Why does the front loader NES get to have all of the fun?! It has a cute little LED light in it to let you know there is power flowing to the machine. So why can’t the top loader NES get the same benefit?? Well, if you’ll allow, in this article, I’m going to cover quite a few things. I’ll show you with step-by-step instructions how to easily install the no-cut LED kit. For those who want a video, that will be below the written instructions. Then, I want to discuss my overall thoughts about the item. Finally, I’ll wrap it up with some mention of other products Fragoltech offers. Let’s go!
What You Need:
- Soldering iron kit.
- 4.5mm security/game bit.
- Phillips screwdriver.
- No-cut LED kit.
- …top loader NES, obviously.
- Turn over NES, remove the four 4.5mm security screws.
- Turn the NES back upright.
- Remove the top half of the shell.
- Remove the 5 Phillips screws (3 on the shielding, 2 on the cartridge reader).
- Take the shielding off.
- Pull the motherboard out of the bottom half of the NES shell.
- Turn it upside down onto a static proof surface.
- There are 6 points in a cluster on the lower right side underneath the power switch.
- The PCB of the LED kit will sit perfectly on the 6 points.
- Place some hot solder into the 6 holes of the PCB. I recommend starting with the outside 4 holes to anchor it.
- Now place the motherboard back into the lower half of the shell.
- Return the shielding to the top of the motherboard.
- Screw in the 5 Phillips screws from before.
- Now, take the other end of the LED kit and place the square, red hole around the underside of the square, red power slider. (Note: It will fit perfectly in only one direction.)
- That’s it, now you can return the top half of the shell into place. Mind the cord of the LED kit, don’t let it set between the 2 halves.
- Return the four 4.5mm security screws in place.
- Now you’re entirely done, enjoy!
(NOTE TO ANYONE WHO BOUGHT ONE THROUGH THE FIRST WEEK OF JUNE 2021: You may notice that it is a little hard to turn the power switch on and on. Fragoltech recommends sanding 1mm off of the 3D printed bracket so it doesn’t rub. I also found that you could use gear grease and it will slide just fine. Or you could simply loosen the 4.5mm security screw at the bottom corner under the power slider a rotation and it will work as well. Some people may do all three, you could get away with just doing one. It’s probably likely that if you already purchased one in the past, you already have a resolution anyway. I’m just offering further insight.)
First off, this is the fastest and easiest mod I’ve ever done in my entire life. Hands down. This hardware mod has been easier than some softmods. And it was certainly faster than every single hardmod I’ve ever done. It’s low profile, it doesn’t use diddly-squat for power. I would say the best attribute about it is that it is reversible. If you want to go back to stock, you simply follow the exact same instructions. The only difference is you remove some solder to take the LED kit’s PCB off and slide the square, red bracket off. So if you’re selling your top loader off and you want it to be 100% authentic, that’s how you do it. Even if your top loader shot crap and now it’s time for a new one, you can swap the PCB.
I also think the price is right for this product at $15. It probably covers just the parts and the labor of Fragoltech putting it together for you. They do a great job and the length of cord in the product is perfect. It’s not too long, where you have to do a lot of tucking or taping. It’s not too short where it puts strain on the product and runs the risk of coming apart. Kudos to Fragoltech for this simple, effective, inexpensive, and well-thought-out product!
- If you desire a LED kit for SNES Jr., it also exists.
- Maybe you already have the 3D printer and cord for making your own No-cut LED mod, you just need the Fragoltech PCB, they’ve got you covered. (Need more info on the 3D print model, etc? Click here.)
- There is a mod that requires some cutting of the top plastic and allows for the light (color of your choosing) to be seen by the player, versus simply shining through the plastic. You can find that here.
- Need a drilling guide for an AV mod, or maybe just a bracket to hold the mod in place? Peep this.
- Fragol tech also supplies what they call “AV Multiout PCB/Prototype Board”. It’s for making your system have an AV out and it’s compatible with their multiout boards. Check it out!
- Sometimes they have premodded systems for sale. If they do, you’ll find them here.
- The biggest takeaway I found on the site is that they’ll do refurbs and repairs on your consoles. Specifically: NES, SNES, Genesis/Megadrive, Game Gear, all models of Game Boy, Dreamcast, Saturn, N64, and all models of the 3DO. You can head here and choose the console you want to send in.
- The last point I want to bring up is that they also do installs of mods! They do: N64 Digital, NESRGB, SNES RGB Bypass, Sega Triple Bypass, N64RGB, DCDigital, 3Do RGB, and IPS Screen for all Game Boy models. Any of those sound good? Click here to get your mod rolling!
Upcoming Ideas/Products from Fragoltech:
- Create No-Cut LED solutions for SNES Jr.
- Create No-Cut LED solution PCE/Turbo Grafx
- Create easier companion/breakout boards for beginners.
- Design 3D printed solutions for A/V interfaces (for consoles without solutions).
LED Kit Purchase Link:
Fragoltech Stickers (why not?)
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