Restoring the Original Famicom Console


aka The Japanese Nintendo
Release Date: July 15th, 1983
Original Price: ¥14,800 ($186)
Official Games Released: 1,055

The Famicom (Family Computer) was Nintendo's first home gaming console. By 1984 this was the best selling gaming system in Japan. This success paved the way for the American NES and forever changed gaming history. The Famicom boasted a larger game library, better audio capabilities and a unique design.  If you own one chances are it needs a major tune-up.

Restoration Supply List:
  • Phillips Screwdriver Medium Sized
  • 90% Rubbing Alcohol
  • Cleaning Swabs or Compressed Air 
  • Soft Bristle Toothbrush
  • Optional but worth it = Deoxit Electrical Contact Cleaner

Optional for Case Cleaning:
  • Oxi Clean
  • Cream Peroxide 40Vol - Found at hair salon stores.
  • Large Ziplock Bag
  • Read more HERE on treating yellow / dingy plastic. 


Lets Get Started:

 1. Remove the 6 bottom screws. All screws in the famicom (inside & out) are exactly the same.

2. Remove the 8 screws from the motherboard. Later production famicoms have motherboard revisions. You may have a different configuration of screws but removal is the same.

3. Disconnect controller plugs from motherboard. Check the connector pins for dirt and corrosion. Clean if necessary.   Read the separate guide on cleaning famicom controllers HERE

4. Remove the 2 screws holding the power switch in place. Now you can completely remove the motherboard from the case.  Remove the Power/Reset buttons, eject spring mechanism, other small parts and store in a safe place.

Removing the Eject lever is very risky. The plastic clips are very brittle and often break when pressed.
Heating the plastic with a hair dryer can help with the removal. Only try this when absolutely necessary.

5. Remove all dust and dirt from the motherboard and console case. Use compressed air or a soft brush. Cleaning swabs dipped in alcohol will remove tough grime from the circuits. Also clean the RF output jack and the power adapter input.

6. If needed use compressed air to remove dirt wedge inside the game slot. Use a toothbrush dipped in 90% rubbing alcohol and scrub the game slot pins. Be gently and repeat this step several times. Dry the motherboard before assembling. 

7. If you purchased electrical contact cleaner:  Place a small drop on the rear channel switch and flip switch several times.   Also place a drop on each cable connector and ports.  Clean away any extra fluid.

8. Follow the steps in reverse order to reassemble. Pay careful attention to the location of internal controller cables and power switch wires.

Optional Steps:

  • Replace the aging power adapter with a newer one. (Japanese adapters are not suitable for American wall current)
  • Generic adapter replacements for the Sega Genesis are safe & cheap alternatives.
  • Never use adapters from the American NES, it is not compatible.
  • Super Awesome tuneup:  Replace the voltage 7805 regulator and 1000uf power cap with a new one. This requires specialized soldering equipment,

Famicom Adapter Specs:
Voltage Output: Minimum 9VDC Maximum 11VDC
Ampere Output: Minimum 700mA, Maximum: -Unlimited-
Polarity: Center-Pin Negative

Consider cleaning all plastics parts while the motherboard is removed. At the very least rinse them under warm water. Read more HERE for a full guide on plastic cleaning / De-yellowing.


 I hope that you find this website useful and informative. Please feel free to leave your comments or suggestions below.


  1. Hi, i really like your website! Do you have any tips on where to get new decal stickers for the Famicom?

    1. Thanks! No good sources for replacement decals. I am planning to produce high quality labels for the clear arrows stickers. The front sticker "family computer" is not easy to replicate. Since it has a gold foil base.


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