Instructables

Sega Dreamcast VGA Mod

If you've ever had a Sega Dreamcast, you know how awesome of a console it was. I love the dreamcast, but I got rid of the TV in my bedroom. Crap. What was I ever to do? Why, hack it open of course! Oh, sure, I could just as easily go out and buy Sega's "VGA box" for about $30 This mod will tell you how (assuming you have some decent soldering skills) to add a vga port to the back of your Dreamcast, for considerably less than the cost of a commercial VGA box which does the exact same thing. No IC's are involved here, just regular components, like capacitors, resistors and diodes. I plugged my Dreamcast into my LCD monitor, and it works like a charm.

Tools Needed:
No. 2 Phillips screwdriver
Wire cutters/strippers
Soldering iron
Dremel + cutting bit (steel bur or cutting wheel works well)

Materials Needed:
3x 220uF capacitors
2x Silicon diodes
2x 4.7Kohm resistors
2x 150ohm resistors
1x Slide or toggle switch
1x Female VGA port
1x 3.5mm stereo audio jack
Solder
Electrical tape

 
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Step 2: Remove the GD-ROM drive.

Remove the screws holding the metal assembly to the other metal chassis. The whole GD-ROM drive assembly lifts out, metal chassis and everything. Don't lift out only the plastic part, take the whole thing.

Step 3: Remove the power supply.

Remove the screws that hold the power supply in place. Unplug that white connector that connects up to the power switch. After that, pull the power supply straight up off the chassis. The power supply just clamps itself onto 6 thick wire terminals, so you don't want to put any undue stress on either part.
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dfici7 months ago
Ma che cazzo di saldature fai...sono terrificanti
220uF capacitors on these can they be electrolyte and wat voltage do they gotta be?
goster1 year ago
thanks for the info bro!!!!
hetsumani2 years ago
Thanks for this instructable.
The connector schematics are very useful.
roryos013 years ago
I suppose the alternative to actually making teh vga connections would be to simply get a vga box, rip it open, and just internalise everything, then it would be a lot quicker
Kasm2793 years ago
Personally I would have just bought the VGA box instead of opening up the dreamcast, but if this works it does. I still need to get a dreamcast though....
AudioCraZ3 years ago
On all the VGA boxes you can buy that I have seen, none of them have had op amps. They were all hard wired to both ends (rca and headphone jack) at the same time.

Other than that, awesome write up. I should really do this, being as I will usually play my dreamcast on a pc monitor, which you have to do because once you start using the VGA output, you can't go back to standard signal again.
Kurouro3 years ago
Cool
magiccowy4 years ago
can you do this with a ps1 or ps2?
I keep having an "Out of Range" message on my monitor, accompanied by khz values that vary from time to time.  Dunno what I'm doing wrong.
yah.... Got the same problem here. Also Out of range. But i dont Understand why? Everything is soltered correctly, everything has contact, should work - but No, a f***ing out of range instead.

Great ~_~
 Are you certain you didn't switch the h/v sync wires? Or bridge them? Do you have access to an oscilloscope to check the waveforms?
Hello,

unfortunately I don't have access to an oscilloscope, but I allready solved the Problem! It's because the RGB/AV Switch. I soldered the Cables wrong. I soldered it like this: Position 1: VGA with GND, Position 2: RGB with GND, but when you look @ the schematic, VGA AND RGB must be grounded mit GND!

Now it just works fine ^_^
WebDext4 years ago
This works! I just finished -- holy crap did it take me a long time to get it working. Almost all day today. I ran into problems when I wired it up with the H/V syncs running though the 150ohm resistors like a commenter said.. DON'T DO THAT. Follow the instructions in this instructable carefully and you can succeed. I'll try to follow this post up later with some photos of it running.

Jack
BlackDeth4 years ago
hehehe how funny you have the same game as i do. plus do you know how to get the Browser disc cause i lost mine. do you know where i can get it at?
For anyone still having problems, heres another one i found
http://assemblergames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21585
Im very interested in building this for my Dreamcast, can you please let us know what the voltages for the caps are? And what kind of silicon diodes you used? Thanks- Nick
mothflavour2 (author)  nickstewartroc5 years ago
the voltages on the caps are maximum ratings. Since the signals inside most electronics are 5.0V, anything rated for 5V or higher will be suitable.
thats what i figured, Thanks
big995 years ago
hi nice work ....I have a request please do not disappoint my hope, I am from Palestinian Territory, I have dreamcast and I want to make Dreamcast VGA Mod I saw the steps , but in the step 6 to last step ,I did not understand something, please till me how do that .....this my emil "jehadoo4ever@gmail.com"
atls5 years ago
Man, it´s fantastic and the better, it´s works pretty fine, thanks a lot for the tuto :)
MiKOTRON5 years ago
Fantastic mod! One question, can the V-SYNC frequency be changed?
Weston6075 years ago
Cool mod, but im not to handy with a soldering iron. :(
mothflavour2 (author) 6 years ago
yeah, the solid wire makes it easy to solder, as opposed to stranded wire.
But In situation were the wire will be under stress one solid wire is more likely to break than a collection of finer wires like those found in stranded wire.
mothflavour2 (author)  lifelong-newbie5 years ago
true, but hopefully an internal mod won't be put under too much stress.
Fair enough, I still prefer the braided wire mainly because if i make an error in my soldering and have to sort it out (unsoldering many other wires) the wire im getting at may be put under stress and it could fracture without my knowledge and i won't be able to debug it with much ease. Solid is a fair site easier to solder though.
manimpz5 years ago
I did It! And it works perfectly. There´s about 3 months I´m using it. This project works fine, only sometimes the monitor gets black for a few seconds like if he looses the signal. But it is perfect, and the price is very attractive. Thank You Man
Dms124445 years ago
It may not be the easiest mod ever, but it sure is cheaper than the VGA box ps:It should work with a CRT monitor.
geekdude6 years ago
i was going to do this for the longest time, but someone convinced me it was easier to get the VGA dongle off of ebay
manimpz6 years ago
Hello Nice Mod But see this layout
http://www.raphnet.net/electronique/dreamcast/images/dricas.gif
Its talking about an IC 74HCT244.
Its dangerous if I don´t use it like in your mod?
Thanks
slimguy3796 years ago
Sonic adventures rocks!!!!!!!!! I wish my Dreamcast didn't have to break!!!!
Klappstuhl6 years ago
Awesome job there! I wish I had seen this mod before I bought a MadCatz VGA Box for the Dreamcast.
cotton6 years ago
compared to new gpus
pezmanlou6 years ago
I see you used ethernet cable. I use that stuff in projects all the time too.
cotton6 years ago
oh but it is probily not the best
mothflavour2 (author)  cotton6 years ago
probably not the best compared to what?
cotton6 years ago
no ofence but you have to get the rats and there nest out of your dreamcast and it would work better i think lol i am jusk joking
mothflavour2 (author)  cotton6 years ago
To be honest, there is a bit of signal interference that shows up on the screen. It's a negligible amount, but using ribbon cable to neaten things up, or shielded cable to avoid interference, is definitely preferable to the ratsnest I have in there.
cotton6 years ago
it dosent ave a gpu gpus did not come out whn it was made it is a graphics chipset
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