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Genesis model 1 non-TMSS from China?


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Recently I purchased a non working Genesis model 1 on ebay that I noticed had the FCC ID that would equate to being a non-TMSS model. I thought this one looked odd as the grey print around the Genesis logo is a lot "greyer" than I remember. The system came in and the issue was simply a broken solder joint on the power connector board. Reflowed and it works perfectly again which is great. And, it is most definitely a non-TMSS model which is double great.


But, looking around I can only find reference to these early models made in Japan and serials starting with "3". This serial number starts with "1" and as the label states it was made in China. I cannot find any other info about this online. Does anyone have any insight? And before anyone asks (if they do), it is not a bootleg system. This is absolutely a Sega machine...and it is heavy (in weight) as I remember my first model being ;)





Edited by eightbit
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On 11/23/2020 at 6:57 PM, 0078265317 said:

Here is one that starts with a zero.




That was not a non-TMSS model. You have to keep an eye out for the FCC ID. Many said "High Definition Graphics", and they printed those for at least two years after launch. But that is still no indication that they are non-TMSS versions. The FCC ID appears to be the only semi-accurate way of detecting them.


The Best Version of the Genesis | RetroRGB

Edited by eightbit
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I want to say I've seen of these before if nothing else that darker shade of gray on the Genesis logo is what I seem to remember. My guess is that these are very late made non-TMSS units that were rolled out just before the next revisions got released. So it could be these are some of the last non-TMSS consoles that were made. The serial# isn't like the normal non-TMSS units either with those starting with an alpha character and not all numeric as would be the norm on later models. 


When you had it cracked open to repair that loose power port socket, did you note which variant revision it was?


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Also the back panel is going to be different with pre-TMSS units. If you don't see a modem port, don't even bother, the chance of it being pre-TMSS is probably zero. The modem port was completely removed after TMSS.


I have two of them right now that I just looked at and tested, HRG lid with modem ports, both have an FCC ID of FJ8USASEGA. One is broken (looks like slot damage), and the other has TMSS. The broken one is missing its screws (my fault for sure), and there are chip dates of 9143 and 9149 inside. According to Wikipedia, the US Genesis was introduced in 1989, and TMSS happened in 1990, so they were making modem port units for at least a year after TMSS. They may be rare as hell now, but they were around long enough for EA to make half a dozen games that were broken by TMSS, while apparently Sega had already written their own game code in anticipation of it.


As for "very late" units, somewhere I have one that had a modem port motherboard and shell, but no DB-9 plug. I had to add one myself (to use as a serial debug console), so I used a male plug because that's what I had handy. Gonna guess it was from early 1992, gotta take a look if I find it. I thought I had just found it, but I was wrong. Anyhow, that one had TMSS too.


And there's always the chance that despite the FCC ID, the original motherboard died and was replaced (either as official repair or more recent history) with a TMSS motherboard. Still, it's good to know about the FCC ID thing.


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I can attest that the FCC ID is pretty accurate in that all of the ones I've owned or upgraded for people that were non TMSS had that FCC ID on them. I've not encountered one that had that FCC ID and actually had TMSS on it. But as you stated @Bruce Tomlin, there is always a possibility of the mainboard having been swapped out at some point. But @eightbit did state he has confirmed that it is a non TMSS unit. I'm curious to know the exact revision on the mainboard that might be listed?



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