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Dead Jaguar, nothing but RSoD


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I got a Jaguar a few weeks ago and with a few game carts I've tried, I keep getting red screen on power on. I can see Jaguar logo so I know some part is working but it's clearly having trouble reading carts. 2 different Cybermorph, Flashback, and Tempest 2000.


I've cleaned the carts but that didn't work. I have no idea how to clean the slot, those tiny pins scare me. I've used my best camera (Canon 550D), tripod, and eye melting bright white LED light to see into the cart slot, I don't see any pin that seems bent out (sideway or toward center of slot) but I can't tell if there's a ripped pin or if it's bent back out of sight or not. Also is there other things I can look at beside cart slot?


I got this in a Jaguar CD box with Jag CD power adapter but no CD, Why is the CD system so expensive on eBay?

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There are lots of tips on cleaning the slot here on forum - just use search feature and lots of threads will pop.



I did however notice something I haven't read at all while searching: Some carts, you just have to wiggle them a milimeter or so, and then they will start up (if you just leave them as you plugged them - boom - red screen). So, I would try that.


It happens to only 2 of my carts, but if I didn't come up with the trick above, I would not ever play them, as they just give red screen, if you do not adjust their position within the cart slot very slightly.

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I don't know if every Jaguar owner knows about Best Electronics. His web site can seem difficult to navigate to find what you are looking for. His Jaguar page has these tips and instructions for troubleshooting the Jaguar RSoD.




Here are the sections for easy reading. ;-)



Best Jaguar Console Tech Tip.

Subject: Jaguar Console Red Screen of Death lock up.

Symptom 1. Jaguar console was working fine. One day I was changing a Jaguar Game cartridge and got the Jaguar normal boot up screen with Atari logo and sound and then the screen turned all Red and the Jaguar locked up. Every Jaguar Game cartridge after that gets the same Red Screen of death

Symptom 2. Got a used Jaguar console on E-bay, every known good Jaguar Cartridge I try to use on this Jaguar console gets the Red Jaguar death screen.

Symptom 3. I can get some of my Jaguar Game Cartridges to boot up if I put a little pressure on the front or back side of the Game cartridge when turning on my Jaguar. But as soon as I let go of Jaguar Game Cartridge, I get the Jaguar Red Death screen.

Possible Causes for this Jaguar boot up problem.

1. A Jaguar Chip / Electronic motherboard component failure.

2. Using the wrong non Atari Jaguar Power Supply and possibly damaging the Jaguar console.

3. Bad Jaguar game cartridge or Foreign material on the Jaguar Cartridge gold edge card fingers or foreign maternal wedged into the Jaguar cartridge connector cavity.

4. One of the more common failures we at Best Electronics see, that causes this symptom is a damaged 104 pin Jaguar Game cartridge connector.

How to inspect for the fourth reason on the above list.

Items needed: Magnifying glass and Very Good bright Light source.

Instructions: Shine the bright light on / into the 104 pin black rectangular long connector inside the Jaguar Cartridge connector well. On the Black long rectangular Jaguar cartridge connector, you will see a very long rectangular center slot and a shorter (about ¾ of inch long) rectangular slot down the middle of this Jaguar cartridge connector. Both Jaguar connector slots have Gold Plated very thin crescent shaped slide contacts on either side (top and bottom sides) of this connector.

Using your Magnifying glass, inspect the length of the Jaguar connector for damaged, bent or smashed down (the most common symptom) gold plated very thin crescent shaped contacts. It only takes one of these 104 very thin damaged contacts to cause the Jaguar Red screen of death. You will usually see one or more of the thin gold plated contacts smashed down to the bottom of the Jaguar connector housing.

The most common section of the Jaguar connector we see more damaged crescent shaped gold contact(s) is in the short ¾ inch length section of the Jaguar Cartridge connector body.

A quicker method of narrowing down where you might have damaged Jaguar cartridge thin crescent shaped contacts.

Notice on the top surface of the Jaguar 104 pin Cartridge black connector body, behind each thin gold plated crescent shaped contacts in the connector body slot is a Very Very tiny micro square opening set back about 1/64 of an inch away from the edge of the Jaguar connector long and short slots. In each of these Micro square openings you can see (using the Magnifying glass) end / top tip of the gold plated crescent shaped contact. It basically looks like a tiny dot of Gold in the Micro square opening. So a quick check of the 52 (per side, 104 total) Micro square openings for any missing Gold dots (very top of the crescent shaped contact) will tell you where you have a damaged, missing or bent Jaguar Cartridge leaf contact inside the Jaguar connector.

What caused this Damaged to the Jaguar cartridge thin crescent shaped contacts?

