Hardware Fixing charging contacts?

IC_

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Are there any methods to fix the charging contacts (for the charging dock)? The contacts on my old 3DS are really worn out, the gold contacts turned silver in the middle and they often have issues properly contacting.
I tried using some alcohol on a qtip to clean them multiple times and it fixes the issue for some time but then it just goes back to how it was before so I'm wondering if there are any other methods for making them work better? And I'm not looking for an answer that just says "replace the charging port".
Thank you
 

ghjfdtg

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A qtip doesn't go very deep into the holes. Maybe take it apart and give it a good scrub directly. There is not much you can do besides cleaning when the contacts are worn out (no gold plating anymore).
 
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The contacts on the 3DS itself are the problem, not on the charging dock
Try rubbing the contacts with pencil graphite to restore some conductivity (only a temporary solution).

Start charging a spare CTR-003 battery with a external li-ion battery charger. Swap batteries when the current one runs out of juice.
 

IC_

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Try rubbing the contacts with pencil graphite to restore some conductivity (only a temporary solution).

Start charging a spare CTR-003 battery with a external li-ion battery charger. Swap batteries when the current one runs out of juice.
I'll try that and no, the charging port itself works fine so I could just use that instead if the contacts for the dock completely stopped working
 
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I'll try that and no, the charging port itself works fine so I could just use that instead if the contacts for the dock completely stopped working
How good are your origami skills? Take thin strips of aluminum foil, roll them flat with a cylindrical or spherical object to make them thinner, fold them into tiny square patches, and press fit them into the contact cavities.

Edit - There are also copper foils. Think some versions come as one-sided tape. Very pricey.
 
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If it is through any plating that gets more fun. I usually see it more that there is crud on the contacts and in that case a bit of a fun with some contact cleaner (get normal electrical -- stuff for vehicles is designed to cut through far worse and will risk your plastics) and a toothpick/cocktail stick.

You can electroplate things again if you want (you literally need a decent battery, the metal you want to plate with and some chemical to act as a transportation agent, and while not the absolute safest thing in the world it can be managed with most problems being hydrogen and the resulting chemical maybe not wanting to be poured down the drain). You might well have done it in school (copper tubes and some blue copper sulphate solution with a power supply being the typical one, or alternatively if you have ever done something similar to get rid of rust then that but the power lines are probably switched around.
If you can't get the contacts off though then you are faced with having to coat the PCB instead to prevent any plating happening on that.

You can come the other way and make the contacts stronger as well -- many times with dodgy connectors I have built up one of them with some solder or something to force a better connection.

Option the second. Bypass the lot by some means. You can probably adapt a nice mobile phone induction charging pad to work with the 3DS if you were so inclined.

That said straight repair does not look so bad

Could possibly even go one further and adapt it to USB but we will skip that one for now.
 
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IC_

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If it is through any plating that gets more fun. I usually see it more that there is crud on the contacts and in that case a bit of a fun with some contact cleaner (get normal electrical -- stuff for vehicles is designed to cut through far worse and will risk your plastics) and a toothpick/cocktail stick.

You can electroplate things again if you want (you literally need a decent battery, the metal you want to plate with and some chemical to act as a transportation agent, and while not the absolute safest thing in the world it can be managed with most problems being hydrogen and the resulting chemical maybe not wanting to be poured down the drain). You might well have done it in school (copper tubes and some blue copper sulphate solution with a power supply being the typical one, or alternatively if you have ever done something similar to get rid of rust then that but the power lines are probably switched around.
If you can't get the contacts off though then you are faced with having to coat the PCB instead to prevent any plating happening on that.

You can come the other way and make the contacts stronger as well -- many times with dodgy connectors I have built up one of them with some solder or something to force a better connection.

Option the second. Bypass the lot by some means. You can probably adapt a nice mobile phone induction charging pad to work with the 3DS if you were so inclined.

That said straight repair does not look so bad

Could possibly even go one further and adapt it to USB but we will skip that one for now.
Thanks for the suggestions, this is what it looks like if you're interested (sorry if the picture is bad)
IMG_3338.png


I thought about putting some fresh solder on it too but I'm afraid I would mess something else up if I went near it with a soldering iron and from my experience solder doesn't always make good direct contact with whatever else I'm touching it with so I wasn't sure about that
Same thing with replacing the entire charging port, I'm afraid that I'll just mess it up instead and even if I didn't the finished thing would be a mess with my soldering skills
 

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There is one problem with the electroplating idea. It's regular soft gold which wears out quick again. It may work for a few months but it will wear out again. Not to mention it's not cheap and uses some nasty chemicals.

Hard gold is what you want (it's an alloy of gold, nickel and iron) on the contacts. It's (as the name suggests) harder but still withstands corrosion. As far as i know it's applied purely chemically.
 
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