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Super Nintendo Region & Display Mods

  • 17-02-2011 7:39pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 33,733 ✭✭✭✭


    Below is the mod procedure for adapting a PAL Super Nintendo to display a choice of 50 or 60Hz, and to make it dual region (PAL or NTSC). The technicalities of the mod are almost identical to the Sega Megadrive mod. A common point is given wither a ground, or a 5v to change the setting.

    In this case, the region lockout chip (CIC), pin 4 to be specific, is lifted from the board and wired to a SPDT switch, with either side having 5v or ground. The display frequency is controlled by the two PPU chips, pin 24 of PPU1 & pin 30 of PPU2. These two pins are wired to the center of another switch, & given either a 5v or ground to choose the frequency.

    While this makes a PAL Super Nintendo almost fully universal, there are still some limits. US NTSC carts are a completely different shape to PAL carts, & as such won't natively fit through the cart slot. This can be solved by either a) adapting the cart slot with a dremel, or b) using a pass through adaptor, which is the better choice as it keeps the console aesthetically the way it should be. There are also a very select few games which are able to detect the deactivation of the CIC chip, Super Mario RPG is one of them. This is solved by modifying the internal CIC chip within the cart, but it's outside of the scope of this log. 99% of import games will now work however, so don't fret!

    Onto the business at hand, o1s1n's SNES

    et6qet.jpg

    The now obligatory, under the hood shot

    2nqacl2.jpg

    Motherboard removed

    2iay6iu.jpg

    Shielding removed

    2vuaekm.jpg

    The PAL CIC chip. There's an identical chip in every PAL cartridge. On boot, the chips communicate, verifying a match (PAL in this case), if there's a mismatch, you get the region protection screen. If the chip is disabled altogether, the system will boot the cart regardless of the region (excluding the few games that are able to detect the mod)

    5ed95h.jpg

    The two PPU chips (Picture Processing Unit)

    w2lv9g.jpg

    Pin 24 of PPU1 lifted, & Pin 30 of PPU2 lifted (the bit I really hate doing, if these pins break off, it's more than likely ruined the console).

    2z5ljlf.jpg

    Pin 4 of the CIC chip lifted, this will allow us to disable it or deactivate it.

    20gfhhg.jpg

    Once the three pins are lifted, that's the hard part done. They can now be isolated to work on.

    25qw2z4.jpg

    2s0y6tf.jpg

    24d3a7p.jpg

    I position the switches at the rear of the console, to keep it looking as original as possible.

    ngbt39.jpg

    t4z688.jpg

    Now, we will only bringing onto 5v supply to the switches, so we must link the two together. A 2.2k resistor is used to perform the link, as presumably the PPU's need slightly less than 5v. This means we get 5v at the CIC switch, and the correct voltage at the Display chip, by only using one wire.

    2i6nes3.jpg

    We get our 5v & ground form the underside of the console. Green for live, brown for earth.

    33v29up.jpg


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 33,733 ✭✭✭✭Myrddin


    Power & ground linked appropriately on both switches.

    fbfa5x.jpg

    All that remains, is to wire the lifted pins to the center terminals of the switches. The two PPU pins go to the same leg on the display switch.

    mkjc6a.jpg

    309rkeh.jpg

    Reassembly

    9u4277.jpg

    Finito

    2r2tcnl.jpg

    The switch on the left of the last picture, is the CIC or region switch. In the UP position it is set for PAL. The switch on the right, is the display switch, in the UP position it is set for 60Hz. So both switches up for PAL & 60Hz.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,828 ✭✭✭Reamer Fanny


    Nice job EnterNow


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,770 ✭✭✭Jack burton


    This will come in very handy for me soon!


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,188 ✭✭✭KeRbDoG


    Hey folks,
    Just completed a SuperCiC/SwitchLess mod on Ciderman's SNES. Basically like the EnterNow's mod but you have a PIC controlling the pins on the PPUs and also controlling the console 'power' LED to let you know the region/screen mode.

