racketboy - sega saturn modchip dealer and retrogamer

Sega Saturn Mod Chip Installation on Sanyo CD Board

While Model 2 Saturns are very easy to modify to play backups, there are some older models that can be a bit more tricky.

One model that is a bit different is those with a mainboard manufactured by Sanyo. Its layout is different and requires a different approach. However, Mike Gordon has written a helpful guide that allows an installation of my modchips into a Sanyo board. I have taken his initial guide and added my own material to make it a more friendly guide for Saturn beginners.

I'm not responsible for any damage you may do to your Saturn by performing this modification. There isn't much to worry about, but I just don't want anybody mad at me :)

What You Need

  • A Saturn with a Sanyo CD board
  • One Saturn mod chip
  • Something to cut metal
  • A soldering iron ( here's a new-to-soldering guide )
  • Possibly some extra wire (see step #4)
  • Phillips head screwdriver with a long thin neck that can reach the Saturn's case screws.
  • A copy of a Saturn game for testing purposes.
  • A nail file or something similar (many only need this if chip does not fit snuggly)

Step 1 - Preparation

  • Keep your chip safe by leaving it in the anti-static bag that I ship them in.
  • Unplug your Saturn
  • Turn your Saturn upside down on a table
  • Remove the Saturn's case screws
  • Put the screws in a safe place
  • Turn the Saturn right side up.
Step 2 - Remove/Modify PC Trap Bracket
  • Remove the bracket holding the PC Trap board in place, and unscrew the PC Trap board from it. Cut the bracket where indicated in blue
  • This will allow the mod chip to stick out in it's place
  • After you cut that piece off, you should have a remaining piece that looks like this:

  • Put the remaining piece back in place


Step 3 - Install Chip and Hook-up Lens Cable
  • Look at the twisted white ribbon cable running from the center of the system to the PC trap area on the right. (the right of the two ribbon cables)
  • Gently unplug the right end of the ribbon cable.
  • Take this end of the cable and plug it into the connector on the modchip as pointed out below.
  • Plug the chip itself into the plug where the lens cable was.
  • If the chip does not plug in easily, you may need to file down the side edges of the plug in order to give it a better fit.

Below is an overview of the Sanyo system with the mod chip installed:
click to enlarge


Step 4 - Getting Power Cable Connected

  • Below you can see the linking (soldering) point of the power cable
  • You may need to add some extra wire to extend the power cable's reach across the machine.



Step 5 - Taking Care of the Signal Cable

  • You can get rid of the signal cable altogether and link the signal point to point B with a bit of solder.
  • You can also solder the end of the blue cable to the B point.
  • Both ways will build a connection from point A to point B
  • This experiment has been detailed at this thread at SegaXtreme (thanks, Mal)
  • Be careful that the IC pins don't short out to the Saturn's metal RF shield (blue arrow):


Step 6: Finishing Up

  • Before you put the case back onto the Saturn, make sure everything is ready to run.
  • Are the connections tight?
  • Is the mod chip in well?
  • Once everything looks good, re-assemble your Saturn case.

  • Set your Saturn back up, plug in the controllers
  • hook it up to your television set
  • Put a burned backup CD into the Saturn and turn the system on
  • The disc should play just like a real Saturn game.
  • If not, you'll need to open the Saturn again and see what you did wrong.
  • I will have a troubleshooting page soon