Sega Mega Drive Frenzy

I do not think I could take apart another Mega Drive… at least not for a few days. I’ve gone ahead and taken some great quality pictures of the innards of five of my functioning Mega Drive Model 1s and two of my non-functioning Mega Drive Model 2s.

I found that one of the Mega Drive Model 1s was made in Thailand instead of the usual China and did have some differences more significant than minor changes between the China built Model 1s. The Thailand model had a Hitachi 68K chip too. All the China models have Motorolas in them.

Other differences include the screws! They were silver instead of black to secure the case together and to hold the EMI shielding down. Furthermore, the screws were longer. It also appears that I have Mega Drives from a whole range of places. I’ll need to sit down and work out which ones are keepers, which ones are to be modded and which are to be released back into the wild (marketplace).

I was very pleased to see that most of the Mega Drive Model 1s have Rubycon capacitors in them. What a delight! Check out the whole range of pictures over in the photo gallery.

6 thoughts on “Sega Mega Drive Frenzy”

  1. It sucks that most of them use the same model motherboard though. It would be nice if we could get pictures of all different motherboards.

  2. Are you kidding? It’s great they all use the same one or very similar ones. Spare parts for everyone ๐Ÿ™‚
    The Saturns should be interesting when it comes to this as there were a lot of revisions to the mainboards.
    I’ll be interested to see which ones I have with all my Saturns… for now they are all stacked up pending disassembly!

  3. It’s nice for spare parts, but we’ll never figure out just how many different boards were made this way! This is how I come across your site: lots of motherboard pictures. I’d like to ask you to always do front AND back pictures too of each pcb, for a few things you didn’t and sometimes the (sega specific) 171-x or 837-x serials are only visible on one side.

    For your saturns:
    050054493 – VA0 PAL, 837-11493, 171-6963B
    050052879 – same as above
    AD51001083 – VA1 PAL, 837-11892-01, 171-7069B
    AD63006388 – VA3 PAL (VA PAL SD), 837-12135, 171-7131A
    AD63004968 – same as above
    AD65000003 – VA5 PAL (VA PAL SD), but the serials are the same as the VA3 PAL ones above
    AD65001403 – same as above
    AD65003046 – same as above
    B64016470 – VA4 (VA SG), 837-12126, 171-7128C

    Please tell me if I got any of them wrong.

    VA1 has no VA markings on the board, but the serial number and the controller port both identify it as VA1.
    VA2 to 5 only have “VA SG” or “VA SD” on the boards, the serials can identify them as VA2-5.

    VA2 and VA4, as well as VA3 and VA5, are the exact same boards except for some missing components on the latter ones (access led, memreset, etc).

    If you are sticking to the Australian market, you may find model 2 saturns with VA9 PAL motherboards. Serial begins with AD69x.

    And yeah, there are a bunch of different Saturn motherboards, around 30 total (I’ve yet to do an exact count, and there are a bunch of motherboards I haven’t seen yet).

  4. Oh I haven’t even started with the Saturns yet, don’t worry I’ll be sure to take lots of photos of their internals.
    The Mega Drives do have photos of all their boards front and back in the gallery.
    Once you have picked an image you want just click the text under the picture. For example http://lh4.ggpht.com/-dqUUp_Qh0C8/UATredLaHFI/AAAAAAAAGw8/McrzBXHV2ko/s700/IMG_9797.JPG
    Then take the s700 and change it to s2048 for a nice big blown up picture.
    Google limits me to 2048 on the longest side. My actual photos are somewhere around 3000 on the longest side.
    Can’t wait to get up to the Saturns now ๐Ÿ™‚

    And I realised shortly after you had left the comment you are active on some of the Saturn sites I was visiting too!
    Good to see a familiar name finding some use for this site I have running here!

  5. Yeah, I know that s2048 trick. Wish there was an easier way to mass grab the thousands of pictures you have up, though. If you have your originals similarly sorted as they are here, maybe you could FTP them over?

    And yeah, I know that for most things you do front/back pictures, but for one or two things you didn’t – I think the multi-mega or one of the Mega CD boards. May be others. There are so many pictures you made, I forgot.

  6. Ohhh those were only quick snaps when I first picked them up just to check their innards. They’ll be stripped down and documented in good time. That Multi-Mega was a pain to take apart, not really looking forward to that one again!

    Yep, I’ve got them all sorted locally just name the serials that you want and give me a place to dump them and I can beam them over in their glorious 3456 x 2304 resolutions.

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