The Sega Mega Drive and all the available add-ons have a notorious reputation for occupying the area around your console and TV with an abundance of cables and power packs. Well without losing focus and discussing the pros and cons about the Mega Drive’s accessories lets add one more little cable to the mix to get the most out of your first generation Mega Drive/Mega CD combo. Any Mega Drive 1 owner will know that even with the optional AV cable you don’t have stereo output through that cable, but with the Mega CD 1 add-on you get the additional red and white RCA stereo output connections. This is great for when you are playing Mega CD games but not so useful when you switch back to playing Mega Drive cartridge games because the sound doesn’t pass though those plugs on their own.
The following guide is a very simple solution to have both your Mega Drive and Mega CD audio output passing through the Mega CD’s audio connections. It may seem pretty straight forward but you’d be surprised at how often this gets overlooked.
Here’s all the cables you’ll need to get the job done. From left to right, the Mega Drive AV cable, 2 channel RCA audio cable, 3.5mm audio cable. The Mega Drive AV cable can be bought from eBay for less that 5 dollars plus postage, this alone is an improvement over the standard RF connection. Any Standard RCA cable will do the job and the price will vary depending on the materials it’s constructed from and the length. The 3.5mm audio cable is also another cheap item, if you‘ve recently bought a computer monitor there’s a good chance that it came with this cable and that’s what I’ve used for this example.
With the Mega Drive and Mega CD combined this is what the back of the unit looks like. Starting from the Mega Drive we have the RF out connection which we’ll no longer be using, then the AV out connection and the power connection. Blew the Mega Drive the Mega CD has the stereo RCA connections, then the mixing connection and the power connection. As you can see from this picture both power supplies are connected and as you can imagine at the other end of those cables we have two big power bricks taking up way too much space on a power board.
First step is to hook up video connection for this combo. Grab you Mega Drive AV connection and plug it into the Mega Drive AV port.
Connect the video cable(yellow one) to the video connection of your TV but don’t connect the audio plug.
Plug your 3.5mm audio lead into the headphone jack of the Mega Drive.
Remember to increase the headphone jack volume to maximum so you can make all your volume adjustments via the TV or stereo.
Plug the opposite end of the 3.5mm audio cable into the mixer port located on the back of the Mega CD console. This will now allow the audio from the Mega Drive to pass though the Mega CD in stereo even when the Mega CD is not in use (note: the Mega CD still needs to be powered up to work).
The last step is to connect the stereo RCA cables to the back of the Mega CD console and run them to audio input connection of either your TV or your sound system depending on how you have your entertainment system setup.
Now enjoy playing both your Mega Drive and Mega CD games in stereo sound via the one connection. You can make things look a little more aesthetically pleasing by using a 3.5mm audio cable that has a 90 degree bend in it and then run that cable in the grove between the two consoles.