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Might be worth looking at buying a SNES mini, they are pretty awesome (and easily hackable).

I spent the whole evening on this project and forgot to eat (whoops) and ended up with mixed results. After a lot of trial and error with the soldering I did get the mod to work - US NTSC, English PAL and Japanese NTSC at the flick of a switch. Unfortunately after reassembling the MD the mod failed and I ended up with English PAL and Japanese PAL. Which is amusing because Japanese PAL doesn't even technically exist, but it's possible if you solder certain areas of the motherboard.

I am pretty sure I know what the problem is and will hopefully fix it tomorrow. Shouldn't take the whole evening this time.

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8 hours ago, DE. said:

Might be worth looking at buying a SNES mini, they are pretty awesome (and easily hackable).

I spent the whole evening on this project and forgot to eat (whoops) and ended up with mixed results. After a lot of trial and error with the soldering I did get the mod to work - US NTSC, English PAL and Japanese NTSC at the flick of a switch. Unfortunately after reassembling the MD the mod failed and I ended up with English PAL and Japanese PAL. Which is amusing because Japanese PAL doesn't even technically exist, but it's possible if you solder certain areas of the motherboard.

I am pretty sure I know what the problem is and will hopefully fix it tomorrow. Shouldn't take the whole evening this time.

I looked into buying one a few months back, they seemed quite pricey so i held off at the time, might be worth looking at again.

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Just now, davulsukur said:

I looked into buying one a few months back, they seemed quite pricey so i held off at the time, might be worth looking at again.

Huh, yeah, I just looked and they are pretty expensive nowadays. I guess because they were a limited run which has ended. You could probably get a used one on eBay for under £70 I would have thought, but it's a question of whether you'd want to spend that much on a used product. You could get an actual SNES on eBay for cheaper than the SNES mini - you'd be restricted to AV and buying cartridges but it would be the real experience at least :) you can get Everdrive carts which have all the games on them, but the official ones are expensive. My MD Everdrive was about £30 but it's pretty much a chinese knock off and is really slow loading games (although once they are loaded they work perfectly!). 

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13 minutes ago, DE. said:

Huh, yeah, I just looked and they are pretty expensive nowadays. I guess because they were a limited run which has ended. You could probably get a used one on eBay for under £70 I would have thought, but it's a question of whether you'd want to spend that much on a used product. You could get an actual SNES on eBay for cheaper than the SNES mini - you'd be restricted to AV and buying cartridges but it would be the real experience at least :) you can get Everdrive carts which have all the games on them, but the official ones are expensive. My MD Everdrive was about £30 but it's pretty much a chinese knock off and is really slow loading games (although once they are loaded they work perfectly!). 

I live in York and there is a shop called Sore Thumbs Retro games that sells all sorts of stuff.

http://www.sorethumbretrogames.com/

A SNES (must be based on condition) seems to go for anywhere between £20 and £60.

Snes mini would be the way forward though, the Mrs wouldn't be impressed with another console in the living room

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Hah, they are 'affectionately' known as "those damn machines" here :lol: 

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I'm pleased to report that after a quick five minutes of re-soldering the MD is now a fully functional multi-region machine :) To tell you the truth I'm impressed it's still working. I re-soldered the contacts about 7 or 8 times yesterday and took a real crash course in how to solder. I only realised after a couple of hours I'd been using the wrong soldering tip, it was too big for the job and that was causing me significant problems. Once I switched to a smaller tip things became much easier. I wish I'd known sooner but that's how you learn I guess!

To be perfectly honest the worst part of the whole thing was filing the hole for the rocker switch to fit in. I really should have bought a small saw, as this took forever. I was literally filing for about an hour and a half and was aching like hell afterwards. The sense of relief when the switch finally fit into the hole I'd made was pretty huge. 

This was the donor MD I got on Monday, a bit yellowed but fully functional:

T9dS9Mo.jpg

The inside of a MD for anyone interested. The cartridge slot is towards the back, power supply and video out top left, power switch, volume switch and reset switch bottom left and the controller ports bottom right. The contacts that need to be modded are on the right, labelled JP1/JP2/JP3/JP4. 

