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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:10 pm 
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I love Chrono Trigger. Today I got out my SNES and the CT cart only to turn it on and find my saves were gone and the menu's ( main and ingame) are garbled and glitch and impossible to navigate. I've tried cleaning the contacts but that wouldn't work. My SNES runs other games just fine (SMW, SMRPG, A Link the Past, etc). Any ideas on what this could be?
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( this is the main menu, the in game one looks similar).


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:19 pm 
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Maybe the pcb has a damaged or cracked trace, or maybe you have a bad solder joint on one of the pins of any of the chips on there. Less likely but possible is the MaskROM being damaged or failing.

If you can dump the cartridge with a copier you could see more of what is going on. So that and just checking if you can see a bad trace or solder joint would probably be the first step. If you can't spot them, you could post high resolution pictures of the circuit board solder side. Maybe then someone else might be able to tell.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:19 pm 
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Sounds unlikely, but if there's nothing obviously wrong the board or the contacts, I would try disconnecting the battery long enough for the memory to clear. I've never heard of it happening with a game, but one of the systems I repair at work I commonly see it screw up because it doesn't adequately check for or clear corruption in the battery-backed SRAM.

Also very unlikely, but I've seen a CR2032 fail and leak. That could corrode the board.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:52 pm 
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Thanks for the insight into this problem guys. I'll open it up once I can get my hands on the right tools.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:45 am 
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So i managed to open it up:
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:21 am 
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If you can, post the other side of the board too. You showed the parts side, but the solder side is important to see too. But on the side you did show, you can see some damage to the solder mask by the edge connector.

Maybe the problem is a damaged trace in that area. First post pictures of the other side. But since you described both glitched graphics and crashing, it could be that you were lucky enough to be able to still access part of the ROM which lets it start. The suspect pin connections could be compared to the pinout to see if an address line matches up to go along with that theory.

Pin #39's trace has some damage and is A14 which would be a problem if the damage is more than superficial.


Last edited by MottZilla on Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:31 am 
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Okay here's the other side:
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If it is indeed damage to the board could I just reroute the damaged lines to the edge connector using wire?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:43 am 
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Using wire may not be the thing to do because the cartridge casing closes around the board tightly there. It may require cutting into the case to be able to close the cartridge. If you noticed the damaged looking parts line up with where the case closes around it. Perhaps alot of pressure at some point caused it to pinch the board.

There are other options for repairing slightly damaged traces. But whatever you do to try to fix it, make sure you know what you are doing. The worst case if you can't fix the pcb would be to have a professional move the MaskROM to a PCB in better condition.

One thing you can do now if you have a tester is to test if any of those edge pin signals don't make it to the other side of the damaged looking traces. So you'd put one probe from the tester on the edge pin and figure out where after the signal goes through the suspect trace you can touch with the other probe to see if the signal makes it through.

I had a Ninja Gaiden 3 cartridge which experienced the same problem. I'm not sure what causes it, maybe it's keeping games stacked up and the weight of all the games on top of the ones near the bottom does it. I hope it's not so since that's how I store my NES games currently. It's easier than storing them on their sides for me, which may actually be a better position for avoiding this damage.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:04 am 
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Pin 54 on the edge connector also looks damaged, and that's the cart /WR signal, which could easily cause this kind of corruption if the game is using the cart SRAM as work RAM, not just save storage.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:58 pm 
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Thank you for the help! If it's not too much to ask can you point me to a schematic of this particular board? And can you point me to the tools I'll need to fix this? I'm really lacking in that department, the way I opened the cart was by melting the end of a pen and forming it around the security bit :oops:


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:10 pm 
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Did you try cleaning the edge connector with an eraser? I use a gray eraser called magic rub. It cleans the edges really well. I got it from my sons school supplies.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:20 pm 
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I've tried erasing, using isopropyl to clean it up and I bridged the gap on one trace with solder and tested with a multimeter and it worked. Tried some other areas but the menu's are still corrupt while everything else in the game is fine. I think it does have something to do with stacking them because I have the exact same problem with final fantasy 6 except it's when a battle happens and it's got the same damaged areas as CT. Guess i'm screwed which is a shame because these are some really fun games and i go to them whenever times are rough.

EDIT: Tried disconnecting the battery that didn't work so yeah


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 3:55 pm 
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Could it be a bad SRAM? I know some games act screwy when they have the wrong SRAM...so maybe it's a possibility....


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 4:42 pm 
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Markfrizb wrote:
Could it be a bad SRAM? I know some games act screwy when they have the wrong SRAM...so maybe it's a possibility....


Possibly. Is there some place I can send my games to, to get fixed or should I just buy new copies? From now on I'm storing my games on their side on a shelf because this really sucks.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:11 pm 
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Try the games in a different SNES with different power supply before you declare them bad.


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