Just a few days ago, he hit me up to let me know that the project was done and he was sending it all back my way, and even provided a shipping number. I asked TmEE if he wouldn't mind me showing off his work, and he gave me the thumbs up. I'm so extremely excited to have some custom hardware from TmEE himself (always been a big fan of his work) and wanted to share what he's done:
Initially, I had sent him 2 Sega model game gears (not majesco). One had a VGA mod installed on it, and the other had its LED backlight replaced, and both had been recapped. TmEE wanted to install a controller port on the LED backlight-replaced game gear, and keep that one basically as-is. The other, TmEE wanted to "consolize" with a bunch of extras. He began by taking the "consolized" game gear apart and removing the screen to make working with the pcb easier.
Here, he has installed a controller port on the game gear, by tapping the button terminals on the board itself. The actual game gear buttons still function, but you can plug in a custom controller he's created and they'll function too:
A few JPN model Sega Genesis controllers were chosen to cannibalize (chosen because the blue start button matches the game gear!). These controller have been wired up to match the output port on the game gear, so that the A button matches the game gear 1 button, the B button matches the game gear 2 button, and Start matches the game gear start button. Additionally, the C button acts like pressing the game gear 1 and 2 buttons together at the same time, and X, Y, and Z on the 6-button controller maps to rapid-fire versions of buttons 1, 2, and 1+2.
With the other game gear, we came up with the idea of mounting it inside of a Sega Master System model 1 shell, to produce the ultimate 8-bit sega machine. TmEE installed an FM Mod in the US master system, as well as mounted the game gear PCB under the SMS pcb, and wired it all up. A switch in the back lets you choose between GG and SMS, with one video and power cable running to it all. The unit now outputs in S-video rather than VGA or composite:
Here's the unit playing a game gear game:
And an SMS game:
There is still just a little more to be done when it reaches me - I have to modify a SMS top to be able to accept game gear carts through the card slot, as they are bigger and thicker than SMS cards. I actually got to meet Ben Heck a few months back at a local hackerspace meeting, and we discussed 3D printing, so my plan is to cut out the existing card slot on the SMS top and 3D print a game gear cart slot in its place. I have access to 3D printers to do this, and Ben Heck showed me a method using vaporized acetone that will help smooth out the printing to look in-line with an injection molded piece of plastic.
The SMS-Game Gear also works with the controllers he built, and I can diasy chain the second Game Gear to the port to play 2 player fighting games with 2 controllers on 1 tv.
Hopefully, this reaches me by Christmas, as this would be the perfect gift from Santa. Thanks so much to TmEE for all this hard work, I can't say enough how excited and happy I am that this is coming my way.