August 22, 2017
SCPH-7501 PlayStation 1 MM3 modchip installation (PU-22 NTSC board)

In April I wrote a post on how to install a MM3 modchip into a PM-41 NTSC PSone console. This is a similar post, but covering anSCPH-7501 PlayStation 1 MM3 modchip installation. An MM3 modchip allows the PlayStation to boot directly to game backups burned to CDs.

MM3 modchips also allow you to run games from other regions. You can buy an MM3 chip for not a whole lot of money, they're around $4-10. Cost primarily depending on how long you want to wait for your chip. Buying a chip from China is cheaper, but takes longer to arrive. I purchased my chip from a US seller on eBay preprogrammed and prewired for $8 shipped. [Read More]

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August 15, 2017
DIY variable bench power supply with DPS5005 and LRS-150-48

I have used several power sources for my projects over the years. Things like wall warts, USB ports, ATX power supplies, and a laptop power supply plugged into a buck converter. These power sources are functional, but not ideal. This post covers the creation of a better bench power supply using a DPS5005 front end, and a LRS-150-48 power supply back end.

My bench power supply requirements

Here's a list of things I was looking for in a power supply. I wanted something that was very flexible, so that it could be used for a wide variety of circuits. [Read More]

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August 8, 2017
CECH-2001A PS3 slim custom firmware installation with Teensy

In March I wrote a post about installing custom firmware onto a CECHA01 PS3 fat, and a CECH-2101A PS3 slim. This post goes into more detail on the same custom firmware installation process with a CECH-2001A PS3 slim console.

What is custom firmware, what is it used for, and what are the installation requirements

This section is a brief overview of the custom firmware background information I wrote about in my last PS3 custom firmware post. Custom firmware allows the PS3 to run homebrew software. With custom firmware a PS3 can do many things, including:

  • Create and run game backups.
  • Run emulators for other consoles.
  • Monitor temperatures, and control fan speeds.

Custom firmware installation requires a system that is running firmware 3.55 or earlier. This is because the encryption system on version 3.55 was cracked, allowing custom firmware updates to be seen as official software updates on consoles. Sony patched this issue in the next firmware release, and nothing released since has been hacked. [Read More]

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August 1, 2017
August update 2017

In February I wrote this blog's first post, where I talked about my plans for upcoming posts. Today I'll be starting a series of monthly posts similar to my first post, where I talk about my plans for the month. This is my August update for 2017.

July post summary

Last month I wrote four posts covering modding three video game consoles. Topics include console fan upgrades to reduce noise, an HDMI video output mod, and a guide covering how to RGH an Xbox 360 S for only $10.

  1. SCPH-39001 PS2 fan upgrade
    • The PS2 fat is a fairly noisy console, especially when a hard drive is installed. To make things more quiet I upgraded the stock fan inside the console to a much quieter Noctua computer fan.
  2. Original Xbox 80mm fan upgrade
    • This post is similar to the PS2 fan upgrade, but for the original Xbox. Just like the PS2, the Xbox isn't very quiet. I was able to fit a larger, and quieter, 80mm computer fan into the original Xbox.
  3. Adding an HDMI port to the PS2 fat
    • This post is similar to a post I made in March where I added an HDMI port to my original Xbox. The Xbox post has actually been the most popular post I have written this year. I was able to do the same sort of mod to my PS2 fat using pretty much the same parts.
  4. Cheap Xbox 360 S Trinity RGH using an LPT port and X360Ace
    • This post covers the process of doing an RGH mod on an Xbox 360 S. My goal was to do the mod as cheaply as possible, it ended up costing about $10. If you already have an LPT connector, and some resistors, it might only cost you $7.

August post plans

This month I'm planning to write another four posts, not including this one. I plan to start covering some topics other than video game consoles. In particular I have been spending a lot of time over the past few weeks working on my outdoor weather station, which could result in some blog posts. Here's a short list of some possible posts: [Read More]

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July 31, 2017
Cheap Xbox 360 S Trinity RGH using an LPT port and X360Ace

Out of the three seventh generation consoles that I have modded, I found the Xbox 360 to be the hardest to hack, mostly because of how hard it was to find current tutorials. Forums are filled with outdated information, and there are just so many different modchips, console revisions, and methods of hacking. I wanted to know how I could mod my Trinity console into a Trinity RGH console.

