5th pic is of the black skeleton (standard). The one with 2 pictures is the blue skeleton (derby).
Have you taken boxes in consideration too? If my memory suits me right, back in 1998 I did not see the HST-0014 models anymore at stores here in Japan. They were all replaced by the HST-0019 models. Thats about the same time skeleton models appeared in stores too.
Perhaps the box change was not only cosmetic, but also the manufacturing company changed too. My theory about the skeleton model is that, the insides of these models are leftovers from the HST-0014 which didn't get sold (maybe partly). That explains the CD drive too. The skeleton models always have the same CD drive as the HST-0014 models, the nice and quiet drives. The HST-0019 model has the noisy loud CD drives.
Another interesting thing about my saturns are the first 2 pics. Notice the manufacturing company says SEGA? Seems like it says SEGA always when they are made outside of Japan.
It's possible that they used leftover parts, but not leftover entire units. The serials I have indicate that two manufacturers worked on the two skeleton units, one on each different kind, both of them in 1998 with VA15 motherboard, and these two companies never manufactured any other Saturn unit in 1998 but these.
In fact, there seems to be only 3 companies making Saturns in 1998: Seiyo Denshi doing Skeleton saturns, Sanwa Denki S. doing Derby Stallion saturns, and Asahi Electronics doing regular saturns.
These three companies make up the bulk of all 1997 production as well, with very few models being done by other companies. 1996 had at least 9 manufacturers running simultaneously.
Also, these three companies made most Dreamcasts as well, accompanied by two other companies who did not make Saturns (unless they have some relations to the other Saturn manufacturers).
This is all speculation based on the ~190 serials I compared, mind you.
I don't know if boxes are any indication of the hardware inside. Far too few boxes have survived for this to be checked. When did Sega switch to HST-0019 by the way? Maybe the cd drive change is just a coincidence with some other hardware change that happened at the same time, like the switch from 64pin to 32pin cd boards.
Yep, your probably right. I haven't searched through 190 serials so.... I think Sega switched to HST-0019 at around 1998, but I'm not sure, its too long time ago to remember. If you want, I can post some high-res pictures of the internals of my JP saturn, since I took it apart recently. I did a comparison of motherboards of US saturn and JP saturn also with high-res pictures.
Here are some pics of back of my Saturn Mk-80000 and MK-80000A with the internals of the MK-80000. I'll post the other soon but I had this one open tonight to trying to get the 3 region switch working.
zyrobs, can you share us all the information you gather later on? I think this could be really an awesome project! At least great for repair parts compatibility, and figuring out which models need which sort of region switches/jumpers etc...
IceMaN30 Great pics mate! I think the last time I've seen the internals of an model 1 Saturn was about 12 years ago lol Quite impressed at how the chips are placed so closely together in comparison to the model 2 Saturns.
If I ever do take apart my other Satuns, I will post pics again
Ow man, I can barely tell which console is which on those pictures. And that would be the point! Also, I've already had the pictures from the VA7 vs VA10 gallery, I've been looking out for this stuff for a little while. Sorry if I sound ungrateful, I can be obsessive with my projects.
I want to upload the pictures I made, but I don't have good lightning so the flash makes half the board all white when I do pictures, plus the photos get blurred without a camera stand. Most of the photos I made so far are not that good, also, I keep forgetting to make pictures of a certain part right after I re-assembled the thing. Fuck this though, I'm buying a camera stand right now.
Yeah, the data will be shared, right now I want to build up enough information to nail down the major motherboard types. The serial database is much more ahead, with that, I'm mainly searching for exceptions that could contradict the data I've gathered so far (and I still have a few holes in model numbers that I'd like to see filled up).
Well, the layout of the board is the same as other VA0 models I've seen. There may be minimal differences in resistor ratings, OR the jump to 0.8 is just to signify the changes made for the USA model (which would be having 5 jumpers connected differently). Japanese models had VA0 and VA0.5, where 0.5 only had differences in a few extra connectors on the board, and few higher rated caps/resistors.