SEGA DREAMCAST RGB MODIFICATION
By Ryu, ReVoLuTioN!'99Difficulty:
Somewhere in the Netherlands, sometime at 26-1-1999
First and foremost, I take no responsibility for any damage that might be the result from the procedure described below.
And, yeps, I'm the same Ryu as the one from the N64 RGB mod ;)
Well, well, well.. It seems that yet another next-gen console is in need for a little internal mod to output the only choice for
hardcore gamers, RGB.
Since good information on this subject is near impossible to find, let alone a decent guide on how to modify a DC yourself,
I'm spreading this release, hoping to help as many people as possible.
I searched long and hard, browsed various sites and met several people on irc, until finally, I met someone who provided me a
link to his page. It contained all the information I needed, based on various sources including a picture made by someone at
If the person who I met on irc is reading this, please mail me for the credits!
Be careful inside your dreamcast. If you unplug it first, it will be safe to handle, however you must be careful when you wire it up and reapply power. You can permanently fry your Dreamcast if you accidentally short the +12v line!
STEP BY STEP GUIDE
Here's a step by step guide; only proceed when you have some soldering skills. Also make sure you've grounded yourself properly since the
tiniest of electrical charges can damage the console permanently!
Make sure to use a color-coded ribbon cable, or note which wire carries which signal. Also, after soldering a wire to the mainboard, solder
the other end immediately to the corresponding plug on the scart to avoid any confusion.
Ok, here goes!
If present, remove the modem from the Dreamcast. Also take out any CD that might still be in the console.
Remove the four screws from the bottom corners. - When you have your DC open in front of you, remove all the screws holding the various components together. Also carefully pull out the ribbon cable and fan power cable from the joypad interface board. After that, remove the interface card itself.
Plug out the powerswitch cable and pull of the powerboard from the DC. If the two screws that held it in place are removed this should be easy. Just be careful not to touch any of the components on the board, since they might still contain some electrical charge. Remove the plastic that is placed below the powerboard also.
If you've properly negociated step 3, you should also be able to pull the CD drive unit from the board. Be sure to pull the metal under the black plastic, and not the plastic itself.
Remove the metal shielding from the mainboard.
Now that the mainboard is finally exposed, carefully take it out. Let the cooling system in place. If it comes off, no problem; you can push it back later! Leave the metal at the very bottom of the console casing where it is.
Now, decide what you want to use to connect the DC to the scart plug. I used a ribbon cable, 8 wires wide and about two metres long. Either drill a hole in the Dreamcast somewhere it suits you, or do as I did, and use the ventilation hole that is the closest to the AV out on the outside of the DC. Pull the cable through for about half a meter or so to make the procedure a bit more easy; you can pull it back out of the DC once you are finished. Split the cable into two, so that you've got four wires for the top and four wires for the bottom of the mainboard.
I suggest to handle the top section first since the contacts you need to solder on are more sturdy here. Attach the four wires to the points indicated in the diagram. This is very delicate work, so use a magnifying glass if nessessary. Once you're sure you've attached them correctly, put some tape over the contacts to hold the connections firmly in place.
Now turn the mainboard around, making sure not to put too much stress to the wires you've just soldered. Take the other four wires and solder them to the other points indicated in the diagram. Be very careful now since the contacts themselves will easily let go from the mainboard if pulled too hard! Also, connect the two other points to eachother; this will activate the output of RGB signals. If preferred, you can add a switch between these two to switch RGB on or off; may be handy in case you want to use a VCR to tape from the Dreamcast..
Ok, all the wires should be in place. Place the mainboard back in the casing, making sure the two dark pieces of heat-conducting material are placed on the two sockets before doing so. Also pay attention that you do not obstruct the ribbon cable. Put the nessasary screws in place and if needed, place the cooling system back on the processors. Also check if the thermal safeguard is still connected to the mainboard
Attach the metal shielding. Again, make sure the ribbon cable cable is properly laid around any points that are going to be screwed together.
Attach and screw the CD drive to the metal.
Attach and screw the plastic and the powerboard. Then, plug the powerswitch cable back.
Attach and screw the joypad interface board, connecting the fan power cable and the ribbon cable.
Attach the top part of the Dreamcast casing.
Start up the DC and doublecheck if the fan is spinning.
Now, plug the scart in your TV and if all went well, you should now be
enjoying the best possible image quality!