    PPU/CiC pins lifted - prob the hardest part;
    250359.jpg

    The PIC installed/wired with the two wires at the bottom going to a new LED in place of the power LED;
    250360.jpg


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 33,733 ✭✭✭✭Myrddin


    Is the pic pre-programmed to know how to force boot certain regions when you boot with the reset button pressed etc?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,188 ✭✭✭KeRbDoG


    EnterNow wrote: »
    Is the pic pre-programmed to know how to force boot certain regions when you boot with the reset button pressed etc?

    Yup, pre-programmed to do the switching and also changing the LED colour depending on setting. Bad_Ad84 on AssemblerGames is selling a kit for this mod. I must get another one or two.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 33,733 ✭✭✭✭Myrddin


    KeRbDoG wrote: »
    Yup, pre-programmed to do the switching and also changing the LED colour depending on setting. Bad_Ad84 on AssemblerGames is selling a kit for this mod. I must get another one or two.

    Looks like a handy man to know, he has the PS1 & GC chips too :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,188 ✭✭✭KeRbDoG


    EnterNow wrote: »
    Looks like a handy man to know, he has the PS1 & GC chips too :)

    He is indeed, 3GBP shipping for kits to Ireland. Not bad and deals with orders next day. Might hit him up to see if he could hook me up with the 5V 4.433M Crystal Oscillator I'm after :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,735 ✭✭✭Stuxnet


    the SNES in OP looks strangely familiar :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 280 ✭✭s10


    hey guys looking good on the modding.
    i am looking to buy....
    Super Tetris 3 - Super Famicom / SNES Game NTSC-J
    the only 4 player tetris on the market for snes, never released for PAL.
    So quick question if u will, is it just the The PAL CIC chip pin thats needs to grounded with a switch for this particular game to work?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 33,733 ✭✭✭✭Myrddin


    s10 wrote: »
    hey guys looking good on the modding.
    i am looking to buy....
    Super Tetris 3 - Super Famicom / SNES Game NTSC-J
    the only 4 player tetris on the market for snes, never released for PAL.
    So quick question if u will, is it just the The PAL CIC chip pin thats needs to grounded with a switch for this particular game to work?

    The extent of the protection is dependant on the game. Some games have more protection that others. The CIC chip being disabled is one way to bypass the region lock, but some games check the display frequency too, so your PAL machine will need to be outputting 60Hz rather than 50Hz in that case. If you're going to the bother of the mod, just do the two if them. Or if you're feeling adventurous do the Super-CIC mod that Kerbdog done, it's the best of the bunch


  • Registered Users Posts: 280 ✭✭s10


    i've found a full picture of one, front ,back and board.
    http://produto.mercadolivre.com.br/MLB-487281166-cartucho-super-famicom-nintendo-super-tetris-3-jp-leilor10-_JM?redirectedFromParent=MLB485152871
    is there anyway to tell from the pictures.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 33,733 ✭✭✭✭Myrddin


    s10 wrote: »
    i've found a full picture of one, front ,back and board.
    http://produto.mercadolivre.com.br/MLB-487281166-cartucho-super-famicom-nintendo-super-tetris-3-jp-leilor10-_JM?redirectedFromParent=MLB485152871
    is there anyway to tell from the pictures.

    There's no way to tell from a picture of the cart no. It'll be either:

    1) Be region free
    2) Be region locked to NTSC, requiring a region mod
    3) Be region locked AND display locked, requiring both mods.

    It's unlikely to be the latter but there's no way to know. If getting the mod done though, you really should get both done together.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,188 ✭✭✭KeRbDoG


    Basically completed the same switchless mod of a Sega Saturn with the same kit - while it took an age since there be no good guides for all mobos online, it works a treat!


  • Registered Users Posts: 567 ✭✭✭Burzum


    Sorry for necroing the thread but would this work on a super famicom?


  • Registered Users Posts: 104 ✭✭steo2k9


    I'm going to do this as it's annoying me playing Mario 17% slower. Do I just literally need 2 2 way switches and a 2.2k resistor and wire?

    I seen switchless mods but how do they work exactly. Like if I want to run my pal game at 60hz won't that just default to 50?

    I'd probably rather the switch way just in case.

    I've done my mega drive 2 and that was easy but the snes looks slightly more tricky.


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