SNES Vertical Line
One problem that’s plagues some SNES consoles is a vertical line constantly going down the center of the screen.
Please read on for more information:
The vertical line is most noticeable right when the console is powered on (hence the above
shot), or in games with lots of dark scenes, such as Super Metroid. It’s believed the vertical bar is caused by
the power drop during DRAM refresh. This is something I remember seeing when I was a kid and it’s a widely
talked about issue.
Over the years, people have suggested many ways to reduce or remove the white
line. At the moment, it seems the best method is to add capacitors. Here's more information and you can click
on the picture for a full-sized view (thanks to Paul T for the pic!):
- Start by adding a 16v 470uF capacitor to the voltage regulator (which is attached to the
heatsink), as shown in the bottom-right picture. Note the orientation of the cap and that the negative end
(the side with the stripe) is connected to the center pin! If that doesn't work, you can
try a 1000uF cap as well.
- If after trying both caps you're still having trouble, you can try adding two
16v, 220uF caps to the S-RGB chip as shown on the bottom-left picture: Solder the negative ends (with the
stripe) to ground pin #13 and each positive end of the cap to the two 5v pins 6 & 19 (thanks to Mark
for that tip):
RGB Bypass as a solution for 1CHIP / Mini Consoles:
I've personally seen an RGB bypass fix the white line issue on many SNES consoles and it's one of the
reasons I've recommended beginners use a bypass instead of the on-board amp for the Mini. That being said, if
you have a 1CHIP (no RGB mod needed), or if you've already done the on-board RGB mod to a SNES Mini, then the
above fix might be a better overall solution.
Other Fixes / Information:
There have been a few other fixes reported over the years. I haven't had time to test them, but wanted to
add the information in case it could help someone else.
Alex / ArcadeTV suggested replacing the big 2200uF capacitor plus three 220uF: one on
the output of the 7805 and the two remaining on the supply-pins of the S-RGB IC. Here's a link for more
Here's another possible fix: http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?18935-SNES-vertical-line-issue&p=591084&viewfull=1#post591084
Please contact me and share your results! Did the cap trick not work, but the bypass did?
The other way around? I'm always curious to see other people's outcome.
Feel free to go back to the main
SNES page. If you'd like info on mods for other systems, head to the Getting RGB
From Each System page or check out the main
page for more