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GG-TV scans / Game Gear TV RGB official mod with TV-OUT
Post Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2001 2:27 pm
I opened the machine and made some scans of the little board.

13 wires are coming from the board to the connection shown (leaving 2 unconnected pins).
I know the quality isn't very good, I'm keeping the machine butchered and open if you have any questions about connections or marking.
ggtv-00.jpg (144.26 KB)
ggtv-00.jpg
ggtv-01.jpg (45.7 KB)
ggtv-01.jpg
ggtv-02.jpg (29.2 KB)
ggtv-02.jpg

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More..
Post Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2001 2:32 pm
As you can guess there must be important parts behind the black rubber layer, especially the chip at the center.
I however can't find how it would be possible to see the chips without sacrifying the board. I suppose the rubber isn't there for nothing.
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Re: More..
Post Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2001 6:26 pm
Quote
> As you can guess there must be important parts behind the black rubber layer, especially the chip at the center.
> I however can't find how it would be possible to see the chips without sacrifying the board. I suppose the rubber isn't there for nothing.

You don't have to worry about taking the chip apart, I've got some info on it.

It's used in Sega arcade games to generate RGB signals, it's usually interfaced with a 16-bit wide RAM that holds palette data. Here's a pinout:

10 - RED (bit 1) (inputs from RAM)
11 - RED (bit 2)
12 - RED (bit 3)
13 - RED (bit 4)
23 - GREEN (bit 1)
22 - GREEN (bit 2)
21 - GREEN (bit 3)
20 - GREEN (bit 4)
4 - BLUE (bit 1)
5 - BLUE (bit 2)
6 - BLUE (bit 3)
7 - BLUE (bit 4)
9 - RED (bit 0)
25 - GREEN (bit 0)
3 - BLUE (bit 0)
28 - SHADE HI/LO
29 - SHADE ON/OFF
27 - BLANK
26 - Clock input
15 - Analog red
18 - Analog green
31 - Analog blue
8,24 - Vcc
1,16,17,23 - Ground

Pins 28,29 are for shadow processing, which is almost certainly not used.
Pin 27 is for blanking the display.
Pins 15, 18, 31 go right to the RGB inputs of a monitor. Actually each line goes through a part called "FLT" on the schematic I'm looking at, whatever that is.

If you ask me, the VDP has it's CRAM accessible externally (perhaps through pins on the VDP), and those outputs are connected to this chip.
The Genesis VDP has the exact same capability, which is used in the C2 arcade games to give it much better palette hardware.

The bad news is that this chip is not responsible for a composite sync signal.
I'm fairly sure the VDP generates it. (IMO)

Hope this helps.


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Re: More..
Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2001 3:39 am
Quote
> If you ask me, the VDP has it's CRAM accessible externally (perhaps through pins on the VDP), and those outputs are connected to this chip.
> The Genesis VDP has the exact same capability, which is used in the C2 arcade games to give it much better palette hardware.

I think you mean the COLOR BUS, which is a common feature from all Yamaha VDP chips. I know the standard structure of the color bus data in a MSX VDP. SEGA VDPs might be similar...

RRRGGGBB
3 bits for RED
3 bits for GREEN
and 2 bits for BLUE

The color bus is a bidirectional bus controlled by a signal called /CBUSDIR or /CBDR and those VDPs can of course be also used for data aquisition (I.E.: Video digitizer)

I don't know if SEGA VDPs have a bidir colorbus and I would be real happy to laid my hands in those schematics that use multi mega drive VDPs so I can use the same idea to put 3 V9938 chips in the same video generator ... 24bit display is not a so bad idea, is it ? :)
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2001 12:09 pm
Quote
> 13 wires are coming from the board to the connection shown (leaving 2 unconnected pins).
> I know the quality isn't very good, I'm keeping the machine butchered and open if you have any questions about connections or marking.

