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View Full Version : Original Nintendo Question...72 Pin Connector?



Lman316
09-16-2002, 10:25 PM
I'm trying to get rid of some of my old Nintendo stuff on Ebay, and I was checking to see what I might get for some of it, and I noticed something in a few of the auctions.
There are some being sold with a "New 72 pin connector". Does anyone know what that is? I want to know if mine has it and I would like to know if there is any way to determine this.
If anyone has any info, please let me know.

Thanks a lot!

End...

Lord Malakite
09-16-2002, 11:03 PM
The 72 pin connector is the part inside the machine that makes contact/connects with the cartridge pins (the exposed part at the bottom of the cartridge). If it says it has a new one, that just means the original was replaced at some time, which isn't too uncommon. Especially if it is the original spring-loaded model.

Lman316
09-17-2002, 12:58 AM
Originally posted by Lord_Malakite
The 72 pin connector is the part inside the machine that makes contact/connects with the cartridge pins (the exposed part at the bottom of the cartridge). If it says it has a new one, that just means the original was replaced at some time, which isn't too uncommon. Especially if it is the original spring-loaded model.

Thank you for the info, LM. It's just that I saw such want for this, some units by themselves (no controllers, no r/f unit, no power cord) going for $26. And I just had to find out why...

So, the only way to get a 72 pin is by having it replaced? Nintendo never released the spring-loaded one with it?

End...

Lord Malakite
09-17-2002, 12:01 PM
Originally posted by Lman316
So, the only way to get a 72 pin is by having it replaced? Nintendo never released the spring-loaded one with it?

End...

All spring-loaded NESs have 72 pin connectors already inside them, just like any other cartridge based system has connectors. If they didn't, the system wouldn't work. The reason a person would replace a connector is that it would often times get so dirty, especially in the spring-loaded NES, or they would get bent out of whack, usually the result of using a Game Genie since its pins were too large for the connector, that the connector would no longer correctly connect/make contact with the games. As a result, the NES would flash and blink as if there was no game in it. Just about the most common problem that almost everyone has faced with the spring-loaded NES.

Lman316
09-18-2002, 12:09 AM
Originally posted by Lord_Malakite


All spring-loaded NESs have 72 pin connectors already inside them, just like any other cartridge based system has connectors. If they didn't, the system wouldn't work. The reason a person would replace a connector is that it would often times get so dirty, especially in the spring-loaded NES, or they would get bent out of whack, usually the result of using a Game Genie since its pins were too large for the connector, that the connector would no longer correctly connect/make contact with the games. As a result, the NES would flash and blink as if there was no game in it. Just about the most common problem that almost everyone has faced with the spring-loaded NES.

Ah. See, by "NEW!", I assumed it meant along the lines of "New and Improved", like it was something special, something that came out later that worked better...
Again, thanks for the info, LM.

End...

Lord Malakite
09-18-2002, 12:17 AM
No problem, thats what I'm here for. :)

QLD
09-18-2002, 07:25 PM
If you want a new and improved, go for the "top loading" NES system. They released it way after the system was dead, but it has NO problems with games not working, or blinking out.

They sell for a lot more though. I see them go between 30-60 dollars.

Lord Malakite
09-18-2002, 08:51 PM
Originally posted by Quite-Long Dong
If you want a new and improved, go for the "top loading" NES system. They released it way after the system was dead, but it has NO problems with games not working, or blinking out.

They sell for a lot more though. I see them go between 30-60 dollars.
I think he is trying to sell his old NES stuff. ;) If someone is looking to buy NES stuff though, I would agree with Quite-Long Dong about the top loading model.

QLD
09-18-2002, 08:58 PM
Oh yeah, I forgot, that's what happens when you don't re-read the entire thread ;)

JediTricks
09-18-2002, 10:08 PM
I have a top-loader that replaced my front-loader (the problem there was that the "elevator" that held the game in place wore out and wouldn't hold the games at the right level... wasn't even the first time it happened, 3rd NES deck in a row) and it works very nicely. Thrawn tells me the top-loader was a KB exclusive, but I'm not sure that's where I got it. It came with that awesome "bone" Nintendo controller, the one that made up for 5 years of the "rectangle" one that chewed up my hands. The top-loader works very well and is nice and compact, a definite must-have if you have an NES library.

