So you’ve come across a classic Nintendo NES in excellent condition only to find that none of your games load. You try and test and clean the games over and over again, but that little red light keeps flashing. The problem is most likely the 72-pin connector inside the NES system. The 72-pin connector is the one that reads the information from the Nintendo cartridges. Due to a design flaw, the connector pins deform over time and will no longer read the cartridges. This is an easy solution, although all you need to do is replace the existing 72-pin connector with another one. They are quite cheap and you can find one on Amazon or eBay. They only cost about $ 5 a piece. Now that you have your new part, install it:
Step # 1: Open the Nintendo NES case
This is the easiest part of the process. All you need is a medium-size Phillips screwdriver. Flip the NES over and remove the six screws at the bottom. This will allow you to remove the top of the case to reveal the inner workings of your Nintendo NES.
Step # 2: Get to the 72-pin connector
Now, to get to the 72-pin connector, you will have to remove the metal casing from the bottom half of the NES. It should be easy, just six other screws hold it. Once it’s off, you should see the plastic tray that contains the cartridges.
You will have to remove the plastic tray to remove the old 72-pin connector. There are six more screws holding the plastic cartridge slot on the circuit board, so remove them. You should now be able to find two screws closer to the AV connection that attach the circuit board to the bottom of the NES. Remove them and lift the circuit board and slide the plastic tray off the board. You can now access the 72-pin connector.
Step # 3 Remove and Replace the Old Connector
The last step is easy, just remove the old connector from the board and replace it with the new one. Try to be careful not to damage the actual circuit boards. Now make sure the connector is straight and fully connected to the circuit board.
Final step: put it back together
The last step in any project like this is to put everything back together.
- So first slide the plastic cartridge tray back onto the plate.
- Then put the board back into the NES case.
- Then screw the metal casing back on, and finally reassemble the plastic casing.
Note: sometimes it’s good to test your system before putting everything back together in case something goes wrong. Now you should have a well-functioning Nintendo NES.