DIY Gaming Repair; A Lost Art?

In an effort to repair my broken games, I fixed my Gameboy Color cartridge of Pokémon Silver.

By Daavpuke, Posted 08 Aug 2010

In an effort to repair my broken games, I fixed my Gameboy Color cartridge of Pokémon Silver.

The idea came from having to look up two things about broken Nintendo DS parts in 2 days. Being rather upset I had 2 malfunctioning units, I decided to see if I could fix them myself. sending them over to Nintendo costs a lot and for that money, I might as well buy a new console.

The first problem was a broken L-button and got fixed, easier than I thought, with this effort. On a sidenote, I'm glad the topicstarter got helped in the end and people came together in joy of repaired console glory!

The second problem however, was 2 broken hinges and that can only be fixed by replacing the shell. A process too complicated for me to pull off and thus I still have one broken DS, for which I mourn.

It made me feel a bit bad that I couldn't repair it, so I tried to redeem myself with something else. I have a cartridge here, from which I suspected the battery to be dead. As most games I own are extremely old, that was my guess as a tech-noob. After only very short research, I proved those suspicions and noticed how 'easy' it was to repair. A quick, complete fix could be done with a screwdriver and some tape. And although I have no tech skills and therefore also no screwdriver, I made due. Armed solely with a nailclipper, no less! It made me flashback the days of old, when I applied more ghetto knowledge to save a few bucks.

Your ghetto-fix in practice!

Your ghetto fix in practice

You see, back in the day, I used to game even more and so did my mother and my brother, all on the same console. Add that all up and you'll get some serious abuse towards your system. We must have gone through, at least, a dozen SNES controllers and 6 to 10 Atari joysticks that way. Press the buttons in frustration enough times and then BAM! Another controller bites the dust.

In those days, technology wasn't as complicated and you could weld most controllers back into a working shape, for a good while. Our mom taught us how to weld (imagine that!) and that way we saved hundreds of euros. Since we had only our allowance to go by, that really helped. Don't forget, your budget was as limited as it got and you had to stretch that game as far as you could.

SNES Controller Schematic

Just put the buttons on the allocated spots; easy as pie!

Today, we are spoiled of sorts and all the technology is available to us on a wide array and at a lot of different prices. It makes us take some things for granted and when things breaks, we usually just throw them away. It's easier to go find a second hand SNES than to open one up and repairing it. We are blessed to have all we need at our fingertips and we need only reach out to grab it.

Also, machines have become more and more complex, so fixing a Red Ring Of Death might not be as easy as welding back a piece. It increases our consumerism, to go out and buy a new Xbox 360, instead of going through an arduous task of repairing one.

Red Ring Of Death - XBOX360

Game Over or To Be Continued?

With the power of internet, the world has now become our flea market and replacing goods has never been easier. Just think of the things you can buy from Ebay, Amazon or other, local auction sites. A quick browse will make you discover the games you need and if you don't beware, send you right into game addiction like yours truly. With a site like Amazon that refers you to other bought items, it's easy to lose track and start shopping away frantically. It also decreases the value we put into owning certain items.

We used to be able to buy one or 2 games every few months and with some luck attend one or two flea markets a year. Now, whenever we want, we can surf and buy whatever our little heart desires. If we grow tired of a game, it's easier to give into temptation and buy a new one, instead of biting down and finishing our previous endeavor.

And finishing a game more than twice has become utter madness. I finished Super Mario World so many, many times, I'm amazed my launch cartridge still works to this day. I can't say I've finished God Of War three times or more.

The basic point of all this is: You don't have to throw away something that breaks. You don't have to become an engineer quite yet, but reflect for a second. Would it be worth trying to repair that DS, instead of buying a new one? Could I teach myself to fix a Red Ring Of Death and perhaps even fix it for others? If Microsoft can, why couldn't you?

Just don't take the blessing of technology for granted and dig into the magic. Who knows, you might be able to accomplish something you couldn't perceive possible. And that alone is a good thing for your self-esteem, but also your own wallet!

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed.

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  • You got a good point. Instead of spending a couple hundred dollars on a broken DS system or console or whatever, why not try to fix it yourself? Saves you a ton of money in the process.



    Of course, a lot of people would argue that they don't know how, don't have the time, or just aren't tech-savvy enough to understand how everything works (I'm one of those people). And yeah, technology is advancing that it's even harder than the technology 30 years ago. But you know what? I'm willing to give it a try. I imagine there are manuals that people have made on how to fix a specific system, so it couldn't hurt to give it a go.


    Posted Aug 08, 2010

  • there are literally dozens and dozens of topics and/or video's on how to repair any system, from simple to complex. The DS is fairly simple, but it takes a LOT of precision and small parts.


    Posted Aug 08, 2010
  • Posted Aug 09, 2010

  • Onl thing I've ever managed to fix is my PS3 pad, but you're right, it did feel good.


    Posted Aug 09, 2010

  • @fishdalf: Like you're king of the world, isn't it?


    Posted Aug 09, 2010

  • Yeah. I just thought, it's broke, I have nothing to lose, then attacked it with a screwdriver. Sort pf figured it out for myself, took a second pad apart too and put the best of both pads together to make one that felt solid and worked.


    Posted Aug 09, 2010

  • I didnt expect this to come but I am relieved that this article came. When I was a little kid, I used to get terrified when any system, controls or cartridges breaks down. Since I was a kid I didnt dare to open myself, so I used to ask my dad or my uncle to fix it, hopefully to get it repaired. It was because I didnt have access to the net or didnt have knowledge of parts and so on. Also it was hard to get these things during my childhood days.



    Nowadays, as we have so many video gaming stuffs in the market and have access to the market, when any of my system breaks down, I dont even bother about it. I just go and buy another one. Its just so simple. I became a spoilt brat.


    Posted Aug 09, 2010

  • I've neved had the nerve to open up anything that breaks down.


    Posted Aug 09, 2010

  • I totally agree with your suggestion. Throwing the damaged goods are waste. Because nor of the time it's one of many othe parts are malfunctioning not the whole thing. I remember how my elder brother used to fix atari joysticks and even handhelds. He gia piles of those joysticks and he even repaired others too. But I personally never tried to fix anything rather than my remote control car by replacing the motor. It was a fun lesson and I felt good.


    Posted Aug 09, 2010

  • Speaking of repairs, my PS3 just died. ;(


    Posted Aug 19, 2010

  • Oh the times i pulled my PSP 1000 apart and put it back together. Heck, wasnt hard. i had one that wasnt working already that i disected...then came my over confidence "i can take it apart so taking all these techy parts from my old and putting it into this brand new kick ass housing i bought should be a sinch! ill just practice on my old one since i have never actually removed EVERYTHING" a few tutorials and half an hour later, and i decided that i can take it apart, but no way in hell that i figure out how to put it back...best left to the not so n00b guys. funny thing, i used to take my genesis apart all the time just to clean the damned thing. it had stopped working and i ended up finding a paperclip stuck inside...worked after that 0_o


    Posted Aug 26, 2010

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