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N00b Megadrive Mod

Started by Sonic Freak, July 13, 2004, 04:16:35 AM

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Sonic Freak

First of all, as stated I'm a complete n00b (but hey we all have to start somewhere right). I just about know which is the hot end of a soldering iron, but I'm looking to mod one of my many Megadrive 1's (PAL) for Japanese and US games, so that means a 50/60Hz and Territory switch.

       I have looked on google and found very little surprisingly, but from what I have gathered I need to remove the traces from JP2 and JP3 with a sharp knife (sorry to be a n00b and stupid but does this just basically mean scratch it so that there is no connection between?). After the traces have been removed attach a total of 4 wires, with 2 switches?

      Also does anyone know any information on creating a connection lead from a Megadrive 1 and a Megadrive 32X?

Thanks for any advise on the matter  :)


You don't need to REMOVE them, just sever them.  It's like cutting a flat wire glued to a piece of fibreglass.  In fact, that's exactly what it is.  =)

The connection from 32X to MD is straight through.  Red to red, sync to sync, etc.

Advice is spelled with a C.

Guest_Sonic Freak

Thanks for the ADVICE! lol  :P

But one thing Lawrence, what you did to that HiSaturn Navi is unforgivable :(  Things of such beauty should not be modified, not matter what :( but seeing as your admin I suppose I can forgive you...... <_<

Btw do you have any details about this 32X LED that�s listed on the news?

What�s your policy on promoting websites on the forum? Only reason I ask is that I found a very good Megadrive 1 import mod site that I found very useful and may be beneficial to other newcomers.


Spreading information is what this site is all about.  Link away - but be aware I won't tolerate rampant self-promotion.

What 32X LED?

As for modding my HiSaturn, it's just a game system.  I play it all the time, and sometimes I put heavy things on it, and it's even a bit dusty.  Collecting is for people with more money than brains, the stuff I buy I intend to USE - and that includes modding.


Good point about the HiSaturn Navi, I was wrong. After all its yours and you can do what you want with it. Guess its just that I'll never and 99.9% of people will never get one and to see you soldering away at it...... :(

As for the 32X LED, its listed on the: November 21/02   Updates!  

Power LEDs In Progress - I've mastered Ohm's Law (or parts thereof) and have been shoving power LEDs into devices that didn't have them before, like the 32X and CoreGrafx. Expect a detailed tutorial on resistors and LEDs this week!

Just incase I'm getting things wrong here, you are the creator of right?

Sonic Freak

That site is has some step-by-step instructions on how to mod a Megadrive 1 / 2, Master System, Saturn (MK2) for 50/60Hz and Territory switch.

I know you (Lawrence) don't like the idea of step-by-step guides as you say the people don't learn anything, but for new comers to console modification it really helps.


Quoteand to see you soldering away at it....
Dude!  That's what makes me so damned cool!  >=)

The LED is just an LED with a 100ohm resistor attached to one leg.  Connect it to GND and +5v (You can find those based on the pinout from any chip or using a multimeter).

Quoteknow you (Lawrence) don't like the idea of step-by-step guides as you say the people don't learn anything
I want other people to make idiot guides based on my data.  I'm not opposed to idiots guides so much as I'm opposed to doing them myself - and truth be told I'm opposed to idiots.  

I found it hugely rewarding to learn how this stuff works and figure out how to do the mods on my own, and personally I think anyone who wants to shortcut this process is a lazy fucker who won't appreciate what he's got.  

Happily though there's room on the planet for people with different opinions than mine, and let's face it - if everyone thought like me the world would be a frightening place indeed.

Sonic Freak

Right I have just added a 50/60Hz switch to a PAL Megadrive 1, I completly removed all metal plates etc from the PCB and tested out the console. Everything seemed ok but after a while the colours started to brighten and the console would lock up. Soon found out that I removed the heat-sink from the 2 (thingys, sorry don't know what they are called) near the RF unit. I replaced it and everything works fine, but I'm still a little worried about the heat that is generated. Is this normal???

Also I bought a butane powered soldering iron, did I do bad or good?

