How to Fix an Atari Cart Avoiding to Mess Up the Label

I received a cart that didn't work. Usually this kind of malfunction is due to dirty connectors.
So I started to clean the pins of the cart when I noticed that a circuit track was cut just above the ending part of a pin.
Well "cut" is not really exact, I would say that a small part of the track was missing (0.5 millimetre).

I have no idea about the reason of this damage, anyway I decided to fix it.
I quickly realize that it was impossible to remove the label without ruin it, so I found an other way to operate to preserve (in a large part) the label.

Anyway, I give the following explanations in an informative purpose only !
I won't be liable for any kind of damage due to the use (or the misuse) of these informations !
Use at your own risk !!!

1 - Open the cartridge

- Locate the screw under the front label using one of your fingers.
- Practice 2 perpendicular short cuts into the label just above the screw.
- Bend back the 4 corners of the cut label to make the access to the screw easier.
- Remove the screw.
The front and the back part of the cart are now only joined by the end label.
- Separate carefully the 2 top parts of the cart (don't pull too hard).
You just need the 2 parts to be separated enought to remove the PCB.
The less the part are separated, the less the end label has risks to be damaged.
- Remove the PCB.
- Done !

1 - Fix the damaged track

- You'll need a very small wire, some solder and a soldering-iron.
- Locate the original soldering spot where the cut track leads.
- Solder the wire to connect this spot to the bottom of the pin connector.
- Use few solder to keep a thin pin connector.
- Test the PCB.
- Done !

Fixed PCB

1 - Finish the work

- Replace the PCB into the cartridge.
- Close the cartridge.
- Bend back the 4 corners of the cut label to replace the screw.
- Put some glue at the 4 corners' back of the cut label and bring them back on the screw.
- Done !

The Fixed Cart Closed

The cuts are located at the player's chin... can you see them ?.... he he

Last update : Tuesday, September 18, 2001