Introduction: Eeasily Fix a Nintendo 64 AV Cable With a Bad Connection (For Free!)
I adore my very used, and very loved N64 (which is actually the third one I've owned). However my N64 is old and cranky and when I recently dragged it out of the dark comfort of it’s storage box, it threw a fit whenever I move it around too much. The problem was with the AV cable connecting to the console – the connection was shaky because of the old cable and unless the cable was wiggled just right, I wouldn't get any video or audio on the screen. First couple of times it went out on me I was able to patiently sit by it, slowly wiggling the cable until the connection was finally made. But eventually that got old, and my dad gave me a great solution which I'm going to share with all my fellow N64 fans.
You Will Need:
-A loved N64
-The offending AV cable
-Q-tips or similar long thin stick-y thing
-Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline or the generic version works fine too)
Step 1: Make Sure the AV Cable Connection Is Actually the Problem
Old consoles can act up for lots of reasons, so first you want to make sure that your problem is actually the AV cable. This is simple to check. Just set your N64 up, plug it in and power it up, then answer the following:
-Is the red power light on? If the answer is yes, move on. If not, make sure the N64's on switch is flipped and that the power cord is actually plugged into a working electrical socket. If that still doesn't work, then the problem with your N64 is bigger than the AV cable and I don't currently have an instructable to help you, sorry!
-Is there no video or sound despite the fact the AV cable is plugged in correctly? If the answer is yes, and you get a "no signal" or similar message on your TV, then you can be pretty sure that the problem is the AV cable connection. If there is sound but no video or vice versa, then it isn't the N64-to-AV cable connection that's wrong and you probably want to check your TV's AV ports or look for a new AV cable completely.
Step 2: Apply the Connector Substance to the AV Port
So we know for sure the problem is that the connection simply isn't being made between the N64 and the AV cable because over time the connection between the two when plugged in gets loosened, hence the hours of wiggling it takes to finally make a connection again (and the ease at which that connection is lost).
But there is a very simple way to make the connection all the time, every time! We're going to add a connecting substance that will make sure they always connect. Start by getting a nice swipe of petroleum jelly on your Q-Tip (or other similar device).
Then simply smear the jelly into the AV port on the back of the N64. You don't really have to stick the Q-Tip inside and don't frost it on like you would a cake - just a nice thin smear around the edges will work (when we plug the AV cable in it will take the jelly into the port with it).
Step 3: Apply the Connector Substance to the AV Cable
For good measure, smear a little petroleum jelly on the AV cable as well - not too much though.
Step 4: Plug in and Test
Now plug the cable into the N64 and hook it back up to your TV. Switch it on and you should now have both sound and video!
I first did this fix to my N64 in May of 2012 and haven't had to reapply the jelly since. I can move the N64 around and knock it without fear of losing the connection. If you're unplugging the AV cable often you might want to reapply the jelly every so often, but only if the connection seems to be getting fuzzy again (you don't want to cake up your ports with the jelly).
As far as I'm aware there's no way the jelly can damage your N64, and if you put too much in or want to get it out, use a hair dryer to heat the jelly up and let it drip out.