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Thread: Nintendo Flashing Screen

  1. #1
    Road Rasher Chris's Avatar
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    Default Nintendo Flashing Screen

    Man, here we go again. Try to play an NES game and we get the flashing screen/blinking light.
    Clean the game contacts once maybe twice and if weíre lucky the game will work. I have six NES systems and they all do the same thing.
    Iíve even taken all my games and console to Nintendo to have it cleaned, but still had problems.

    Is there a design flaw with the system or cartridges that causes this? I rarely have this problem with any of my other game systems, and I have a lot of them.

    Do I open up the console and try to clean the connectors, buy a clone system that doesnít have this problem, or just give up on NES games altogether.

    I think itís great when my kids give the newer game systems a rest and want to play some old stuff, but it gets frustrating when we canít get the thing to work.

    Thanks for any suggestions, ideas or comments.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert majinga's Avatar
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    It's a flaw of how the cart slot work. Open up the console, clean the contacts directly on the connector. Some carts are worse than other, try to clean them more.

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    The Gaming Gangsta Master of Shinobi profholt82's Avatar
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    Clean the games by rubbing down the connectors with a q-tip dipped in 91% iso alcohol. Open the console with a Philips screwdriver so that you can easily access the pins in the cart slot, and do the same thing to them. In this case though, a q-tip may be too thick for the 72 pin connector. I find that wrapping a credit card with a thin white cotton t-shirt and dipping it in the alcohol works well with most cartridge slots on older consoles. You just insert it in and out of the slot.

    A common problem in the NES is that the pins in the cart slot can get bent over time, so inspect them and make sure they look all right. But after thoroughly cleaning the cart slot pins, they should play the games easier.

    When the console is open, you can remove the 10NES lockout chip if you wish. This is easy to do, just google it and there should be many tutorials available. That will stop the screen from flashing, and make it a bit easier to read games.

    If you're still having issues after all of that, you may want to look into a replacement 72 pin connector. I'm generally opposed to those as they tend to be cheap compared to the originals, but they're out there if need be.

    Another tip you can try is to lightly move the cartridge to the left or right after it has been inserted into the slot. Not when it is powered on, mind you. But when a game is being stubborn, sometimes just pushing the cartridge to one side or the other and hitting power again works. This is because the connectors in the cartridge are not as wide as the 72 pin connector in the console, so slightly adjusting them can make a better connection sometimes.

    I realize this all sounds like a pain in the butt, but taking these steps will usually get the NES to work better in my experience. I love the NES, but yeah, it is a terrible design. Hahaha

    If you do decide to pick up a 3rd party console in the future, I recommend the Retrousb AVS. It uses FPGA similar to the Analogue NT, but it is much cheaper. It plays games in 720p via hdmi on modern HDTVs as well, and they look great. I use mine quite a bit. I still keep an original NES hooked up in my basement gaming nook (part of daddy's mancave ), but the AVS is upstairs in the living room for the whole family to enjoy, and I'm very happy with it.
    Last edited by profholt82; 01-17-2021 at 02:01 PM.

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    End of line.. Hero of Algol gamevet's Avatar
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    I use this universal kit to clean the carts and the 72 pin cartridge slot on the NES. I had to clean it all up last week, when I couldn't get any games to work.




    This picture turned out a little blurry. This is the stick I used to clean the cartridge port. You just insert and remove it several times, and the grime sticks to it.



    Wow, it turns out that they are still being sold on Amazon. I might pick up another one, because the kit I have is heavily used.

    https://www.amazon.com/Universal-Vid.../dp/B00MEUOUBY
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    Last edited by gamevet; 01-18-2021 at 07:41 PM.
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingOutrunner
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    Whenever I put a clean game into my NES and get a flashing screen and blinking light, this has always worked for me:

    Make sure the cartridge is very close to the edge of the tray you push down before you push it down and try again. If you still have the problem, try making adjustments that are extremely slight and try again. My NES is very picky about where the cartridge is in order to play it, but I've only ever had this one machine and have never cleaned it or replaced any parts. Maybe I'm just lucky. -shrugs-

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    End of line.. Hero of Algol gamevet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BubsyFan1 View Post
    Whenever I put a clean game into my NES and get a flashing screen and blinking light, this has always worked for me:

    Make sure the cartridge is very close to the edge of the tray you push down before you push it down and try again. If you still have the problem, try making adjustments that are extremely slight and try again. My NES is very picky about where the cartridge is in order to play it, but I've only ever had this one machine and have never cleaned it or replaced any parts. Maybe I'm just lucky. -shrugs-
    Do you live in an area with low humidity?
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



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    Raging in the Streets goldenband's Avatar
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    I got a Blinking Light Win, and am 100% happy with it. I'd almost given up on playing NES on real hardware as I got so sick of the finickiness and all the mythology about "Just do X and it'll be fine", none of which worked for me. Bought a replacement 72-pin connector, and still the same old crap.

    The BLW has made it a joy. No bullshit, no finicky crap, it just works (I've only had one game refuse to cooperate). Nowadays my only NES annoyance is that my EverDrive N8 has a penchant for crashing, which is probably due to the higher power draw of a flash cart -- I should probably replace it with a newer model.

    Real carts, though, have been flawless for me, with hours of gameplay and no issues. That certainly wasn't the case back in the day, especially as the 1990s wore on and the NES got flakier and flakier.

  8. #8
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingOutrunner
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    Do you live in an area with low humidity?
    Yes, it is quite dry here. Particularly in the summer.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingSports Talker xoddf2's Avatar
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    Boiling the 72-pin connector improved reliability for me.

  10. #10
    Master of Shinobi Segadream's Avatar
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    You can always just cut one pin on the lockout chip in the proper location and there will be no
    Reseting blinky....

    Or you can try my method :
    When you know your cart and console are considerably clean and still getting no luck
    you can hold reset and slightly adjust the cartridge to the left or right and release the reset button,
    if you start to see the game load then blinking starts you are on the right track.
    Keep adjusting the cart while holding reset
    and letting go of reset to see if its in the sweet spot.
    I never have had an issue using this method.

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    Road Rasher Chris's Avatar
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    Opened one up tonight and cleaned the pins really well then bent them all up with a tiny screw driver and tested five random games without cleaning them and only the first one didnít work.
    Cleaned that cartridge and it worked as well.

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