Hy3OAOD.jpg

The first step was to sever the connections between the JP2 & JP3 jumpers, as these are what lock the console into 50hz English PAL mode.

ZcI0Twe.jpgaOhmcTB.jpg

The console will still work fine once this is done. As it no longer has any region settings it defaults to US NTSC, and runs as below at 60hz full screen.

cyDxChy.jpg

So if you just want to mod your console to run as US NTSC, this is literally all you need to do. Close up the console and you're good to go. 

Of course I was going a bit further so the next step was to solder wires to left JP2(Japanese)/JP3(English) and right JP1 (ground - US NTSC by default). 

This was my first attempt and franky it is embarrassing. I was using the wrong tip, hence the awful soldiering. There's so much wrong with this. Frayed wires in bad positions, solder touching across the JP2 to JP3 and JP3 to JP4 contacts and solder in general all over the place.

IuW7DaF.jpg

Somewhat surprisingly the console did work despite this disaster. It didn't work as I intended though. I had standard English PAL, and also Japanese PAL - a format which has never even existed as Japan uses 60hz NTSC, but for some reason this option exists on the MD motherboard. You get it essentially by joining the JP3 and JP4 connections, which is what I have mistakenly done here. Japanese PAL looks like this:

8aYrr19.jpg

Basically the same as English PAL - 50hz and bars across the top and bottom of the screen - just in Japanese.

Regardless I took the console back to the soldering table and tried again. Frankly my second attempt was not much better.

514deF0.jpg

JP1 has too much solder and the wire is begging to be shorted at that length. JP2 is okay, but JP3 has too much soldier and just look at that frayed wire. This actually worked initially, but once I put the console back together it reverted to the English PAL/Japanese PAL format. I was absolutely sure it was the black wire, as it was poorly soldered and likely still touching the JP4 contact with the heat shield on top of it. At this point I gave up on soldering for the night. Finally this afternoon I opened it up one more time. I desoldered both the JP1 and JP3 connections, then trimmed the JP1 wire and cut and trimmed the JP3 wire. I then resoldered both back to the contacts as below.

C2aWKjV.jpg

Still far from perfect but a significant improvement on the last two attempts. JP1 still has way too much solder but it isn't touching JP2, so it's fine. The wire is cut a lot shorter too. JP3 is also looking much cleaner both in terms of the wire and the solder. For the record there should really be insulation over these wires, so do not take this as a "good" soldering job - it isn't - but the chances of the wires shorting on that area of the MD board are slim and I don't have any insulation material so this should do. Thankfully this time everything worked as expected and continued to work OK after closing up the console. Here's the rocker switch soldering:

faFAjsy.jpg

Honestly this is pretty terrible too. I soldered these with the tip that was too big, but the connections are solid enough so I left it as is. You can see that some of the plastic has melted where the soldering iron touched it. This is not the way to do it, but still OK. This is how the console looks when put together, with the switch added to the side.

k7gS9og.jpg

It's obviously a bit big for the position, but with the heat sink on top of the motherboard this is literally the only place it can comfortably go. 

In position I, English PAL - squashed screen with bars on the top and bottom, also game and music plays at slower speed:

YOYHGLx.jpg

In position 0(ground) - US NTSC, which is 60hz, full screen, with normal speed gameplay and music:

i6Bww6h.jpg

And finally position II - Japanese NTSC, the same as US NTSC just in Japanese:

INvJJj1.jpg

For the record this is all the same game, the original Streets of Rage. It's not a region locked cartridge so makes a good test game as you immediately get Japanese text in the intro in Japanese NTSC mode, full screen full speed in US NTSC and squashed screen slow speed in English PAL. Very quick to test the mod with this game. I do notice that both NTSC modes go a bit crazy when I initially turn the console on. The screen splits and tears for a while before finally settling and staying stable after that. No idea why this is but I know it isn't to do with the soldering as it was doing the same after I cut the jumper contacts, long before I soldered anything. Not really a big deal as the screen does stabilise after 10-20 seconds. Sometimes it doesn't do it at all. 