Excellent, thanks a lot, that's incredibly illuminating, at least with what C. MacDonald added. If you've got it open, could you tell us where it's connected inside, at least approximatly if that's not too awkward? Actually I'm wondering how it's even connected at all, the GG doesn't have a custom PCB does it?

Is that 315-... really a square DIP IC made of rubber? Sounds bizarre!
 
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Re: More..
Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2001 3:23 pm

Quote
> I think you mean the COLOR BUS, which is a common feature from all Yamaha VDP chips. I know the standard structure of the color bus data in a MSX VDP. SEGA VDPs might be similar...

Interesting! I'm quite sure the Genesis VDP has this since it was designed by Yamaha, and the color bus would explain how it's palette hardware is 'extended' of sorts in the C2 arcade boards. I think it's safe to say the GG VDP may have this feature.

Quote
> I don't know if SEGA VDPs have a bidir colorbus and I would be real happy to laid my hands in those schematics that use multi mega drive VDPs so I can use the same idea to put 3 V9938 chips in the same video generator ... 24bit display is not a so bad idea, is it ? :)

The closest thing I've seen is the System 18 arcade board, where the output of a sprite and tilemap generator is fed into a Genesis VDP, though the external video input (which I believe is enabled in the same was as the TMS9918 does). But I don't have any schematics for that, though I really wish I did.
It does make for a total of six background layers and two sprite layers, which is quite impressive. ;)


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Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2001 3:35 pm
Quote
>> 13 wires are coming from the board to the connection shown (leaving 2 unconnected pins).
>> I know the quality isn't very good, I'm keeping the machine butchered and open if you have any questions about connections or marking.
> Excellent, thanks a lot, that's incredibly illuminating, at least with what C. MacDonald added. If you've got it open, could you tell us where it's connected inside, at least approximatly if that's not too awkward? Actually I'm wondering how it's even connected at all, the GG doesn't have a custom PCB does it?

The PCB looks normal. I'll try (ASAP) to gives you location of the 13 wires, but it would be very approximate... wish I had a digital camera :(
There's also another, white wire, linking two points.

Quote
> Is that 315-... really a square DIP IC made of rubber? Sounds bizarre!

I'm not sure what you mean in the sentence.
There's links/chips and the rubber covering them. Or maybe rubber isn't the right english word. Damn ;(
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2001 1:52 am
Quote
> The PCB looks normal. I'll try (ASAP) to gives you location of the 13 wires, but it would be very approximate... wish I had a digital camera :(
> There's also another, white wire, linking two points.

This might make it easier, if you just read off grid co-ordinates from the picure in the link? Thanks again for doing this.

Quote
> > Is that 315-... really a square DIP IC made of rubber? Sounds bizarre!

> I'm not sure what you mean in the sentence.
> There's links/chips and the rubber covering them. Or maybe rubber isn't the right english word. Damn ;(

If it squishes when you touch it, it's as good as rubber. I'm just confused by the fact that it has markings like an IC, and seems to have a row of through-hole pins along two edges, yet you say there are seperate components under it?



 
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2001 7:18 am


Quote
> Excellent, thanks a lot, that's incredibly illuminating, at least with what C. MacDonald added. If you've got it open, could you tell us where it's connected inside, at least approximatly if that's not too awkward? Actually I'm wondering how it's even connected at all, the GG doesn't have a custom PCB does it?

Yes, many, many thanks, Zoop! It looks kind of like a tuner of some sort, only one intended to be used for any type of TV, so they could send a dev kit to anyone, throw the right plug on it, and it would be good in their country. Seems like it could be adapted for RF, RGB, SCART, or RCA outputs.

Quote
> Is that 315-... really a square DIP IC made of rubber? Sounds bizarre!

I guess Sega wanted to hide things from prying eyes like us. I suppose the most important thing would be to see where they attach on the board. Oh, Zoop, where does that large connector on the underside of that board connect to on the GG?

Thanks again, Zoop!
 
