Region Changer 1.5

Discuss modifications you have done or plan to do to your Dreamcast or any other hardware, or discuss devices you want to build. If your console does not work or is acting up, ask about fixing it in here.
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Region Changer 1.5

Post by Juan » Mon Jan 15, 2007 5:08 pm

This program released by SWAT some time ago, allows to change the default region, language and video signal on a Dreamcast console with just some minor hardware modifications.
In this new version, there are a couple of added features involving the Flash memory: making a backup of its settings on the VMU, and clearing it.

According to a post by Oyster at the DCIberia forums (based on the original russian manual); the hardware mod simply requires soldering a wire from the R512 resistor to a +12V contact, and then making a solder bridge where the R422 resistor is missing.

Here are the points to work with on a PAL mainboard version F:
Image

And here, some differences between the model E and F mainboards as for the placemente of the R512 resistor:
R512 vE
Image
R512 vF
Image

Get it at DC-SWAT (or translated via Google)
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Post by Lyris » Thu Feb 08, 2007 3:56 am

Thanks very much for this info, just what I need to stop some games booting in wretched PAL 50hz.

But I'm not sure I understand totally - I do the hardware mods shown here and then run the utility program?
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Post by Lyris » Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:15 pm

Just did it back there, works absolutely perfectly.

Whoever wrote this is a fricking genius. Now I can play game without worrying if it's going to run in 50hz or not. Thanks so much!

The only thing I've noticed with this program is that on my European Dreamcast, choosing "NTSC" doesn't actually give you NTSC. It's PAL-60, which still has all the benefits of 60hz, but my HDTV happens to like NTSC more than PAL. Doesn't matter though, because I use VGA for compatible games and RGB SCART for the rest, both of which give me nice RGB video which is ten times better than NTSC or PAL.
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Post by Lyris » Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:34 am

For those interested, any owners of PAL Dreamcasts who want NTSC colour instead of PAL colour (I'm talking about the colour system, NOT THE SCAN RATE), then do not bridge R422 - leave it as is.

If you only connect R512 to the +12v contact then run the disc, you will have a Dreamcast that's functionally identical to an American one.
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Post by Christuserloeser » Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:41 am

This is a really great thing. Finally all PAL users could play Sega Rally 2 at 60Hz :)
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Post by MethodGit » Sun Feb 18, 2007 6:56 pm

My Dreamcast is already chipped......... therefore would it be possible for me to just burn the Region Changer to disc and run it like that?
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Post by Juan » Sun Feb 18, 2007 7:02 pm

Try it and tell us.
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Post by edugabo » Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:34 pm

Let me understand, this utility works to change games rate frequency (50 to 60 hz), not color channel?, I own two Sega Dreamcast (usa and japan), both with GD-Rom unit damaged so i can't test myself. The thing is that I never can run correctly Resident Evil Code Veronica PAL in America because the screen for this game is set only at 50hz, and screen scrolls on my tv, modify console in the points marked in this thread only change color channel, unusable for me. There was another Utility for run USA NTSC games in PAL 50 named "PAL ENFORCER" created by an australian guy. Really "REGION CHANGER" do the inverse work than "PAL ENFORCER"? that sound great.
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Post by Lyris » Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:24 pm

MethodGit wrote:My Dreamcast is already chipped......... therefore would it be possible for me to just burn the Region Changer to disc and run it like that?
No. You need to connect the point indicated to the +12V part of the board for the changes you make using the disc to take effect.

Edugabo:

Using the disc to set to "NTSC" with R422 bridged will give PAL 60hz.
Using the disc to set to "NTSC" with R422 NOT bridged will give NTSC 60hz.
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Post by FamilyGuy » Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:50 am

This app in fact change the region code in the Flash of the Dreamcast (source: one of the creator of this) so ater putting your NTSC Dreamcast into a PAL one, you'll have the blue swirl..

It's working very well.

I made the 1.5 selfbooting image for Dc-Swat :D

http://dc-swat.net.ru/download/dc.php

Enjoy this cool app !
Last edited by FamilyGuy on Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by fahlim003 » Sun Apr 08, 2007 4:43 pm

Hello

I just joined here to pose a particular question regarding the region bios switching. Namely, with the possibility of using the DevBox bios which from what I know is region-free. Is there any possibility this could work and if someone could make a region-switch boot disc containing said bios? I think this is a good mod, but if region-free could be thrown into the mix then the swap disc would only be needed for video-switch.

EDIT: I know said bios works in Chankast, as I just tested it.
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Post by WarGames » Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:53 am

Sweet mod, although by far more useful to PAL gamers than NTSC ones like myself :P. Nevertheless I'll probably test it out eventually.

Fahlim003 asks a great question which I am unaware of the answer, but I would assume anyone with the source code and some coding experience could replace the bios with the "Dev Box"/Katana (HKT-01 dev unit correct?) bios and test it out.

There's a good possibility there could be a hardware issue though since the bios are for significantly different setups (PC vs. DC), although I SUSPECT the HKT-01 has a similar setup (RISC CPU, NEC PowerV2 GPU, etc). Although someone with a good deal of knowledge about the Bios contents could probably modify the bios for the Dreamcast's hardware. It's a neat idea, perhaps someone with software experience will experiment with it.

