Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fun and Headaches with the NES: Resources

For Description of NESes and related items for sale on Amazon, click on the link below:
  Description of NESes and Peripherals for Sale on Amazon

Below are Resources to:
   1. Deal with the blinking light issue that appears randomly with every NES.
   2. Mod the NES, care for cartridges.
   3. Replace the power supply (or get one that will work).

The "Blinking Red Light" [of Death] was (and so is) a common issue that crops up with practically every NES console ever made (unfortunately): anyone who has played with an NES can tell you about it.

Seen here with an easy, but per-instance fix:

The blinking red light does not (usually) signal actual death in most cases. When this starts you may not get a video output, may get a purple (or as I have also found, red, or yellow, or blue) screen rather than the game video output, may get blinking or lines. The one case it may signal death is when the chip responsible has died (I would guess), but in any case for a permanent fix here are some good resources:

Video for disassembly and easy method to resolve blinking red light:

Guide to do the same with insructions to build-in a switch to enable and disable the chip in case of finding a rare game that relies upon the fourth pin (that the permanent fixes disable) of the security chip: This link goes to a specific section of a larger page of NES modification and care resources that are quite cool.

Be sure, however, to see his disclaimer, which also applies here! (If you follow these guides or imitate these videos, you do so at your own risk: I am simply assembling links to reading material of potential interest to NES owners, and not suggesting or recommending that you actually do any of this!)

Replacing the Power Supply: 
Of course, any plug/cord/supply must fit the NES. The official power supplies released in America for the NES that I have read:

     Input: AC120V, 60Hz, 17W
     Output: AC 9V, 1.3 A[mps]

But I have some running on adapters with as little as 600m[illi]A[mps] and experience no problems. It turns out that"the power coming from the power supply is converted to DC and lowered to 5 volts using a simple lm7805 voltage regulator" in the console itself (, so the raphnet author writes
"This means that giving 12 volts to the NES will not damage it (however, please note that the regulator will generate a little more heat). Since the NES expects AC, you can supply the NES with DC power without having to check the polarity."
and that, like me, he has been using a .6A supply that "[s]o far [...] has worked flawlessly with the NES." Mine is for an old cell phone, his is for an "old cable modem"!

And now you have resources to fix various problems with the NES, or NES problems, encountered frequently by people who buy and use the Super Nintendo. Have fun!

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