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Thread: Cartridge causing SNES to lose power?

  1. #1
    Insert Coin (Level 0) Red's Avatar
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    Question Cartridge causing SNES to lose power?

    Hi everyone! New user here, but I am hoping to get some help with a repair issue I am having.

    Brief history: I purchased some games on eBay for super famicom that were listed as not working. I was hoping for an easy fix. I was wrong. First thing I did when I got them was pop open the cases and clean the heck out of the pins using rubbing alcohol and an eraser. This has worked for every other game I have had issues with.

    My other SNES and Super Famicom games all work just fine on my SNES. I regularly clean the 62 pin connector in the console.

    Now the two games I tried first and I have not moved onto the other ones yet are Donkey Kong Country and Donkey Kong Country 2. When I put the cartridges in the console and turn it on, I get some black bars that scroll down the black screen, but even stranger is the console's power LED light does not turn on. I take the cartridge out and turn the console on without a game and the LED comes on. Put one of my other games in and everything works. Place one of these suspect cartridges in and no power LED even though the console is on. Its very odd to me that both cartridges are exhibiting the same issue.

    Like I said I cleaned the heck out of these cartridges. Looking at the PCB none of the traces look bad, I used a soldering iron to reflow all the pins on the chips, resistors, capacitor, and battery. All the resistors except for one (large one on the right side of the PCB when the chips are facing you) gave me an expected ohm reading. The capacitor's resistance grew over time. My multimeter can measure capacitance but I am not sure if I can measure it while it's soldered to the board.

    Not sure where to go from here. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

    ~Red
    Last edited by Red; 02-10-2016 at 11:23 PM.

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    ServeBot (Lɘvel 11) RP2A03's Avatar
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    Are you using an official power adapter?
    Mario says "... if you do drugs, you go to hell before you die."

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    ServBot (Level 11) Niku-Sama's Avatar
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    I had this once with a job lot of games from yamatoku classic.

    what fixed mine was a metal polish, I really really don't like using this sort of thing on games but I didn't go out and get some brasso or some other caustic overly abrasive stuff, I had a jug of this:
    http://www.malcoautomotive.com/Metal...h-details.aspx

    whats interesting about this stuff is that its made to remove the stuff off of the surface of the metals, rather than get scratches out of the metal so its a very very very fine abrasive, finer than any thing off the shelf at Walmart.

    I rubbed the contacts till they were shiny like new and it worked after.
    I think a lot of people avoid the metal polishes because most of them are highly abrasive and start causing more problems than solving, this stuff really does the trick if its more than what an eraser can do.

    now I don't go polishing all my game contacts with this stuff this is just the last resort if I cant get my hi-polymer eraser to do the trick, 9 times out of 10 the eraser works

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RP2A03 View Post
    Are you using an official power adapter?
    Yes. I even swapped in a few other power supplies just to make sure, and I swapped out my SNES for a SNES Mini and a Super Famicom and got the same results where every other game worked except these ones. I only notiecd the LED thing on the Super Famicom but have not checked the SNES again for it. Obviously I cannot check the LED on the SNES mini (though I do want to eventually install one).

    Quote Originally Posted by Niku-Sama View Post
    I had this once with a job lot of games from yamatoku classic.

    what fixed mine was a metal polish, I really really don't like using this sort of thing on games but I didn't go out and get some brasso or some other caustic overly abrasive stuff, I had a jug of this:
    http://www.malcoautomotive.com/Metal...h-details.aspx

    whats interesting about this stuff is that its made to remove the stuff off of the surface of the metals, rather than get scratches out of the metal so its a very very very fine abrasive, finer than any thing off the shelf at Walmart.

    I rubbed the contacts till they were shiny like new and it worked after.
    I think a lot of people avoid the metal polishes because most of them are highly abrasive and start causing more problems than solving, this stuff really does the trick if its more than what an eraser can do.

    now I don't go polishing all my game contacts with this stuff this is just the last resort if I cant get my hi-polymer eraser to do the trick, 9 times out of 10 the eraser works
    Interesting. I have never heard of the stuff. I will see inf I can find it locally or order a bottle. So the Brasso that I have seen mentioned on lots of other threads is too caustic for games huh? I'll remember that and try to stay away from it.

    Any thoughts as to why that resistor on the right of the board was not giving an Ohm reading? I cannot remember if it was read as a short or open. I'll check it again and get back with the results.

    I really appreciate all the help! Thank you very much everyone. Hoping to get these going again for World 9.

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    That's what I've heard about brasso and stuff, well that and that it's too coarse...

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    ServeBot (Lɘvel 11) RP2A03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red View Post
    Any thoughts as to why that resistor on the right of the board was not giving an Ohm reading? I cannot remember if it was read as a short or open. I'll check it again and get back with the results.
    This might be your problem. The light going out would seem to suggest that the cartridge is drawing too much current.



    So this stuff doesn't remove the brass plating?
    Mario says "... if you do drugs, you go to hell before you die."

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    it didn't on any of mine.
    rub in moderation, actually I have a cart I can do half of real quick to show you if you want

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    Well now I feel dumb, and rightfully so.

    I polished the pins to a mirror finish and it still did not work. I pondered to myself, I wonder if it is not aligning with the pins correctly because I was trying just the circuit board not in the game cartridge case. So I put it back in the case and they both work. Scratched my head for a couple seconds wondering why... Then I noticed taking the board out of the case and trying it, maybe I had it flipped backwards? Pulled the board out again and put it in the opposite way I had it and it works just fine.

    Lesson learned, pay closer attention to the orientation of things as you take them apart. I have spent many years tinkering and I am surprised this one got by me. Oh well...

    Microchips face towards the back everyone!

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    well yea, that would do it.
    but hey now its really clean too

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