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SNES/Super Famicom Switchless 50/60Hz mod

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    SNES/Super Famicom Switchless 50/60Hz mod

    Hey guys,
    Did a mod recently and decided to take some pictures and get a guide going. I performed this on a Super Famicom but is pretty much the same process with a SNES. The SNES has a slightly different layout but the chips are labelled the same.
    This is using the SUPERCIC code by a net user by the name of ikari_01. It is programmed onto a 16F630 PIC. If anyone needs a pre-programmed PIC let me know and I can get one organised for you.

    Things you will need:
    • Gamebit tool for opening the SNES/Famicom
    • Phillips head screwdriver
    • Pair of pliers
    • Soldering iron with a fine tip
    • Solder
    • Wrapping wire or any other very thin wire.
    • Solder sucker
    • Solder braid (in case of a mistake)
    • Electrical tape
    • Hot glue gun
    • SUPERCIC programmed PIC chip
    • Pin or very sharp hobby knife to assist with lifting pins off a few of the SNES/Famicom chips.
    • A steady hand





    Lets begin.

    Below is a diagram of the pinouts for the SUPERCIC PIC. In this tut we will be using the DUo-LED common cathod LED so pin 7 of the PIC will be grounded.


    Open the case using the gamebit tool. You will be presented with the following



    Remove the cartridge eject lever by lifting the right hand side. Once lifted pull towards the right and the steel rod in the mid should slide out. You will have to remove the two screws holding in the power switch and then the two screws on either side of the metal shielding. Pull the shielding off to exposure the motherboard



    For the PIC I bend all the legs so they are horizontal and then trim them. I then use double sided tape and secure it to one of the chips on the board. Pre-tin all the contacts on the PIC ready to solder all the wires to it



    Now the fun part. We need to lift a PIN on both the PPU1 and PPU2 chip. These chips are labeled on the top. For PPU2 we need to lift pin 30. This is the far right pin so is not too difficult to lift. I use a pin or safety pin and insert it behind pin 30. With your soldering iron heat pin 30 at the base while gently wedging the pin up with the pin. The pin should lift off the board. Be careful not to break the pin.



    We need to do the same on PPU1 except it is pin24. You can count backwards from the right which is pin 30 and do the same as you did for PPU2. As mentioned above DO NOT BREAK THE PIN.



    I like to place a couple of pieces of electrical tape under the pins to isolate them



    Using some wrapping wire solder a wire connecting the two pins we just lifted leaving about 10cm of wire at the end. This will connect to pin 12 of the PIC



    Here you can see that wire from the PPU chips connect to PIN12 of the PIC



    Next we need to lift 4 pins on the CIC lockout chip of the SNES/Famicom. On my console it is labeled F411A. We need to lift pins 1, 2, 10 and 11. Bend these right up and over as we need to solder to the contacts of the mother. Do not worry if these pins break as they are not needed any more



    Next we need to feed 5v to the PIC chip. I have grabbed 5V from PPU1 chip on pin 80. A wire needs to be connected from this to pin 1 and pin 4 of the PIC chip. You can also grab 5V from the right hand pin of the voltage regulator



    Now is a matter of connecting all the rest of the pins of the PIC to the motherboard. He we connect PIN2 of the PIC to pin7 of the on-board CIC chip



    Now we connect a wire from pin13 of the PIC chip to pin 8 of the CIC chip



    Now we connect a wire from pin11 of the PIC chip to pin 10 of the CIC chip. This needs to be soldered to the motherboard contact which was exposed after we lifted the leg of the CIC chip.



    Now we connect a wire from pin9 of the PIC chip to pin 2 of the CIC chip. This needs to be soldered to the motherboard contact which was exposed after we lifted the leg of the CIC chip.



    Now we connect a wire from pin10 of the PIC chip to pin 1 of the CIC chip. This needs to be soldered to the motherboard contact which was exposed after we lifted the leg of the CIC chip.



    Now we connect a wire from pin8 of the PIC chip to pin 11 of the CIC chip. This needs to be soldered to the motherboard contact which was exposed after we lifted the leg of the CIC chip.



    Now we need to ground the PIC. We need to connect a wire from pins7 and 14 of the PIC chip to ground. I just use a single wire, connect to pins7 and 14 and thensolder the wire anywhere on the motherboard that is ground. The whole surround exposed metal of the motherboard is ground.



    Now to prepare the LED. Here I have trimmed the legs of the LED ready to solder resistors and wire to it.



    Connect up two resisters to the outside legs of the LED. These are your Red and Green pins. Also attach a wire to the centre of the LED. This will be connected to ground.



