2nd October 2015

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for coming back and checking on my blog. Some of you guys might have been following / found my blog because of my EPIC Neptune project I set myself a few years ago after seeing the awesome Longhorn Engineer's tutorial on creating a Neptune using a 32x and a Genesis / MD2.

My idea was to learn soldering by making one of my spare Megadrive 2's into a working Neptune. But rather than leave it there I was going to use the skills I'd picked up making designer toys to make a replica outer shell for the mod and create an actual Neptune.

Well my project started with the hunting out on ebay of a 32x and then getting as many Neptune Prototype shell photos as I could and comparing them with my MD2. I'm pretty much 100% convinced that the Neptune prototype shell is a modified Genesis 2 shell. The bottom certainly makes me thing this as the lower square pan is exactly the same as a Gen 2 shell.

I documented the process of making my Neptune replica shell at most stages of sculpting. I thought I would make a slideshow so you guys can see what the steps are to make a Megadrive/Genesis 2 shell into a Neptune shell.

To finish it off I back painted the perspex LED 'window', glossed the buttons and applied the waterslip decals for the logos so that it looks like the prototype photo's I've seen on the web.

I've placed a few photos on the page as well as making a gallery for you guys to look through.

As you can see from the above photo I've finished the internal modular setup of the Neptune for when I eventually get a 32x. I really wanted to make sure that I would not need to destroy the 32x to make the Neptune. I will simply just have to take the 32x apart, fold it under itself and plug it in. Well I'll actually have to desolder the choke and resolder it on its side to lower the profile of the edge of the 32x so it will fit in the Replica case.

Again I made a slideshow of the progress I made with the mod and if you've followed my blog you will have seen all or most of them.

And to finish this post off which is a little shorter than I thought it would be. Its more photo heavy as I've basically posted most of my progress as I've gone along. I also made a Youtube video showing the shell and the internal mod.

Hopefully you guys like my replica Neptune shell. I'm so happy that its all finished off, and when I get a 32x I'll make it even more finished off. :-)

Catch you guys later on.




Last night I was doing my daily google search on Sega Neptune discussions and came across a really interesting thread on digitalpress which spoke about the Neptune mod I've been attempting.

The information in the thread caught my interest for 4 reasons :

• 1 : It had the guy who originally successfully made a Neptune and wrote the guide I've been following posting info in there. So the information had weight to it.

• 2 : A person in the thread was attempting the mod and on completetion got very very similar results to me. No games booting (megadrive or 32x) but the TV picking up a signal from the Neptune but only showing a black screen.

• 3 : The above person, the Longhorn Enginneer ( • 1) and another knowledgeable guy mentioned that standard HDD IDE ribbon cable is too thin to carry the 32x / Megadrive signals across them which could be resulting in the lack of boot and the black screen


• 4 :  The guy who on completion of his Neptune got my problems made a 2nd Neptune using Ethernet wiring instead of IDE and got it to work perfectly.

Admittedly he used a different Megadrive 2 and 32x when making the Ethernet wiring version which cancels out the fact his 32x could be faulty. But it shows that the wiring used is better for the 32x to Megadrive 2 connection.

I've now gotten hold of some nice Gigabit speed ethernet cable and stripped the inner 8 wires out and I'm going to be de-soldering all 64 wires on my Neptune and re-soldering with the new thicker gauge wires.

I'm keeping very level headed about it that this still might not fix the Neptune but I'm excited to try it out.

I've also figured out why the power wiring has a joint soldered to a seemingly blank area of the Megadrive's main board. If anyone else is attempting to follow the walk-through and wondered why the power wiring is placed in such a way, as there is no explination. Its to move the wiring off to the side of the actual power supply input point. Otherwise the wires tend to get in the way of the port and you cant plug the power adapter in. Rather than doing the solder joint I will just hot glue gun the wire I think as this will be a bit easier to do than soldering to the board and stronger possibly.

Anyway, enough of my train of consciousness haha.

I'm going to start de-soldering this weekend and re-connection. Also I've been adding more milliput to my replica Neptune case. Its still a long way from completion but the shape is definetly there now :D

More updates soon




But unfortunetly It doesn't work :-(

I completed the rest of the tutorial on Saturday. Soldering in all 64 wires from the 32x cartridge points to the de-soldered cartridge area of the Megadrive 2. Its a lot more fiddly than I was expecting it to be! Using the IDE cables made it easier to keep track of which wires went where etc but it still put you in awkward positions to solder. I'm very glad I didn't go the individual wires route, that's for sure!

With all the wires soldered to their new locations it looks pretty neat and tidy and it all fits into the Megadrive 2's lower case without the wires pulling away from their joints. That's a big improvement from the original wiring attempts haha.

