Mega Drive 2  - 2 regions Switch

Mega Drive 2 – 2 regions Switch

I’ll explain how to make your Mega Drive II Universal. What I mean by universal is that it can play any games (Japanese, American and European) without having to go through an adapter. This modification is not complicated to do so even beginners can do it without problem.

What are the advantages of this mod?

To start you will save money because you don’t need to buy an adapter, if you have only European game it would be helpfull also, because with this mod you can play Sonic for example at full speed and yes, the European version is 15% slower than the American version. Same for the shooters you’ll see that it will be faster.

Your games will be in full screen (no more black bars in top and the bottom), and the music will be in the right speed too.

Here’s a video to help you see the difference:

Is that all games are compatible?

Yes and no because some games can be switched during the game (eg Sonic) but others can not (eg Street Of Rage III you have to change frequency at the title screen if not you will have a loss of synchronization) .

Before you begin you will have to know certain things:

In Europe we use a video standard called Pal/50Hz, America and Japan uses a video standard called NTSC/60Hz. The dominant language in America and Europe is English while in Japan it is Japanese.

From there we can draw a table based on the three existing versions of Mega Drive:


Now that we know all that we can start our mod.

List of equipment:

  • Knife
  • Soldering Iron
  • 2 SPDT switch ON / ON
  • Wires

Here is the installation diagram:

Take off your Mega Drive to reach the motherboard. To remove the motherboard unscrew the two screws on the right and left side of the cartridge port.

Any changes will happen on a single chip called 315-XXXX value of X changes depending on the version of the Mega Drive. You can easily find this chip, it’s the big chip-shaped square in the middle of the motherboard.

Our work will be more precisely on the legs 46 and 107.

The function of the leg 46 is to select the frequency of the Mega Drive: 50Hz or 60Hz.

The function of the leg 107 is to choose the language of the Mega Drive: Eng or Jap.

So, how do you choose the frequency and language?

It is very simple they are chosen by the voltage given on these legs. In our case the voltage will be 0V or 5V depending on the frequency or the language you choose.

How to know which voltage is equivalent to such frequency and such language?

Here’s another table to explain:

This means that in our European Mega Drive version we have the leg 46 connected to 0V and the leg 107 connected to 5V.

If we want a Japanese version of the Mega Drive we will connect the leg 46 to 5V and the leg 107 to 0V.

Same if we want an U.S. version of the Mega Drive we will connect the leg 46 to 5V and the leg 107 to 5V.

Knowing all this now we can really start our mod.

We will isolate the leg 46 and 107 that we will link to the first and second switches. Then we give each switch 5V or 0V depending on the version we want.

Let’s start with the leg 46, what we will do instead of desoldering the leg we will find a point on the motherboard that gives 0V to it and isolate it. This will avoid the risk of breaking the leg.

Locate the area as you can see in the image below in the red rectangle:

Take your knife and cut the track connected to 0V point like this:

Be careful not to cut another track at the same time! Don’t hesitate by pressing with your knife, you will reach the copper coating which must be cut also, you will see if you cut enough if you see that it’s white.

Then we’ll go to the isolation of the leg 107. This time it will be a little more complicated.

Return your motherboard and find the point as you can see in the image below in the red rectangle:

Take your knife and cut the track connected to 5V point:

Be careful not to cut another track at the same time! Don’t hesitate by pressing with your knife, you will reach the copper coating which must be cut also, you will see if you cut enough if you see that it’s white.

With that, you have made the biggest now we are going to the soldering.

For clarity I will use different colored wires. Take a red and green wire and solder them like this:

Take a black and yellow wire and solder them like this:

We got this:

Red wire soldered to 5V
Green wire soldered to the leg 107
Yellow wire soldered to the leg 46
Black wire soldered to 0V

Now on to our switches:

Take the first one and solder the red wire on the left leg, the yellow wire on the middle leg and the black one to the right leg:

Now we will do a bridge on the red wire and black wire for the second switch:

Take the second switch and solder the green wire to the middle leg:

Then solder the red wire from the bridge to the right leg:

Then solder the black wire from the bridge to the left leg:

Here you are almost finished. It’ll just test to see if everything works properly. If for example you move from one position to another your console turn off that means you have a short circuit somewhere, in this case re-cut better the tracks.

Another thing, if you’ve followed all you end up with a position: PAL / Jap which is a position called forbidden because there is no Japanese games in 50Hz, so do not use this position.

To remove this position which is useless you should make the mod with a switch 3 positions but that is for another guide ^ ^ Now it’ll just make two holes where you want in your shell and screw your switches like this:

Then to make it more attractive you can add stickers as I did with the name of the regions:

Enjoy!