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Re: More..
Post Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2001 7:27 am
Quote
> > As you can guess there must be important parts behind the black rubber layer, especially the chip at the center.
> > I however can't find how it would be possible to see the chips without sacrifying the board. I suppose the rubber isn't there for nothing.

> You don't have to worry about taking the chip apart, I've got some info on it.

Sweet! Good find, Charles! Is there a link to more info on this?

Quote
> The bad news is that this chip is not responsible for a composite sync signal.
> I'm fairly sure the VDP generates it. (IMO)

> Hope this helps.

The GG VDP is integrated into the 315-5535, right? Well, if it is or isn't, I haven't been able to get a composite (a clean one, at least) yet from it. They really shrunk the SMS into few ICs for the GG.
 
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Perfect
Post Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2001 8:43 am
Quote
>> The PCB looks normal. I'll try (ASAP) to gives you location of the 13 wires, but it would be very approximate... wish I had a digital camera :(
>> There's also another, white wire, linking two points.
> This might make it easier, if you just read off grid co-ordinates from the picure in the link? Thanks again for doing this.

Perfect. I considered doing that yesterday, out of a picture on the net, then I noticed the other 'normal' Game Gear I opened had a slighty different board.
Yours on the picture is exactly the same.
The 13 points were relatively easy to spot, I marked them as precisely as I could.

I'll try now to count which connection is linked to which pin of the connector, but it is a mess.

Quote
>>> Is that 315-... really a square DIP IC made of rubber? Sounds bizarre!
>> I'm not sure what you mean in the sentence.
>> There's links/chips and the rubber covering them. Or maybe rubber isn't the right english word. Damn ;(
> If it squishes when you touch it, it's as good as rubber. I'm just confused by the fact that it has markings like an IC, and seems to have a row of through-hole pins along two edges, yet you say there are seperate components under it?

There's a central chip and several transistor.
The whole is mounted on a surface that is two millimeters from the surface of the main board.
ggrid-done.png (204.67 KB)
ggrid-done.png

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Better
Post Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2001 8:59 am
I added pin numbers now.
Notice pins 6 and 7 are not connected on the connector.
Hope it is useful!

( And now my Game Gear doesn't work anymore - sigh :( )
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Re: Better
Post Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2001 9:03 am
Quote
> I added pin numbers now.
> Notice pins 6 and 7 are not connected on the connector.
> Hope it is useful!

I'll leave to the reader the joy of guessing at which side of the connector on the other photos I started counting pins : i don't know.
But it shouldn't be too hard.
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Re: More.. Now 315-5433 and V9938/58
Post Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2001 3:07 pm
Quote
>
> > I think you mean the COLOR BUS, which is a common feature from all Yamaha VDP chips. I know the standard structure of the color bus data in a MSX VDP. SEGA VDPs might be similar...

> Interesting! I'm quite sure the Genesis VDP has this since it was designed by Yamaha, and the color bus would explain how it's palette hardware is 'extended' of sorts in the C2 arcade boards. I think it's safe to say the GG VDP may have this feature.

Do you have any information on MSX enhanced VDPs (V9938 and V9958) that you cam cross with all the info you discovered about sega's 315-5413 (Megadrive VDP chip) ? If you don't I can search and send you that info ... I think it might be really interesting to check what is different and equal on those chips.


Quote
> > I don't know if SEGA VDPs have a bidir colorbus and I would be real happy to laid my hands in those schematics that use multi mega drive VDPs so I can use the same idea to put 3 V9938 chips in the same video generator ... 24bit display is not a so bad idea, is it ? :)

> The closest thing I've seen is the System 18 arcade board, where the output of a sprite and tilemap generator is fed into a Genesis VDP, though the external video input (which I believe is enabled in the same was as the TMS9918 does). But I don't have any schematics for that, though I really wish I did.
> It does make for a total of six background layers and two sprite layers, which is quite impressive. ;)

Youy are sure if it was being input on the VDP ? (I mean the VDP RGB output was used ? because it's also possible that the color bus output is mixed outside the VDP with the tilemap and sprite gen and then fed to a video DAC) If the VDP RGB out is not connected to anything then it's color bus is in output mode.

