General Reproduction Info
Looking to get into doing your own reproduction carts? I thought I'd put together some information as far as what you'll need. This page will serve as an overview and then it'll break down further into pages for individual consoles.
What You'll Need
You are going to need some equipment to start getting into the reproduction game. Here's a rough idea of what you're going to be needing.
- A soldering iron. 25W is good for beginners and most electronics work. You may want to look into a higher wattage for desoldering mask ROMs. Also, I like using a chisel tip the best. This probably varies by person. Definitely get something to clean your tips as well. They sell steel sponges for this purpose. It'll make your tip last a lot longer.
- Desoldering braid. Another crucial tool in the hobbyist toolbox. Chem-Wik is the best that you can get. Surprisingly, I've found that RadioShack's desoldering braid is great as well. There's a lot of variation in quality here.
- Solder. Well, this should be obvious. Make sure you're not getting plumbing solder if you're a complete beginner. I prefer the real thin solder. It's easier to control amounts. It's easy to add more, it's not as easy to remove.
- Flux. You can solder without flux, but it's generally going to make life easier if you use it. Why make life hard? I'm a big fan of the Kester 951 no-clean flux. It's intended for surface mount components since it's liquid but you can use it on through hole pads as well.
- Wires, wire stripper, etc. For SNES and NES reproductions, you're generally going to need to rewire some pins as Nintendo used custom mask ROMs. Sega Genesis games use standard pinouts, and you won't need to rewire anything. You will also need to do some rewiring for Game Boy. Wires are also invaluable for when you inevitably lift a pad. I'm a fan of solid core kynar wire.
- Side cutters. These are for liberating your donor cart of a mask ROM, if you're using a donor. I know some people think there's something inherently wrong with cutting off the mask ROM and destroying it, but I don't think there's a secondary market for Shaq-Fu mask ROMs. In fact, it's the opposite.