SNES RGB Bypass - Reimagined

Posted by Fragol Roc on

The SNES was the first of Nintendo's consoles to offer an RGB signal. Considered to be the highest quality analog signal, RGB was a feature that true videophiles had to have on their consoles. Unfortunately when the SNES was redesign and released as the SNES Jr./Mini, the console did not come with the native RGB hooked up to the multiout. 

This mod is meant to restore the RGB signal in these consoles while also using a more modern cleaner video amp. This allows the RGB signal to be razor sharp and have minimal noise/interference. Please note, however, that this mod is designed to only work on 1Chip and SNS-101 consoles. This will not work on launch model phat SNES consoles.

SNES RGB Bypass Install

Assembly and Install Video


Assembly Guide

This assembly guide is meant to guide you through the process of adding the components to your SNES RGB Bypass board. Please note that I do not test every individual component of the kit and it could be possible that you received a dud. If this is the case, please contact me for support.

For assembly of this mod board it is recommended you have the following:

  • Narrow Chisel Soldering Tip (Hakko D-12)
  • 60/40 Pb/Sn Rosin Core Solder
  • Flux (No-clean, paste, tacky, etc.)
  • Angled ESD Safe Tweezers
  • Magnification Lens/Microscope
  • > 90% IPA (Cleaning)
  • Soft Bristle ESD Safe Brush (Cleaning)
  • Multimeter (Troubleshooting)
  • Organizational Placemat (Printed)
  • Assembly Infographic

It should also be noted that your soldering station should have precision control over temperature. Cheaper soldering stations can run hot and burn the solder pads right off the PCB. This can also be dangerous for components like the THS7374. Make sure you are using a setting that is no higher than 320 degrees Celsius.

Start with confirming and organizing your SMD components. Components of this size are small and easy to lose. Using something like the above placemat, organize and confirm you have all the parts before starting. Components like the ceramic capacitors do not have markings to indicate their values, so be careful where you place them. Your component list should match the following diagram.

Assembly of the actual board is straightforward, you put the components on the proper pads and solder them into place. Soldering of small components can be tricky if you have not done many mods or projects that use them. A common method for attaching small components like resistors or capacitors is to pre-tin one of the pads (I choose the right) and then reflow the solder and slide the component onto the pad. Once the component is in place, continue to hold the component and then remove heat. When the solder has cooled you can release the component and solder the other side. IC's like like the THS7374 will take a little finesse, but can be done in a similar fashion.

Although order of assembly does not matter, it might be helpful if you start in the center and work your way outward to the edges. Once a component has been soldered into place it can be hard to work around. Start with the THS7374 and the work on components around it until you have reached the perimeter of the board.

Photo by: rain2xx

Resistors and ceramic capacitors do not have polarity and do not require any special orientation. The THS7374 and the tantalum cap (C3) do have a correct orientation and need to be placed properly for this mod to work.

The tantalum capacitor (C3) has a colored band on its positive side and needs to be placed pointing south. There is also a white silkscreened box on the board to guide which direction the cap should be placed.

The THS7374 has a small divot on top that indicates pin 1. This divot can be hard to see, but is located in the lower left portion of the chip. There is a white silkscreen dot on the board, the divot should be oriented towards this dot.

There are three optional resistors that can be installed on this board. R14-R16 are not required for the board to work. These resistors are pull-ups for the RGB lines. However, if you experience graphical errors or noise that is not fixed with using the LPF, you may want to add these resistors to the board.

The Low Pass Filter (LPF) for this board is set to off by default. If you experience video noise or jailbars, consider enabling the LPF by bridging the pads with solder. LPF will clean up the image, but could soften the picture slightly. Most people will likely not notice the softened image from an enabled LPF, but the option is there for those that need it.


Additional Information

This board is open source and free to the public. You can find the design files for this board on @Zaxour's GitHub by following this link:

If you are looking to make your installation of this board a little easier, you can either buy or print your own SNES Buddy Board. More information about the Buddy Board can be found on both the GitHub page and on the product page:

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