Category Archives: Improved Setups

Hardware recommendations for classic gaming.

Television: For classic gaming nothing beats one of the old CRT televisions, they are big and heavy but the picture cannot be beaten for low res content and unlike the new flat screen HD televisions they work with all gun games and other peripherals like the 3D glassess on the Sega Master System. Opinions vary on make and model but I currently use and have had good luck with the Sony Wega line of televisions which can easily be found on Craigs List for under $100, be forewarned however that these televisions are heavy! Please ensure that you have a t.v stand that can support one of these 200-300 pound behemoths, as well  as a truck and 1-2 friends to help you transport it.


Video Selector: I have tried various video selectors over the years however I have not found one that offers as many connections or features as the “Pelican Universal System Selector Pro“. It has inputs for Composite, S-video, Component and ethernet, it is fairly sturdy and has held up well over the years. If I had a complaint it would be that the units are too light, with “20 pounds” of cable hanging off the back of the unit it can be a little prone to tilting back or sliding around on the shelf. I currently use two units daisy chained to my television and have never had an issue with either one, Pelican does not seem to offer either the original or 2.0 version of this unit anymore so I would suggest eBay or Amazon for finding one.


Scart Converter: Fancy yourself some component quality video from classic consoles? Buy yourself a scart cable and a scart to component converter. Several model converters can be found online at various places but the two most popular seem to be the CVS2087 and the CSY-2100, both devices can easily be found online. You will find that the CVS2087 is cheaper at close to $50 while the CSY-2100 will usually run you around $100.


Power Brick Splitters: Instead of using a standard power strip for those bulky a.c adapters instead opt for a splitter designed for such a task. Cables2Go Power brick splitters or the Powersquid outlet multipliers.


Additional Notes: This guide should be considered a work in progress and will be updated or edited as I find additional information. If you find errors or have additional information that you feel should be added then please leave a comment or send me an email.

Improved Setups – Sega Master System

I have been doing a lot of research into getting the most out of my Master System console and figured I would compile a list with links here to share with everyone.


The video options are pretty scarce on the SMS, beyond the RF adapter you have the standard AV cables which offer a less noisy video signal but does not do much for those of us hoping for a little more. If you would like to take things a step further and are not afraid of soldering there is the modding route which you can find more about here, here, and here.

If soldering is not really your thing and you want to aim for a higher quality connection you can go the component route via a scart cable, the scart cable can easily be found on eBay and when combined with a scart to component converter box it can provide you with a near RGB quality signal. It will work almost identical to the video below which is showing the same process being done for the Genesis.

Another thing of note regarding scart cables, scart cables carry both the audio and video signals across the same cable so since American T.V’s do not accept scart connections and we will be using a converter to convert the video to component we will need a way to get audio out to our t.v or reciever. This can easily be accomplished by using a simple 2-4 port scart switch with audio outputs, this has the added benefit of allowing you to have multiple consoles connected via scart while using only one scart to component converter. Something like this would work nicely.


On the audio front there did not seem to be much room for improvement but after digging into things I did find that the Japanese Sega Master System has FM sound capability which is a big improvement over the PSG sound found on the consoles from other regions.


So how do you play with FM sound? Well there are a few catches and it is definitely not easy but if you are dedicated and willing to spend some time, money, can solder some things into place and have room for multiple setups it can be done. Ideally you will want  both a Japanese Master System (not to be confused with the Mark III) and a U.S or Pal Master System.

With the Japanese console you will get FM sound without any modifications however you will need an adapter to play carts from other regions due to differences in cart design on the Japanese console, that said not all games will work such as the ones listed below.

  • 4 Pak
  • Lord of the Sword
  • Maze Hunter 3D
  • Outrun
  • Rescue Mission
  • Time Soldiers
  • Wonderboy

Several adapters are available such as Bock’s and the Tototek for the slot conversion.

Because not all games will work on the Japanese console the next step would be to modify a U.S or Pal system to add an FM board. The FM board is a fairly simple install, more information and ordering info can be found here. It seems that there are some issues with a couple games such as Time Soldiers and Wonder Boy III when using the FM board, a fix has been posted here. Hopefully a second run of the boards will be released which include the fix already applied for those afraid of soldering things.

Additional Notes:

This guide should be considered a work in progress and will be updated or edited as I find additional information. My hope is that this will serve as a collection of info regarding the various improvements that can be made to the SMS. If you find errors or have additional information that you feel should be added then please leave a comment or send me an email.

Most information was gathered from various forum threads at the following web sites.