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Sega Saturn VA9 Switchless Region Mod Install Guide

Mod Pinout

Solder Map

Region Jumpers

The jumpers control the region of the Saturn by being connected to ground or supplied 5V in various ways. This is permanently set on the Saturn mainboard but can be overridden by cutting the ground connection or 5V supply and controlling these via a modchip.

The jumpers are usually in pairs JP1/JP2, JP6/JP7, JP10/JP11, JP12/JP13.

The jumper pairs share common pads that are connected by a thin trace. They will then have two adjacent pads, one is a ground point and the other is a 5V supply.

The bellow table shows which connections the common pads require to make the console a certain region.

Region JP1/JP2 JP6/JP7 JP8/JP9 JP10/JP11 JP12/JP13
Europe Ground Ground Ground 5V 5V
Japan 5V 5V Ground Ground Ground
North America 5V Ground Ground 5V Ground

Notice that JP8/JP9 is ground for all regions which means these jumpers can be ignored.

Remove the components from JP7, JP10 and JP12. Removing these components will free up the region pins of so they can be controlled by the modchip.

JP1/JP2 (50/60Hz Video Rate Switching)

VDP2 Pin 79 controls whether the Saturn is in 50Hz or 60Hz. When it is connected to ground, the Saturn is in 50Hz. When it is connected to a 5V supply, the Saturn is in 60Hz.

On the VA9 Saturn, JP1/JP2 is connected to VDP2 Pin 79, the RGB Encoder Pin 7, and the PLL Pin 1.

There are a number of ways to achieve 50/60Hz video rate switching.

Method 1 - Lifting VDP2 Pin 79

Lift VDP2 Pin 79 and wire the 50/60Hz video switching pin of the modchip to this. It is important to be careful when lifting the pin because it can take only two or three bends to stress metal to the point of breaking.

Method 2 - Cutting the Trace from JP1/JP2

This jumper resides on the bottom surface of the Saturn mainboard. To isolate VDP2 Pin 79 from the rest of the JL1/JP2 connections (RGB encoder and PLL chip), cut the trace between the VDP2 Pin 79 via and the PLL Pin 1 via. Then wire the 50/60Hz video switching pin of the modchip to the via that leads from VDP2 Pin 79 or the pin itself.