I'm getting more and more interested in Yamaha videochips each time I discover new things about them... pity Yamaha stuff is really BADLY doccumented ...
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Re: More.. Now 315-5433 and V9938/58
Post Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2001 2:10 am

Quote
> Do you have any information on MSX enhanced VDPs (V9938 and V9958) that you cam cross with all the info you discovered about sega's 315-5413 (Megadrive VDP chip) ? If you don't I can search and send you that info ... I think it might be really interesting to check what is different and equal on those chips.

I've looked at the documentation for the V9938 and V9990, and they don't seem very similar to the Genesis VDP.
It's like Yamaha took the original TMS9918 design, and went in two directions, one being the VDPs used in the MSX, and then the VDPs used in Sega games.

Quote
> Youy are sure if it was being input on the VDP ? (I mean the VDP RGB output was used ? because it's also possible that the color bus output is mixed outside the VDP with the tilemap and sprite gen and then fed to a video DAC) If the VDP RGB out is not connected to anything then it's color bus is in output mode.

The game sets bit 0 of VDP register #0, which is undocumented for the Genesis but described as the external video input enable for the TMS9918.
Furthermore, I took a 'snapshot' of the VDP state from my System 18 emulator, and loaded that data on a real Genesis using a copier. However, this time bit 0 caused the display to go nuts, as if there was no sync.
As far as I know, System 18 boards use the exact same VDP as the Genesis (they have the same part number) Maybe on a System 18 board, the VDP gets sync signals from the other video chips, while on my Genesis the pins that would provide this aren't connected to anything. (hence the bad display)

Regarding the color bus, here are my observations:

The System C2 games ignore the VDP color RAM (initializing it to zero), and instead program the external palette RAM. I'm sure that this RAM is addressed by the color bus.

The System 18 games do use the VDP color RAM, and do not (to my knowledge) have extra palette RAM. So I don't think the color bus is used in this case. (and the colors look right on my Genesis, too)

You said that the color bus outputs data in an RGB format. I think this is needed since the V9938 has the RGB and YJK display modes, which aren't palette based. (am I right?)
However, documentation for the later Yamaha chips like the YGV608 show that the color bus works with a different data format than you described. Instead of having RGB values, it has one bit for sprites, and then several bits for pixel data and palette data. (so it's the 'raw' pixel value, not translated through the color RAM)

I believe the Genesis VDP uses this kind of color bus, because C2 games divide up the extra palette RAM between sprites and the background planes. The earlier kinds of color bus that have RGB information wouldn't provide any way to distinguish between sprites and backgrounds, but the newer kinds that have a dedicated sprite bit could.

Quote
> I'm getting more and more interested in Yamaha videochips each time I discover new things about them... pity Yamaha stuff is really BADLY doccumented ...

I agree! It's very interesting to see the similarities and differences they have.


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Re: More..
Post Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2001 2:17 am

Quote
> Sweet! Good find, Charles! Is there a link to more info on this?

Sorry, nope. I figured it out through work on Sega arcade game emulators and schematics, I've never seen other sources of information on it.

Quote
> The GG VDP is integrated into the 315-5535, right? Well, if it is or isn't, I haven't been able to get a composite (a clean one, at least) yet from it. They really shrunk the SMS into few ICs for the GG.

Good question, I'm not sure myself.

I think Zoop's TV-compatible GG is working out to be quite a mystery. :)


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Re: Better
Post Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2001 10:22 am
Quote
> I added pin numbers now.
> Notice pins 6 and 7 are not connected on the connector.
> Hope it is useful!

Yes, definatly, thanks. Now it's just a matter of examining those points to see what we can get out of them.

Quote
> ( And now my Game Gear doesn't work anymore - sigh :( )

Ah, no! Sorry. What doesn't it do?
 