QLD
09-18-2002, 10:50 PM
It wasn't a KB exclusive. I saw them at TRU, WAL-MART, and the store I used to work at sold them as well.

But they do RULE!!

Lord Malakite
09-19-2002, 01:11 AM
The top loader models were sold everywhere. It appears that you have experienced the spring-loaded model's second most common flaw JediTricks. The spring wore out and broke. That to can also be replaced, but it is much more difficult and pricey.

JediTricks
09-19-2002, 04:21 PM
Yeah, I didn't think they were exclusive to KB, thanks for confirming that.

The Famicom didn't have it, so the NES should never have had that elevator platform in the first place. A blunder on Nintendo's part that didn't hurt them one bit, though if it happened today I bet you it'd crush them like an egg.

Lord Malakite
09-19-2002, 07:23 PM
There is actually a very good reason why Nintendo made the NES spring-loaded to begin with JediTricks. It all has to do with the great video game crash of 1984.

The US was not necessarily ready for a new console. Game cartridges were selling for as low as 99 cents apiece because Atari, Coleco, and Mattel were jettisoning vast quantities of unsold inventory. Still, Nintendo decided to offer Atari the rights to sell the Famicom- and Nintendo-made software in the US. Atari showed interest and a deal was signed in June of '83. However, the agreement subsequently fell through.

While Atari and Nintendo negotiated, Miyamoto was already working on a new Nintendo arcade game titled Super Mario Bros., a side-scrolling action game featuring Mario and Luigi on a quest to rescue a beautiful princess from a dragonlike turtle called Bowser. Super Mario Bros. was somewhat of a phantom release in American arcades, since it was made available at a time when the industry was reeling from the collapse of the video game market.

Meanwhile, Minoru Arakawa and Howard Lincoln (who had left his law practice to join Nintendo full-time) discovered that toy stores wanted nothing to do with a video game system. There were still Atari boxes left unsold in their warehouses and Nintendo was a no-name company to most toy store buyers.

Nintendo of America had an artist come up with a number of designs that would change the Famicom's image from that of a toy to something that looked more like a mini home computer and considered adding everything from a keyboard to infrared controllers to cassette tape drives.


Nintendo of America had an artist come up with a number of designs that would change the Famicom's image from that of a toy to something that looked more like a mini home computer and considered adding everything from a keyboard to infrared controllers to cassette tape drives.

Calling their new design the Nintendo Advanced Video System (AVS), Arakawa and Lincoln showed the machine to toy buyers at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) show and were rebuffed: It was considered too complex and full of gimmicks.

Nintendo decided that a redesign was necessary, paring down the console into a simple box with two controller ports and a front-loading cartridge slot. A sleek, gray light gun was designed to let gamers play home versions of the company's arcade shooting titles Wild Gunman, Duck Hunt, and Hogan's Alley. The console was renamed the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

The original NES package, sold for the first time in a test in New York City during the fall of 1985, included the console, two controllers, a power supply, and the cables to connect it to a television. Because Nintendo had been through months of delays negotiating with Atari and designing the look of the NES, Super Mario Bros., which had not launched with the system in Japan, was ready for the machine's US debut.

When New Yorkers responded favorably to the NES test, stores began carrying the machine nationwide in 1986. To distance itself from the consoles of the past, Nintendo introduced ROB (Robot Operating Buddy) the Video Robot, a peripheral that could be used with a game called Gyromite. A more appropriate name for the robot would have been "Trojan horse," as Nintendo only released one more game (Stacker) for the peripheral and stopped supporting it altogether - it was only introduced to convince dubious toy stores that the NES wasn't just a video game system.

It was with ROB that Nintendo began its mediocre American track record of peripheral support, which was only slightly better with the light gun and considerably worse with later devices. Nintendo's most elaborate NES configuration included the console, two controllers, a light gun, ROB, and three games, Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt, and Gyromite.