Some early / first produced Atari Jaguar Game cartridge Gold plated Printed Circuit board edges did not have two beveled (rounded) edges (so it would gently slide into the gold plated Jaguar cartridge connectors) on printed circuit board end that inserts into the Jaguar connector Some had a square or rough end that damaged / smashed down the Jaguar thin gold plated leaf game cartridge contacts.

Other reasons:

Thick Gold Plated contacts strips / fingers (end of the Gold trace with a square metal end on it) on the Jaguar Game Cartridge Printed Circuit Board (PCB) edge. Without the same beveled edge as the base PCB board material, these sharp right angle metal traces would dig into the crescent shaped mating contact surface (like a tiny straight blade screwdriver end) and again damage or collapse the crescent shaped thin mating gold contact..

Jaguar Game cartridge Inserted into the cartridge connector at a slight angle.

Foreign Material (paper, lint, hair, dirt) on the end of the Jaguar game cartridge gold plated edge card connector trace(s) when inserted onto the cartridge connector.

Is it possible to pull out or re-bend back the damaged Jaguar Cartridge crescent shaped thin gold contacts?

We have found that it is almost impossible to pull out or re-bend out a damaged Jaguar thin crescent gold contact. It would be like trying the flatten out a very very thin paper clip, almost impossible given the tiny space within the Jaguar cartridge center slot.

How to prevent this from happening in the future?

Inspect all of your Atari Jaguar game cartridges for non beveled PCB boards edges, thick gold plated trace ends without beveled edges, foreign materials or damaged (notched) PCB ends.

Sand or file down any square or slightly / under beveled Atari Jaguar game cartridge PCB edge card ends to a smooth beveled or round surface. Make sure you fully clean off any sanded or filed off maternal off the ends of the Jaguar cartridge PCB end before you insert them into your Jaguar cartridge connector.

What to do with your Jaguar console with a damaged cartridge connector?

We (Best Electronics) have found that in about 90 to 95 percent of the cases we have seen (this assumes the Atari Jaguar did not have any other problems before the Jag connector was damaged and the damaged connector(s) pins did not short out and cause other Jaguar motherboard circuit problems), replacing the damaged Jaguar connector will bring a Red Screen Jaguar back to fully working Jaguar console again.

To replace the Atari Jaguar 104 pin Game is not for the average Atari user with standard soldering experience. The Jaguar Surface Mount Technology (SMT) motherboards use very small diameter Jaguar game cartridge connector thru holes. Using standard Solder sucking tools or solder wick will usually not fully remove all of the solder in the Jaguar cartridge connector pins / small pass thru holes. Using standard solder irons (with uncontrolled temperature settings) will also over heat these tiny solder pads and thin traces around the 104 pin Jaguar cartridge connector pins and will usually cause the small cartridge connector hole pads to pull off the PCB. Just one (out of the 104 pins on the solder side of the Jaguar motherboard) lifted Jaguar cartridge connector hole pads, pulled copper plated thru hole trace (hidden solder left in the connector pin hole when removing the old damaged Jaguar Cartridge connector) or cracked circuit trace on the bottom or pulled top trace (un-removed hidden solder in the top of the hole directly under the Jaguar connector body) can mean instant death to a repairable Jaguar motherboard.

On a scale of 1 to 10, the tech skill level required to do this Jaguar Cartridge connector replacement is a 9 to 10 range. A good very experienced SMT Tech using U$D 500 – U$D 1000+ soldering removing equipment would find this Jaguar cartridge connector removal and replacement Job an easy one. Not to discourage you from repairing your Jaguar Motherboard yourself, but we have seen so called experienced Atari Techs butcher / damage a repairable Jaguar Motherboard to where it ended up as a scrap in the trash can.

If you know somebody with the proper SMT experience, Best Electronics has the new Atari Jaguar OEM 104 pin Cartridge connectors in stock. Cost is U$D 15 each.

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Another little trick is to insert the cart and then gently lift it up a tiny bit in the connector, letting the connector connect to a slightly different spot on the cart contacts. Also try inserting and re inserting a cart a stupid amount of times (like 30 times) I've had some luck with that, I guess it might help scrape off oxidation on the connector or cart. I think you'd be able to tell if there wasa bent pin in the cart slot. Even one pin would probably be visible for someone looking fora bent pin that doesn't fit in with the shape and height of the other pins.

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Quick way to clean the connector is to take a thin cloth like a t-shirt or underwear and wet it with rubbing alcohol. Then get a credit card, etc., wrap it with the cloth of choice, and gently insert and remove it from the cartridge connector. Even if you see no corrosion on the pin connectors, it can still be there and keep you from playing the games (happened with my copy of Flip-Out).


Also, take a read on what xucaen put up as it is very informative.

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