Finally some pics of the chips inside the MD:

p3BzaIb.jpg

0xNu34d.jpg

ezNIKau.jpg

7aTssRF.jpg

The Yamaha chip in the final pic is the sound chip, not sure about the others! Worth noting the chips change depending on the model, make and year of manufacture of the MD. The Mega Drive 2 also has different chips depending on the revision. 

Also as a side note Master System games all work fine with the mod as well. In Japanese mode you even get the "Sega Mark III" logo at the start which is nice. In Japan the Master System was known as the Sega Mark III, as they released two previous consoles as the Sega Mark I & II. Later on they released the console redesigned as the Master System we all know and love.

I will upload some videos shortly to demonstrate the difference between PAL and NTSC. This post is long enough as it is.

Edited by DE.

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Sonic 1 in English PAL:

Sonic 1 in US NTSC:

The difference is obvious and shows how screwed we were as kids playing the PAL versions of these games :lol: 

Worth noting the reason my NTSC picture is slightly to the right is because I'm using a cheap SCART cable. A better quality one would align the signal correctly.

Edited by DE.

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Oh, also the second MD I ordered off eBay arrived. Pleased to say it's in perfect working condition despite being listed as spares & repairs, and looks really nice too. It's a non-TMSS version of the console as well which is a bonus. I will probably mod this one too, but only after I have better cutting tools as I am not spending another two hours filing a bloody hole in the side of the machine. 

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Fascinating stuff man. Thanks for sharing. You made something that seems daunting look pretty simple (my dexterity would lead to even messier soldering though I would imagine). 

Streets of rage and Sonic look so good on the big screen with the NTSC and Japanese settings. I had no idea we didn't actually have the first world experience! I was a Mega drive kid through and through. Had the master system before that. 

Share more of your handy work if you do any please. 

Silly question coming up, are you connecting it to the TV with the original cables or have you some HDMI adapter? 

I wonder if you connected a 5.1 speaker system to the TV, how would it sound... I have a lovely 5.1 speaker set up on my PS3 which is in my parents house. Too many big speakers and wires to have in my own place with our little fella. Just have the old sound bar connected to my PS4 at home as it is less messy and easier to keep away from him. I am just imagining Streets of rage at NTSC settings with a 5.1 set up..... Mmm that's nice. 

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To be honest the mod is simple, but if you lack soldering experience then it can get a bit messy. Keeping your hand steady when trying to solder to tiny contact points is very tough and frustrating when you screw it up. Fortunately the MD motherboard is very durable and despite having to resolder the contact points multiple times and even getting solder on other parts of the motherboard (which I did clean up) it continues to be fully operational (for now at least).

It's pretty amazing to see the difference between PAL and NTSC. Obviously as a kid you would never know or care, but we certainly got a very different experience to the Americans and the Japanese. 

I'm connecting to the TV with a cheap MD1 to SCART cable I picked up a while back. If you used the normal RF/AV and then switched the console to 60hz then you'd almost certainly get a black and white image, but using RGB SCART you get normal colour. I found out the reason my 60hz picture is slightly to the right and goes a bit crazy at the start is because my SCART cable is cheap - a more expensive one would re-align the picture properly. It's not a big deal for me at the moment though.

From what I understand you can connect the MD1 audio jack to a stereo system, so it'd probably sound pretty awesome. Obviously the MD2 lacks an audio jack so you'd probably need some kind of mod to allow it, but from what I've read the sound on most MD1 consoles is far superior to MD2 models anyway. 

I actually did mod the second MD I received on Wednesday. I had enough wire left over and an extra switch so I thought why not. The process was pretty much exactly the same, but it was a different motherboard revision so there were a few alterations. There was a capacitor over the JP1 jumper which needed to be removed (nobody knows what it's for, but it can cause interference when changing regions so better to remove it) and the jumpers themselves were in a different order. Other than that everything was the same, just much faster this time around. Unlike the first MD this motherboard did have a date printed on it - 12 April 1992. I did take a few pictures of the second motherboard.

This is the Zilog Z80 and Sanyo chips. The Z80 is the CPU chip and the Sanyo is the Z80's 8k SRAM memory.

