Thursday, November 4, 2010

NES Cartridge Wireless Router

Check out our store to where you can purchase an NES Cartridge T Shirt!!! 

step 1Materials and Tools Needed

NES Cartridge
Preferably a common game

Belkin Wireless G Router 
Model: F5D7230-4

Gamebit (3.8mm) or Flathead Screwdriver
Dependent on cartridge type

Soldering Iron
Low-heat soldering iron is recommended


Thin Wire

Razor Blade

Desoldering Iron (Optional)

Desoldering Braid (Optional)

Pliers (Optional)

step 2Disassembling the Game Cartridge

First, identify the type of NES cartridge you have and acquire the appropriate screwdriver. One variation uses five flathead screws to hold the cartridge together, while the other variant uses three 3.8mm gamebit screws as well as two plastic tabs.

Now, remove the screws using the correct tools based on your cartridge type. Once the screws are removed, the cartridge can then be easily halved. After the housing has been dismantled, remove and discard of the game's motherboard as this will not be needed.

step 3Disassembling the Belkin Wireless Router

Remove the two screws veiled beneath the information label on the bottom of the device. Refer to the image for screw locations if any complication may arise. Remove the screws adhering the router's mainboard to the casing. This should be rather simple.

step 4
Preparing the Cartridge

You may find that the router's mainboard will not fit into the cartridge for quite a few reasons. The main problems lie with the unneeded plastic inside the cartridge. Specifically the long horizontal beams, the assembly holding the game board in position, and the vertical screw threading cylinder on the front half of the cartridge. Use your dermal, razor, or wire cutters to remove these cleanly. 

step 5
Rewiring the Capacitors

Try fitting the board in and you'll find the capacitors cause the housing to not close properly. These must be removed and rewired. Use either your desoldering braid or desoldering iron to remove the solder connecting the capacitors to the mainboard. Remove the three capacitors, labeled in the image, and resolder them with your wire. 

step 6Create Label for Cartridge

Now you can create a custom made label for the cartridge. We decided to go with a retro, Nintendo-style label for our router. 

Final Result!

Thanks Engadget, LifeHacker, JoystiqInstructables, Kotaku, Go Nintendo!, Reddit, Digg, Gadgesteria, GeekThugRadio, DCEmu, FeedTheGamer, Blodic, Crunchdot, and many others, for posting this! I really appreciate it!

Special Thanks to Scott Williamson, Veronica Stanley, & Ashley Adkins!


  1. Is there a dual band wireless router that will work too?

  2. I'll give you $200 for it.

  3. Let us know how it goes! Also, follow us on Blogspot and Twitter!

  4. Well whaddya know? I happen to have that exact Belkin router and a couple spare NES cartridges laying around. Gold Zelda router anyone? I'm totally doing it!

  5. @modernmormondad
    At least use an excessively common, terrible, or already broken game...
    NES cartriges are getting rarer and rarer, don't destroy a good game. :(

    The hack however, is awesome. I may make it with a copy of Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt, I'm sure I have about 5 of those lying around

  6. Finally, a use for my shitty CastleQuest cart.

  7. I need to find me an old NES catridge as I have a similar Belkin router that would work great!!!!! This is awesome!!!!!

    Modernmormondad - don't do it. At least not with a Gold Zelda Cartridge. "modernmormondad said...
    Well whaddya know? I happen to have that exact Belkin router and a couple spare NES cartridges laying around. Gold Zelda router anyone? I'm totally doing it!"

  8. hey! nice pro-like job you've done! Did it work as good with the capacitors in another position?

    This project will be featured in today.

  9. It was created in Photoshop CS5. We have the original .PSD file if anyone would like to use the same label!

  10. @gio,

    It worked well with the capacitors rewired. We tested it somewhat before placing it into the NES cartridge with the capacitors not in direct contact with the board, and no issues arose.

    Thanks for the post!

  11. Paul Hesson... You are a monster.

  12. and Andrew Murphy of course ;) I know he created that awesome label.

  13. If anyone tries this with different routers, please post the model number you used.

    Anyone have any good ideas on getting the status LEDs to work? Was thinking maybe one could put some clear plastic under the label and the light might shine through the Nintendo logo, or maybe the end of the cartridge where it says "Wireless"...

  14. We attempted several different ways to try and get the LED to be decent looking, but to no avail.

    Of course, this is still just the first one we've ever made, so we will be updating and tinkering as we figure out new ideas. Another good idea would be to create a depression in the NES cartridge under where the wireless symbol logo is located, and have the LED shine through that.

    Just a thought!

    -Unconventional Hacker

  15. Thats soo cool im going to make one lol. The wireless picture on the cartridge doesn't look like it was printed on paper what did you use???

  16. It wasn't regular paper. It was printed on label paper but I can't remember the exact type off the top of my head.

    I'll get back to you about the exact type though!


