Sega Saturn (Victor) VA9 Modchip Mess

Discussion in 'Repair, Restoration, Conservation and Preservation' started by Shane McRetro, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. Shane McRetro

    Shane McRetro Blast Processed Since 199X

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    Howdy, just pulled this one apart and was greeted by an old school (i.e. non-Phantom Universal modchip) but also noticed some wires a little deeper. So I dug a little deeper and found the a 74HC157 tapped into a few points. Any ideas on what this chip and the green wire link does and if I'm all good to remove it?

    I have a feeling it has something to do with hex inverters and EMSIC v3 or v4 modchips. Am I close? Anyway, enjoy the photos! :)

    IMG_1616.JPG IMG_1617.JPG IMG_1618.JPG IMG_1620.JPG IMG_1621.JPG IMG_1622.JPG IMG_1623.JPG IMG_1624.JPG
     
  2. Nopileus

    Nopileus Rapidly Rising Member

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    Looks like an oldschool switchless region mod to me, god knows how it works though.
     
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  3. X5900

    X5900 Rising Member

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    If I remember correctly, this one was to switch between JAP and US mode, the reset button makes the Saturn think its either a JAP or US model, depending of its origin. The green wire is a legit factory botch wire.
     
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  4. Shane McRetro

    Shane McRetro Blast Processed Since 199X

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    Ahhhhhh *reinstalls green wire while no one is watching*

    Thanks for the feedback folks, appreciated as always! :)
     
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  5. Lum

    Lum Officer at Arms

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    I think those guys are right. It shouldn't play retail PAL games. (or video mode. although few games need that part, and it entails RGB or fixing the color)
     
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  6. Shane McRetro

    Shane McRetro Blast Processed Since 199X

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    Yep, looks like by removing whatever it did do stopped the console from being a recognised proper region, hardcoding of NTSC-U, NTSC-J and PAL perhaps? What gave that away was the "Cartridge unsuitable for this system" with an Action Replay and GameShark, which meant I'd have no chance getting a disc working either. That's why I was also getting "Game disk unsuitable for this system" on NTSC-U, NTSC-J and PAL retail disc, audio CDs still worked well though.

    @Nopileus cracked the code to work out which exact jumpers needed to be bridged. A JP6 and JP11 later and it was back to Japanese and reading GameShark / Action Replays without a hitch, and played CD-R backups with no issue. Perfect!

    @TriMesh threw in a bit of info about the possible regions, 14 useable with an additional two "do not use" regions for 16 total. Who knows, I could have been using one of those!

    before.png after.png

    Thanks to all again! And to anyone finding this thread in the future - check your jumpers! :)

    References:
    http://segasaturngroup.proboards.com/thread/1393/game-disk-unsuitable-system
    https://knzl.de/saturnmod/
    http://wolfsoft.de/wordpress/?p=354
     

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