NES Satellite Wireless Controller Repair

The NES Satellite was Nintendos first wireless accessory. This was a major feat for late 80's gaming. This device allows up to four simultaneous wireless players*.  A small infrared receiver plugs into the NES console allowing players to sit up to 15-20 feet away. It also includes "Turbo" selectors for both the A and B buttons, instantly converting standard controllers into turbo models. Unfortunately it does have limitations in the design, mainly the line of sight wireless reception. This system works until someone blocks the receiver or the transmitter is moved.  Users have also reported response lag when using all four players simultaneously. It also required 6 large C batteries for power.

Release Date: 1989
Original Retail Price: $50?
Current Value: $25-$50


The model I received had corroded batteries and rust throughout the unit. I knew that a complete rebuilt was necessary before attempting to use it. This page will document the process of a basic tear-down, clean &  rebuild.

Supply List:
  • Phillips medium size screwdriver
  • Vineger
  • Oxi Clean 
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Toothbrush or other scrubbing tool
  • Protective eye-wear & rubber gloves

First remove all the screws from the bottom of the unit and the receiver box. Fortunately all screws for the Satellite unit are identical. This makes reassembly much simpler.

Here's a closeup view of the battery compartment. Make sure to wear protective gloves and goggles when working with battery corrosion!

Next, in order to clean the plastic case we need to remove the motherboard. Remove all 4 screws as shown. Also unplug the black and red power wires  from the battery contact points.

Check the motherboard and check for any signs of rust or residue, clean if necessary. Alcohol and a toothbrush will remove stubborn rust stains.

Carefully remove all the metal parts from the battery compartment. These can be cleaned in a simple overnight soak in Vinegar. Vinegar is a Eco friendly rust remover!

Soak the metal parts for a few hours or more depending on the severity of the rust damage. Rinse parts thoroughly after soaking.

My favorite way to clean and brighten plastic parts is Oxi-Clean or any generic version.  Take all the parts and soak them for a few hours. I typically use 2tbs per gallon of hot water. This process should remove 90% of the rust stains and grime. Products like CLR will remove all traces of rust if this is a major concern in your restoration.

As you can see the vinegar soak completely restored the metal.

Once the all plastic is clean and dry reassemble the unit  follow the steps above in reverse order.

In all, if you can find a cheap NES Satillite (under $30), I say go for it. It's a neat piece of Nintendos history and the NES system looks cool with the receiver installed.  I like this accessory, but use it in moderation due to the battery consumption.  Note: Rechargeable AA batteries can be used with the help of AA to C adapters. These are plastic shells that fit around the AA battery increasing its size. Easy to find via eBay $2-$3



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




  1. I would like to thank you for this information. Today I found a NES Satellite and the unit is full of corrosion from the batteries. I will follow this instruction. I hope it will clean up all the parts.

  2. Thanks for stopping by. Let me know if you fix it.

  3. Great pictures and instructions. I have 2 of these one wasn't damaged and one I was able to power up.

    Need help w the receiver. I have 2 of those as well. One was bought supposedly tested and working the other cleaned up. The receivers doesn't seem to be recognizing the inputs from either base. The light doesn't come on either receiver either.

    I put the base right in front of the receiver trying to avoid interference still nothing.

    Any advice?

    1. If the lights do not power on check your battery tray and clean the contacts.

    2. The light on the receivers don't come on. The part that plugs into the Nintendo do. The base lights up fine and had fresh batteries

    3. Ok. If the receiver is not powering up (the part that plugs into the nes) I would double check the internal wires leading to the male connector ports. It should receive power from the NES. Also check for signs of bad capacitors.

  4. Hello again. I cleaned my unit. I used vineager and dish soap. With a little help of a sharp knife edge I cleaned all plastics. unfortunately one battery spring was broken because of corrosion so I have to find another one before I can test the unit.
    Thank you for your help.
    /Peter (Sweden)

    1. Glad I could Help. You can try finding another battery spring from a junk device.

  5. My unit is up and running!! I found another battery spring in an old radio.
    Thank you once again for your instructions.
    /Peter (Sweden)

  6. I am trying to use an ir relay to play nes wirelessly with the console ina media closet. I am having trouble getting the ir emitter to work with the nes sattelite receiver (part that plugs into console). The ir receiver and emitter works, i tested on a directtv genie with remote set to ir. I took apart the receiver to locate the ir receiver eye, it appears to be about 3/4" in from the top left corner and 1/2" down. Ir emitter os adhered to that spot and i have moved around a bit with no success. Unit works fine with direct line of sight or even bouncing off one wall. I am thinking my emitter is pushing out too low of an ir illumination or the repeater receiver is not recognizing the sattelite ir for some reason (ie this old technology is pushing slower ir pulses or something). I was going to try an ir blaster type emitter that does not adhere to front but rather a few feet away. I also read they make variable ir emitters where you can adjust the light intensity. Wondering if anyone has successfuly used nes sattelite with an ir repeater and if so how they did it or if anyone has any advice. Thanks


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