What followed next can hardly be called overstatement: In just a few years, Nintendo single-handedly rebuilt the entire US home video-games market. With its low price point, impressive graphics, and wide variety of games, the NES became the 8-bit game console of choice, outselling its competitors by a margin of 10 to 1 in its first year.

In February 1986, Nintendo released a new peripheral for the Famicom - a $150 disk drive called the Famicom Disk System (think N64 DD for the NES). The disks could hold more than the cartridges could at that time and cost consumers less - Nintendo sold blank disks for only $20. All a customer had to do was insert a disk into a Famicom Disk Writer along with $5, and the disk would eject with a new game, label, and instruction manual. You could erase disks and replace them with new games at will. Disk Writers were placed in many locations around Japan.

Nintendo told the public that many of the company's best games would be released exclusively in disk format - a move designed to force customers to buy the new peripheral. A rerelease of Super Mario Bros. accompanied several other Nintendo-made launch titles to stores - Tennis, Baseball, Golf, Soccer, mah-jongg, and a brand-new disk-exclusive game conceived by Shigeru Miyamoto called The Legend of Zelda (Zelda no Densetsu).

Four months later, Super Mario Bros. 2 (Japanese) was released exclusively on disk, followed by Metroid, Pro Wrestling, Kid Icarus, and Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link a scant 11 months later. These excellent games, available only on disk, caught on with Nintendo's most loyal customers but were not popular with the mainstream public.

Because Nintendo was not yet well established in the US, the company decided to hold off on the disk drive. Metroid, Kid Icarus, The Legend of Zelda, and Castlevania were later released on cartridge in the US.

If you still have a spring-loaded NES, you can actually see the extension port on the bottom of the system for the failed peripheral, just as the SNES has a port for the failed SNES CD-ROM and the N64 has a port for the failed N64 DD.

Lord Malakite
09-19-2002, 07:51 PM
Now for the real purpose the top loader NES, or should I say purposes, was produced. First, with all the upgrades in technology, it was actually much cheaper to produce than its spring-loaded counterpart. Second, it fixed all the major flaws of the spring-loaded model. Finally, and the real reason, it was produced to be a "Trojan horse" for the SNES, much like ROB was for the NES. There was only a $10.00 difference between both systems when it was released, thus prompting customers to spend the extra dough for the next generation system rather than for a system that had one foot already in the grave.

JediTricks
09-19-2002, 11:18 PM
Originally posted by Lord_Malakite
Nintendo's most elaborate NES configuration included the console, two controllers, a light gun, ROB, and three games, Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt, and Gyromite. We had that set when it first came out, played Duck Hunt and SMB all the time (though Gyromite only got fun once we kicked poor ROB to the curb). Even the cat enjoyed interacting with Duck Hunt, attacking the screen during certain sequences.

Malakite, you never really explained why the spring-loaded elevator system was required. It could just as easily had the slot on the same level you slid the cart into without any exterior aesthetic changes, which also would have been cheaper to design and manufacture.

Lord Malakite
09-20-2002, 12:06 AM
Originally posted by JediTricks
Malakite, you never really explained why the spring-loaded elevator system was required. It could just as easily had the slot on the same level you slid the cart into without any exterior aesthetic changes, which also would have been cheaper to design and manufacture.

It has to do with the 72 pin connector. Each pin is designed like a spring. When a cartridge is inserted into the system, the pins are depressed, producing just enough tension with the game to get a signal. Nintendo made the NES so that cartridges would not have to be forcefully inserted.

JediTricks
09-20-2002, 12:27 AM
But again, that's a hinderance, they could have made it a direct-contact unit like every other system on the market at the time (and later did with the top-loader) and kept it cheaper without changing the aesthetic of the box. Simply slide a cart straight into the opening on the front till it stops, close the door, and you're in business. The spring-loaded way involves having contacts that are easily dirtied because they aren't rubbing against the cart's contacts - sure that creates a little friction, but it kept my 2600, Genesis, Turbographx/Turbo Express, Neo Geo, top-loading NES, SNES, N64, Game Boy, and Lynx running for years without problems unlike the NES design.

