Picture of 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
Electrical tape

Step 1: Removal of the top cover.

Picture of Removal of the top cover.
Remove the four screws on the underside of the dreamcast. There will be one in each corner. If you have a modem for your Dreamcast, remove it to expose the 4th screw.

Flip the whole thing right-side up and take off the top panel. Make sure you didn't leave a disc in the drive (I made that mistake several times while troubleshooting).

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Honchkrow9 months ago

Very very good instructables, i might do this after i do the heavenly light mode for my dreamcast

Honchkrow9 months ago

This is a very useful instructable, i think i might make it for my dreamcast too

dfici1 year ago
Ma che cazzo di saldature fai...sono terrificanti
220uF capacitors on these can they be electrolyte and wat voltage do they gotta be?
goster2 years ago
thanks for the info bro!!!!
hetsumani3 years ago
Thanks for this instructable.
The connector schematics are very useful.
roryos014 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
Kasm2794 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....
AudioCraZ4 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.
Kurouro4 years ago
Doddity5 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?

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 ^_^
WebDext5 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.

BlackDeth5 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
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)  nickstewartroc6 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
big996 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"
atls6 years ago
Man, it´s fantastic and the better, it´s works pretty fine, thanks a lot for the tuto :)
MiKOTRON6 years ago
Fantastic mod! One question, can the V-SYNC frequency be changed?
Weston6076 years ago
Cool mod, but im not to handy with a soldering iron. :(
mothflavour2 (author) 7 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-newbie6 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.
manimpz6 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
Dms124447 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.
geekdude7 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
manimpz7 years ago
Hello Nice Mod But see this layout
Its talking about an IC 74HCT244.
Its dangerous if I don´t use it like in your mod?
slimguy3797 years ago
Sonic adventures rocks!!!!!!!!! I wish my Dreamcast didn't have to break!!!!
Klappstuhl7 years ago
Awesome job there! I wish I had seen this mod before I bought a MadCatz VGA Box for the Dreamcast.
cotton7 years ago
compared to new gpus
pezmanlou7 years ago
I see you used ethernet cable. I use that stuff in projects all the time too.
cotton7 years ago
oh but it is probily not the best
mothflavour2 (author)  cotton7 years ago
probably not the best compared to what?
cotton7 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
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