Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
jeremysart

Very interesting find while modding SNES consoles

Recommended Posts

I noticed something interesting that caught my attention while I was modding two SNES consoles. At first glance they appear identical. When turned over, I noticed the one with the lower serial # had only two rubber feet, the FCC label was stamped into the molding, and the patents where different.

The console with the higher SN had four rubber feet, the FCC label was a sticker, and the patents of course had different numbers. Not too strange right?

 

Well upon opening cracking them open, I noticed they had completely different hardware inside!

 

The model with the lower SN had no shielding over the main board, and all of the chips were branded Sony. There was no visible sound board, just a bank of chips, again labeled Sony.

 

Now the one with the higher SN had shielding on both top and bottom protecting the main board. There was a very obvious sound board that was completely shielded and labeled "SHVC SOUND" branded Mitsumi EDIT: I wanted add to, the sound board was connected through a serial bus that is non-existent on the other model. All of the chips on the main board were branded Panasonic this time. The power switch now has a mechanic piece (that looks like a windshield wiper) that locks the cartridge in place while the power is on.

 

I thought it was interesting so I figured I would share. If anyone has a story behind the transition, please post some info!

The switch to Panasonic was probably for the better, as the hardware seems more solid and well protected.

Edited by jeremysart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nintendo revised the SNES motherboard around 1994-1995 in order to save costs. The variant with the separate sound board is the older revision while the one with a single board is the newer one. The cartridge lock was also omitted with the newer version.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The cartridge lock was also omitted with the newer version.

 

Cartridge lock? Do you mean how you couldn't pull the game cart out of the system unless you hit the Eject button first?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The cartridge lock was also omitted with the newer version.

 

Cartridge lock? Do you mean how you couldn't pull the game cart out of the system unless you hit the Eject button first?

 

No, you couldn't pull the cart out unless you had the power switch off. The original Game Boy has something like that too.

 

JY

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That does make sense that they removed certain unnecessary things to reduce cost. I just thought it was interesting that one used Panasonic while the other used Sony, especially considering that Nintendo later had a sour "break up" with Sony over pricing issues over the proposed Nintendo Playstation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Later revisions of the SNES were also incompatible with the Game Genie. Not sure about the SNES jr. though.

 

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Later revisions of the SNES were also incompatible with the Game Genie. Not sure about the SNES jr. though.

 

Chris

 

Thats an interesting point. I can confirm the SNES jr. does work with the game genie, I dont understand why they would do that.

 

Anyway, the modding has been a success for the most part. Nice custom paint job on both units, removed the regional lockout tabs, and put in new leds. Replacing the power on LED was easier than I thought, uts just very tricky doing it without having to unsolder the 14 controller pins. This does involve snipping a peice of plastic on the inside, I'll post pictures in another thread when I have taken pictures of the modded consoles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just thought it was interesting that one used Panasonic while the other used Sony, especially considering that Nintendo later had a sour "break up" with Sony over pricing issues over the proposed Nintendo Playstation.

Companies will often switch to different suppliers in order to cut costs, hence why some of the chips switched from being Panasonic to Sony.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I knew about the differences BITD (had taken quite a few systems apart). The SNES' that have the detachable sound module, you can make into standalone SPC players. Kinda cool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Later revisions of the SNES were also incompatible with the Game Genie. Not sure about the SNES jr. though.

 

Chris

 

Thats an interesting point. I can confirm the SNES jr. does work with the game genie, I dont understand why they would do that.

 

Anyway, the modding has been a success for the most part. Nice custom paint job on both units, removed the regional lockout tabs, and put in new leds. Replacing the power on LED was easier than I thought, uts just very tricky doing it without having to unsolder the 14 controller pins. This does involve snipping a peice of plastic on the inside, I'll post pictures in another thread when I have taken pictures of the modded consoles.

 

From what I have read, thy made modifications to the cartridge port to make the SNES incompatible with game copying devices, but this also made it incompatible with the Game Genie. I think they lowered the amount of current going to the 5V pin or something.

 

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just thought it was interesting that one used Panasonic while the other used Sony, especially considering that Nintendo later had a sour "break up" with Sony over pricing issues over the proposed Nintendo Playstation.

Companies will often switch to different suppliers in order to cut costs, hence why some of the chips switched from being Panasonic to Sony.

 

 

I wonder if that has any quality differences...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The SNES jr. has a better video chip than the original model SNESes.

 

Chris

The SNES Jr. didn't support S-Video so I disagree.

 

The chip still supports s-video as well as RGB. The pins on the chip just aren't attached to the AV port. It's extremely easy to restore full video functionality to the system. The video chip outputs a better signal than the chip on the older SNESes. So I guess what I should have said is that the SNES Jr. has a better video chip for those who are willing to "turn their own wrench" so to speak.

 

Chris

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The chip still supports s-video as well as RGB. The pins on the chip just aren't attached to the AV port. It's extremely easy to restore full video functionality to the system. The video chip outputs a better signal than the chip on the older SNESes. So I guess what I should have said is that the SNES Jr. has a better video chip for those who are willing to "turn their own wrench" so to speak.

 

Chris

 

So what your saying is the SNESjr is easy to do an AV mod on. How noticable are the differences? Is it worth the effort?

Just curious, I have had a lot of fun modding the three SNES consoles I have done so far, if its worth the work I may pick up a jr.

I always heard that the INTV System III has better video and sound hardware that the first two, but I personally cant tell the difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've performed an S-Video mod on my Super NES Mini, and I must say that the difference in quality is minimal. The Composite video is already so sharp and bright on the Super NES Mini that S-Video on it looks almost the same. The only difference is that there's slightly less color smearing and the edges of sprites are sharper. I don't know about RGB as I did not apply an RGB mod on my Super NES Mini.

Edited by Ace_1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So what your saying is the SNESjr is easy to do an AV mod on. How noticable are the differences? Is it worth the effort?

I've also performed the S-video mod on my SNES mini and it was worth it. Both the S-video and RGB mods are incredibly easy to perform, so long as you're comfortable soldering onto small surface-mount pins. All you have to do is take the RGB and S-video signals from the video encoder, amplify them with some 75 ohm resistors, wire the resistors to the proper pins on the AV port and you're done. I used 33 ohm resistors on mine, which made the S-video output a bit washed out, but I'm pleased with it nonetheless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The resistors don't amplify the signal, they tone it down. Your picture looks washed out because it is too bright. Try 75 ohm resistors and it should look much better.

 

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The resistors don't amplify the signal, they tone it down. Your picture looks washed out because it is too bright. Try 75 ohm resistors and it should look much better.

Yeah, I was going to use 75 ohm resistors, but I was out of those and had to use 33 ohm resistors instead. Still, I'm happy with the results for now and I most likely won't replace them until I decide to do the RGB mod.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you've got resistors to spare, connect them in series. Solder an extra 33 ohm resistor to the bottom of the ones you've already got. That'll bring you up to 66 ohms.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's neat idea, but if the PCB is anything like the N64 one, there is simply no extra room to solder two resistor in serie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know the older model chips output Y Y-r Y-b component so if your supports 240 over component its a fairly simple matter of tapping off the chip and conditioning the signal

 

it looks wonderful

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...