TI-99/4A Cartridge Lifespan

From: starling_at_umr.edu <(starling_at_umr.edu)>
Date: Mon Jul 21 10:12:52 1997

> Is this a indication of dead carts or a problem with my computer? What is
> the estimated lifespan of the standard cartridge, and how can environmental
> conditions effect this?

Assuming that TI didn't make their cartridges with EPROMs (which would be
subject to bit-rot), I'd suspect the connectors on the cartridge are
dirty & therefore not making good contact with the socket. Video
cartridges with normal ROM chips on them are pretty much indestructable
it seems, so I doubt that the cartridges are bad.

Opinion varies on how to clean cartridge contacts, but the two most
popular ways seem to be: 1) pencil eraser and 2) alcohol & cotton swab.
I prefer the pencil eraser as long as I'm able to get at the contacts
well enough with it. Just be sure you get off all the pencil eraser
particles off the card and be sure you use a PINK eraser, not the
abrasive white (pen ink) kind.

You might also try using some canned air or something to clean the
cartridge socket on the TI. They make video-game socket cleaning pads for
like Nintendo machines that you could probably modify to work in the TI.

I really can't remember how TI cartridges are constructed, so it may be a
big pain in the arse to clean the buggers.

Received on Mon Jul 21 1997 - 10:12:52 BST

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