NES:Blinking Light Win

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The Blinking Light Win (BLW) is an aftermarket 72-pin cartridge connector produced by Arcade Works and introduced in late 2014 as the result of a highly successful Kickstarter campaign. It is the first aftermarket connector where cartridges can be simply inserted without pushing them down, greatly improving reliability. In addition, the BLW includes a lockout chip which bypasses the NES's own lockout and can be configured for different regions through power cycling.


Official installation video

Installing the BLW is incredibly simple and only requires a JIS or Phillips head screwdriver.

  • Flip over the NES and unscrew the six screws securing the case.
  • Remove the top case and set it aside. Unscrew the seven screws securing the RF shielding and then set the shielding aside.
  • Remove the six screws securing the cartridge tray and slide it out.
  • Carefully remove the original 72-pin connector from the motherboard. To make removing it easier, you may remove the two remaining screws holding down the motherboard, which will free the motherboard and give you more room to work with. Set the original connector aside (don't throw it away!).
  • Plug the BLW connector into the motherboard, paying attention to the orientation so that the silkscreening on the connector PCB is right side up. Place the motherboard back down into the bottom case and screw it back down.
  • Take the replacement tray provided in the BLW kit and slide it on top of the connector PCB. Screw it down to the case; for the rear screws, do NOT use the longer screws that were used for the original tray.
  • Test with a few (preferably clean) games to ensure that the BLW is functioning.
  • Once you have verified that the install was successful, replace the RF shielding and reassemble the console.