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NTSC SNES Freezes on start up. No visible signs of problems.

ph4ntombr4in

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Hi all. I'm new here and have been recommended by a friend to speak to everyone here about my journey trying to get an NTSC Super NES working.

Basically, I acquired an NTSC SNES from someone local (I'm from the UK so we're used to PAL) for free, and it came untested, and with what appears to be a SCART mod coming out of the RF port. With this knowledge I found an appropriate power supply which I ordered from retrogamesupply.com, which got the console to turn on, which was a plus for me. Unfortunately, not much else goes on from there. I tried the four cartridges I have and 3 of them (Terminator, WrestleMania Arcade Game and Mortal Kombat 2) have the same result, a black screen. However when I put in Final Fight, the Capcom screen comes up and hangs after popping up for half a second.

I should note that I know the cartridges work fine because I can use them without fault in a SNES multi-region adaptor.

After some cleaning with isopropyl and opening up the console to have a look at the inside, I am still at square one. It's odd since nothing looked broken or out of the ordinary from the inside. I'm guessing one of the chips is outdated, but my friend has noted that maybe the SCART mod was done poorly and is cutting out the circuit. He has offered to have a look at it for me as he is really good as modding consoles, but before I do, I thought I'd come on here and get some extra opinions.

If anyone wants pictures and video, I have chronicled my misadventure on Instagram. Links below.

Any advice or opinions would be really helpful. If you guys need anymore pics let me know and I will supply. Thanks in advance.

 

Trimesh

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My guess is it has a (partially) bad CPU - or possibly bad RAM, although that's a lot less common.

See if you can find someone that has a diagnostic cart - they will generally boot unless the machine is completely dead and will show what the problem is. If you have an EPROM programmer and a soldering iron (or know someone that does) you could also make your own.
 

ph4ntombr4in

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I did consider a diagnostic cart but never knew how far the testing goes but I'll see if I can find one.

It's definitely a possibility about the CPU, as that tends to be the do all end all of most technology anyway.

Thanks for the tips.
 

Trimesh

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I did consider a diagnostic cart but never knew how far the testing goes but I'll see if I can find one.

It's definitely a possibility about the CPU, as that tends to be the do all end all of most technology anyway.

Thanks for the tips.
The diagnostic cart is pretty good - I've seen plenty of consoles that just showed a black screen with most games, but somehow managed to boot it. It starts off with basic CPU tests and then tests the other chips in the console. The main reason I suspected the CPU is that it just seems to be the part that has the highest failure rate (although it's often just a partial failure).

Also note that the PPU tests only test the stuff that can be detected from the CPU side - so if the problem is on the display side it's quite possible to get a "PASS" on the tests and still have corrupted graphics - but if it says the CPU is good, then it almost certainly is. Same with the RAM - if it comes up as being good then it probably is.

From the sound of it, your machine is clean - but it's still worth taking a careful look at the PCB and checking for corroded tracks since these are old machines now.
 

ph4ntombr4in

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The diagnostic cart is pretty good - I've seen plenty of consoles that just showed a black screen with most games, but somehow managed to boot it. It starts off with basic CPU tests and then tests the other chips in the console. The main reason I suspected the CPU is that it just seems to be the part that has the highest failure rate (although it's often just a partial failure).

Also note that the PPU tests only test the stuff that can be detected from the CPU side - so if the problem is on the display side it's quite possible to get a "PASS" on the tests and still have corrupted graphics - but if it says the CPU is good, then it almost certainly is. Same with the RAM - if it comes up as being good then it probably is.

From the sound of it, your machine is clean - but it's still worth taking a careful look at the PCB and checking for corroded tracks since these are old machines now.
I did wonder this but couldn't find any answer on it so I guess it's be good to ask here. Is it possible to get away with loading a ROM of the burn in test on an everdrive cart, or would that not work?

Edit: spelling.
 

Trimesh

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I did wonder this but couldn't find any answer on it so I guess it's be good to ask here. Is it possible to get away with loading a ROM of the burn in test on an everdrive cart, or would that not work?

Edit: spelling.
As long as the machine is sufficiently functional that it can load the everdrive menu it will work. I've seen consoles that were sufficiently broken that they couldn't display a flash cart menu but still managed to load the test cart, though.
 
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