Care, battery replacement for 16-bit carts - http://www.mmcafe.com/ Forums


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Maou
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"Upkeep, battery issues for 16-bit carts" , posted Mon 12 Sep 15:26:post reply

Fellow games archeologists and carriers of the 16-bit torch: a friend and I were feeling pretty clever after we replaced the old, dying lithium ion batteries from our copies of Final Fantasy VI for Super Famicom and soldered some ones in. Thing is, I still have times when swapping carts in my SFC where the game won't load, and in certain horrifying instances, after blowing in the cart and console and powering on again, I've had a lost save file or two from this game, even though the battery is both new and securely in place.

Can dirty connectors on a cart or in the console knock out battery saves in the same way as a dying battery can? More generally, how have people cared for their old battery-save games here?





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[this message was edited by Maou on Mon 12 Sep 16:34]

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Professor
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"Re(1):Upkeep, battery issues for 16-bit carts" , posted Mon 12 Sep 21:40post reply

quote:
Fellow games archeologists and carriers of the 16-bit torch: a friend and I were feeling pretty clever after we replaced the old, dying lithium ion batteries from our copies of Final Fantasy VI for Super Famicom and soldered some ones in. Thing is, I still have times when swapping carts in my SFC where the game won't load, and in certain horrifying instances, after blowing in the cart and console and powering on again, I've had a lost save file or two from this game, even though the battery is both new and securely in place.

Can dirty connectors on a cart or in the console knock out battery saves in the same way as a dying battery can? More generally, how have people cared for their old battery-save games here?



Good question, I never knew they needed sodering.

Blowing is strongly not recommended since it can cause corrosion!

With the old NES cartridges, battery backuped games were very fragile to electricity change and it wasn't too rare to lose data on power off. I wouldn't be surprised if very bad connection could cause the same effect.





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"Re(1):Upkeep, battery issues for 16-bit carts" , posted Tue 13 Sep 14:24post reply

quote:

quote:
Fellow games archeologists and carriers of the 16-bit torch: a friend and I were feeling pretty clever after we replaced the old, dying lithium ion batteries from our copies of Final Fantasy VI for Super Famicom and soldered some ones in. Thing is, I still have times when swapping carts in my SFC where the game won't load, and in certain horrifying instances, after blowing in the cart and console and powering on again, I've had a lost save file or two from this game, even though the battery is both new and securely in place.

Can dirty connectors on a cart or in the console knock out battery saves in the same way as a dying battery can? More generally, how have people cared for their old battery-save games here?



Wow cartridge surgery. I just can't imagine me doing such thing in one of my brothers games (anyway I don't need to). If I do, he would probably open my head and change my brain.

Anyway, so this mean that the memory on cartridge games are batteries and can it can be replace?

Because i got some issues with some gameboy cartridges. I wanted to play ff3 (known as one of those romancing saga series) and I got down when all my data disappear. Then when I started again, saved the game it didn't save the game at all.

Good to know this...





what?

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"Re(1):Upkeep, battery issues for 16-bit carts" , posted Thu 15 Sep 11:57:post reply

quote:

Can dirty connectors on a cart or in the console knock out battery saves in the same way as a dying battery can? More generally, how have people cared for their old battery-save games here?



I'm no electrical engineer, but it's possible that small particles of saliva fell onto your cartridge's metal pins when you blew on them. When the cart was plugged into your console and powered on, it's possible that that saliva may have triggered a small electrical spike, which could've corrupted your data.

If you're serious about keeping your carts around for years to come, you want consider placing them in your refridgerator. You see, prolonged exposure to heat hastens the death of lithium-ion batteries. On the other hand, prolonged exposure to the cold extends the life of lithium-ion batteries. So you could try placing them in an air-tight ziplock bag and putting the bag in your refridgerator. Try to keep as much air out of the bag as possible in order to reduce the amount of moisture the cart will get exposed to. The only caveat is that if you want to play the game again, you'll have to let the cart "thaw" out for an hour or so so that any condensation that might've accumulated within the cart can evaporate.

I currently do this with all my spare lithium-ion batteries and haven't had any problems, though I've never tried this with a cart. But I don't see why it wouldn't work.





[this message was edited by Lugos on Fri 16 Sep 01:33]

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"Re(1):Upkeep, battery issues for 16-bit carts" , posted Thu 15 Sep 12:58post reply

Here's what I've learned after returning 3 copies of Kirby Super Star when I thought they were "defective" and didn't keep battery saves. Keep your console plugged in and the game in the system. You might also want to keep the game running for around 12 hours (24 if you're paranoid).