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Re: More..
Post Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2001 1:37 pm
Hi, thanks for that info, looks like what we were using as a video signal is really a logic bit, oops :)

Quote
> 23 - GREEN (bit 1)
> 1,16,17,23 - Ground

Seems to be a problem with pin 23. Though it's unlikely to make a difference either way.

Quote
> Actually each line goes through a part called "FLT" on the schematic I'm looking at, whatever that is.

I wouldn't mind a copy of that. Or is it on paper? I've had a look round your site and system16.com, but not found any diagrams with the 315-5242.
 
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Re: Better
Post Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2001 8:36 pm

Quote
> > ( And now my Game Gear doesn't work anymore - sigh :( )

> Ah, no! Sorry. What doesn't it do?

That sucks! Are you sure? Is it just not connected properly?
 
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It's ok
Post Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2001 8:37 pm
Quote
>
> > > ( And now my Game Gear doesn't work anymore - sigh :( )

> > Ah, no! Sorry. What doesn't it do?

> That sucks! Are you sure? Is it just not connected properly?

I found out that wire 9 was accidentally disconnected when manipulating the cable.
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Re: Perfect
Post Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2001 10:41 pm
Hi Zoop,

I hate to be a pain, but would it be possible to tell us the labels of the contacts the wires go to (the capacitor or resistor, pin chip or whatever) that the wires go to, or show a higher resolution scan of the board? I'm having a lot of trouble seeing where the points you labeled go to. I tried blowing it up, but it got pretty pixelated.

I really hope the GG works again. I never thought it would break on you....
 
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Re: It's ok
Post Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2001 10:42 pm
Quote
> >
> > > > ( And now my Game Gear doesn't work anymore - sigh :( )

> > > Ah, no! Sorry. What doesn't it do?

> > That sucks! Are you sure? Is it just not connected properly?

> I found out that wire 9 was accidentally disconnected when manipulating the cable.



That is a huge relief. Now I don't feel so guilty!
 
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2001 10:54 pm
Hi Guys,

This was in the original post about the subject. Seems there was a new message. Not sure I understand it. What do you guys think?

http://smspower.org/dev/forum/messages/4216.html
 
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Hmm..
Post Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2001 7:28 am
Quote
> I hate to be a pain, but would it be possible to tell us the labels of the contacts the wires go to (the capacitor or resistor, pin chip or whatever) that the wires go to, or show a higher resolution scan of the board? I'm having a lot of trouble seeing where the points you labeled go to. I tried blowing it up, but it got pretty pixelated.

Was the scan made with your Game Gear ?
If you can get an higher resolution scan, I'll note the connection. I think it's better ?

Quote
> I really hope the GG works again. I never thought it would break on you....

No problems :)
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Re: Hmm..
Post Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2001 9:43 pm
Quote
> > I hate to be a pain, but would it be possible to tell us the labels of the contacts the wires go to (the capacitor or resistor, pin chip or whatever) that the wires go to, or show a higher resolution scan of the board? I'm having a lot of trouble seeing where the points you labeled go to. I tried blowing it up, but it got pretty pixelated.

> Was the scan made with your Game Gear ?
> If you can get an higher resolution scan, I'll note the connection. I think it's better ?

> > I really hope the GG works again. I never thought it would break on you....

> No problems :)

Hi Zoop,

I'll take a scan of my GG and send it to you by email. Is that ok? I'll do it later tonight.
 
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Ok! *nt*
Post Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2001 9:51 pm
Quote
> > > I hate to be a pain, but would it be possible to tell us the labels of the contacts the wires go to (the capacitor or resistor, pin chip or whatever) that the wires go to, or show a higher resolution scan of the board? I'm having a lot of trouble seeing where the points you labeled go to. I tried blowing it up, but it got pretty pixelated.

> > Was the scan made with your Game Gear ?
> > If you can get an higher resolution scan, I'll note the connection. I think it's better ?

