How to clean cartridge slots ?

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By Leo

Paragon (1236)

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08-09-2009, 10:02

Hi all,

I have some MSX which cartridge slot does not work very well , for instance when i put a megrom
it works 1 time out of 3 , i have to put/remove the cart a few times before it works , some dont work
at all .
I am suspecting that some pins got oxyded or with dust , i have tried to clean it just by blewing out the
dust but i wonder if someone of you all got the same problem , because it could be some other problem
like weak power , or weak buffers.
Also has anyone got oxyde problems on connectors and cleaned it with slightly acidified solution
or other ? and witness any progress ?

thanks -Leo


By enribar

Paragon (1224)

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08-09-2009, 12:09

Very bad... Same thing happened to my NMS-8245 about 3 months ago... Now slot 1 doesn't work anymore.
Any help?
I think this problem is due to old dirty carts contacts. Now I always clean contacts before inserting cart.

By Jipe

Paragon (1625)

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08-09-2009, 14:02

put only cartridge with gold contacts because tin contacts deposits a black film oxyde

By dhau

Paragon (1570)

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08-09-2009, 15:53

Well you can use a needle to get rid of all the hair and skin powder in slots, but normally you just have to clean cartridges themselves. I just disassemble cartridges and use eraser to remove all the oxidation.

By Leo

Paragon (1236)

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08-09-2009, 16:35

this happens even with new cartridge with gold contacts, i really think it comes from cartridge slot on the computer ...
i think more and more msx will suffer this flaw in the future , a simple solution could be welcome ...

By RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

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08-09-2009, 17:56

Also has anyone got oxyde problems on connectors and cleaned it with slightly acidified solution or other ?
I'd stay away from anything acid: you never clean leftovers 100%, and with acids, those leftovers would concentrate while drying, and eat into the thin layer of contact material - bad idea.

Normally the contact shape makes it self-cleaning (oxides etc. are pushed sideways from the actual contact area), except maybe greasy/oily stuff. You can take a piece of cardboard just thick enough to create force on the contacts (don't overdo! you don't want to bend them out of shape), soak in alcohol, insert a few times and let dry. If that doesn't work:

  • perhaps a contact is bent (check by looking)
  • maybe a contact's soldering on the PCB has loosened (easy to see for a trained eye, but usually seen at joystick ports not cartridge slots, requires disassembly)
  • more likely: perhaps repeated flexing of the PCB when inserting/removing cartridges has caused a crack in a circuit board trace. That would show if you eg. push on the board underneath, without moving the cartridge in the connector. A hanged MSX at that point would be a big indicator of a broken PCB trace.

Btw. what model MSX are we talking about Leo?

By jltursan

Prophet (2619)

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08-09-2009, 18:21

It's a very well known problem with an extremely easy solution. Look in your country for something similar to this:

DeoxIT D5 Spray Contact Cleaner

I'm from Spain and I've done a blind search in english to find something more "international". I've seen this kind of spray doing miracles in just a minute.

Of course it just applies if it's really the usual dirty connect problem. Check also all that has been pointed out till now.

By Leo

Paragon (1236)

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08-09-2009, 21:33

sony hb700 has problem like :
jupiter hangs sometimes while it does not on my Tr and an other msx2.
cold blood has strange color then hangs , it woks ok on other msx.
R-Type does not start always , barely/rarely infact , while it works like a charm on 2 other msx among them a HB-9S which design (inside ) is very similar to hb700.
SD interface v2.2 hangs ( i saw it once only tough )
i have a pana wsx which does not always recognize my 512k mapper ( but in that case i think it can be linked to the fact that mapper is not in case so it moves a lot , now i have cased it but i have not tried , got to do , time ...)
I noticed a bended contact on hb700 at the begining so unbended it ( easy , just a little ) and saw improvement but not 100% working, that hb700 is very old ( yellow ) , keyboard dying...
My megaflash works 100% on that hb700 though ...

By dhau

Paragon (1570)

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09-09-2009, 02:29

I find that inserting and removing cart many times in quick succession while shouting, cursing, hitting nearby wall and stomping usually fixes all problems.

By Leo

Paragon (1236)

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09-09-2009, 10:23

did you get problems with neighborhoods or do they suspect you are a kind of sm-x adept ? oO

By Gorgane

Resident (62)

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18-09-2009, 00:30

Cleaning all your carts and connectors usually solves these problems. And i really mean ALL your carts because if you don't do it all at once the dirty carts will make the connectors dirty again and the dirty connectors will make the cleaned carts dirty again.

For carts use a electronic cleaning fluid that comes in a spray can. Do not use a fluid that is a lubricant at the same time: that stuff is meant for electromechanical devices, not pure electronics like MSX stuff. Spray the fluid on the contacts of the cart and brush the contacts with a q-tip (stealing these from your wife/girlfriend is recommended). The q-tip will usually turn grey/black from the crap that has ended up on the connector. MSX carts are kinda hard to clean because they can't be easily opened like NES or Mega Drive carts. The cleaning fluid disperses very quickly and leaves a protective layer on the connectors.

For the connectors on your computer you generally have to open your machine for good results. First use compressed air to blow off all the dog hairs, 20 year old crisps etc. then spray the connector with the same fluid as the carts and brush them with a toothbrush. The toothbrush is usually not white anymore after this. Breaking the connector this way is impossible unless you are using your full retro-nerd powers in the process.

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