I recently bought a Nintendo 64 console online from America and since I live in Europe I plugged it into a unit that allows the american plugin to fit into our outlet (It works fine for my girlfriend's hair-straightener and since I'm not that much of an electric-guy I figured it would do just fine).

Sadly, when I plugged it in, the entire electricity of the apartment shut down and I heard some weird noise (more of a pop) from the console, followed up with a blast of smoke.

I found out afterwards (smarty me afterwards) that our outlets are 220v but the console accepts 110v. I bought a converter but the console won't turn on.

I'm thinking that I might have fried the console.

I did a quick research where a guy seems to be experiencing what I went through but I'm concerned whether It's actually

  • Just the power supply.
  • Something within the console itself.
  • Something fixable.

Since it's not obvious at all which answers turned out to be the problem solver.

What should I do? I'm sorry if a mechanism question isn't suitable here, just let me know.

  • 2
    I'm no electrician, but from the sounds of it the power supply got overloaded and fried. If you can find a replacement Power it should be ok.
    – Rapitor
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 17:18
  • 9
    A device that changes the form factor of the plug but doesn't change the voltage? That sounds horribly dangerous!
    – toryan
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 17:23
  • 5
    @toryan Actually, a lot of AC/DC converters accept a wide array of voltages, so it's not unusual to just need a plug converter. For example, most laptop power supplies are designed with international mains voltages in mind.
    – agent86
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 17:27
  • I think it's going to be hard to determine specifically what is fried as I have no experience with the N64 and its power supply, but I'd start by replacing the power supply and going from there. From what I recall, the power supply is removable on the N64, so chances are good that you'll just need to buy one from a retro gaming shop online or in your area.
    – agent86
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 17:28
  • 1
    "Answers or comments from electricity professionals" can be found at your friendly [Electrical Engineering Stack Exchange](electronics.stackexchange.com). You might consider jumping into their chat room if you want to talk with users that have advanced electrical knowledge.
    – Batophobia
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 18:09

2 Answers 2


The pop you heard was a popping capacitor, while the smoke was probably the chips frying. The system is almost certainly not salvagable (and even if it were, it would take significantly more time/effort than it's worth).

Sorry, but you'll have to buy a new N64. Be glad nothing else caught fire.

While you're at it, throw out that adapter and buy a proper 230v/120v stepdown power supply - they're cheap enough that it's just not worth the danger of using an adapter
(Note: small power supplies should not be used with high-wattage appliances, like hair-straighteners)

  • Thank you for your answer. I assume that all of those components are a part of the console itself so replacing the power supply probably won't change anything?
    – Jonast92
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 20:57
  • The smoke might also come from capacitors; I've seen the "magic smoke" be released in person. If it stinks to high heaven, then it's most likely a fried capacitor. Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 20:58
  • 1
    @Jonast92 Yes, those are all in the console itself. In all likelihood, the power-supply is fried too. I would not risk using it on another N64 to find out, as a bad power-supply could damage a working system. Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 21:01
  • Thanks. I'll leave the question open until tomorrow and most likely accept it then.
    – Jonast92
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 21:30
  • Still, don't throw any Nintendo game consoles away, sell it on eBay. Someone will buy it, no matter what condition it's in as long as it's cheap enough. It may be too late now, but I'm posting this so others will know. Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 0:24

Get a PAL(European) console!

The PAL console is specially designed for European Plugs and also support the PAL TV Format, it has many of the same games as it's US and Canadian counterpart.

  • Better advice: Buy a PAL power supply and use it for your NTSC console. The PAL N64 is inferior as many games run about 16.6% slower on them. Any TV supports both NTSC and PAL as they often use the same electronics across regions. The increased resolution of PAL does not matter, since all N64s only output 240p for most games anyway.
    – Tara
    Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 2:00

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