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Repairing Nintendo 64 Cartridge Slot

What you need

    • Open the Nintendo 64 to gain access to the motherboard. For instructions, go here.

  1. Repairing Nintendo 64 Cartridge Slot: step 2, image 1 of 2 Repairing Nintendo 64 Cartridge Slot: step 2, image 2 of 2
    • Detach the current slot from the motherboard. To do this, simply pull at the cartridge slot located in the center at the rear of the console. Rock it back and forth and pull upwards until it detaches. Be careful of the pins connected at the bottom. These will need to be wired to the motherboard, so do not damage them.

    • Once the slot is disconnected, the soldering process begins. This will take 30-40 minutes as there are 44 motherboard-to-pin connections to be made. Obtain a spool of wire at least 96 inches long. There will be a 2-inch wire connection per pins (2 inches x 48 pins = 96 inches), so cut the wire into 48 sections of 2-inches each.

  2. Repairing Nintendo 64 Cartridge Slot: step 4, image 1 of 1
    • Start by soldering one end of the 2-inch wire to the left-most pin on the disconnected cartridge slot, and the other end of the wire to the left most contact point on the motherboard. Repeat this step for each pin-to-connection point. There is a front and back row, each with 24 contact points.

    • When all the connections are made, you should have a crowded group of wires. Place the connected cartridge slot into position so that it fits back into its original position when the cover of the Nintendo 64 is put back into place. Test its functionality by inserting a cartridge into the slot and turning the system on.

Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

2 other people completed this guide.

8 Comments

Thanks for the guide and appreciate the details.

Is it possible to just replacement the cartridge holder unless the through hole connections are broken? This adds many wires which could cause problems such as shorting, electrical hazard, etc... Maybe a continuity test between each corresponding through hole connection and point could determine the problematic pins so that only a few wires need soldering and attaching.

Warning 1:

If soldering, ensure each wire has plenty of insulation left so that event with movement of the wire, electrical shorts are not possible.

Warning 2:

Also, ensure the n64 is unplugged and the power supply is fully disconnected from the back of the unit before attempting this for electrical safety and to prevent damage to the unit. Additionally, wait a while to ensure any capacitors are discharged before disassembly as well for the same reasons (not sure how long). The unit unplugged is shown here.

fixin_stuff - Reply

My funtastic pal N64 has a removable cartridge slot that's held in with friction, no soldering required

Mitchell Theobald - Reply

My Australian PAL N64 cartridge slot is not solderd in , so replacing should just be the same and plug back in no soldering required?

Darren Welch - Reply

For anyone still wondering: No, you don't need to solder anything. All N64 cartridge connectors (from any region) are the same and none of them require soldering at all. They just plug in and out. I replaced a couple of them myself and when I found out that some cheap knockoff cartridge connectors (who claim to be N64 replacement parts despite having 50 pins with the wrong spacing) are causing people trouble and confusion, I did a good amount of research all over the Internet, only to find out that there are no regional differences when it comes to cartridge connectors for the N64, but I also found that there are a lot of people who believe there is (simply, because their parts don't match the already false description of guides like this one). I did replace a few of those connectors myself (mostly in PAL consoles, but also in one NTSC-J console) and I talked to people who did the same with NTSC-U consoles. I looked at dozens of Youtube videos. And it all came down to 48-pin plug-in cartridge connectors.

Axido - Reply

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