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So I tried the region switch mod (for kicks)...

Discussion in 'Saturn' started by SegaSaturnShrine, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. SegaSaturnShrine

    SegaSaturnShrine New Member

    So just as the title suggests, I did it, not because I needed too, in order to play my imports (I have an AR 4-in1 cart plus a modchip, so my Saturn will play pretty much anything I throw at it).

    Sundays are kind of set aside for relaxing for me (outside of going to work, I work retail, so I'm often stuck working sundays). Anyways, I often use Sundays to do fun little projects, such as this (my mom thinks im crazy, and yes i live at home with my parents going through college). She thinks im crazy because doing these projects on my one day to relax seems stressful from her point of view, but to me, its the best, even when thibgs go awry.

    I digress.... So I decided to try the single switch (DPDT six contact switch) method without any ICs per the guide on gamesx.com (dont have the exact link as I'm posting this from my phone. I was also following a video tutorial on YouTube based on the gamesx guide, cross referencing back in forth. The guy in the video had a model 2 US Saturn, like myself. I located the region jumpers in the exact same spot he did, so i figured the boards were identical. That's where I was wrong lol. Upon looking at the initial jumper settings that should be set for a North American unit according to both the video and gamesx was different than mine, great! I don't remember what the guides said they should be off hand, but by default mine were JP7 and JP10 closed with everything else open (da fuq!?). Anyways, I proceeded regardless, thinking I would figure it out.

    First, I tried rigging the switch the way both guides were telling me (stupid, ik), but upon firing it up, I couldn't boot anythingat all, with the switch in either position. All game discs as well as my AR cart were coming up as "unsuitable".

    Then i desoldered the switch from the mobo to try and map it out manually going off my initial settings. After carefully trying to map out how i thought it should be wired, i resoldered the switch and tried again.

    Okay so in one mode, no game discs will boot (US or JAP) nativally, however, if I popped in my AR cart, that booted fine and i could use that to boot any game disc, no problem (weird ik).

    To see what would happen, tried booting the console with the switch in the other direction and it wont even come on. It tries to, but it acts like somethinf is shorted and immediately turns itself off. Luckily i didnt permanetly fry abything. After all of this, i decide that im in over my head (dont know how to wire it properly on my boarf and cant seem to figure it out). So i decided to just take the switch out and permanently set it back to North American.

    Upon attempting this, i discovered that i burnt off the GND pads for both JP7 and JP10, the only two jumpers i needed to close to make the console work again great! I managed to fix it tho, thankfully. I scratched off were each of the burnt pads used to be to expose a little copper. I the took some of my 30awg wire i was using for the switch, cut two very tiny pieces (just enough to close each jumper), then bridged them and thankfully, I was back up and running, phew, crisis averted lol!

    Needless to say, I won't be attempting this ever again on this particular Saturn and risk further damaging the board. I wish, I had thought to snap some photos last night, but of course, I didn't. I still wanted to share my findings however. Some interesting tidbits from memory:

    Whenever the switch was installed and the console booted at all, system settings were reporting that my region was NTSC C v1.00a regardless of which mode it was in.

    After I removed the switch and permanently set my console back to North American mode, system settings was reporting my region as NTSC A v1.00a which I assume is correct as everything works as it should.

    My guess is that NTSC C is either one if the "Do Not Use" modes or a "Sega Reserved" mode. Either that or its some other region besides US or JAP (all I own are US and JAP games), so I can't be sure. Just thought others might find this story entertaining or even helpful. Good times! Lol!
     
  2. antime

    antime Extra Hard Mid Boss

    Did you measure the resistance to Vcc/GND of all the jumper pads?
     
  3. SegaSaturnShrine

    SegaSaturnShrine New Member

    No, I probably should've now that you mention it XD. That would've helped me sort it out.... In my defense, it was midnight when I called it quits and did the repair and put it permanently back to North American mode. I was pretty tired, brain wasn't functioning... lol
     
  4. SegaSaturnShrine

    SegaSaturnShrine New Member

    Bumping this thread as I happened to get my hands on a hex inverter 74LS04 (which is mentioned in the mmmonkey guide as being compatible for doing the three region switch circuit). I also got my hands on some brand new DPDT switches (heavy duty though, rated for 125AC, wasn't paying attention when I bought them, so idk if that would cause an issue). The mmmonkey guide calls for a SPDT switch not a DPDT so I'm not sure how I would finagle that with the hex inverter I have. I might just bypass the hex inverter altogether and try the DPDT method again. This time around, I'm going to get the model number of my motherboard (which I didn't do last time, thinking that the jumper settings would be pretty universal for model 2 saturns (didn't realize many different motherboards exist for the same model, the first time around, hence why my jumper configuration was different than the guides I was following). I'm going to plan this out according to my motherboard model and give the DPDT (without the hex inverter) a shot and see what happens.....

    P.S. HAPPY EASTER!!!!!
     

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