SNES SuperCIC Switchless Modchip
First of all, special thanks to Ikari_01 who made this possible, this is the ultimate SNES modification, it even works on the SA-1 circuit board games I have (SFC Kirby 3 and SFC Super Mario RPG), games using the SA-1 board a notoriously difficult to run on modified consoles.
If you’re thinking of doing this mod, it’s not too difficult, but it is a bit trickier than some on this site. Don’t forget Wolfsoft has some very comprehensive guides on installing this (and other switchless mods).
Before you take your Super Nintendo to pieces, you should ALWAYS switch it on after you have unplugged it from the wall. You’ll notice that the power light flashes for a split second, this is the console discharging, some people say you need to leave the On/Off switch in the On position for quite a while before dismantling it – this is up to you. If you have started soldering in your SNES without discharging it, chances are you won’t be able to switch your SNES back on again, it’ll be dead! You’ve probably blown the internal fuse, which is easy to replace following this guide.
Okay, so you’ve taken your SNES apart and lifted legs 1, 2, 10 and 11 from the original CIC chip. I usually start with Leg 1, heat up the solder and then use a scalpel blade to lift the leg up and bend it back on itself. Once leg 1 is done, it gives you easier access to Leg 2. Repeat for 10 and 11 :-) (of course, it doesn’t really matter if you break the legs off!)
While you’re lifting legs, you may as well do the ones for the video modes, locate PPU1 and PPU2 and lift the required legs. For Leg 24 I usually heat the leg near where it comes out of the chip, and then use a scalpel blade to lift the leg by pressing it inbetween the leg and the board at the other end of the leg, and pulling it up. Or, heat the pad where the leg joins the board, and then with a scalpel blade pushed inbtween leg 24 and an adjacent leg, I push the leg sideways and twist the blade to lift the leg slightly. I then straighten it with some long nosed pliers. Practice on something else first if you are unsure about this at all!
Now it’s time to decide how you want the chip to behave with different video modes and to tell it which kind of LED you are using. I use a common cathode (negative) LED, so Leg 7 needs to be connected to Ground. I also prefer the mod to work by detecting the region of the inserted cart and switching to the forced video mode after 9 seconds (it defeats some video mode checks in some games). Read the .asm file included with ikari_01’s download for more info.
I haven’t gone into much detail in this guide, but it’s really just joining leg x of the PIC (green numbering) to leg y of the original CIS chip (red numbering) as per the photo above. I use Kynar wire for it as some of the points on the old CIC chip are very small. There are alternative points available for some of them, ikari_01 has put some on his photo above, be warned though, it can vary slightly on different motherboard versions (such as leg 2 of the 16f630 should connect to leg 7 of the old CIC chip, ikari_01 shows you a different chip to connect it to which is MUCH easier to solder onto, but on the photo’s that follow, you’ll see I had to use a leg on a different chip as the one in ikari_01’s photo isn’t to be found – both of these chips legs all go back to leg 7 of the original CIC chip though).
After experimenting, I’ve been using a 100 ohm resistor the Green, and 220 ohm for the Red LEDs, anything around those values will probably do, I just use those as it allows me to see the combined Orange colour a bit easier.
If you’re doing this to a PAL SNES, then you may as well use the cut legs from the LED to fix it so that all pads work on the console.
Thanks to bad_ad84 for pointing this out to me, it looks like ikari_01 has improved this mod even further and has now provided details of how to do this if you have a one chip PPU SNES (more difficult to mod for 50/60hz). Then there’s the In Game Reset (IGR), for controlling the reset button from your controller! And you can also download the SuperCIC code from his site also.
I’ve just noticed that Bad_Ad84 is selling a kit for this mod, a great way to get a pre-programmed chip :-)