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NES 72 pin connector - boiled not bent


RegularGuyGamer
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I have a stack of NES consoles and decided to finally take the plunge and sell a couple. I got out 4 of the 6, a screw driver and the AM radio, to listen to the Phillies lose the world series of course and went to town.

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Taking these apart really made me think about getting an automatic screw driver. I see some YouTube tinkerer's have some and man, taking out screw after screw actually started to make me sweat after the 4th console. I got all the little nuggets out of their shells, cut the pins for the lockout chips and get the boys ready for a bath.

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I put them in the bubbly for 10 mins. Afterwards, the water wasn't discolored and no notable debris were floating around, it just stank like a plastic factory. 

I decided to not bend the pins since the last time I did this on 2016 I felt like the pin bending was overkill and I wanted to see in contrast how well the boil would fare vs the boil and bend I has done last time. I cleaned the contacts on the board where the pin connect chomp onto and gave em a test.

3 out of the 4 did not need the the cartridge to be pressed down to fire up a game. And the game i tested on all 4 wasn't cleaned, just one I got 2 summers ago from a thrift store. The one that needed the game pushed down was actually a Nintendo refurbished. Amway, here's the who gang after beening soaped up. 

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I'm perpetually impressed by how easily NES consoles clean up. I'm also really bummed by how many OEM 72 pin connectors are laying in a land fill considering they all could be revived with a couple mins in a hot bubble bath. 

Edited by RegularGuyGamer
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  • The title was changed to NES 72 pin connector - boiled not bent
Member · Posted

I just recently did 3 for a friend who wanted to sell the things but couldn't make them work.  You're right, after the first couple it gets a bit tiring messing with the screws manually as there's quite a few.  You kind of just have to machine line it between tearing one down, get the boil going, pop one in, and start working on the next to get it over with.  It takes a little time but those things really do freshen up amazingly so when you give them a boiling hot bath.  When I was in those I did kill the security chip, annoying flashing begone.

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On 11/7/2022 at 10:31 AM, RegularGuyGamer said:

I'm also really bummed by how many OEM 72 pin connectors are laying in a land fill considering they all could be revived with a couple mins in a hot bubble bath. 

We were dumb AF in the 2000s buying that Chinese replacement connector trash.

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Social Team · Posted
On 11/7/2022 at 10:31 AM, RegularGuyGamer said:

I'm perpetually impressed by how easily NES consoles clean up. I'm also really bummed by how many OEM 72 pin connectors are laying in a land fill considering they all could be revived with a couple mins in a hot bubble bath. 

big mouth bath GIF

So is this better than just using electronic contact cleaner?  I'm new to this cleaning method of using bubble baths of boiling water.  

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15 hours ago, FireHazard51 said:

So is this better than just using electronic contact cleaner?  I'm new to this cleaning method of using bubble baths of boiling water.  

No.  It's not about cleaning them, although that can happen during the process.  What it's actually about is reconditioning the pins (and possibly some of the plastic) back to their original shapes/positions.  It accomplishes the same thing that bending the pins back down with a pick does, but much more easily and is much gentler on the adapter.  Any cleaning that gets done is just a happy byproduct of the real purpose of what's going on.

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15 hours ago, FireHazard51 said:

So is this better than just using electronic contact cleaner?  I'm new to this cleaning method of using bubble baths of boiling water.  

Its multiple times better. The contact cleaner is more akin to IPA where it makes a difference but the boiling changes them completely. I don't even think about cleaning my games anymore, just boil the pin connect every 5 years or so 

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Social Team · Posted
3 hours ago, RegularGuyGamer said:

Its multiple times better. The contact cleaner is more akin to IPA where it makes a difference but the boiling changes them completely. I don't even think about cleaning my games anymore, just boil the pin connect every 5 years or so 

Do you boil with tap water or with distilled water?

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Social Team · Posted
1 hour ago, RegularGuyGamer said:

Just regular ol tap water. You could try distilled and see the results though. We could make this a science fair experiment. 

Well if the heat is just to re-bend the metal I would think a better result would be a pressure cooker so you could get the temps higher.  I know with my ultra sonic clearer I have to rinse the parts with water and then use 99% IPA to displace the left over water so there is no water left to dry and potentially corrode/short an electronic.  

I've heard of metal having "memory" and that applying heat can "repair" the issue.  This is often used with bridge strikes when the I-beam is deformed but not too deformed.  Its kinda a skill trade as they use torches to get the metal to bend it self back into it's original shape.

 

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Member · Posted

Nice job on the boiling!! They look great. I have tried it and worried too much about melting the plastic so the last 2 I've done were bent back with the non sharp side of an exacto knife. I have terrible a.d.d, so hyperfixating on bending them perfectly back to the right tightness is super satisfying for meee. Boiling seems way easier to do a batch too, heck ya dood!

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Member · Posted

What @CMR said is in the realm because just look up the heat levels you're at to get water to bubble up and boil, and that's just cheap(well not so cheap from then) thick plastic, it'll warp.  That's why I personally put some paper towel in the bottom so you don't have direct pot metal(on fire/heat source) on plastic to jack it up as a little insulation I guess so I've never had the issue.

But that bit about old school bridge work, metal memory, heat, that's how I had it explained to me at least a decade ago or so when I first heard about it but didn't bother attempting it until sometime later due to a cleaning kit with IPA getting it done still.  Age caught up with the thing(my old system then) and I boiled it and straightened to be double sure, which is why I still do that too.)  It ran perfect at that rate after so I just went with the story because as that video shows up there, it makes sense.  Once metal takes a form, at least some metals, it kind of just is, and if it's not too deformed over time, a good applied high dose of heat can work wonders to lessen the deformity.  Given how many bends slides and pushes those things got for years, decades, they'll deform alright.

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Member · Posted
On 11/11/2022 at 6:50 AM, fcgamer said:

I wonder how many people would get upset if they found out their NES had a Chinese replacement pin connector.

I would I remember when they first popped up and what they did and how poorly(long) their durability lasted.  I'd trash the beast then and there, then hit up the internet for broken ones some twit thought were well...broken, too dumb to just clean it right. 🙂

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