If you’re like me you’ve come across the occasional Nintendo cartridge (cartridge will be shortened to cart from here on out) that works fine but doesn’t save anymore. Most people will just assume that the battery is dead, but this usually isn’t the case. All the batteries are spot welded to metal clips and then soldered to the board. The spot welds are weak and with the tension from the metal clips they let go.
If you have ever tried to solder a coin battery you know that is a pain in the ass. The battery surface is very smooth and if you heat it up to much there is a chance that it could explode, this is the reason that they are welded. You can get batteries that come with tabs that are pre-welded and all ready to solder but you most likely have a batter that is fine and just not connected.
My solution is too add a coin battery holder to the circuit board, this is a very low cost solution as long as you have the tools. Also if the battery ever does go bad it can be easily replaced.
Before you begin…
- Soldering Iron w/ Solder & Desoldering Braid
- Precision Pliers
- Side Cutters
- Game Bit
- Rotary Tool w/ sanding wheel (optional, could use sanding paper)
- CR2032 Battery Holder
- CR2032 Battery (If you want to put a new one in)
Know how to solder. If you haven’t done it before, practice on some old dead circuitry before you get to work on your game cart.
You can destroy your game cart. thejobbitt.com and its staff cannot be held responsible for any damages you may incur. Information here is used at your own risk! Don’t let me discourage you, though, this is a easy modification to perform.
1. Open the game cart
All NES licensed carts have either a 5 flat head screw setup or a 3 flat head or game bit screw with hinge setup. I don’t know for a fact but I think all the carts that have a battery are the 3 game bit screw hinge setup.
I hate not being able to save my Romance of the Three Kingdoms! Lets open this bitch up!
2. Remove the battery and Clips
Use the desoldering braid to remove the clips from the circuit board. Remove the battery from the clips if still attached and set aside for later use.
3. Get battery holder ready
If you get the same battery holder from Radio Shack that I did, you can see that it is to tall to fit on the circuit board and still fit in the cart shell.
Take the clips out and get ready to make this thing short!
Now get out your rotary tool (or sandpaper and time) and make that thing flat on the bottom.
Good, put the clips back in. You may notice that the clips don’t line up with the holes in the board. Bend the metal on the clips to match the holes on the circuit board.
4. Install the battery holder
Make sure all the holders clips are in the right positions and solder them to the circuit board.
Install the battery… duh.
In the picture you can see the clip that holds the battery has a flare at the end, I had to bend this flat so the circuit board would fit in the shell.
5. Put it back together and test
If you have a Multimeter you can check all your solder connections, and make sure the battery is making connection. If you don’t have a meter just close up the cart and try it out.
Yes! Now I just need to learn how to play the game.
Having trouble? Leave a comment! Send me a email! nick at thejobbitt dot com Maybe I can help, maybe not, who knows.