Sega Week

How to build the ultimate Sega Nomad

Leave your friends and family saying "Switch who?"

Screen

The Nomad, much like the Game Gear, wowed fans in the ‘90s with its backlit color screen. Nowadays, consumers expect a much higher quality display. To that end, we recommend replacing the built in screen with a new 3.5” TFT LCD panel harvested from a parking monitor. It's a bit of work but luckily the parts are cheap.

Power

Since consumers were powering an entire Sega Genesis, controller, and display, the Nomad was at its best when plugged into the wall. It comes with a bulky, inconvenient battery pack (which is what technically makes the system portable) but we’d prefer installing an internal battery.

Maintenance

Much like other Sega consoles, such as the Game Gear, every Nomad needs to have its faulty, aging capacitors replaced as soon as possible. There are third party services that can do this for you if you’re not accustomed to soldering.

Audio

The triple bypass mod is a straightforward audio mod that adds a chip which massively improves the sound of the Nomad (and nearly any Genesis system). It’s also an essential addition if you plan on playing Sega CD games on the Nomad through a flash cart.

(It also can’t hurt to replace your unit's speaker and hold it in place with a 3D printed bracket. 8 to 16 Ohm resistance and 0.2 to 0.5W will work. We’d use a 45mm slim mylar speaker.)

Flash Cart

The MegaSD is the ultimate Sega Genesis flashcart. Already a standard flash cart that can hold the system’s entire library on a MicroSD card, this unit also includes an FPGA clone of the Sega CD add-on — allowing gamers to experience CD games on the Nomad for the first time. It’s expensive but bursting with features to justify the cost.

HDMI

The Nomad was a portable / home console hybrid decades before the Nintendo Switch was even conceived. You’ll get the best signal to your HDTV by using the built-in video out port with a Genesis 2 SCART cable. From there, plug the SCART cable into an OSSC upscaler which can output HDMI with minimal latency.

Controller

After attaching to the TV, you’ll need a controller to control your games from the couch. We recommend the 8BitDo M30 2.4Ghz six-button Genesis controller. It feels as good as, if not better than, the original and features almost zero input latency.

Games

Equipped with the MegaSD, the Nomad can play all originally release Sega Genesis and Sega CD games, including ROM hacks called MD+ ROMs which can add CD-quality audio into standard game files.

We recommend: Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, Sonic CD, Streets of Rage 2, Ecco the Dolphin, Gunstar Heroes, ToeJam & Earl, Phantasy Star IV, Snatcher, Final Fight, Comix Zone, Kid Chameleon, Contra: Hard Corps, Castlevania: Bloodlines, Earthworm Jim, Ristar, and Castle of Illusion.

Of course, we legally can't tell you where to find such things. Hey, just being random, have you ever been to Archive.org?

Enjoy your Sega Nomad!

SEGA!!!

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