YPKeKw5.jpg

The SEGA 315-5309 chip is the I/O chip. Not sure what the one below it is. Off the edge of the picture in the bottom right is the second I/O chip, the SEGA 315-5364. Above that you can see the JP1/2/3/4 jumpers, in a different order to the last model and with a capacitor sitting over the JP1 connection. This was removed.

K9wORoP.jpg

Here is the Sony CXA1034P headphone amp, totally buried under a pile of capacitors! If your headphone jack is malfunctioning it is probably just these capacitors that need replacing. Top left is the on/off switch and top right is the reset button. Bottom right is where the headphone jack sits.

9pifPQ8.jpg

This is where the date is printed on the circuit board. Just below that is the M68K CPU, the Motorola MC68000P8.

sdHNkdR.jpg 

A shot of the motherboard with the wires attached to the jumpers, stretching over to where the switch is embedded into the side of the console. You can also see this console is a PAL VA4 revision. 

thqkefe.jpg

And finally a shot of the two Mega Drives side by side with their fancy little switches attached :) 

fTcdBox.jpg

Edited by DE.

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So cool

 

You may have mentioned this already, but why did we get a worse experience than those in America or Japan? What was that about 

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Most games were either made in America or Japan, or made with the intention of being sold primarily in those regions. So all games were optimised for NTSC 60hz, and not for PAL 50hz. The game's creators could have fixed PAL releases if they wanted to, but few bothered. There are a handful of PAL games that run at the same speed as their NTSC counterparts, but the vast majority run slower, sound slower and are squashed into letterbox view. 

You'll notice on my pics of the first MD I modded, there's an image with a silver chip that has "CX0-046 53.2034MHz" written on it. This is called the "crystal oscillator" and it responsible for the clock speed and frequency output to the TV. In technical language, from another website:

Quote

The Mega Drive Video Display Processor (VDP) chip, can work either in PAL 50Hz mode, or in NTSC 60Hz mode, selectable by a set of jumper links on the board. The only minor difference in the hardware, is the main crystal oscillator frequency. PAL models use a 53.203Mhz oscillator, which is divided by 7 to generate a ~7.6004MHz CPU clock, and by 12 to get 4.433583Mhz which is close enough to the PAL chroma subcarrier frequency. NTSC models on the other hand use a 53.6931Mhz oscillator, which is divided by 7 to generate a ~7.6704MHz CPU clock, and by 15 to get 3.57954Mhz for the NTSC chroma subcarrier.

So basically PAL games in 50hz run at a slower clock speed than NTSC, hence the reduction in both video and sound speed. 

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But why though? Did we have crap tvs over here or something? 

I feel the urge now to replay all my favourites at their optimum! 

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1 hour ago, Bigdoggsteel said:

But why though? Did we have crap tvs over here or something? 

I feel the urge now to replay all my favourites at their optimum! 

I don't know too much about PAL/NTSC, but I don't think it's anything to do with the quality of our TVs. As far as I can tell back in the day when TV was first coming into existence Europe and South America pretty much all went with a PAL signal, whilst America and Japan went with NTSC. I've actually read that there are a number of advantages to PAL, but obviously when console games got big it was driven by Japan and the States. Japan had the Famicom which was huge, and Nintendo rejuvenated the US gaming market with the NES (which was just a reskinned Famicom). In Europe we were more into microcomputers (ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, BBC Micro etc) and later systems like the Amiga and early gaming PCs.

So when consoles came over here they had all gotten their start either in the States or Japan. As a result the games were all NTSC 60hz. It's possible to convert that to PAL and make it work fine, but for whatever reason (probably money related) instead we got games that weren't optimised properly and even though they did run on PAL hardware they were slower than they should have been. There are games specifically released in PAL regions that run fine (and will actually run too fast if they are played on an NTSC system) but most didn't fall into that category.  

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I just finished a playthrough of Streets of Rage 2 in NTSC, and yowie wowie that was tougher than I remember. I swear there were more enemies this time around. Usually I get to the final boss with 3 or 4 lives to spare, but this time I only had one. It made for a fucking tense final confrontation, but nonetheless...

