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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 Mega Drive Switchless Region Mod Install Guide

  • Pin 1 – Solder to any of the JP1/2/3/4 +5v pads
  • Pin 5 – Resistor > Short Outer lead of LED (Green)
  • Pin 6 – Resistor > Long Outer lead of LED (Red)
  • Pin 7 – Solder to a Ground pad and to Middle lead of LED
  • Pin 9 – Solder to any of the JP3/4 Video pads
  • Pin 11 – Solder to any of the JP1/2 Language pads
  • Pin 13 – Solder to the pin of the Reset Switch
  • Pin 12 – Solder to the Reset Line
  • Pin 14 – Solder to any of the JP1/2/3/4 Ground pads
  • The capacitor is soldered between pins 1 and 14 of the chip as close as possible. (Optional)

Board Maps

Language & Video / Power & Ground

  JP1-2 (Language) JP3-4 (Video Rate)
50Hz/EN (Europe) +5v Ground
60Hz/JP (Japan) Ground +5v
60Hz/EN (North America) +5v +5v

A – First remove the capacitor if there is one.

B – Cut the traces between the power/ground side and video/language side of the jumpers. (Red line on images)

C – Solder Pin 11 for Language and Pin 9 for Video Rate.

D – Solder Pin 1 for +5V and Pin 14 for Ground.

Mk1 Mega Drive VA4 (IC BD M5 PAL VA4)
Mk1 Mega Drive VA5/VA6 (IC BD M5 PAL)

Reset Button

A – Cut the trace reset button trace on the underside of the motherboard. (Red line on images)

Mk1 Mega Drive VA4 (IC BD M5 PAL VA4)
Mk1 Mega Drive VA5/VA6 (IC BD M5 PAL)

B – Solder Pin 13 to the Reset Button pin (Same for both revisions but VA4 not shown in below image).

C – For Pin 12, solder mask will need removing from the vias before soldering. (Blue circles in images). Scrape away the green solder mask from the small pad to reveal the copper underneath. Solder Pin 12 to this. For best results use the tip of a scalpel and view under magnification. The area should be shiny before soldering.

Mk1 Mega Drive VA4 (IC BD M5 PAL VA4)
Mk1 Mega Drive VA5/VA6 (IC BD M5 PAL)

LED Installation

This is the most difficult part of a Model 1 Mega Drive switchless mod install.

Removing the Old LED


You must remove the wires connecting the motherboard to the top cover. Removing from the top cover requires bending the metal legs of the LED up and then pulling the plastic connector off. The connection to the motherboard will require desoldering.

Two Types of Top Case LED Fixtures

Removable Bezel and LED

This is the easiest LED to remove because you can unclip the top bezel cover that is holding in the LED and the LED will come straight out. You are then free to cut out a hole on the underside for the new LED.

Fixed Bezel and Sealed in LED

This is more difficult because you have to cut the hole on the underside of the top case with the old LED still in. The metal legs of the LED will be in the way when cutting the hole. Once the hole is large enough, the LED can be removed.

Cutting the Hole

You can cut the hole with side cutters and then use a file to smooth the edges. This is not a the best method but might be the only option available to you. An electrical rotary tool such as a Dremel makes this part much easier. Slow and steady is the only way to do this without making a mess. Start in the center and work outwards. Do not go too deep. You do not want to cut into the bezel.

Your hole should be perfectly round and just wide enough so the new LED fits.

Wiring the LED

Cut back the LED legs to the little nodules then solder wires from the Chip to the LED.

  • Chip Pin 5 > Resistor > Short outer leg of LED
  • Chip Pin 6 > Resistor > Long outer leg of LED
  • Chip Pin 7 > Ground point on board > Middle leg of LED

You can use heat shrink tubing over the individual wire solder connections for better appearance and strain relief, then a further larger piece of heatshrink over all the wires to keep then together. Do not over do this though as the wire needs to be quite flexible in order to fold under the case top.

Fixing the LED

Once everything is soldered the LED will need fixing to the case. Some choose to use hot glue over the hole and between the LED legs. This is not very aesthetic but is easy to do and hotglue can be removed with relative ease. Another method is to use black Mulliput but this is much more difficult to do well and more permanent.

Milliput can be carefully pushed into the hole and round the LED legs to create an almost seamless surface. But it requires 24 hours to set and it is very difficult to do a neat job.