Sega Saturn Region Free BIOS

Discussion in 'Sega Saturn Programming and Development' started by Serantes, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. grips03

    grips03 Rising Member

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    Rosewood. I have two of those clear Saturns, but going to test on crappier model first. Should be the same. It will have to wait for the the weekend however.
     
  2. Druidic teacher

    Druidic teacher Officer at Arms

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  3. l_oliveira

    l_oliveira Officer at Arms

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    It was a EXACT copy of an HI-Saturn (normal model) bios, nothing related to this hacked bios. The Hi-Saturn uses an newer motherboard with a slightly different (also newer) CD-ROM chipset.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  4. Druidic teacher

    Druidic teacher Officer at Arms

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  5. l_oliveira

    l_oliveira Officer at Arms

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    Ya but the YGR chip had some different markings on the original Hi-Saturn board (It was the one where the YGR and SH1 chips were separated)

    Still, running that bios made the VA1 Saturn be unable to use the MPEG card. (I only tested the HITACHI card, I'm not sure if that card is coded to assume that when connected to a HI-SATURN it can behave differently without crash the machine...)
     
  6. rosewood

    rosewood Rapidly Rising Member

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    The skeleton Saturns are not that limited (50,000 + 20,000 units IIRC) and are easy to come by.
    We are not talking about modding HiSaturn Navi consoles here... (although they've been modded in the past too, so why not a region free bios if it fits ;-))
     
  7. Druidic teacher

    Druidic teacher Officer at Arms

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  8. l_oliveira

    l_oliveira Officer at Arms

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    The hi-saturn I had here was the later model so I suppose I'm at fault by using that 1.02 bios on a early USA mobo. :lol:

    I used that mobo because it's DIP so I could just shove an DIP EPROM on it... :rolleyes:
     
  9. grips03

    grips03 Rising Member

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    Ok here is what I did.

    I had a couple of spare Saturn practice boards around, no case/cd, etc.

    VA6 - tried the dremel method of bios removal (cut the chips legs) and lost one the bios pcb pads using the soldering iron to clean up :(

    VA10 - tried the de-solder method, again lost on the bios pcb solder pads, different pad than above. :( Was able to salvage the JPN bios off this board.

    On a US Saturn, VA7 - used dremel method, but cut the chip itself, near the legs, this seemed to cause the legs not to move as much as compared to cutting the metal part of the leg. To clean up the leg I used soldering iron at 650F vs. previously using 900F. All PCB pads look great.

    Tried to test fit the IC179 socket from Yamaichi, but its too big, i.e. hits CE37 and C87 on right of bios.

    I then wired per Darth's instructions, leg 43 and 44 to CE110 + spot, leg 1 No connection, leg 2 GND, best to lift these legs higher than the others. Now the MX29F800TMC-90 is a little wider than the old bios chip so I used a flat book to help me bend the pins in. Best to bend all the legs in a little, then go back and lift 1,2,43,44. Check to make sure you have the correct width and then solder.

    First time I tried and it worked so so. I would sometimes not see the Japanese Sega Saturn logo, then I would get graphic glitches, like dots on the screen and then something in the center of the screen messing up the logo, etc. But the multi-region did work.

    I then used the solder iron to re-melt each leg, making sure all looked good. I then re-tested and everything work flawless. I'll do some more testing today, and I have one more Saturn to mod. Not the clear Saturns, but a US model I use in jamma cabinet.

    Not sure if related or not, but my green power LED stopped working, going to replace.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  10. Bad_Ad84

    Bad_Ad84 The Tick

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    So good news is - chips seem OK and how DarthCloud said to program them worked fine with my programmer.

    So thats something.

    Rosewood - if you are certain its not an installation issue, you can send me back the chips to confirm they were programmed correctly (mistakes can happen, we are all only human)
     
  11. grips03

    grips03 Rising Member

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    green power led replaced, working fine now. Confirming bios looks like standard Japanese one with v1.0.1 in lower corner, but US language. This might be because the jumpers on this Saturn are set for US, hence uses English for menu. This is how a Japanese saturn works with a physical region switch.
     
  12. grips03

    grips03 Rising Member

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    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  13. APE

    APE Site Supporter 2015

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    I'm going to try using chip quik to remove the chip on mine. Using a dremel tool is unacceptable given the non-reversible nature. Not too sure chip quik is the best solution but it beats alternatives.

    Got to buy me some proper tools.
     
  14. grips03

    grips03 Rising Member

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    Bad news, broke pin 2 on new chip. So tried to remove and then dremel caused another one of those bios pcb pads to lift. :(

    I highly recommend you take it very very slow and cut into the old bios chip in up and down motion, don't try to drag the dremel across the legs as this will cause the pads to lift. Repairable, but better to take is slow. Also .015mm solder worked best to solder chip to pcb pad.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011
  15. Bad_Ad84

    Bad_Ad84 The Tick

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    you can do chip quik method with leaded solder. chip quik makes it easier (as it stays liquid longer) but the same method works with just using solder. melt solder over all the legs, then melt the solder and it will melt the whole side at once - then lift up with dental pick, repeat on other side.


    Also, dont dremel the legs off.... just use some side cutters..

    obvious best solution is just buying a hot air rework station :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  16. grips03

    grips03 Rising Member

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    APE that looks like good stuff. Watching youtube videos of it. Dremel method is not so hot.
     
  17. l_oliveira

    l_oliveira Officer at Arms

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    I hate to destroy chips when I'm dismantling stuff. The problem with the SMD Saturn BIOS is that they're GLUED (Exception being the very late boards with Mitsubishi MCU on the CD drive) to the motherboard.
     
  18. grips03

    grips03 Rising Member

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    I've been looking at youtube, has anyone used a Hot Air Rework station for stuff like this?
     
  19. Druidic teacher

    Druidic teacher Officer at Arms

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  20. Druidic teacher

    Druidic teacher Officer at Arms

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