IMG_20190823_180048.thumb.jpg.5228260ad30717651d93e8027493e5f0.jpg

That mofo went down hard B)

IMG_20190823_180053.jpg.d14aeeae2337fe3bae900507916c29d8.jpg

Sweet success.

I think I have to say that Streets of Rage 2 is probably my favourite Mega Drive game of all time. I love the Sonic games and a lot of others, but SoR2 is the one I go back to time and time again. Playing through it is still a challenge, but everything about it is awesome.

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On 23/08/2019 at 11:17, Bigdoggsteel said:

Fascinating stuff man. Thanks for sharing. You made something that seems daunting look pretty simple (my dexterity would lead to even messier soldering though I would imagine). 

Streets of rage and Sonic look so good on the big screen with the NTSC and Japanese settings. I had no idea we didn't actually have the first world experience! I was a Mega drive kid through and through. Had the master system before that. 

Share more of your handy work if you do any please. 

Silly question coming up, are you connecting it to the TV with the original cables or have you some HDMI adapter? 

I wonder if you connected a 5.1 speaker system to the TV, how would it sound... I have a lovely 5.1 speaker set up on my PS3 which is in my parents house. Too many big speakers and wires to have in my own place with our little fella. Just have the old sound bar connected to my PS4 at home as it is less messy and easier to keep away from him. I am just imagining Streets of rage at NTSC settings with a 5.1 set up..... Mmm that's nice. 

Just to hijack this slightly, I had a decent sound system set up in my old house but it remained in the loft forever when we moved due to size, wires etc.

So, soundbars. Decent? Any recommendations?

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Generally speaking with soundbars you get what you pay for. What's your budget?

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I got a Majority branded one for the telly, decent, just over £40

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13 hours ago, DE. said:

Generally speaking with soundbars you get what you pay for. What's your budget?

I reckon £200ish but could stretch that a touch if needed

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That was genuinely interesting stuff. I have an 'Asian' spec mega drive 2 in my parents' attic, and possibly a mega drive 1 as well. However, at home I have one of those remade jobbies with the built in games that were sold a couple of years ago. The only games it hates are Virtua racing and the J league football game. I won't be taking the machine apart as I remember how shit I was at soldering at school and it won't have improved.

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5 hours ago, davulsukur said:

I reckon £200ish but could stretch that a touch if needed

That should be well enough to get a very nice sounding soundbar tbh, I'd keep an eye on hotukdeals as soundbars often come up on there for good prices.

2 hours ago, Norbert Rassragr said:

That was genuinely interesting stuff. I have an 'Asian' spec mega drive 2 in my parents' attic, and possibly a mega drive 1 as well. However, at home I have one of those remade jobbies with the built in games that were sold a couple of years ago. The only games it hates are Virtua racing and the J league football game. I won't be taking the machine apart as I remember how shit I was at soldering at school and it won't have improved.

I'm guessing you're talking about the atgames mini MD? That's just a 'system on a chip' so even if you did open it I don't think there would be much you could do to it. I think some of the asian MD's were region free by default so would play any games, however I'm guessing it would still default to 50hz for PAL games so a 50/60hz switch would still need to be modded onto it for full affect, Not 100% on that though as I've never owned one!

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On 20/08/2019 at 19:30, DE. said:

I'm pleased to report that after a quick five minutes of re-soldering the MD is now a fully functional multi-region machine :) To tell you the truth I'm impressed it's still working. I re-soldered the contacts about 7 or 8 times yesterday and took a real crash course in how to solder. I only realised after a couple of hours I'd been using the wrong soldering tip, it was too big for the job and that was causing me significant problems. Once I switched to a smaller tip things became much easier. I wish I'd known sooner but that's how you learn I guess!

To be perfectly honest the worst part of the whole thing was filing the hole for the rocker switch to fit in. I really should have bought a small saw, as this took forever. I was literally filing for about an hour and a half and was aching like hell afterwards. The sense of relief when the switch finally fit into the hole I'd made was pretty huge. 

