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Is it bad to keep a cartridge in your console?


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Well, I knocked into my Donkey Kong 64 cartridge, while it was inserted in my N64, with the door today. However, I did not hit it very hard, and it seems to work fine. I didn't hear a dreaded "crack", as was discussed somewhere in the posts above, so I'm very thankful for that.

Edited by Bowser N64
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Well, I knocked into my Donkey Kong 64 cartridge, while it was inserted in my N64, with the door today. However, I did not hit it very hard, and it seems to work fine. I didn't hear a dreaded "crack", as was discussed somewhere in the posts above, so I'm very thankful for that.

 

Wow, your signature is longer than all of your posts put together.

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Is there anything wrong with that? I've seen signatures that are crowded with distracting pictures. Mine is just text.
Images are not allowed in signatures here at AA. Albert also despises large text sigs but only specifies that the font size not be increased (in Guidelines), with no mention of number of words/lines. ISTR that he mentioned elsewhere wanting to limit it to something like 1 or 3 lines or so (I know, mine is longer than that), but he doesn't seem to be about to do so.
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  • 2 weeks later...
If your worried about stress on the pins, taking it out removes more metal from it then leaving it in.

I think you're referring to contact wear, which is not the main issue being discussed here. In most cartridge-based systems, the contacts in the cart port are in effect a bunch of individual tiny springs. Leaving a cartridge in place all the time keeps these springs onder constant tension, which over a long period of time (maybe as little as a few weeks) will weaken them until eventually they will have problems making contact with the cartridges. IMO, wear is much less of an issue as long as you keep the cartridge and port contacts clean. Contact deformation is known to be a real issue with 2600s, and I suspect most other cartridge-based systems as well.

Edited by A.J. Franzman
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  • 16 years later...

Here's my 2 cents worth:  SWAG it. If I wanted to break or weaken anything, especially metal, would I bend or scrape it once or many times? Many times. So, I would think constant in and out (bend/scrape) would hurt the unit more than leaving it in. That's my SWAG (Scientific Wild A$$ Guess.) Chris C.

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Holy necrobump! Lol. I didn't go back and read the whole topic, but seem to remember it from long ago.

I'd say leave the cart in, it protects from dust (many systems don't have dust doors) and like Chris said, slight bit of less wear on the cart connectors.

 

Honestly the tolerances are close enough on systems I don't figure it matters, maybe with nes, that zif connector always sucked and was problematic. Otherwise, the only downside I could see leaving a cart in would be potential to hit the cart, or drop something on it, but that could potentially happen while playing a game too, and I'd hazard a guess would be more problematic then than while off.

 

Outside Nintendo's NES, has anyone ever broken a cart port? I've broken like one USB port before, and that was knocking a computer over on it with cables plugged in, WAY outside normal treatment.

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On 5/4/2008 at 8:14 PM, SRGilbert said:

I pretty much always leave the last game I played in the slot, just lazy I guess.

 

If anything, the constant contact between the connectors might keep things from corroding over. :)

 

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I think leave it in is less harmful. If you bend/scrap metal, it will wear out. Having it just sit in there seems less harmful. Also, I would bet Nintendo knew the answer, but it's was a bad answer for them, so they stayed silent. Would Nintendo rather have people stick with just one game (and leave it in the console) or buy many games (taking them in and out) and increase sales? If it's more harmful to take games in and out, why would Nintendo say that resutling in potentially loosing game cartridge sales. Just sayin'.

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Well personal experience taking it away from the natural state does in fact weaken it or something related to it with time.

 

Perfect examples since Nintendo keeps popping up is easy in two ways.  One, the design of the pin array on the NES with the ZIF connector, if you leave the game in there unlocked it's not going to push on it, it just rests, but if you push it down it puts a LOT of pressure on them, which is the #1 reason why outside of the 10NES/dirty cart thing why the stuff fails.  To fix it usually requires removal, a pin(or whatever) to pull the pins back towards center mass, then following up with a boiling which gets it rock solid again.

 

The SNES is oddly the other, not natively speaking, but if you like me and many others filed off smoothly or just snapped off the tabs in the rear in the mid/late 90s to play import games.  THe tabs not only kept JP games out, but it was a stabilizer for the carts due to the slot design.  With the tabs removed, a decade after the fact my SNES got utterly unreliable, bad or worse than a pissy old NES because the games would flop around because the pin array got looser and sloppy with nothing (tabs filed out) to keep it on tracks in place snug in there.  I had to start wedging something in the slot behind the game to simulate that tightness and they'd run 100% again.  I got fed up with it, got a new SNES(jr) at a flea market and swapped it out, which in hind sight I kind of regret not having the original, but, whatever.  I have another now a CIB DK Super Set I got locally here a decade back for a steal. :)

 

But other systems in general, the NES top loader, N64, Genesis, SMS, all similar slots but the slot it goes into and tension of the pins are tight enough that that issue doesn't happen, SNES wouldn't either had I got an adapter vs removal.

 

Yet there are other systems that don't really have some springy so much pins, your Gameboys, the TG16/PCE with cards, those just slide in and make contact and work and as such are more robust and leaving a game in wouldn't do any real damage.  Though I've seen stories of third party adapters for the TG slot that can cause the slop issue the SNES tab removed had.

 

Also of note, springs are means natively to be small and coiled, not stretched or over the years they lose power.  Toploader, SNES, Genesis, etc...very easily possible to get a sloppy door that won't stay closed if you leave that spring under decades of stretch.

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On 5/4/2008 at 8:20 PM, Room 34 said:

I seem to recall a discussion on here years ago (YEARS! sheesh, I've been a member of this forum for SIX YEARS!!!) where someone noted that if the metal in the connectors on the cart and the metal in the connectors on the console were different metals/alloys, they could potentially react, especially if left in contact for an extended period of time.

 

I'm not a metallurgist so I don't know if there's any validity to that, but it sounds plausible.

That is a real thing, it mostly impact large metal oceangoing vessels after many years. It's called galvanic corrosion. One metal "steals" electrons off the other.

 

I'm fairly certain I've never heard of it happening with any kind of consumer electronic equipment contacts because those are not the right metals to react like that. It also literally can only happen if the metals are in contact in a suitable liquid, most commonly water.

 

Yeah. Don't store game consoles underwater.

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On 5/4/2008 at 8:20 PM, Room 34 said:

I seem to recall a discussion on here years ago (YEARS! sheesh, I've been a member of this forum for SIX YEARS!!!) where someone noted that if the metal in the connectors on the cart and the metal in the connectors on the console were different metals/alloys, they could potentially react, especially if left in contact for an extended period of time.

 

I'm not a metallurgist so I don't know if there's any validity to that, but it sounds plausible.

That is a real thing, it mostly impact large metal oceangoing vessels after many years. It's called galvanic corrosion. One metal "steals" electrons off the other.

 

I'm fairly certain I've never heard of it happening with any kind of consumer electronic equipment contacts because those are not the right metals to react like that. It also literally can only happen if the metals are in contact in a suitable liquid, most commonly water.

 

Yeah. Don't store game consoles underwater.

 

EDIT-Double post fail

Edited by Lord_of_Sipan
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