Was it just a lack of foresight on NOA's part?

Lord Malakite
09-20-2002, 12:50 AM
Originally posted by JediTricks
But again, that's a hinderance, they could have made it a direct-contact unit like every other system on the market at the time (and later did with the top-loader) and kept it cheaper without changing the aesthetic of the box. Simply slide a cart straight into the opening on the front till it stops, close the door, and you're in business. The spring-loaded way involves having contacts that are easily dirtied because they aren't rubbing against the cart's contacts - sure that creates a little friction, but it kept my 2600, Genesis, Turbographx/Turbo Express, Neo Geo, top-loading NES, SNES, N64, Game Boy, and Lynx running for years without problems unlike the NES design.

Was it just a lack of foresight on NOA's part?

That would be my guess. It was the first system they designed. With the top loader NES and SNES you have to put some force on the carts to put them in. Perhaps they figured the carts would get damaged easier doing it that way. There have been some cases reported of with the top loader NES cracking the cartridges because of the effort to put them in/take them out. Plus you got to keep in mind, they didn't want the NES to resemble a video game system, so they made it look/function as differently as they possibly could from previous cartridge systems. Then there is personal preference. Loading the spring-loaded model does look kind of cool compared to just sliding it in.

You could also put this question up to debate on the current systems. The PS2 uses a tray, while the GCN uses a spindel. Its actually less costly to design a system with a spindel than with a tray. Yet PS2 went with a tray anyway, my guess being because it looks better.

JediTricks
09-20-2002, 03:54 PM
Sure it looks cool sliding that cart down and closing that door, but it doesn't look cool when you push the power button and get no game. :D

The CD "drawer vs lid" issue has been raging long before the Playstation 2 existed though. Ultimately, the lid expects that the user is capable and the lid's locking mechanism is strong, tight, and accurate (which they are not over time, my lid-top CD player no longer closes right so the discs can't spin properly anymore). The drawer only expects that you can put a disc down fairly reasonably and push a button, it lines up the disc to the spindle and lets the mechanism clamp down on the disc rather than letting some slipshod lid do that important task.

Sony used the drawer for several good reasons: it's the technology of choice used for CD-ROM drives in computers so the PS2 feels more hi-tech; the drawer mechanisms are much more reliable than ever before; the PS2 was designed for horizontal OR vertical loading - the latter of which would be nearly impossible with a lid; the drawer doesn't let accidents jar the drive open; and DVD technology requires a tighter control of disc-spin, height, and wobble, which means top and bottom spindle and clamp must hold the disc much more tightly and accurately than most lids could accomplish.

Since the GC only uses mini-DVDs, the discs don't have as much wobble, thus a top-loading lid is a safe way to save money in manufacturing without losing disc control.

Lord Malakite
09-20-2002, 04:22 PM
Originally posted by JediTricks
Sure it looks cool sliding that cart down and closing that door, but it doesn't look cool when you push the power button and get no game. :D

The CD "drawer vs lid" issue has been raging long before the Playstation 2 existed though. Ultimately, the lid expects that the user is capable and the lid's locking mechanism is strong, tight, and accurate (which they are not over time, my lid-top CD player no longer closes right so the discs can't spin properly anymore). The drawer only expects that you can put a disc down fairly reasonably and push a button, it lines up the disc to the spindle and lets the mechanism clamp down on the disc rather than letting some slipshod lid do that important task.

Sony used the drawer for several good reasons: it's the technology of choice used for CD-ROM drives in computers so the PS2 feels more hi-tech; the drawer mechanisms are much more reliable than ever before; the PS2 was designed for horizontal OR vertical loading - the latter of which would be nearly impossible with a lid; the drawer doesn't let accidents jar the drive open; and DVD technology requires a tighter control of disc-spin, height, and wobble, which means top and bottom spindle and clamp must hold the disc much more tightly and accurately than most lids could accomplish.

Since the GC only uses mini-DVDs, the discs don't have as much wobble, thus a top-loading lid is a safe way to save money in manufacturing without losing disc control.