Thanks again for any advice :)


Yes, it's normal for those regulators to get really hot.  Why do you think there's a bigass heatsink attached?  

Sonic Freak

Call me stupid but I thought that was an RF shield like the other 2 metal sheets. Only reason I found out what it was is when I burnt myself :(

Now I can see why Lawrence hates stupid people. Thanks a lot for all your help though :) and putting up with the questions :)

Sonic Freak

Completed the mod, I know its easy modding a Megadrive 1 to you pro's but as a n00bie I'm very happy with myself :) hooked on modding now  :D  


Except for the rather questionable location of the switches that looks (in the blurry hides-all-flaws photo) to be a nice bit of work.  How well do the volume knob and power switch work with paint on 'em?


Careful with that butane iron--you want a 10 or 15W iron, anything bigger will be too crude to do most work with surface-mount stuff and could damage things.

Looks like a nice colour paint job.

Sonic Freak

The volume and power switches work completly fine, I didn't go over the top with the spray paint. As for the 50/60Hz switches they don't get in the way of a 32X and would only be a problem with a master system adapter (mk1 version). The reason the picture is a bit blurry is because with the flash on the camera you couldn't see the blue LED very well.....and you all know how we like blue LED's :).

As for the butane iron, it can be tricky at times but it is adjustable so I tend to keep it on as low a setting as possible. I need to get a new one though any advice on a good, easy to use, precise, electrical soldering iron?

I know its not the perfect mod, but now I want to do more. If anyone has any ideas about a cool mod for a Megadrive 1 / 2 / Dreamcast / N64 / Master System 1, I could do let me know, because I have a ton of them lying around doing nothing.


QuoteAs for the butane iron, it can be tricky at times but it is adjustable so I tend to keep it on as low a setting as possible. I need to get a new one though any advice on a good, easy to use, precise, electrical soldering iron?
If you look at good soldering stations with variable controls you will find they get pretty expensive, pretty quickly. I don't recommend spending hundreds on one unless you are going into electrical engineering in college or as a career. A 10 or 15W soldering iron from a Radio Shack (Tandy in Europe) will do just what you need and won't burn out delicate components. The last time I looked at the shack's irons the lowest they had was a 15, I'd have liked to get a 10 but this one has suited me fine. They're cheap, 15 or 20 bucks.

Sonic Freak

Right, I've looked at the Genesis A/V Pinout (, and I thought that the original Genesis MK1 A/V out was an 8-Pin Din, however I bought one and it doesn't quite fit. Does anyone know what connection it is?


Did you widen the cart slot?

I can't tell from the pic.
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Sonic Freak

No I ain't widened the cart slot yet, tend to play my japanese games on my wondermega. What do you recommend using for widening the slot though?


I just filed it with a file, then you could use sand paper to smooth it off.
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QuoteI thought that the original Genesis MK1 A/V out was an 8-Pin Din, however I bought one and it doesn't quite fit.
Sounds like you got the OTHER 8-pin DIN.  The Neo Geo and Genesis (to name only two of the countless thousands of devices that use this connector) use slightly different connectors.  

One is a U shaped array of pins, the other is an upended C shape, with pins 6 and 7 closer together.  You can often bend one of these to fit the other, but only if you can't find the right one easily.

Sonic Freak

Thanks again to the all knowing Lawrence.

I was browsing through ebay and I found this: Almost definatly a pirate console hybrid, but I'd like to know if anyone had any details on it, maybe someone whos got one. I'd love to know what makes it tick :).

Also another ultimate n00b question, any tips on removing solder? I put a tad too much solder for the megadrive 2 mod and instead of just one wire to pin 107 its pin 105, 106, 107...... :(


use desolder braid(also called  desolder wick) ,easily available :)
Put a bit of solder on the braid first to aid in the process then hold the braid on the spot you want to get rid of,and heat the braid with the iron.The solder will suck up into the braid.You'll probably need to do this a few times depending on how much solder is there and how well your techniquie is,which is learnt through practice...don't heat the braid for more than a few seconds at a time,which is the same case with regular soldering.