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"Re(2):Upkeep, battery issues for 16-bit carts" , posted Fri 16 Sep 10:58post reply

quote:
Because i got some issues with some gameboy cartridges. I wanted to play ff3 (known as one of those romancing saga series) and I got down when all my data disappear. Then when I started again, saved the game it didn't save the game at all.

Good to know this...



NES cartridges use battery backed RAM to save the game. If the battery dies the data in the RAM will be lost, power surges can also corrupt the data. The Legend Of Zelda specifically instructs you to hold down the reset button when you push the power button to turn off the NES - presumably to avoid a power surge.

DS games do not use battery backed RAM; they use flash memory that retains it's state when power is removed (same as a thumb drive or memory stick for a digital camera). If you buy a counterfeit copy it will often be impossible to save because they often don't include the necessary hardware to write to the cartridge/card.

I believe SNES and Genesis games also used battery backed RAM, I'm not sure which method was used by N64 games.





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"Re(3):Upkeep, battery issues for 16-bit carts" , posted Fri 16 Sep 11:44post reply

quote:
NES cartridges use battery backed RAM to save the game. The Legend Of Zelda specifically instructs you to hold down the reset button when you push the power button to turn off the NES - presumably to avoid a power surge.



This advice was so because when pressing the power button (either to start or to turn off the console) created the "biggest amount of electricity" sent to the whole console at once (this is pretty common with old hardware of any kind). Normally that "biggest amount of electricity" is of no danger at all to anything, but there have been cases when a battery is feeble enough to suffer damage from such electricity. Holding the reset button "set" the console into a "turned off" state without having that electricity around, and thus bypassed the effect even when the power button was pressed. The SNES (in theory) was designed with a better protection against that little hardware detail.

For the record, I think that amateur soldering is pretty dangerous to both cartridge circuits and controller circuits, are you sure you didn't do anything stupid back there? Did you follow some guidelines on the matter, or did you freeze up while holding the tools like a maiden on her first time when the time to opening the game came?

Even with that we have that video game batteries are a neat mystery that will probably never be truly unveiled. For example my NES Zelda game still loads it's save files.... Sometimes. And some others, it acts like if the battery has died off (I never make any saves on that state, by the way; else I risk overwriting the (at the time) unreadable saves).






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"Re(4):Upkeep, battery issues for 16-bit carts" , posted Fri 16 Sep 12:21post reply

quote:
This advice was so because when pressing the power button (either to start or to turn off the console) created the "biggest amount of electricity" sent to the whole console at once (this is pretty common with old hardware of any kind). Normally that "biggest amount of electricity" is of no danger at all to anything, but there have been cases when a battery is feeble enough to suffer damage from such electricity. Holding the reset button "set" the console into a "turned off" state without having that electricity around, and thus bypassed the effect even when the power button was pressed. The SNES (in theory) was designed with a better protection against that little hardware detail.
That's quite an interesting tidbit. I'd think they'ed work out the kinks with the (electromagnetic) shielding, but I didn't know the switch itself was capable of these small power surges.





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"Re(4):Upkeep, battery issues for 16-bit carts" , posted Fri 16 Sep 13:47post reply

quote:
Did you follow some guidelines on the matter, or did you freeze up while holding the tools like a maiden on her first time when the time to opening the game came?
Oh, it was a group effort. We are experienced...so to speak.

Since the battery should've been installed fine, I'm intrigued by the notion of faulty connectors and power surges. Every time I've lost a save on my SFC, it's been when I plug a cart in, turn it on, and it fails to boot. When I would re-start the system, or take the cart out and re-insert, those were the times of occasional data loss. Hmm!





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"Re(5):Upkeep, battery issues for 16-bit carts" , posted Fri 16 Sep 23:21post reply

Holding the reset button on the NES when turning off games with battery backed RAM is actually not a good idea. I understand the physics behind why they said to do it, but more often than not holding reset while turning it off actually loses the saves.

I'm thankful that my SNES carts still seem to be holding their saves (especially since at this point all of them are used purchases). The worst I've had is needing to actually reseat the battery on my copy of Soul Blazer one time. I've become worried that Super Metroid isn't holding its saves because I've seen one or two disappear on me, but after cleaning all of my NES and SNES carts with Kaboom! cleaner I've not experienced any issues..






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