Module maintenance

It’s perfectly normal for Gameboy and GBA games that you have to insert the module several times until it starts to work. Sometimes you have to repeat this even ten to twenty times. If the Magic Blow does not help, it’s time to clean the module contacts.

Cleaning the contacts

You need:

  • Cotton swabs
  • Solvent: Isopropyl alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol

Electronics have been for decades cleansed with isopropyl alcohol. During our demo recording studio days the stuff was used to cleanse tape recorder heads and other computer intestines. Isopropyl alcohol can be used to cleanse all electronic circuit boards and – the contacts. You can buy isopropyl alcohol from the pharmacist’s – it’s never on display, but I have always gotten it if asked. The good part is that isopropyl alcohol does not damage the module plastics.



Image: Isopropyl alcohol (yliopiston verkkokauppa)

Cleaning the contacts

Sink the whole cotton swab head to the alcohol. Then – as the guide shows – rub. You may apply quite much force – the contacts won’t break. You may get surprised about the black result. Rub until the swab stays moderately clean. In the end – remove the excess fluff from the cotton swab.


Image: Japanese GB – games included this guiding image of how to cleanse the contacts.

Be careful not no let the solvent to the module label – it will wipe out the print. Please note that isopropyl alcohol (as any other solvent) evaporates quickly – close the bottle while cleaning, and arrange enough ventilation.

Do not use fingernail paint remover (aceton)

Yes. Aceton will remove all dirt from the contacts. It also melts the module plastic cover. And ruin the label. And removes the protective lacquer from the circuit board. Don’t use – stick to the isopropyl alcohol, it will suffice.


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