on the list.

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    When you opened the console up, did you disconnect the controller board from the console, or did you leave it connected while cleaning the pin connector? If you did disconnect it, then maybe you didn't reconnect it properly. However, if you didn't disconnect it at all, you might try doing that and leaving it disconnected for a few minutes. Sometimes disconnecting it can reset the codes in the console so that the controllers work properly again. Just make sure to discharge the system first before you do this to be most effective. To discharge the system just unplug the power adapter from the console then turn the console on. You'll see the red light flash for a split second before going back out. The system is now discharged. This is a bit of a leap in theory I admit but still a possibility.

    Also, when you opened up the console, how did it look inside? Was it really dirty? Did you only clean the pin connectors or did you have to clean other things as well? Another possibility is that maybe the controller board is dirty. Might not be a bad idea to take some rubbing alcohol (at least 70%) and clean it. Worth a shot in my opinion.

    Finally did you try swapping controllers? Not necessarily using a different controller, although that would be most helpful, but try switching the controller in port 1 with the controller in port 2 and vice versa to see what happens.
    Last edited by Xavier; 01-30-2016 at 09:36 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xavier View Post
    When you opened the console up, did you disconnect the controller board from the console, or did you leave it connected while cleaning the pin connector? If you did disconnect it, then maybe you didn't reconnect it properly. However, if you didn't disconnect it at all, you might try doing that and leaving it disconnected for a few minutes. Sometimes disconnecting it can reset the codes in the console so that the controllers work properly again. Just make sure to discharge the system first before you do this to be most effective. To discharge the system just unplug the power adapter from the console then turn the console on. You'll see the red light flash for a split second before going back out. The system is now discharged. This is a bit of a leap in theory I admit but still a possibility.

    Also, when you opened up the console, how did it look inside? Was it really dirty? Did you only clean the pin connectors or did you have to clean other things as well? Another possibility is that maybe the controller board is dirty. Might not be a bad idea to take some rubbing alcohol (at least 70%) and clean it. Worth a shot in my opinion.

    Finally did you try swapping controllers? Not necessarily using a different controller, although that would be most helpful, but try switching the controller in port 1 with the controller in port 2 and vice versa to see what happens.
    I did disconnect, I tried re-connecting it a few times and even wiggling it around a little bit while trying to get controllers to work. I did not leave it disconnected for a few minutes though so I could try that. It wasn't too dirty inside. There was some dust settled in the corners that I blew out but the board was pretty clean so all I did was clean the connectors.

    I'm not sure I follow the controller part. I tried both controllers in port 1. I don't think I bothered to plug anything it to port 2. I might have plugged one of them into port 2 at one point but that's about it. Mostly I was trying port 1.

    I can try cleaning the board more. Thanks for all the suggestions. If I can't get it to work I might try to sell it for parts on ebay or something.

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    There's been a new development. While I was trying some of the suggestions here. I figured out that the problem is specifically with the start button.

    And since many games require you press start button before you can play, it appears as though the controllers were not working, when really all that is not working is the start button.

    I was able to figure out that neither controller and neither port work with the start button. I was able to get a two player game working, and neither player one or two could pause the game.

    I'm still assuming it is not the controllers. I am going to still try to take the main board off so I can get a closer look at the controller connector and I suppose I could try to clean the controller but it seems unlikely it would happen to both controllers.

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    sounds more like a cold solder joint to me now

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    Yeah I think I can work with this. I'll report back after I find the time to educate myself/try to fix.

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