What's wrong with my Super Famicom?

Hoping someone here can help me with the problem I have with my Super Famicom.

It recently started giving me a fuzzy, noisy picture of static whenever I load a cart but there’s still sound. If I leave it long enough (longer if the Super Famicom has been switched off for a while), the picture will resolve.

Here’s a video to show you what I mean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtsqNneZvos

What do you think is wrong? Is the PPU dying? Does the SFC need a recap?

How are you hooking this up? Looks to me like it could possibly be a sync issue.

Do you have a flash cart to run the Burn-in Test/Test Program? I’ve never used it myself but the results may provide some guidance.

How are you hooking this up? Looks to me like it could possibly be a sync issue.

It’s only composite, sadly.

Do you have a flash cart to run the Burn-in Test/Test Program? I’ve never used it myself but the results may provide some guidance.

I did run both those programs on my SD2SNES. It passed all the tests, so maybe it’s not the PPU after all.

Hmm, do you have a multi-meter you could check the capacitors with?

https://console5.com/wiki/SNES (capacitor list in section 3) [nvm, duh these are for SNES not SFC]

Are you positive it’s not the CRT?

Just spitballing here. It may help to try it on other displays.

That is absolutely sync. Might be the TV, might be the cables. The signal might be weakened by that cheapo switcher too.

The SuFami is clearly working right the whole time, as the game displays fine, it’s just the TV not picking up the sync.

Yup that’s definitely a sync issue and with it needing to " warm up" before it works it sounds like a cap to me.


These schematics will help you trace out your issue but honestly at this point the system could use a full recap anyway.

Edit: just saw you’re using a switcher. Try eliminating the switch to see if that’s the culprit. Your issue here is a weak sync signal that the TV is having trouble trying to " hold" and that could definitely be caused by a switch not boosting the signal.

Thanks for the helpful responses and links to resources, everyone!

As suggested so far, I tried plugging the cable straight to the TV without the switcher, and also tried again by switching cables. Still had the sync issue.

I then tried plugging the SFC to my Samsung LED TV, and to my surprise that didn’t produce the sync issue. I still don’t think it’s a problem with my CRT though, because I don’t have any problems with any of my other consoles, and it especially doesn’t have a problem with my PAL SNES, which I had to drag out of storage (I don’t play it much… because it’s PAL).

So I took a closer look at the SFC board and I finally noticed some corrosion on some of the caps. Didn’t notice them before because they were under the heatsink and I was too lazy to take it off at the time.

So yeah, like Socksfelloff says, looks like it’s time to recap. I’ll order the cap replacement kit off of Console5 and I’ll see how it goes from there. So glad it isn’t the PPU dying or something. Phew!

Well it may still be lol.

Do you have anyway to try svideo or RGBs on that SFC?

Different tvs/monitors have different thresholds that’s why things like the OSSC have many ways to adjust the sync.

Well,I bought an OSSC recently but that and the scart cables are still in the mail.

If the PPU does die… at least that gives me an excuse to look for a 1chip or a Super NT! :sweat_smile:

The lack of analog output or 240p over hdmi is my biggest gripe with the super NT. It’s strictly for SNES on a modern screen.

As for the 1chip I think there’s alot of hyperbole in this hobby but the improvements with the 1 chip are absolutely worth the hype.

The stock “Non 1-chip” SNES definitely has way muddier video out. I’m always shocked by it if I switch to SNES after playing literally any of my other retro systems, which are quite sharp over RGB.

Have you been able to try the TV with other 60Hz consoles? Do you use the same input as the Super Famicom?

Yep. the PAL SNES is my only 50hz console. The other consoles I do own (TwinFami, AV-modded original Famicom, AV Famicom, Dreamcast, Saturn, PS1, PS2, Gamecube, Wii) are all NTSC/J and I use them all on my CRT with no problems.

SEGA should have been showing off RGBs comparisons back in the day. The original SFC/SNES has to be the worst RGBs output I’ve ever seen.

Wasn’t everyone still on RF back then though? I used RF all the way up to the PS1 days (lol, I had to actually buy a separate RF adaoter) because my parents were too cheap to buy a new TV that had anything better than RF. My country completely skipped out on s-video.

Eh… I don’t mind the soft look. It still looks pretty great in my humble opinion.

Most people owned composite-input-capable sets or VCRs by 1995 or so. That’s why PS1 and N64 didn’t come with RF out of the box anymore. Not sure about Saturn though.

S-Video definitely WAS a thing in those days for higher-quality CRTs, but the average North American consumer didn’t even realize what that port was for. Almost no consumer devices came with a packed-in S-Video cable. I assume only enthusiasts knew about it.

I had a TV with composite input but I was annoyed with having the reach around back and unplug the cables so I ran everything with RF so I could Daisy chain everything !

It wasn’t untill I bought an XBOX360 that I learned about video output