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Looks like my NES needs a cap kit - any advice?

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I'm getting wavy video lines on my NES front loader. Switching to a DC power brick from a Sega Genesis makes it somewhat better, but doesn't produce a clear image. As I understand, the problem is related to failing caps in the power supply.

Seems like everyone recommends console 5 to purchase a cap kit. Does anyone have any links to guides or tips or recommendations if they've done the recap in the past? I have basic soldering skills and a desoldering braid, but I don't have a solder sucker or whatever it's called. My soldering iron is fairly low wattage, so I have had difficulty desoldering in the past. Ideally, I would have a console modder local to the Chicago/Milwaukee area do this for me, so if you know any trustworthy services, I'd be interested.

Should I just invest in some better equipment and solder on? Any help here would be appreciated.

Twist off the old capacitors.  Heat up the legs left behind and pull them out with needle nosed pliers.  Hold the board up in the air, get the solder hot again, stand upwind of someone you don't like, and blow on it.

Get one of these, it's available from everyone and will get the job done:


Mike A:

--- Quote ---I would have a console modder local to the Chicago/Milwaukee area do this for me, so if you know any trustworthy services, I'd be interested.
--- End quote ---

I don't have any experience modding consoles, but I have a good soldering iron and a good desoldering iron.

You are welcome to come to my shop and use them.

I am an hour northwest of Chicago and an hour away from Milwaukee.

Thanks for the instructions pbj. You make it sound easy. I've taken apart this NES to disable the lockout chip and add Famicom extra music channels capability, but yeah the power supply module is a sealed separate piece soldered onto the corner of the mainboard. You can't easily access the caps. I've seen some people remove the module to take it apart, but it seems like a lot of blobs of solder and potential headache. My local home depot does have that 30W iron and that would double the power of my current iron, so maybe that's just the ticket.

Also, thanks for the generous offer, Mike A. I remember us talking pre-pandemic about Mikapalooza 2019. Funny enough, I haven't seen Uff-Da for sale in a while, might have been discontinued. Anyway, I'll definitely keep you in mind and again I really appreciate the offer.

Note that the "twist the legs off" method does come with the risk of lifting off the pads.  If you're okay with that, cool, but I think you'll have to do some (de)soldering anyway, unless Mike or someone does it for you.  It's not really that daunting.

You'll have to desolder the RF module to get at the caps regardless;  I've seen videos where people try to desolder the big cap first and then shake the rest out of the hole; that, truthfully, that seems even harder to me.  Especially trying to put the new caps back in through that hole.   :o

Anyway, a 15W iron should be hot enough to do this (you might need to spend extra time on the RF mdule case), and you don't need a solder sucker if you have some solder wick already.  It might help to have an extra tube of flux, but I suppose you could probably get by without it.

There are plenty of videos and stuff demonstrating the process; here's one: .

He shows use of both a desoldering iron and solder wick, as well as what happens when you lift a pad and have to fix it.

Good luck!


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