When you plug the power and A/V cables in and switch the sucker on though, nothing. Its pumping out a signal of sorts. The screen flicks and goes black and there is a low buzz but that seems to be all. Actually that's not completely true, there is a funny barcode looking block on the bottom of the screen with an empty area next to it. Weird.

My earlier attempts at soldering the Megadrive 2 and 32x link wires in for initial testings pulled a trace away from the 32x which I've fixed with a bridging wire so it shouldn't be that I don't think. It's only on the linking area of the PCB so shouldn't be a critical point from my research on the internet.

I have the feeling that the 32x didn't really work when I got it as it came without cables and untested from ebay. I've done the usual 'repair' technique of removing and cleaning the white ribbon cables and re-seating them but, nadda!

So the next step has me back on the hunt for a 32x to get the Neptune to live! I'm not giving up on the project that's for sure! :-D

I'm going to post up on some forums my problems I'm having with the 32x in a hope that some guru's who've successfully completed Neptune's in the past will know how to fix it or wether the 32x is dead after all.

We will see, the Neptune will live!

Check below for some of my progress photos so far. Click the thumbnail images to see the fullsize versions.




Hi everyone,

I've spent some of the evening tinning some of my trimmed IDE cables which will be used to attach the 32X to the now desoldered Cartridge slot on the Megadrive 2 mainboard. I was quite surprised how long it took to tin 75 wires. 64 for the cart link, 10 for the 32X to Megadrive link cabling and 1 to fix a pulled trace on the 32x board.

I'll be carrying on with soldering more on the Neptune during the week if I get chance. Next step is to use some cleaning alcohol to get the boards ready to solder them together.

You may have noticed above this post that there is a new Tab which links to a new page. I've spent some time poking around blogger to get new tabs going and activate a Mobile version of the site.

So now, if you think you might want to buy a painting, toy, print or custom console I've painted then you can quickly scoot on over and check the store out. :-)

Currently there is 1 Ozzel left in the store and my Monkey Loves Oranges Gocco prints.

Some more updates on my Neptune to follow.




Its been about a week since I did any more work on my Sega Neptune mod. I'd become a little dishearted with my progress. I couldn't get a proper connection test done with the 32x plugged into the Megadrive 2 with the power and A/V's wired up. It seems that the wires I bought from Maplins are too stiff. Everytime I placed the Megadrive 32x combo into the lower part of the megadrive case wires kept coming away from the solder joints. Rather annoying to say the least!

So I decided to completely re-wire all the work I'd done so far. I've seen a completed Neptune project on photobucket and he'd used IDE Ribbon wire instead of the type of wire I'd bought and it looked really nice.

 Today I got on the desoldering work and have gotten a lot of practice now with my Solder Sucker. I'm getting pretty good with it now which is great as I couldn't really get it to work before. After desoldering 2 A/V outs and a Power Input I decided to tackle the desoldering of the cartridge slot on the megadrive 2. All 64 points! The board looks very clean without the cart slot on it.

I then re-wired the A/V out on the 32x with IDE cable and its a lot neater now and easier to solder up than individual wires.

After that its tinning the cartridge slot on the 32x so It can be wired to the Megadrive 2. Its a bit of a no return step when you get solder onto the cartridge points so I was a little apprehensive with attempting it but it went okay. Oh and I also noticed that the prototype name for the 32x is printed on the board, Mars. Pretty nifty in a geeky way.

So all in all I'm pretty pleased with how my soldering skills have progressed. Hopefully it will all work once its completed.

More updates to follow :)




Who would have thought that desoldering was so hard to get your head around? Certainly not me. But even though ive gotten the right tools now its still been a pig and i'd made no progress on the walkthrough until earlier today. I finally removed the heat sink off the md2 main board with the help of an extra pair of hands (my girlfriend) and now gotten cracking with the mod and feel like im making headway. :-)

Also my case mod has been making progress and starting to look more like the 2 prototype neptunes that can be seen on Google. Hopefully it will turn out relatively close in the end.

Photos to follow :-)



This page will be a kind of progress diary of my attempts at making a Sega Neptune.

Having never soldered before attempting to do this project other than soldering 10 wires to 2 old circuit boards then jumping into doing the 50/60MHz PAL/NTSC mod on my spare Sega Megadrive 2 I want to keep track of my adventure in soldering. Its not really a project for the faint hearted, especially when Sega 32x's cost so much in the UK. :-S

I will post all my progress into my main Blog page and copy into this page as a dedicated progress timeline.

We'll see at the end wether the darn tooting thing works and how my case mod for it turns out. :-)