Console Nostalgia


One of my friends on Facebook posted a video of the old boot up sound to the Playstation, and we all reveled and basked in it’s glory for a little while chatting about the old times. In that discussion, we hit a very hysterical segue into the types of ways we kept our systems working when they were broke as shit.

It really got me thinking about how much has changed. Back then, wiggling a wire, or cleaning terminals were all we needed to get our console back up and running. Now, we wrap them in blankets and put them in the oven, and even that is only a temporary fix, with the real result often having us ship our console off and pay for almost a brand new console. So my question is this: what kind of unique tricks did you have when your consoles were in rough shape to keep them running? :smile:

For me, I can think of my SNES, where the power connector in the back of the system was loose, so I often had to wrap it around the console to keep the tension touching the terminals.

There was also my Gamecube which was a hysterical story: mom tripped over the controller wire once, and it fell, creating this weird buzzing sound in the fan. However, when the console was lifted up at a 45 degree angle, it stopped, so I kept it propped like that for months. Enter mom again, who trips and makes it fall again… and it magically fixed the buzzing. I always laughed because I never knew what the handle was for on the back of the GCN. Here it was to throw your console if it ever was broken.


Blowing into NES cartridges. I had a special technique that could make any game play. I still have my NES hooked up to my TV and I still have to blow in them but it still works. Pretty good for a 30 year old console.

I’m old enough that I even had an Atari. That thing never gave me any issues. Too bad I don’t have that one anymore.


I think my brother still has our old Atari 400, which he gave to my nephew. Pretty sure it still works.


My dad found his own Atari a while ago and we were playing drag racing on it.


I don’t remember having to use any unique methods on these old systems to keep them running. Now you have to send a console back after 3 months.


Yea my Atari was rock solid but like @Biff_Tannen I had a special blowing technique for some cartridges on the NES and 1 cartridge I had to wedge in with a folded sheet of paper. No issues w SNES either.


@ghosthog @Biff_Tannen Did you know blowing into the carts was actually a myth in some ways? There was actually a very small percentage that the moisture from blowing (and the air blowing the dirt out) would clean the terminals off well enough for you to actually keep it working. In fact, the moisture of your breath only further oxidized the terminals or something like that, and made it worse!

Best solution: replacing your pins inside of the NES, and thoroughly cleaning the terminals on the games themselves.

But don’t worry, I blew on my games so much, I thought it was a solution for other things in my life too (and still do it sometimes)!


No no no. It was all in the technique–two quick blows followed by a long one :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Never thought of the corroding part even lol


That brings up an amazing point too – how many people had “techniques” for blowing in their NES carts. Your friend would come over and try theirs and you’d snatch that shit back like, “AY. LOOK. I GOT THIS.”


Yeah, blowing into the cart works only because you’re reseating the cart in the ZIF connector. If you boil the ZIF connector for a short period, the contacts are cleaned and the metal returns to its original shape, ensuring good contact again.

Playing NES Remix Pack on the WiiU has put me into a major nostalgia binge. Last weekend I modded an original Game Boy to install a white backlight, new speaker, and new shell. I was thinking I’d replace the screen in my Nomad next thanks to the walkthrough in the newest issue of Retro Magazine.


I’ve got an old grey Gameboy I’ve got to fix up. I bought the parts, but I haven’t sat down to actually do it. It needs new battery terminals, a new faceplate that covers the screen, and a new back, I believe. I was too nervous to try the backlight install.

I have a more modern black Gameboy from the play it LOUD series, too. That one is in much better condition. :slight_smile:


The new shell I installed was actually the Play it Loud black one because I couldn’t find one at an acceptable price for sale. Everyone wanted $60 or more for it thanks to the chiptunes/LSDJ community. Instead, I paid $10 for the shell, $10 for a working Game Boy and $7 for a backlight. If you’re wanting to do the backlight install, it’s really easy if you have a Game Boy of a certain revision or earlier. I’ll have to check to see which that is. Basically, they changed the type of glue that adheres the LCD backing to the screen, and the later systems don’t peel cleanly, leaving you to scrub it off with alcohol or Goo Gone.

I didn’t think we had too many people into older consoles. I may have to take an updated photo of the Nintendo handhelds to get you guys in the mood to play them again. Nintendo’s best games were on handhelds.


I have heard that but the fact of the matter is it’s been working for 30 years.