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COVID-19: Mod kits to UK addresses can be posted with a second class large letter stamp via a post box so there is no restrictions or delays for me to post these. Install services and international orders need to be taken to the post office and might be affected by movement restrictions in the UK and potentially have three weeks of delay from 23rd March 2020. I am really not sure. Thanks

Sega 32X Auto Hertz Switchless Region Mod Install Guide

32X Auto Hertz Switchless Region Mod uses a microchip to detect the Vsync from the Mega Drive and control the video refresh rate of the 32X accordingly. Only four pins of the microchip are used.

Installation requires soldering four wires, soldering a capacitor, scraping solder mask from one of the solder points, and modifying the plastic brace for the cartridge port.

Board Map

Prepare the Main Board

Add some solder to the four main solder points.

  • Pin 1 +5V. This point is a little small and can be enlarged by scraping away some of the adjacent solder mask to expose more of the copper track for soldering. Use the tip of a scalpel to carefully scrape away the solder mask whilst viewed under magnification for best results.

  • Pin 5 TTL VSync Detecting. Pin B13 from the right side of the cartridge port.
  • Pin 6 50/60Hz video rate switching.
  • Pin 8 Ground. You might require some additional heat to get the solder to flow as it is attached to a large ground plane.
  • Stick down the chip so Pin1 +5V is facing towards the front of the board where the Sega copyright text is located and Pin 5 TTL Vsync, Pin 6 50/60Hz Video Rate, & Pin 8 Ground are facing towards back of the board where the output DIN is located.

Cartridge Port Brace Cut

Note: There might be an alternative solder point for the cartridge port connection which will mean the cartridge port brace cut will not be needed. I will investigate once I do another 32X and update the guide.

It is necessary to cut a rout out of the cartridge port brace for the Pin 5 TTL Vsync wire. Failing to do this cut will prevent the 32X main board from sitting flush inside the case which can cause stress to the board, and potentially crush the wire and cause unreliable operation.

Because of this you need to ensure that the wire for Pin 5 TTL VSync comes off the cartridge port Pin B13 at a 90 degrees angle and is sufficiently long enough to not get trapped by the cartridge port brace when making its run to the chip.

If you look at the solder map you will notice where the tunnel needs to be placed on the brace. A cut like this can be achieved with a rotary tool such as a Dremmel, or if you don't care about doing a perfectly neat job, a pair of side-cutters can be used.

When putting the 32X back together it is important to make sure that this cartridge port wire does not end up between the brace and the 32X main board (notice the blue wire running close to the brace).