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Thread: Difficult getting cartridges to work in my Game Gear, even after cleaning

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    Default Difficult getting cartridges to work in my Game Gear, even after cleaning

    Hi. Most of times, when I go play my Game Gear, I need to clean very well the cartridges and the Game Gear cartridge slot. I do with isopropyl alcohol and the old credit card with flannel trick.

    Will eventually work, but some cartridges need a lot of try. And even when work, in the next day start to fail again and I need to redo the cleaning process.

    Is this unavoiable with old hardware? There is something else I can do "reforce" the cartridge slot besides replace the hardware piece? Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectreman View Post
    Hi. Most of times, when I go play my Game Gear, I need to clean very well the cartridges and the Game Gear cartridge slot. I do with isopropyl alcohol and the old credit card with flannel trick.

    Will eventually work, but some cartridges need a lot of try. And even when work, in the next day start to fail again and I need to redo the cleaning process.

    Is this unavoiable with old hardware? There is something else I can do "reforce" the cartridge slot besides replace the hardware piece? Thanks.
    The credit card with flannel would be pretty thick, I have to wonder if you've been forcing the cart slot pins further apart.
    Regardless of that, Game Gear is definitely one of the more finicky cartridge systems.
    I also have the same issue of having to clean games every time before playing, and the same game will not work or be glitchy the following day.
    It's become that having a bottle of isopropyl and q-tips and paper towels along with the Game Gear collection is just par for the course.

    It would be interesting to know why the Game Gear carts get oxidized or corroded or whatever so quickly.

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    WCPO Agent CrossBow's Avatar
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    I think the main issue is that the pins on the cart slot are just a tad too far back and not making proper contact with the game cartridge. When you use the alcohol and clean everything, you provide that little bit of extra conductivity needed to possibly fill the gap. Once the game has loaded it is fine and no issues. Next day the alcohol would be all dried up so that is why it fails to load again without the process being repeated. So I think the pins in the cart slot are too far bent back.

    On my personal GG I've found that some of my games require me to pull the game cartridge up just a smidge to get them to read. But I also avoid a lot of this by leaving my game genie in my GG all the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zz Badnusty View Post
    The credit card with flannel would be pretty thick, I have to wonder if you've been forcing the cart slot pins further apart.
    Regardless of that, Game Gear is definitely one of the more finicky cartridge systems.
    I also have the same issue of having to clean games every time before playing, and the same game will not work or be glitchy the following day.
    It's become that having a bottle of isopropyl and q-tips and paper towels along with the Game Gear collection is just par for the course.

    It would be interesting to know why the Game Gear carts get oxidized or corroded or whatever so quickly.
    Yeah. Is very thick and I was folding flannel. Now donīt know if can space the connectors worsing the situation. I will do with more caution and search more information.

    I was watching 8-Bit Guy videos and he spray a deoxidizer in some computer contacts. I wonder if it can help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrossBow View Post
    I think the main issue is that the pins on the cart slot are just a tad too far back and not making proper contact with the game cartridge. When you use the alcohol and clean everything, you provide that little bit of extra conductivity needed to possibly fill the gap. Once the game has loaded it is fine and no issues. Next day the alcohol would be all dried up so that is why it fails to load again without the process being repeated. So I think the pins in the cart slot are too far bent back.

    On my personal GG I've found that some of my games require me to pull the game cartridge up just a smidge to get them to read. But I also avoid a lot of this by leaving my game genie in my GG all the time.
    Thanks. Pulling a little helped with one of my cartridges.

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    AKA Mister Xiado Master of Shinobi Raijin Z's Avatar
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    My recommendation for cleaning contacts is to open the system up, and use something like contact cleaner spray (the instructions say to use it like a garden hose, spraying crud away, then blast it clear with air) or in particularly grungy cases, Hoppe's No. 9 gun cleaning solvent. Then clean with alcohol to remove any remaining residue. Failing that, replace the connector, if possible. Inserting something of uncompromising thickness into an edge connector that uses spring connections is a recipe for disaster, although according too Hooke's Law, doing it a couple times is no big deal.
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    WCPO Agent CrossBow's Avatar
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    Well for cleaning the contacts on most game consoles, what I use is an old cotton t-shirt (Hanes brand to be exact). An old credit card that has been trimmed in width to fit the cart slot exactly. I take the card and put into the t-shirt with the shirt material then stretched around it with little to no folds. I then use 99.9% alcohol and saturate the end of the shirt+card combo. I then insert the card and shirt straight into the cart slot just like a game and insert it up and down a few times until the black comes off. I then spray some de-ox-it like cleaner into the cart slot and repeat the process again.

    I find that using a T-shirt and CC is usually about the exact thickness of the original game PCBs without forcing the contact pins too far. However, be careful using a fabric material like this as it could catch on the pins and pull on them wrong causing many more issues or the material start to fray and leave debris in the slot that you have to pick out separately. Only move the combo in and out of the slot to clean and never side to side.

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