Console Repair

Not sure how popular this will be but figured I would throw this out there because it’s become my new hobby off shoot of video games.

So I have fixed/improved two NES systems recently. Repairs were simple, including replacing the 72 pin connector and cleaning games with metal polish and isopropanol. Now my system is working great. Soon I’ll pick up another faulty NES, fix it, and hopefully give it a custom megaman paint job and replace the standard red LED with a blue one. I want to learn soldering and start buying broken consoles, fixing them and possibly selling them. I just watched a video on fixing a 3 red ring of death error indicator on an xbox 360.

What I want to know is, who has done things like this? I know it’s fun just from the nintendos I’ve fixed. What tips can you give for someone starting out? Also who has gone one step further and modded a system. Can you provide good links?

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I have frequently thought about trying my hand at it. I have an old XBox 360 with red ring of death that I have often thought of using as a repair guinea pig. I have not yet taken the plunge however. It does seem like fun.

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This guy has done some pretty amazing work fixing retro consoles and selling for profit:

I bet you would have a lot of fun and learn a few things if you were to repair the xbox. It doesn’t seem too bad, at least the error I saw. Is it the white 360 first gen? They tend to overheard and break down the solder holding the CPU and GPU to the motherboard. I watched someone put down some conductive material and screw the units onto the motherboard. He fixed it, the ring of death went away.
I looked into a the price of a working xbox 360 and it’s not much more than a broken one. If I were to fix one, it would be like a $20 profit…woohooo. I’ll probably fix one anyway just because it seems fun and fulfilling.

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XBox 360 repairs do seem relatively easy. even sells a red ring of death repair kit that simplifies the reapplication of the insulating paste and heat sink. I’ve repaired other equipment from old iMacs and other Apple hardware to mechanical equipment (mostly cameras) so I think it would be fairly easy to move into console repair. Now to find the time…

You shouldn’t have a problem fixing consoles. Now where to find cheap, broken consoles? Don’t say ebay, they’re not that cheap.

I’ve officially started a side business! Cleaning and repairing NES consoles, games and PS2 consoles. I ordered some blue LEDs to mod my second NES. This should be fun!

For those interested. Rates are reasonable and I will be adding nes mods as a service soon.

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@8bithero (continued from here): I am not fully certain. I think, at the very least, you have sufficient insurance to cover damage or loss during transport. On a related note I think you might also want insurance to cover any problems that can arise when the equipment is in your possession. I really don’t have experience running a business that involves repairs but I do think you want to cover yourself for all forms of liability.

Thank you. That gives me a lot to think about. I would encourage the customer to ship insured otherwise any damages incurred during delivery wouldn’t be my fault. What I ship back to them would be insured (unless they don’t want to pay for it). Hmmm…this could get tricky. I could have some blanket statement saying any loss or damage caused during shipment is not the responsibility of the retrogaming repair guy.

I found this. It is the terms of service for a repair shop in the UK. Perhaps not all of these terms & conditions will apply to what you are doing but this might be a handy reference: Console Doctor Terms & Conditions

Awesome, thanks! You’ve been a big help.

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For those interested in painting and modding an NES. Here’s a link to my blog (usually dedicated to my sci-fi short stories) where I chronicle my ups and downs with NES modding.

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I love tinkering with consoles. In fact, the cartridge port on my JVC X’EYE is busted. I should get on that. I have a little kit I put together with tools and such. It’s been a while. Perhaps I’ll bust the old girl out.

I think you should. It’s fun solving problems with the systems especially the difficult ones. Right now I’m getting the gray screen of death for an NES. The games and connector are clean, lock out chip disabled, capacitors look fine. So I’m really not sure. I don’t know if replacing the conductive paste between the heat sink and voltage regulator would do anything. I’m determined to solve it.

Updated. Finally complete. Had some warm weather which allowed me to paint the megaman stencil, buttons and random other things. Soldered the interior light circuit onto the motherboard, taped wires to the case. Overall pretty good for a first go at it.

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That truly is awesome! I’m impressed and it looks fantastic. Time to start selling them :wink:

P.S. off topic but slightly related, have you seen this thing?

Solid Gold custom NES

Hmm five grand? Gold NES or most of the expensive NES games. I’m talking Little Samson, Flintstones, Panic Restaurant…etc.

Are you hinting at a request for a custom painted NES? I would have to get a lot better at painting.

Thank you btw!

I meant in general, you could offer it as a service along side console repairs, if it were feasible for you. I’d personally consider it depending on pricing, ease of the process. I could think of someone to whom I’d gift a customer NES. No pressure :wink:

Just realized I never responded. I would love to make a custom nes for your friend. I just wouldn’t want to use a trade marked logo or character. Don’t want to get sued.

I might take you up on it. I need to find a NES to mod first :wink:

PS have you seen this? Retro Receiver NES