Guide Ultimate N64 NTSC -> PAL Region-Switch Guide

Nold

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Besides woring on my N64p, I did a little sideproject. I wanted to know if it's possible to modify a NTSC N64 Board to play PAL games (because of RGB-Support, of course..). I searched all around the web and found some informations. But never a complete guide or someone who proves that it works... Today I can say: IT'S WORKING :D

You will need:
- 1x N64 NTSC (I used a NUS-001(JPN), NUS-CPU-03)
- 1x N64 PAL (I used a NUS-001(EUR), NUS-CPU-01)
- Solder-Sucking-Wick, Flux, Good soldering skills, etc. etc.



0. General Information
There are mainly 3 differences in PAL and NTSC boards:
  1. PIF-NUS-Chip (This is basically the "Region"-Chip of the N64)
  2. Different clock-speed of the RAM-bus
  3. Output-Signal processing
For the PIF & clock-speed modification we'll need the components from a PAL N64. I got both mine for cheap on ebay.

You can clearly spot the differences in this image:
PIF_crystal_n64.png

Also before we begin, you should make sure that both N64 are in working condition. And for RGB-output you will still need a RGB compatible NTSC-board & RGB-Mod (before or after this mod).


WARNING: I'M NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE YOU DO TO YOUR CONSOLE(S)! MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND BE AWARE THAT YOUR BOARD(S) MIGHT DIFFER FROM MINE!





1. Remove components from both boards
For the NTSC-Board to play PAL-games, the PAL-board needs to die first... because we will need to unsolder the PIF-NUS / PIF(P)-NUS (U3) chip and the crystal (X1) from both boards.

Here is a nice (french) video, showing how to unsolder the PIF:

After unsoldering, your board should look something like this:
DSCF5347.JPG


2. Resolder the PAL-components on the NTSC-board
Since we have what we need, now take the both components from the PAL-board and solder them into the NTSC-board.

Watch out for the orientation of the PIF-Chip! The orientation of the crystal doesn't matter. (No pic here, sorry)


3. Modify clocking
Now we need to face difference three: The clock-speed / generation. One part of that is already done by swapping out the crystal. But the clock is not generated by the crystal itself, but by a clock-generator-chip On my NUS-CPU-03 Board, it's a MX8330-Chip, called U7 on the PCB.

The pinout of the MX8330 (and the internet..) told me, that it has a frequency-generation pin, which can be used to modify the generated frequency. Awesome! All we need to do is, unsolder pin 7 of the chip, and lift it from the pad, so it doesn't have a connection to the PCB anymore.
Next we solder this pin to ground.

Here is how I did it:
mx8330_pal_mod_overview.JPG



4. Modify output-signal generation (Optional)
This part is optional if you don't care about composite-video-output AND have a woring RGB-mod anyway.

The video-section of the N64 boards differ a lot! A "normal" PAL/EUR-board has a single chip called DENC-NUS which doesn't output RGB (for example). The board I used (Japanese NUS-CPU-03) has multiple chips. The ones that are interresting for us are the VDC-NUS (f.e. does RGB-output) & ENC-NUS (f.e. does composite).

Me (...and a guy who sold a n64 to a guy on reddit, see this) found out, that the ENC-NUS acutally seems to have a NTSC/PAL-Selector-Pin.

As in step 3, we need to lift & reconnect a pin. This time the chip is the ENC-NUS and the pin is number 7. After lifting this pin, we also need to reconnect it to ground.

I did it by connecting it to pin 18 of the VDC-NUS like this:
DSCF5400.JPG



5. Test it!
Now the great moment has come! Run to your TV as fast as you can! Carefully plug in your jumper-pak and PAL-game of favor. Connect a powersupply & video cable and give it a shot!

DSCF5378.JPG
(fancy heatsink is optional, if you just want to see if it works...)



6. Love it!
See something? Here something? Great! You did everything right! ;-)
DSCF5386.JPG




I hope you like my little guide...I'm now AFK for the next days... finally get to play Banjo O.O

And here are some additinal links, that helped me:
imgur-pic
http://members.optusnet.com.au/eviltim/n64rgb/n64rgb.html
https://console5.com/wiki/MX8330
http://modretro.com/xen/index.php?threads/differences-between-ntsc-and-pal-n64s.14138/
(German) https://circuit-board.de/forum/index.php/Thread/8877-N64-PAL-NTSC-Switch-möglich/
 
Joined
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I know this topic is really old but helped me understand he basics
What i am trying to do is Convert a PAL N64 into NTSC with the Encode DENC-NUS

So far i know

There are 3 types of Video DAC/Encoder
Type 1 :
VDC-NUS
They are mostly ntsc’s anyway
Also found a guide and info here to convert them to pal
Code: Select all
Type 2 :
DENC-NUS
[bold]Trying to find the solution and info about these Pal boards and how to convert them into ntsc.
Not able to find any info regarding this chips and boards.[/bold

Type 3 :
AVDC-NUS or MAV-NUS
Pinout :

Solution : Figured out how to convert these into NTSC
Just change the the crystal with NTSC one and lift the pin 21 and connect it to the ground
And you have the ntsc console.

I want to convert the pcb with DENC-NUS to ntscs

Please help.

Also found this page with quite some info but mot anything about the Pal with DENC-NUS chips.

https://circuit-board.de/forum/index.php/Thread/8877-N64-PAL-NTSC-Switch-möglich/


So far what i have tried
Swapped the x1 crystal with the ntsc one and u7 i lifted and grounded the pin 8
Getting a bad picture


UPDATE 2 :

Update :
I tried connecting the mx8330 pin 7 to 3.3v and i got a black white screen in NTSC mode



Update : 3

There is def an incomplete pinout of DENC-NUS
So what i tried just now pulled the pin 24 High and console didn’t boot then i restored it back and then pulled the pin 13 high and got the same result as before Bad colors in NTSC roms via everdrive and no colors on pal games.
What else i can pull and try
Also tried pulling high pin 14 on DENC-NUS Getting same bad colors on ntsc and black and white on pal
 
Joined
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Hi, hidden0.
As I understood it, you'll need to also replace the "PIF-NUS-Chip".
I'm brazilian and in my console the PIF is labeled "PIF (M) - NUS",
eventhough my console is PAL-M, I can play NTSC games just fine.
 
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