    Trim the resistor legs and attach wire to these also.



    I like to use a bit of heat shrink on the resistors for extra insulation.



    Now we need to remove the factory RED led



    Use a solder sucker or other sucking tool to remove the solder from the LED. Use some solder braid if there is any solder left that you cannot remove. As a tip I always add some fresh solder first before using the sucker on it.



    I use a pair or pliers to remove the LED. Don't worry about breaking it as we no longer need it.



    Now make a bend in your RGB LED we prepared earlier. I use a hot glue gun to hold the new LED in place.


    I went a biut crazy on the glue here but at least it won't move. Attach the outer wires of the LED to pins 5 and 6 of the PIC. I forgot to include a picture of this but will add one later. Attach the centre wire to any ground point in the console.


    Here i have reassemble the shielding and the cartridge release lever.



    Now for the moment of truth. Fire up the console. Here we see the LED is red which defaults to 60Hz



    Holding down the reset button the LED changes to orange. This will start the game in its native mode



    Holding down the reset button again the LED changes to green. This changes the Hz to 50.



    Below is exactly what happens in each mode. If when on green it displays 60Hz and red it displays 50Hz you can just swap the wires on pins 5 and 6 of the PIC over. Or you can just leave it and remember that Red is 50Hz and green is 60Hz
    a) 50Hz Mode is active (green)

    If you insert a PAL-Game, it will start with 50Hz
    If you insert a NTSC-Game, it will start with 60Hz and switches to 50Hz after 9 sec.
    If you insert a Game without CIC, it will start with 50Hz

    b) 60Hz Mode is active (red)

    If you insert a NTSC-Game, it will start with 60Hz
    If you insert a PAL-Game, it will start with 50Hz and switches to 60Hz after 9 sec
    If you insert a Game without CIC, it will start with 60Hz

    c) Auto Mode is active (orange)

    starting the Game in its native frequency.

    If you insert a NTSC-Game, it will start with 60Hz
    If you insert a PAL-Game, it will start with 50Hz
    If you insert a Game without CIC, it will start with 60Hz


    Well there you have it. I am not the best at writing guides but should give you an indication of what is required to do this mod. I am more that happy help out anyone trying to attempt this. Just message me to help.

    Thanks
    MJ

    #2
    Great tutorial mamejay. I'm gonna have to give that a try I think. Only missing 2 things the SUPERCIC programed PIC and definitely the steady hand lol.
    Great work and info
    Cheers

    Comment


      #3
      nice tute, thanks

      Comment


        #4
        .
        Last edited by stu; 14 March 2012, 09:20 PM.

        Comment


          #5
          haha. Anytime Stu.

          Comment


            #6
            Yeah I wont be trying that any time soon you have mine to do also
            The best action is wrist action!!!!!!

            Comment


              #7
              good on you for taking the time to share your tips and tricks jase.
              Quoting Bart Simpson-as he walks into Homer's basement mancave
              "wow man a pinball machine, I've always wanted to play one of these!.
              The graphics are so Hi-def the ball looks real!"

              Comment


                #8
                .
                Last edited by stu; 14 March 2012, 09:18 PM.

                Comment


                  #9
                  As far as I can tell, the main benefit is that you don't need to disfigure the case in any way. I think a switch is technically better though, in the sense that you have complete and 100% control of what mode you want to be in and when.
                  SEGA love: | Nintendo love:
                  PC Engine love: | Latest retro finds:

                  Comment


                    #10
                    .
                    Last edited by stu; 14 March 2012, 09:18 PM.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by stu View Post
                      So I have a question......

                      Aside from not having to flick a switch, what are the benefits of this method over a straight 50/60hz switch?

                      Just curious that's all. Got my security bits today so was having a play around and was going to install a switch....what am i missing out on?


                      Say, most games will work in NTSC 60hz, so if I was to put a switch in and just leave it on 60hz for pretty much everything i run...is there any negatives to that?
                      Ya PAL games you'll have to boot on 50hz then switch to 60hz.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Not all PAL games require 50Hz to start. The beauty of the switchless is that it will start the console in the cartridges correct frequency and then switch automatically to whatever the mod is set to.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Why aren't there any pictures of the big cat you own?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by radirgyman View Post
                            Why aren't there any pictures of the big cat you own?
                            There you go Chris. Avatar has been changed to display my big cat.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Hi MJ - haven't been on AA for a couple of weeks, wanted to give props for the tute Out of interest, would be keen on using a PIC just for the security IC faking for 100% compatibility with any cart. I like the tangible switch for swapping refresh rates, but always thought the switchless mods were all sorts of awesome
                              - my nerdy gaming blog...

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