This was the donor MD I got on Monday, a bit yellowed but fully functional:

T9dS9Mo.jpg

The inside of a MD for anyone interested. The cartridge slot is towards the back, power supply and video out top left, power switch, volume switch and reset switch bottom left and the controller ports bottom right. The contacts that need to be modded are on the right, labelled JP1/JP2/JP3/JP4. 

Hy3OAOD.jpg

The first step was to sever the connections between the JP2 & JP3 jumpers, as these are what lock the console into 50hz English PAL mode.

ZcI0Twe.jpgaOhmcTB.jpg

The console will still work fine once this is done. As it no longer has any region settings it defaults to US NTSC, and runs as below at 60hz full screen.

cyDxChy.jpg

So if you just want to mod your console to run as US NTSC, this is literally all you need to do. Close up the console and you're good to go. 

Of course I was going a bit further so the next step was to solder wires to left JP2(Japanese)/JP3(English) and right JP1 (ground - US NTSC by default). 

This was my first attempt and franky it is embarrassing. I was using the wrong tip, hence the awful soldiering. There's so much wrong with this. Frayed wires in bad positions, solder touching across the JP2 to JP3 and JP3 to JP4 contacts and solder in general all over the place.

IuW7DaF.jpg

Somewhat surprisingly the console did work despite this disaster. It didn't work as I intended though. I had standard English PAL, and also Japanese PAL - a format which has never even existed as Japan uses 60hz NTSC, but for some reason this option exists on the MD motherboard. You get it essentially by joining the JP3 and JP4 connections, which is what I have mistakenly done here. Japanese PAL looks like this:

8aYrr19.jpg

Basically the same as English PAL - 50hz and bars across the top and bottom of the screen - just in Japanese.

Regardless I took the console back to the soldering table and tried again. Frankly my second attempt was not much better.

514deF0.jpg

JP1 has too much solder and the wire is begging to be shorted at that length. JP2 is okay, but JP3 has too much soldier and just look at that frayed wire. This actually worked initially, but once I put the console back together it reverted to the English PAL/Japanese PAL format. I was absolutely sure it was the black wire, as it was poorly soldered and likely still touching the JP4 contact with the heat shield on top of it. At this point I gave up on soldering for the night. Finally this afternoon I opened it up one more time. I desoldered both the JP1 and JP3 connections, then trimmed the JP1 wire and cut and trimmed the JP3 wire. I then resoldered both back to the contacts as below.

C2aWKjV.jpg

Still far from perfect but a significant improvement on the last two attempts. JP1 still has way too much solder but it isn't touching JP2, so it's fine. The wire is cut a lot shorter too. JP3 is also looking much cleaner both in terms of the wire and the solder. For the record there should really be insulation over these wires, so do not take this as a "good" soldering job - it isn't - but the chances of the wires shorting on that area of the MD board are slim and I don't have any insulation material so this should do. Thankfully this time everything worked as expected and continued to work OK after closing up the console. Here's the rocker switch soldering:

faFAjsy.jpg

Honestly this is pretty terrible too. I soldered these with the tip that was too big, but the connections are solid enough so I left it as is. You can see that some of the plastic has melted where the soldering iron touched it. This is not the way to do it, but still OK. This is how the console looks when put together, with the switch added to the side.

k7gS9og.jpg

It's obviously a bit big for the position, but with the heat sink on top of the motherboard this is literally the only place it can comfortably go. 

In position I, English PAL - squashed screen with bars on the top and bottom, also game and music plays at slower speed:

YOYHGLx.jpg

In position 0(ground) - US NTSC, which is 60hz, full screen, with normal speed gameplay and music:

i6Bww6h.jpg

And finally position II - Japanese NTSC, the same as US NTSC just in Japanese:

INvJJj1.jpg

For the record this is all the same game, the original Streets of Rage. It's not a region locked cartridge so makes a good test game as you immediately get Japanese text in the intro in Japanese NTSC mode, full screen full speed in US NTSC and squashed screen slow speed in English PAL. Very quick to test the mod with this game. I do notice that both NTSC modes go a bit crazy when I initially turn the console on. The screen splits and tears for a while before finally settling and staying stable after that. No idea why this is but I know it isn't to do with the soldering as it was doing the same after I cut the jumper contacts, long before I soldered anything. Not really a big deal as the screen does stabilise after 10-20 seconds. Sometimes it doesn't do it at all. 

