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; Esentially, an inefficient power filter. This is something I remember
seeing when I was a kid and it’s a widely talked about issue.
A fairly easy and efficient way to either remove or reduce the white line is by
simply replacing the stock 7805 voltage regulator with one having a higher current rating:
Here's a comparison picture taken by s0m showing his results when changing the 7805 &
cap. My results were very similar, but in my testing the new 78S05 made the biggest difference by far
(click for full-sized):
This video shows how to replace the voltage regulator and the
adjacent capacitor as explained above:
Instead of replacing the voltage regulator, you can try adding a capacitor to it. 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
- 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
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. Also, adding an RGB amp will not fix the white
line for composite video out, only RGB!
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.