Cart/Box/Manual Manufacturing Options?

Discuss hardware-related topics, such as development cartridges, CopyNES, PowerPak, EPROMs, or whatever.

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Cart/Box/Manual Manufacturing Options?

Post by Goose2k » Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:15 pm

I'm just starting to think about a possible physical cart release (for some time down the road), and I'm not totally sure what kind of options are out there. I'm struggling to find solid, up to date info.

Does anyone know of a good article or post that kind of captures everything involved in releasing a physic cart? From boards, to chips, to box, to manual, to shipping, to online store?

It's super early for me in the process, so apologies for being so broad with my question.

I know of RetroUSB, Broke Studios, and Infinite NES Lives. But even then, I'm not totally clear what they do (do they just supply parts, do you just send them a ROM and they take it from there, or something in between?). I've also seen places on AliExpress that I can just send them a ROM and they will send me a flashed cart. Any experience with that? Sounds like a good way to be pirated day 1. :lol:

I don't think I have the skills or equipment to do it all myself, so I was kind of hoping to find some place that helps a lot.

Anyway, as I mentioned, this is just a twinkle in my eye at this point. Just want to start reading up, and don't really feel comfortable reaching out to those companies at this point. :oops:


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Re: Cart/Box/Manual Manufacturing Options?

Post by calima » Wed Jul 01, 2020 1:11 am

The three you mentioned as well as MegaCat can do the entire thing; send a ROM and the manual/box data, let them build and sell. INL also sells cart parts, several other shops do too, if you were to make the carts yourself. Box and manual can be done by most print shops. Etc etc.

As your game is NROM, there are "no soldering" options available for making the carts. So for very small runs (or low prices/low margin) you would buy a few of those and a compatible programmer, write the ROM to the boards yourself, and assemble the cart plus sticker. New cart shells are sold in many places, in many colors.

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Re: Cart/Box/Manual Manufacturing Options?

Post by tokumaru » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:40 am

Whatever you do, never go the AliExpress route! Those cartridges are known to use modern 3V parts without the voltage converters necessary to make them work safely with the 5V of the NES. This will fry the cartridge and possibly the console over time.

It's a shame that a few greedy cartridge manufacturers are doing this and basically ruining the retro/homebrew scene, causing old hardware to fail at a faster rate than normal.

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