If you ever owned an early gaming console like the NES, you're probably familiar with “slot loading” issues where the console won't load a game or read it properly. Most of the time, you could temporarily solve this problem by blowing on the game cartridge's metal contacts. So how about a modernized version of the NES that doesn't have this problem?
Meet the Slot Loading Nintendo Game System by serial modder Ben Heck. In time, the NES's connector pins bend as you insert and remove game cartridges, which pushes them out of alignment with the cartridge's contacts. To solve this, Ben created a completely revamped NES console that features an improved cartridge slot.
The Slot Loading Nintendo Game System comes equipped with IR sensors that tells the system when you've inserted a cartridge. Two rollers let the game slide more easily into the console; once the cartridge reaches the connector pins, a clamp grabs it and gently attaches it to the connectors. That way, you don't have to jostle the cartridge or force it into the slot for it to line up properly.
Ben also added stereo sound, and revamped the consoles case. The new case mainly gives Ben more space to build the new slot loading system, though it looks pretty cool, too.
You can see how he starts to remodel the connector pin in episode 67 of the Ben Heck Show on Element14. To see the full mod, you’re going to have to wait until February 22, as Ben covered this NES hack over a span of three episodes.
This story, "Modded NES puts an end to blowing on game cartridges" was originally published by TechHive.