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Finally a halfway decent method of cleaning DS pins


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Number 1 rule with DS games is to don’t buy them if the pins are dirty.

That said, I already have a bunch that have dirty pins. Always wanted a good method of cleaning DS pins. I’ve tried toothbrushes, toothpicks, q-tips, but all havent really done too well for cleaning the caked on substances.

Today I just thought of something and tried it during a conference call. I took a q-tip (cotton swab). Make sure it’s the kind with the paper stick, not the wood kind. Then I clipped the cotton end off with nail clippers. The cylindrical ends are too wide to fit into the pin grooves on the ds cart. But you can clip the ends into a wedge shape that can run up and down the DS  games pin groove. I took a water bottle cap and filled it with rubbing alcohol. Then I dipped the wedged end into the alcohol to use for polishing. Since the wedged end is so little surface area, when it gets dirty you’ll have keep clipping the end off and recreating a new clean wedge to polish with. 
 

What do you think? Quarantine forces innovation 

Edited by phart010
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Member · Posted

Not bad.  I've had some creative methods for cleaning hard-to-reach pins.  I've also taken tooth picks, ran my finger over the wood, when it was frayed, I then kind of push it on the table until it was about as frayed a I could get without the wood fibers falling off. I'd then dip the tip in alcohol and rub it clean.  Much like your method, the wood tip would be hard enough to apply pressure and get a good bit of gunk off, but it's not hard enough to damage the pins.  Your approach is much the same.

An unfortunate, plan-B, hail marry it to take the game apart, which if you're careful won't warp the plastic.  It will break it from the inside, though.  At that point, you can just scrub/clean/resolder joints until your hearts content.  I mention this because you wouldn't want to come close to paying FMV on a damage cart, but I've had good success buying up damaged DS game lots and fixing them. Once you take the shell off, you can just super glue it back together.  It's a good way to get a normal $50 game for $5-10 game that's broken and get it working.

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51 minutes ago, RH said:

Not bad.  I've had some creative methods for cleaning hard-to-reach pins.  I've also taken tooth picks, ran my finger over the wood, when it was frayed, I then kind of push it on the table until it was about as frayed a I could get without the wood fibers falling off. I'd then dip the tip in alcohol and rub it clean.  Much like your method, the wood tip would be hard enough to apply pressure and get a good bit of gunk off, but it's not hard enough to damage the pins.  Your approach is much the same.

An unfortunate, plan-B, hail marry it to take the game apart, which if you're careful won't warp the plastic.  It will break it from the inside, though.  At that point, you can just scrub/clean/resolder joints until your hearts content.  I mention this because you wouldn't want to come close to paying FMV on a damage cart, but I've had good success buying up damaged DS game lots and fixing them. Once you take the shell off, you can just super glue it back together.  It's a good way to get a normal $50 game for $5-10 game that's broken and get it working.

Never tried to take one of the DS carts apart. May have to run an experiment with Mary Kate and Ashley
 

Edit: today I have opened my first ds game ever. Very interesting 

Edited by phart010
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25 minutes ago, TDIRunner said:

I assume that it's permanently opened?

Yes, unless you glue it back together.  Each side is held together with these pegs that had a knot at the end. It's pressed into a tube and once it's in there, it basically has to break off to come apart.

But, since these things aren't made to come apart, you can just glue it back together and no one has to be any of the wiser.  I've even taken DS games that were sliced across the leads, taken the shells off, flattened out the boards, reshelled them with clear plastic DS cases and gotten them to work.  My Super Princess Peach has a cut like that, and works just fine because all of the leads connect well enough. Again, this is a way to pay a few bucks on a game and gamble at getting a working copy.  I wouldn't take apart a mostly functional game that just needs a good cleaning.  Only the stuff that's dead otherwise.

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2 minutes ago, RH said:

Yes, unless you glue it back together.  Each side is held together with these pegs that had a knot at the end. It's pressed into a tube and once it's in there, it basically has to break off to come apart.

But, since these things aren't made to come apart, you can just glue it back together and no one has to be any of the wiser.  I've even taken DS games that were sliced across the leads, taken the shells off, flattened out the boards, reshelled them with clear plastic DS cases and gotten them to work.  My Super Princess Peach has a cut like that, and works just fine because all of the leads connect well enough. Again, this is a way to pay a few bucks on a game and gamble at getting a working copy.  I wouldn't take apart a mostly functional game that just needs a good cleaning.  Only the stuff that's dead otherwise.

I was going to say something similar, although you provided way more detail.  But yeah, I would not open a DS game up just for the purposes of cleaning.  

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I just use a soft bristle kid's toothbrush dipped in 90% alcohol. Best action to use is an up and down motion, followed by a kind of circular motion to lift more stubborn grime. 

I've had great results with this, and without breaking off those damn spindly little finger guard things too, lol!

I think I'll stick to the toothbrush,works for me! 😉

 

Edited by OptOut
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I actually just modified what I do with normal cart pins.  I take one of those paper towel strips where they come off in small rectangles and rip it into 4 sections, then one of those I fold into a pad.  I then wet that in the alcohol and give it the rub until clean.  To get to the tiny pin slots for the DS type stuff, once I got more into doing some general repairs/soldering on things I picked up a set of dental picks (and a magnifier loop too) and I just place the damp paper towel over the pins and just rub the pick up/down on the exposed metal one section at a time.  It gets it quite nicely shined up.

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