Retro Game Guy

It's the 1980's again!

Taking care of your game carts…

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Cleaning your carts…

I had mentioned in a previous blog that I had purchased a number of my game carts second hand.  Early 2600 and 7800 game carts had a dusk cover mechanism which protected the carts from the elements pretty well.  Later 2600 and most 7800 game carts do not have this dust cover mechanism.  Thus, many second hand carts will be pretty dusty and dirty.  Not only will this have the potential for the cart to not make good electrical contact; this dust and dirt can get down into your game system.  The simplest and most effective way to clean your carts is with isopropyl alchohol and a good quality cotton swab.  It is important to have a good quality swap so that the cotton doesn’t come off and get stuck on the cartridge contacts.  Cotton swaps are cheap, so don’t be afraid to use more than one to make sure that you have removed as much dust and dirt from your carts as possible.  Also, be sure that the cart is dry before you insert it into your game system.  The alcohol will evaporate pretty quickly, so you don’t really need to dry the cart off.  Just wait a few minutes and you should be all set.  Once you clean your carts, you are going to want to keep them clean, so see below for a storage tip!

Going Wild for Cleaning!

Wild for Cart Cleaning!

Storing your carts…

Although game carts for retro game systems are relatively cheap, if you build up a large enough collection, the total value can start to add up to some significant $$$.  After you have more than a handful of carts, you are going to want to have some way to safely store them.  I looked on-line for cart storage systems and, since it has been many years since these systems have been manufactured, asking prices are pretty crazy.  I think that I have come up with a pretty clever and simple solution.  At a local discount store, I was able to find small plastic storage bins that were the perfect size to store 24-25 carts side by side.  These bins are pretty inexpensive; in fact,  I paid less than three dollars each for my bins.  I also picked up a couple of extras of these bins to store my game controllers.  They are also great for transporting your carts, if you want to head over to a friend’s house to play some video games.  If your carts are just laying around loose, show them that you care for them and get them a new home!

Wild for Cheap Cart Storage!

Wild for Cheap Cart Storage!


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