Finally some pics of the chips inside the MD:

p3BzaIb.jpg

0xNu34d.jpg

ezNIKau.jpg

7aTssRF.jpg

The Yamaha chip in the final pic is the sound chip, not sure about the others! Worth noting the chips change depending on the model, make and year of manufacture of the MD. The Mega Drive 2 also has different chips depending on the revision. 

Also as a side note Master System games all work fine with the mod as well. In Japanese mode you even get the "Sega Mark III" logo at the start which is nice. In Japan the Master System was known as the Sega Mark III, as they released two previous consoles as the Sega Mark I & II. Later on they released the console redesigned as the Master System we all know and love.

I will upload some videos shortly to demonstrate the difference between PAL and NTSC. This post is long enough as it is.

In the 90s we got a Japanese megadrive for Xmas (just as everyone else was getting a SNES 😣) and I recall that it could play games from any region, would that not have been simpler for your purposes?

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17 hours ago, DE. said:

 I think some of the asian MD's were region free by default so would play any games, however I'm guessing it would still default to 50hz for PAL games so a 50/60hz switch would still need to be modded onto it for full affect, Not 100% on that though as I've never owned one!

Ha I should’ve read all your posts! Can’t remember if the games were slower but I definitely remember being able to rent Japanese games from my local video shop. I believe it was because the Japanese games were wider than European and American releases, so just filing the port would’ve allowed anyone to play them. There were some really cool Japanese games, always a bit different. One that sticks in my head was where you created a monster and fought other creatures, presumably an early version of Pokemon/monster hunter. Impossible to play in Japanese of course. There was also a game where you were (I think) a construction worker with a big mallet in vertical stages attacking monsters that jumped down platforms towards you. Happy days 😊 Another advantage to the Japanese MD was that it had a nice red colour on the top rather than the creamy/beige one on the European systems. The less said about the US “Genesis” the better. And their SNES was truly horrible looking. My favourite MD games were the mighty Streets of rage series with its wonderful music, SF2, and the desert strike series. Special mentions to megalomania, toe jam and earl, the immortal, and gunstar heroes.

That was actually a fascinating read. I’ve been thinking about opening my decks to give the pitch slider a good clean, it’s a job that requires some soldering and I’ve been holding off but your experience might have just given me the courage to try it out. 

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On 24/08/2019 at 14:54, davulsukur said:

Just to hijack this slightly, I had a decent sound system set up in my old house but it remained in the loft forever when we moved due to size, wires etc.

So, soundbars. Decent? Any recommendations?

So much set up on them I wouldn't blame you. That's another reason why I haven't moved mine to Dublin.

When I signed up to Virgin TV I got a €150 voucher for PC world/Currys , so I bought the soundbar from that. I think the brand is Sounstrom or something like that, I would have to check. It doesn't have a subwoofer or isn't a big brand, but I find it perfect. I connect it directly to my PS4 via an optical cable

What I mostly use for movies/gaming is this set-up

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01ERLN180/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01EOPT0VG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 

Not when watching with the the missus though obviously :) 

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On 23/08/2019 at 18:59, DE. said:

I just finished a playthrough of Streets of Rage 2 in NTSC, and yowie wowie that was tougher than I remember. I swear there were more enemies this time around. Usually I get to the final boss with 3 or 4 lives to spare, but this time I only had one. It made for a fucking tense final confrontation, but nonetheless...

IMG_20190823_180048.thumb.jpg.5228260ad30717651d93e8027493e5f0.jpg

That mofo went down hard B)

IMG_20190823_180053.jpg.d14aeeae2337fe3bae900507916c29d8.jpg

Sweet success.

I think I have to say that Streets of Rage 2 is probably my favourite Mega Drive game of all time. I love the Sonic games and a lot of others, but SoR2 is the one I go back to time and time again. Playing through it is still a challenge, but everything about it is awesome.

It's a stonewall classic game.

Have you played Mother Russia bleeds?  It's rock hard. I had to give up near the end. For my shame. 

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