> > > I really hope the GG works again. I never thought it would break on you....

> > No problems :)

> Hi Zoop,

> I'll take a scan of my GG and send it to you by email. Is that ok? I'll do it later tonight.
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Re: Perfect
Post Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2001 10:04 pm
Quote
> I hate to be a pain, but would it be possible to tell us the labels of the contacts the wires go to (the capacitor or resistor, pin chip or whatever) that the wires go to, or show a higher resolution scan of the board? I'm having a lot of trouble seeing where the points you labeled go to. I tried blowing it up, but it got pretty pixelated.

I assumed they went to the otherwise unused pads marked T1 -T13. Except Vcc, ground and the 4 wires we had already. I hope all GGs have those T points??
 
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Re: Ok! *nt*
Post Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2001 8:26 am
Quote
> > > > I hate to be a pain, but would it be possible to tell us the labels of the contacts the wires go to (the capacitor or resistor, pin chip or whatever) that the wires go to, or show a higher resolution scan of the board? I'm having a lot of trouble seeing where the points you labeled go to. I tried blowing it up, but it got pretty pixelated.

> > > Was the scan made with your Game Gear ?
> > > If you can get an higher resolution scan, I'll note the connection. I think it's better ?

> > > > I really hope the GG works again. I never thought it would break on you....

> > > No problems :)

> > Hi Zoop,

> > I'll take a scan of my GG and send it to you by email. Is that ok? I'll do it later tonight.

Zoop, I've got the pic ready. What does *nt* mean?
 
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Re: Ok!
Post Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2001 8:45 am
nt means 'no text' (in the message)
It's often used on internet forums when you can say something very short that fits in the subject.
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Extra pictures
Post Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 6:51 am
Thread necromancy.. following http://www.smspower.org/forums/16124-JustPurchasedThisVeryStrangeAndUberRareGame...

Adding more pictures I had on my hard drive from another person
Item: Sega Game Gear with TV-out extension.
Purpose: Game development.
Owner: Per Samuelsson
Location: Sweden
Production: Sega Japan
TV-out: 30fps, Stereo, Full color, NTSC, RGB
Status: Not for sale.

100_1334.JPG (78.35 KB)
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100_1488.JPG (651.63 KB)
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100_1489.JPG (621.21 KB)
100_1489.JPG

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:12 am
Interesting... I wonder why yours has a red wire vs my black wire? It also appears that yours may be an american model while the seller told me that mine was a Japanese model... he also told me that the guy he got it from told him that the Japanese model was the most rare variant of this type. Notice the serial # sticker on mine. I wonder if that means that they made them only in the hundreds or thousands...

I would really like to write Sega about this as this probably is by far the rarest Game Gear ever, yet we have zero info on it. I want to know what kind of rarity we are talking about with these things ...

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Post Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:15 pm
Well it's a developer item so they probably only made a few thousands.

There's always rarer - don't obsess about rarity.
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Post Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 2:42 pm
Last edited by skins4thewin on Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:03 am; edited 1 time in total
Lol well im not "obsessed" over the rarity, would just like to know more about it. I am certainly excited that it is rare though just as any collector is when they score a rare piece. I mean hell, half the excitement of collecting is being able to own rare, hard to find pieces that you don't see every day :)

Do you happen to know what sort of RGB cable will work with it? Just wondering if the fact that mine is a Japanese model makes any difference in the cable that it needs. Also wondering if you know of any other web links where the device is mentioned. Thanks :)
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Post Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 4:19 pm
RGB is at NTSC timings and should work with most late-90s CRTs, there's no encoding on RGB.
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Post Posted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:12 am
Thats good to know :) Does anyone happen to have the pinout for the 8 pin din out of this unique gg? That way I can determine if my Gen 1 RGB Cable I have is compatible. Am beyond excited to get this thing hooked up to my Framemeister. Can't wait! :)
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Post Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:00 pm
Just check that ground and power go to the correct pins.
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