12 Sep 2018

Neo Geo AES - SNK (repair log)

This console has been donated to me (well I had to pay shipping from the US which was huge!) as not working after a failed BIOS mod. I've seen failed BIOS mods before but that one was awful...
The person who attempted it for sure didn't have the appropriate tools and after what I think was a long struggle, managed to pull the original BIOS, ripping many traces in the process. Then, as holes weren't cleared properly, they chose to solder wires between the motherboard and a DIP40 socket:

And tried to patch some broken traces on the solder side too:

After realising it was a complete fail the board was used as a donor, one of the work RAMs has been pulled, and of course a pad has been ripped and few others lifted:

Admitedly I was quite disapointed. I cleaned the case the best I could and sent the motherboard to the scrap pile.
Many days later I went back to it, long story short and as suprising as it seems, I don't own an AES anymore so I found motivation to accept the challenge.
First, and out of curiosity, I checked the patching wires: 70% were good, 20% were absent, 10% were wrong.
I removed the bodge, cleaned the area a bit and cleared the holes:

I installed a socket:

Did the trace patching work on the solder side:

Then installed a new work RAM and patched the missing pad (incredibly other lifted pads survived the soldering):

Finally installed a UniBIOS (V3.3). It looks much better now:

All connections in the BIOS area checked good, so as work RAMs.
Time for a test.
We have a Neo Geo splash screen with the jingle playing!

Title screen of the game (sorry, only cart I have):

Everything works as it should (graphics, sound, controls):

Console fixed!


  1. World Heroes is the game of champions, congrats on the fix!

  2. Thats brilliant, you brought back a board from dead.