The region lockout on the Dreamcast is quite annoying, as is swapping discs :| ....I'm really interested in how the modchips for the dreamcast work, specifically the code manipulation. It would be great it DEVrs could build their own modchips with PLD/CPLDs someday (like the PS1's easily programmable PIC modchips)...Until then it seems we'll be swapping or searching for $1 chips from risky sites that charge $20+.

Check out my post on DChelp about possible modchip construction
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Post by FamilyGuy » Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:47 pm

MARK30001 already tried to falsh his hkt-0120 with a cd-r hacked hkt-01 bios ( that boots up cdrs in chancast, not released to the mass) and it didn't worked.

As to flash it to a retail dreamcast, it should be possible, if you can flash the bios itself in it's whole. Region changer only change some bytes in the FLASH, not the BIOS itself, a guy from dc-swat who participated in creating/testing Region Changer told me this. A dreamcast flashed with the non-hacked bios will only boot Original gdrs anyway, no cdrs.

The only way I think of would be to desolder the bios chip, and to flash/replace it with a hacked hkt-0120 bios then solder it back. wich is not really impossible, since Dan Potter already modified his bios for the DC NAVI ...

Personnaly, I'd flash it with a hacked bios ONLY for the COOL boot Dreamcast logo.


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Last edited by FamilyGuy on Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by mathieulh » Sat May 12, 2007 8:23 am

I started to hack the HKT0120 bios so it reads cd-r.

So far I replaced the following offset values from the retail bios to the hkt0120 bios:

0x0000800 to 0x0000FF0
0x00040F0 to 0x0004D80

and replaced 0x000019A value from FA to EE.

As a result the bios (running on chankast) does try to load a cd-r (just like a retail dreamcast) but it freeses at the "licenced by sega" screen. Did I forget anything ?

my purpose is to hack the bios so I can get a region free hkt0120 bios that runs cd-r to flash it on my dreamcast (by soldering another bios rom.)

Any ideas ?
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Post by |darc| » Sat May 12, 2007 12:39 pm

I don't have any ideas, but it would be awesome if you could get that working. I am interested in doing the same thing for my Dreamcast.

Maybe it might just be easier to set up a toggle switch outside of the Dreamcast though. Hmm.

Perhaps it's booting up with a standard boot sequence and you have a scrambled binary?
It's thinking...
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Post by mathieulh » Sat May 12, 2007 3:16 pm

maybe, I just have selfbootable discs atm though :/ I'll try with unscrambled binaries later though. Still odd that it freezes at the sega screen, I might have forgotten to patch something.
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Re: Region Changer 1.5

Post by FamilyGuy » Mon May 21, 2007 12:00 pm

It's possible to amke it boot cdr, don't give up. I have a cd-r able bios in my possesion, but can't release because the author (from segakatana) don,t want it to spread until it's compatible with the hkt-0120 itself. But it works with chancast.

Do you know how to replace the bios, with wich flash rom chip and wich socket ?

like this guy did: http://www.fuzzymuzzle.com/Bitmaster/DC ... cement.htm

thank you !

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Re: Region Changer 1.5

Post by mathieulh » Tue May 22, 2007 3:14 pm

I did not improve much in my bios hacking amptempt (because I didn't have much time) however I think I found the region free value to change in the dreamcast flash.

at offset 0x1A000 where you see 00211Dreamcast (PAL flash) if you change the 2 (euro) to 8 or 9 it should get to region free (you will get a black swirl but unlike all the other unknown regions the cd-r will boot (all other regions that are not set (and get a black swirl) wont boot cd-r)

I only had time to test it under chankast ( I can't currently test it on my DC because I am dumping a GD-ROM) but it should work at least to boot cd-r on retail dreamcast units.
(and likely to be region free as the region that's set doesn't match the ones of IP.bin from any cd-r (0, 1 and 2 in flash)) (J, U and E in ip.bin)

Looks like a new region changer has to be made :p I hope you don't mind having a black swirl :)

P.S. To answer famillyguy, I am not much of an hardware modder, I am more into software hacking, but I know a lot of people who are very confident with hardware so once I get the bios hacked, I'll probably send my dreamcast to one of them to get it replaced. I have to hack the bios first though and I lack of time nowaday :/

I am interested by the cd-r version of the bios, can you ask the author (is it mark30001? ) if I can have it?

UPDATE: I have done some more tests, it seems that the regions are repeated to some values for instance X = Japan Y = USA and Z= Euro they all give a black swirl but are still not region free :/ I guess we need to hack the bios after all.
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Re: Region Changer 1.5

Post by Calavera » Wed May 23, 2007 9:46 am

A BLACK swirl? :?:
Image
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Re: Region Changer 1.5

Post by FamilyGuy » Wed May 23, 2007 5:19 pm

The hacked bios author is puch666 from Segakatana.

His bios really works 100% on chancast and the region code written with region changer 1.5 using it is ... weird ...

Well a picture worth a thousands of words :

Image

Thank you !

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