PacSam Video Games

PacSam's BlogRetro Mechanics

Cleaning and repairing, a relaxing activity

Published by Samuel L. | Thursday, December 15, 2022, 06:00 PM

My name is Samuel (aka PacSam), and my favourite pastime is cleaning and upgrading old consoles, accessories and video games. Like any great collector, restoration is a part of my hobby and it will certainly be part of yours if you want to keep your retro video games running for many years to come. This is the premise for the next Retro Mechanics topics and blog articles, dedicated to the cleaning, diagnosis and refurbishing of consoles, games and accessories from older generations.

A benefit for you and the environment

We are always looking for an activity to soothe, calm and clear our minds; I found mine several years ago by starting a collection of retro video games as a hobby: cleaning and repairing old consoles. It's very convenient now because I always have things to do; thanks to you!

It sounds funny to say, but it's both very relaxing and stimulating; it brings a feeling of satisfaction; we always learn something; it relaxes our body; and we don't think about our problems anymore... In short, it costs less than a psychologist or a spa session!

Joking aside, in this era of overconsumption, repairing and reusing our old objects is always more beneficial and advantageous than recycling for the environment. I don't want to start a debate, but urban recycling is less ecological than you think... As a result, you will contribute to reducing waste disposal and overconsumption.

Finally, the best part about restoring an old console or game is that you'll have a lot of fun replaying your childhood favourites and reminiscing about good old memories.

The importance of properly maintaining our old consoles

Over the years, home consoles and handle consoles can accumulate an impressive amount of dust, liquid or unidentifiable matter and sometimes even harmful insects... The maintenance of your consoles is therefore essential to remove all these debris and to do a visual inspection to detect any problems such as end-of-life components, rust, a leaking battery or any other potential damage. In this way, you ensure the proper functioning of your equipment and help extend its lifetime by preventing breakage.

Few good tips to get started

Before disassembling a console, accessories or video games for their maintenance, it's essential to learn some techniques that I will try to explain to you in the next Retro Mechanics articles. However, to make your first experience easier, I still have a few simple tips and tricks to share with you right now:

What should your basic game console maintenance kit contain?

Here is the bare minimum you should get to do a good maintenance job on your old consoles or your dirty and dusty game accessories:

Electronic cleaning is a no-brainer

Don't be afraid to perform a good console cleaning; you will see by yourself that it's quite simple and that the technology of the time was not very complex. However, they are electrical appliances, so use caution and good judgement. Don't work in a connected console, and avoid using water-based cleaners on electronic components unless you have the means to quickly evaporate them. Indeed, the majority of the severe (even irreversible) damages are caused by a liquid or a short circuit!

8 years of experience under my belt

I want to be clear, I have no academic background in the field of electronics… However, being self-taught, I have accumulated hours of research and practice in the repair and maintenance of consoles, accessories and retro video games, in particular for Nintendo and SEGA platforms. So, I consider that my experience and my advice shared in the Retro Mechanics articles will be useful for you to refurbish your devices and will provide a good basis for your research.

Last word

The best advice you can take is to learn by trying. However, please don't test your skills on collectible video games worth $100 or more...

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