Famicom / Nintendo Entertainment System

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Info about the console

Specifications

Hardware specs

Revisions

Famicom

Hardware differences and ways to identify

Famicom AV

Hardware differences and ways to identify

Twin Famicom

Hardware differences and ways to identify

Famicom Titler

Hardware differences and ways to identify

NES-001 "Front Loader"

The most iconic of the NES variants, the NES-001 is often referred to as the "front loader" or "toaster" because the cartridges are loaded through the front and must be pushed down via a spring mechanism to make contact (very similar to a toaster). It includes an expansion port on the bottom, RF and composite video out, and two controller ports. It also features a CIC lockout chip designed to prevent the use of unauthorized cartridges. However, the chip can also cause issues with official games if the contacts are dirty and when trying to use region adapters to play Famicom games.

NES-101 "Top Loader"

The NES-101 "top loader" revised many things from the original NES. Most obviously, the cartridges now load from the top and the spring mechanism was completely removed, making the system much more reliable. It also removed the composite video output, the lockout chip, and the expansion port on the bottom. Instead, this system only outputs RF video and audio.

Best Possible Connection

Stock

  • S-video (Famicom Titler)
  • Composite (Famicom AV, Twin Famicom and front loader)
  • RF (Famicom and top loader)

Modded

  • RGB (analog)
  • HDMI (digital)

Known issues and quirks

The NES is known to have somewhat unstable sync. Fortunately, Marqs (creator of the OSSC) has developed a fix for the jitter. The fix also applies to the SNES.

Mods

  • NES disassembly guide.
  • Dejitter board fixes sync issues.
  • NESRGB adds composite (for Famicom and toploader), s-video, and RGB output to the NES. Can also swap between palettes.
  • Hi-def NES adds HDMI output to the NES. Also adds several scaling and post-processing options.

Schematics

Links to schematics and circuit diagrams.