  17. Could you provide the PSD for the label?

  18. Yes, we will email you the PSD file this evening. Just email us at:


  19. This is so awesome. I'm doing it. How do you power it though?

  20. It is powered through the A/C adapter that came with it. Also, a video will be posted Monday on our YouTube page showing it's functionality!

    Make sure you post pictures to our FaceBook page!

  21. I have another question. I'm using one that's hardware rev. 1000 So it will run DD-RWT. What did you do with the antennas?

  22. Do you have a picture of the router inside the NES game case, while the case is halved?

  23. I would love to see a "dock" based around a NES shell to put this into, for power/ethernet etc. It would complete it! OTT maybe, but it would be so, so cool!

  24. @mbarker2312
    "Is there a dual band wireless router that will work too?"

    I'm pretty sure that any of Ubiquity's "bullet" routers would fit pretty much anywhere you feel like shoving them.

  25. @Casey: The antenna was lined around the outside of the motherboard to provide optimal range.

    @Taylor: Sorry, we actually didn't take a picture of that stage. We are most likely going to do another one with a gold cartridge so we will be sure and take some more photos.

    @Olliemon: Our next project is actually a "dock" of some sort. Follow us on Twitter to find out when it's posted!

    Thanks for all the comments, we really appreciate it!

  26. Hi. :)

    I have a geek blog in french and i had translate your post in french.

    Thank for your job. ;)

  27. Hello, I live in the UK and stumbled on this, thinking it'd be an awesome project and practical too.

    I bought the router in question, being careful to make sure it was the correct model, etc.. and yet, when I opened the box, the layout of mine is different:
    The capacitors are smaller,
    There is a copper inductor with some glue or soemthing all over it,
    and finally a wireless aerial too..

    Would i still be able to do this project or not? My concern is mainly the inductor getting hot and melting the NES cartridge plastic or something :I

    Here are a few pics to show my predicament:

    Also, here is a pic showing the model number, to show that the model number is indeed the same:

    Well Done for such an awesome project, and I hope i'll be able to make one with my own router too. :D

  28. What's the size on the router mainboard? Would like to build a hub version for at work (can't use a router due to our DHCP server, but a hub would be great).

  29. @radeon2358: Thanks for the translation and post!

    @Uni: Yes, that motherboard is definitely very different from the one I used. I'm thinking it has to do with the fact that yours is the UK version and mine was the US version. I do not have the copper part on the motherboard I used. The NES cartridge plastic should not melt, even under extreme heat. I wouldn't worry about that as much. Is the copper spiral too tall for the cartridge? If it's short enough, I would just try it as is. If not, you may have to try and find a US version of the router.

    @Steve: I believe it's approximately 4.8 inches by 5.2 inches.

    Thanks everyone!

  30. @Unconventional Hacker:
    Thanks for the reply, I'm currently waiting on my crappy NES game to arrive, as i dont really want to cut up my prized Zelda + Metroid carts Heh.. but, when it does, i'll let you know :)

    Thanks again for the response :)

  31. @Uni: I'm excited to find out if it works! Make sure you let us know when it does!

    Thanks for your comments!

  32. Hey! Basically this could work with any router that fits in the cartridge?
    Also, how much does it heats? after a lot of use could the label detach?

  33. We've used it for an extended period of time and didn't have any prominent issues with heat/label.

    Yes, in theory, any router that will fit in the cartridge should work.


  34. @Unconventional Hacker:
    Sadly the router didnt fit inside the case, a shame as I had to remove the thick Wifi antennae to be able to try and close the cartridge which was a pain.

    The power inverter just wouldn't let it fit :(
    I'll have to think of something else to fit it inside I guess :( It left a good 2-3mm gap

    I imagine that a US router would have odd requirements here in the UK, particularly with the voltage difference here.

  35. @Uni: If you can, post some pictures of the area that has issues with height and I'll see if I can think of a workaround!


  36. @Unconventional Hacker
    I already did lol, the inverter is the only part which is too large.. however, after speaking with some friends, they suggested that I could likely just desolder the inverter from the board and put wires from the board to it instead, so give it a little leeway to be moved, extending the circuit, then it should fit perfectly.

  37. I am trying with a Dlink DIR-815 this weekend

  38. I can't seem to get the image to print out the correct size, can someone tell me how they did it? Thanks!

  39. Here's mine without the label!

  40. @o1139skateboards: Awesome!

    Go to the forums and start a thread with your picture and let us know how it went while making it!

    Also, if you'd like, I can make a custom label for you!

    Just let us know in the forum.


  41. The Dlink DIR-815 will not work with a NES cartridge. Im currently trying to think of something equally awesome to put it in..

    The system board was to long and the ethernet ports were in a less then ideal position to fit.

    Any ideas?

  42. La bomba amigos! NES Olschool Rules

  43. would be sweet to use a buffalo whr-g54s ,,, anyone know if it will fit? 5.7" x 5.1" x 1.1" size with case

  44. Just finished mine! It wasn't a perfect job, especially on the cartridge, but i'm pretty happy with it.

    Photos are here:

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