Step-Down Transformers for Famicom, AV FC, Super Famicom, N64

February 18, 2013 – 12:56 pm

Before plugging in your old Japanese game console…

nintendo av famicom

I’m too young to die!

Japan uses a 100v system for their electronics.  So if you use any type of electronic device from Japan outside of Japan, you’ll probably need to use a step down transformer.  A transformer plugs into the wall outlet (or mains) and then you plug your console (or other electronic device) into the transformer.  The transformer will give the console a nice, steady 100v of power.

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Comparing PCBs: Original Famicom vs. “new” AV Famicom

October 22, 2012 – 11:52 pm

I’ll always love the original Famicom more than the AV. Even though the AV is better from a hardware, usability and practical standpoint. The AV does everything better: it uses AV cables, it has front mounted controller ports facing the gamer, it does away with the odd little push-slide cart eject thingy on the original. And now more fuel to the fire: the PCB on the AV is gorgeous!

Yeah, you’ve got to be a nerd to love a PCB, but check out the difference between the original FC and the AV PCBs and you’ll see what I mean. The original has got wires running around the outer edge of the case and it almost seems like the design team and the hardware team weren’t on the same page.

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Just How White Is My Famicom? Check the Yellow Scale

July 15, 2012 – 12:43 pm

Everybody wants a white Famicom, but they are starting to get harder to find.  Once you’ve found one, how do you know how white/yellow it really is? Here’s a jpeg image I’ve been using as a yellow scale. It’s just four Famicom consoles that give a relative idea of how white/yellow a particular unit is.

White to yellow

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FDS Belt Replacement Tip #1: How to remove the triangular piece

July 15, 2012 – 6:34 am

This is the first tip in a series of FDS belt replacement tips. This is step #6 of the excellent FDS belt replacement instructions at  The instructions are the best on the net.  If you are replacing your FDS belt, go print out a copy! –Dave

The first few times I replaced the belt on an FDS, I had difficulty getting the triangular piece out, but after fixing a few FDS drives since then, I can do it much faster with less chance of damaging the drive.  Here’s a quick how to:


1. Free up the wires

Starting with a bare drive, flip the drive over and make sure the wiring is free from the drive case.  You’ll have to pry up the small metal arms so the wire can slide off.  It’s important the wires are clear so later you can move the board clear of the case.  See image below.

Clear the wires at three points

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Famicom Controllers: Fixing Mushy Buttons

July 10, 2012 – 11:19 pm

Nothing ruins a gaming session quite like a bad controller.  Here’s what to do if you think your Famicom controller is losing it’s responsiveness or nothing happens when you press a button.

The Problem

Here’s a torn A/B button rubber part.

Most controllers stop working because the thin rubber pieces inside break.  Once they get ripped, suddenly the buttons feel mushy and unresponsive and you start getting your butt kicked by whatever space alien, monster, robot, etc., is attacking you.  Famicom controllers have three rubber parts: one each for the direction buttons, Start/Select, and A/B buttons.  Usually the A/B and directional rubber pieces are the first to go, depending on what game you are playing.  Button masher games like Hyper Olympic, where in order to run fast you’ve got to mash the A button as fast as possible, tend to destroy the A/B rubber piece.  Flying games tend to stress the directional rubber piece.

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