NES-101 TopLoader Composite AV Upgrade Kit Instructions

Please take proper safety precautions when dealing with electronics and soldering. Have proper ventilation and a clean work area. Research basic soldering technique if in doubt.  I cannot be held responsible for any damages that could occur to you or your equipment while following (or misreading!) the procedures present on this Website.


This Kit can be purchased or installed from my store here

Enhanced Audio:
The NES has been designed to output mono sound. You will hear the same sound in both speakers. This kit has an optional faux stereo install method. The NES CPU has 2 sound outputs. One carries the 2 square wave channels and the other one carries the triangle wave channel, the noise channel and the sample channel. By tapping directly on the CPU pins it is possible to direct the 2 sound outputs to different speakers, thus obtaining faux stereo.

Personally I would stick with the original Mono. The installation is much easier.

Power LED Instructions are found here.

Please research basic Soldering before attempting this install.  Wires will need to be stripped and tinned before soldered in place.  Proper soldering temperatures and guidelines need to be followed. 
Youtube "soldering 101" for assistance.
Read this Awesome "Soldering is Easy – Comic" for Basic 101s of soldering click here.

  • Security Bit 4.5 mm
  • Medium Sized Phillips screwdriver
  • 30w Soldering iron (preferably with a small tip)
  • Solder
  • Wire Strippers
  • Drill with 1/4 inch drill bit
  • Micro Flush cutter or some kind of mini cutters

Board Wiring layout:
  • (21) Composite Video input /  Connects to the PPU chip Pin 21
  • (C)  Composite Video output / Connects to the RCA jack that will carry the video signal.
  • (5)   Connects to 5v power source
  • (G)  Connects to Ground tabs of RCA jack
  • (AUD out)  Connects to Red and White RCA jacks for audio output. Not needed when selecting Mono option.
  • (AUD in) Connects to pins on CPU chip. Not needed when choosing Mono option.

      Before starting take time and clean a proper work area. This mod requires patience and a cluttered work area will not help you.

      First step: There are four 4.5mm security screws on the bottom of the console. All screws will be represented as RED dots throughout this tutorial. Remove these and place the screws in a safe place. Next flip the console over and slowly remove the top plastic shell.

      Now with the top shell removed you can see the motherboard & RF shielding. Remove all visible screws There are 3 gold tinted Phillip screws around the RF shielding and two silver screws at the cartridge slot.

      Here is a quick overview photo of the motherboard connections.  All the remaining connection points will be located at the RCA jacks.

      Trim wires to desired length before soldering into place. Insure length clears RF shield.

      Once you are familiar with the soldering locations you can start wiring the Composite Kit and getting ready for the install.  The photos below show examples of a properly wired composite Kit.
      Remember. The AUD IN (audio inputs) is optional. Only required for faux stereo install.

      The composite video source will be captured from Pin21 on the PPU chip.  You can skip the cutting and solder directly to the leg but video will have "JailBars" aka faint vertical lines in the video  

      Xuron 410 Micro-Shear Flush Cutter Perfect for trimming Chip legs.

      Note: Snip the pin carefully. Do not lift, pull or stress the pin.
      If in doubt, stop and ship your NES here for installation.
      Tip: Rotate the snipers upside down from shown above. Makes for Cleaner cut.
      Pin is cleanly cut! Solder wire to reaming Leg

      Power Source This wire powers the Composite kit. Solder the wire as shown. This wire is soldered to resistor R1, Study the photo and location carefully.

      (AUD IN) Solder wire to the location shown below.  This step can be ignored if wanting original NES mono.  Mono installation shown below

      Enhanced Audio Install.

      If you wish to keep the original Mono NES audio solder your audio wire here.  The other end will go directly to the Red and White RCA jacks.  

      Our next step is to assemble the RF shields and motherboard back into place.  If you are installing the Power LED follow my  other article before placing the motherboard back into placeView Here

      Make sure the wires are in the correct spot and not pinched by the RF shield. Example of proper wire placement below. Composite board is screwed into place. This step also complete the Ground circuit. The board will Not work until screwed into place.

      Below we have the motherboard and RF shield back into place. You should have 4 wires that are not yet connected. If using the Mono method you will only have 3 wires remaining.

      Note:  Drilling holes in the NES is optional.  I also offer custom rear ports and TRRS jacks. This will preserve the NES shell.  Ship your NES to RetroFixes for cleaner install methods.

      Next we need to drill holes for the RCA jacks. Make sure to read through all the steps before Drilling. Measure twice and cut once! I start by marking 3 locations 13mm apart and 10mm from the bottom edge of the case. Examples shown below.
      12mm spacing.

      Location of the RCA jacks is important. Use my photo below as a guide. Please measure and drill carefully Drill pilot holes with a smaller drill bit like a 3mm.  Then drill the final 1/4" holes. The end results are cleaner. Watch for stress on the plastic and work slowly. Set the drill at the slowest speed. Do not rush this step.

      The last stages of the installation requires wiring the RCA jack.  Simply follow the images closely. Remember Yellow=Composite Video  Red+White=Audio

      Example of alternative mono installation. One wire for both audio jacks.

      Use small jumper wire and attache all RCA tabs to ground.

      Final Step: Carefully assemble your NES and pay close attention to the new wires when closing the body shell. Insert the 4 bottom screws and secure the case in place.
      Watchout when closing case.

      Done!  Play some games and test your new high quality composite. If the kit does not work re-read to instructions and double check your work.