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DIY#3 Cleaning the inside of your nes game.

On 03/25/2013 at 01:53 PM by True Gamer At Heart

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Ok the third DIY from me..Last time it was about cleaning out side of your nes game. Well this one is about cleaning the inside to make it easier for your nes system read the games easier.

First thing you should know is that you need a special security bit to open the cartridges up. Not just any normal flat or philips will work. The bit is 3.8 mm and you can get from ebay or other sources as well. They look like this


Once you have one of these you can open up the nes cartridge up and it may look something like this.



That pcb board is the nes game! And you need to clean those pins because they pick up dirt, grime, dust and more! The game I was cleaning looked dirty as seen in the picture.



You see all that black stuff, well that makes you have trouble when putting the game into the system. It has a hard time reading the pins. So time to get rid of it. Now there is many ways of doing it...But I use


Yep I use this!! It works really well. Put little dabs of it on the pins and spread it out like butter on bread lol!!


Grab a paper towel and scrub it down.


Do both sides depending on bad it is you may have to repeat it again..Once you get the dirt off, spray some alcohol  to get rid of any residue that may be still on the pins. And you will notice the shine of the pins come thru!!



Put the game back in the plastic case and screw everything back up. Now you got a fresh game with clean pins ready to be played.

Well there you go guys!! My next will be more hardcore lol Well my next DIY. Think the next blog will be about reviewing a game!! Leave comments and questions guys, thanks for reading! Till the next blog which is hopefully right around the corner!!




03/25/2013 at 02:24 PM

I love how you open that big gray cartridge and there's a thumb-width little board inside.  Cracks me up every time!  Great DIY; have you thought about doing one for rehabbing the NES itself?  Or replacing the 72 pin connector?  I've done a couple myself, and have had mixed luck with the rehab.  Saved one, had to replace two with new connectors.  Great blog!

True Gamer At Heart

03/25/2013 at 03:30 PM

Actually yes!! It is the ultimate one lol. I have tried it on 3 nes..All 3 worked nearly flawless. After doing it the games worked on the first try. Just about every time! But I am going to need to find a old nes and try it..Cause I have 3 nes at home and they have been refurbished so it hard to take pics of it since they have been refurbished already.


03/25/2013 at 03:32 PM

Excellent article. Very informative. 

True Gamer At Heart

03/25/2013 at 03:35 PM

Thank you very much! The next DIY Blog will be intense lol!

Jamie Alston Staff Writer

03/25/2013 at 04:02 PM

Like trefingers said, it's funny how small the actual pcb board is.  As a kid, I had assumed that the guts of an NES cartridge was as big as the cartridge itself.  I had never seen the inside of one until sometime during 2002 when more websites dedicated to retro gaming stuff showed one.  I was actually a little offended that Japan got the more "practicle" sized carts that came in different colors but the US versions were these dumpy clumsy looking grey monstrosities by comparison.

True Gamer At Heart

03/25/2013 at 04:18 PM

Yep the first time I opened it up I was like is this it?? Why the big shell?? Maybe they thought that us kids would tear up the games so they had to make them durable???  So they made them big?? The Japanese tend to take care of their games more than we do. So maybe that was the cause??

Super Step Contributing Writer

03/25/2013 at 06:28 PM

As has been said, that's a lot of cartridge for that little chip! I guess that's why Nintendo was ok producing Gamecube boxes for those tiny discs. lol

Those pins really looked shiny once you were done with them. Nice! I know I commented last time about blowing on them, and for the temporary purposes we needed to do that for, it worked, but this is definitely a much better and more permanent solution.

True Gamer At Heart

03/25/2013 at 07:03 PM

Yes this is really the permanent solution. Blowing on them just kinda convered up the dirt that was on the pins. So then when you put the game in it had a habit of playing them. But screw that, this is the better way!! But like you I put overtime on my lungs blowing on those nes games lol!! Man as kids we would get so tired on blowing those things!!


04/01/2013 at 12:43 PM

Wow!  Had no idea the actual NES cartridge was that small.  That proves everything in the 80's was fluffy lol

True Gamer At Heart

04/01/2013 at 01:15 PM

Yep lol


04/08/2013 at 11:22 AM

I need to get some of those security bits; a few of my carts tend to be kind of fussy, and I've wondered if opening them up to clean them would help.

True Gamer At Heart

04/08/2013 at 02:05 PM

Believe me it does.. You get to actually see the dirt on the pins! I open it up cause it is just way easier to clean it real good that way!!

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