I see you've done your homework. :D

I've also thought of another reason for the NES being spring-loaded instead of just sliding in like you've suggested. If it were to just slide in, then the connector would of had to have been fashioned similar to the top loading NES. Imagine having to put as much effort as you do with the top loading NES on the Spring-loaded NES when it comes to removing games. A definite no no.

Also, you mentioned that the tray on the PS2 feels more hi-tech, like a DVD Player you would find in your home entertainment system. Well, the NES stands for "Nintendo Entertainment System". It wasn't being marketed as some video game console (because of the crash 84), but as something you would find in your home entertainment system. What was common in home entertainment systems at that particular time? The answer is Beta/VHS Players. If you think about it, the spring-loaded NES looks sort of like a Beta/VHS player when you put a cartridge in.

JediTricks
09-20-2002, 05:49 PM
Pray tell, what happened to all those top-loading VHS and Beta machines? They went the way of the dinosaur when the loading mechanisms started failing, they couldn't keep the cassettes at the proper float-height so the tape would get all mangled up in the tape path. (Took a VCR repair course a while back, I have a few old VHS and betas in the closet :D)

I've never had to cram my carts into the NES top-loader this hard, is it really that tight a fit for others? They slide in easier than the Turbografx cards and Lynx, for example. Plus, I've had NES carts stuck in the front-loader before, that's why they have those little indentations... for pliars. ;) Copper contacts tarnish and dirty, when that happens, you either need to clean the contacts or apply stronger pressure - with the spring-loader, you really couldn't do much of the latter and the former was a temporary measure at best. We sold a LOT of NES cleaning kits at the place I worked at in the early '90s and got a LOT of complaints about them being not terribly effective. Everybody had the "blow in the cartridge" technique to make up for the cleaning failure, but that caused more problems than it solved and led to quicker decay of the various systems.

The NES' spring-loaded system was a totally new design, it felt more like a toaster than an entertainment system. The PS2's CD drawer was a proven technology before Sony adopted it, Nintendo had nothing to back that spring-loaded thing except maybe that VHS/Beta thing, and even in '85 those were on their way out. I suppose that is the closest analogy for the time and you are probably right about them taking their cue from that, but it's such a huge lack of foresight on NOA's part... not even foresight, all they had to do was look at all those late '70s VCRs being tossed to the curb by that industry.

Lord Malakite
09-20-2002, 06:06 PM
Originally posted by JediTricks
I've never had to cram my carts into the NES top-loader this hard, is it really that tight a fit for others? They slide in easier than the Turbografx cards and Lynx, for example. Plus, I've had NES carts stuck in the front-loader before, that's why they have those little indentations... for pliars. ;)

Putting them in isn't the problem with me, its getting them back out. Its like trying to remove a SNES game from the original SNES without using the eject button. I've never had that problem with the spring-loaded NES though.

JediTricks
09-20-2002, 06:19 PM
I've never had removal problems with the top-loader either, I guess I got lucky there.

QLD
09-21-2002, 12:18 PM
Yeah, I don't think I ever once used the eject button on the SNES. I forgot it was there until you mentioned it.

Lord Malakite
09-21-2002, 03:52 PM
Originally posted by Quite-Long Dong
Yeah, I don't think I ever once used the eject button on the SNES. I forgot it was there until you mentioned it.
LOL. :D Trust me, that button was a life saver for the original SNES. Thats my only gripe with the top loading NES, it should of had one too. JT, you indeed were a lucky one. ;)

QLD
09-21-2002, 04:18 PM
Weird....I bought my SNES on launch day, and never had any problems at all getting cartridges out. Must be my super strength! ;)

JediTricks
09-21-2002, 04:19 PM
Malakite forgot to mention that he's one of those mutants from Total Recall who has tiny infant arms. :D ;)

Lord Malakite
09-21-2002, 04:23 PM
Originally posted by JediTricks
Malakite forgot to mention that he's one of those mutants from Total Recall who has tiny infant arms. :D ;)

Thats a low blow Quaid, er I mean JediTricks.

JediTricks
09-21-2002, 05:15 PM
That's Howser to you... oh wait, I've blown my cover! :D