This post covers the process of doing an RGH2 mod on my Xbox 360 S Trinity console as cheaply as possible. Most guides mention buying expensive NAND programmers, glitch chips, QSB's, and other specialized parts. I'll be using a cheap $7 modchip, along with several dollars worth of electronics that you might already own. [Read More]

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July 24, 2017
Adding an HDMI port to the PS2 fat

In March I added an HDMI port to my original Xbox. This is a similar post covering the process of adding an HDMI port to the PS2 fat. The PS2 has a multi AV output port which supports composite, component, RGB SCART, S-Video, and even RF. These options were fine for 2000, but they don't work very well with modern HDTVs. Adding an HDMI port allows the PS2 to output video directly to a modern HDTV or computer monitor.

Things you'll need

Here's a list of items that you'll need for adding an HDMI port to your PS2 fat.

You may want to research other component to HDMI converters. The model I bought is cheap, and works, but you might want something better. Cheap converters can add additional latency, and not make a perfect conversion. I didn't personally notice any additional latency, or color problems with the model I bought, but your mileage may vary. [Read More]

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July 17, 2017
Original Xbox 80mm fan upgrade

Last week I wrote about upgrading the fan inside of my SCPH-39001 PS2 to a quieter Noctua fan. This post covers a similar mod, an original Xbox 80mm fan upgrade. I'll be using a pretty standard Noctua 80mm 12V computer fan to silence my original Xbox.

Things you'll need

Here's a short list of things you'll need to upgrade your original Xbox's fan.

  • Original Xbox console
  • 80mm fan, I used a Noctua NF-A8
  • Tools to cut plastic, like a Dremel

Original Xbox stock cooling system overview

The original Xbox has a pretty simple cooling system design. There is a single 72mm fan in the back that sucks air in from the vents on the sides. The air goes through components like the power supply, processor, and graphics processor, and then out the back of the system. Both the disc drive tray, and hard drive tray, are used to route air where it needs to go. The fan does a pretty good job of keeping the console cool. I've never had my original Xbox overheat, but it can get warm. [Read More]

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July 10, 2017
SCPH-39001 PS2 fan upgrade

While my PS2 fat console isn't even close to as loud as my PS3 fat, the fan inside still makes enough noise to be annoying in game. This post covers the process of upgrading the fan inside of my PS2 fat to a standard 60mm computer fan.

Things you'll need

Here's a short list of things you'll need to upgrade your PS2's fan.

PS2 fat stock cooling system overview

The PS2 fat has a pretty simple cooling system design. There is a single slim 60mm fan in the back that sucks air in from the vents on the front. The air goes through the power supply and heatsink fins, and out the back of the system. The fan does a pretty good job of keeping the console cool. My PS2 does get warm, but I haven't ever had it overheat. [Read More]

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June 30, 2017
SCPH-39001 PS2 Modbo 5.0 modchip installation (V7 NTSC board)

Earlier this month I installed a Modbo 4.0 modchip into my SCPH-70012 PS2 slim console. Since I also own an SCPH-39001 PS2 fat, I decided to install a modchip into it. Modchips for the PlayStation 2 you to get more out of your PS2. Things like playing games from other regions, playing PS1 and PS2 backups, and running homebrew applications. This blog post covers the installation of the Modbo 5.0 modchip into my SCPH-39001 PS2 fat console.

Update: I put together a Modbo modchip installation guide that covers all board revisions. You can find that guide here.

Things you'll need

  • An SCPH-39001 PS2 fat console
  • Tools to take apart the PS2
  • A Modbo 4.0 or Modbo 5.0 modchip. They are pin compatible, I bought my chip from Eurasia.
  • 30 AWG kynar insulated wire wrapping wire
  • A soldering iron and solder

Both the Modbo 4.0 and Modbo 5.0 modchips are good modchips. The Modbo 5.0 chip allows booting homebrew directly off of a USB flash drive, which is less important for a PS2 fat, because of the hard drive bay, but still a nice feature. [Read More]

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June 26, 2017
Xbox 360 E teardown guide

In my last two teardown guides I covered taking apart a PSone, and a PS2 slim. This post is similar, but for Microsoft's second slim revision of their Xbox 360, the Xbox 360 E. My goal is to have an Xbox 360 E teardown guide that's more complete than the others available online.

I found the process of taking apart the Xbox 360 E to be easier than the process of taking apart my original Xenon Xbox 360. You won't need a special opening tool to help you with hidden tabs or anything like that. It was however harder to take apart than a PS3 slim, mostly because of the lack of external screws. [Read More]

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