Blog

March 19, 2017
Adding an HDMI port to the original Xbox

Microsoft shipped the original Xbox with a composite AV cable, which was fine for 2001, but composite doesn't work very well with modern HDTVs. You could buy a component cable for your system, but official Microsoft cables are hard to find and expensive. Not all HDTVs even have support for component either. If only the original Xbox had an HDMI port. This post outlines the process of adding an HDMI port to the original Xbox.

Things you'll need

Here's a list of items that you'll need for adding an HDMI port to the original Xbox. [Read More]

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March 5, 2017
Revision 1.3 original Xbox project introduction

Microsoft's original Xbox was ahead of its time. With built in Internet connectivity, a computer based architecture, and a built in hard drive, the original Xbox is surprisingly similar to current consoles, like the Xbox One. Microsoft put some serious hardware into their first console, allowing it to have some of the best graphics of the generation. Some games could even output at 720p and 1080i. This is the start to a series of posts describing my revision 1.3 original Xbox project.

I recently bought an original Xbox for $40, less than 14% of the cost of a the brand new system in 2001. My system is a revision 1.3 original Xbox, which is one of the more common revisions out there. There's a chance that it's a 1.2 console, because it has a Western Digital hard drive that was found on revision 1.2 systems. Because it has Samsung DVD drive that was found on revision 1.3 systems, and the serial number matches revision 1.3, and because more revision 1.3 systems were manufactured, it's more likely to be a revision 1.3 system. [Read More]

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February 28, 2017
Powering a PS3 with a PC power supply

Three of the biggest sources of heat within a PS3 are the RSX graphics processor, the Cell processor, and the power supply. Many of the original fat consoles came with power supplies with the model number of ZSSR5391A. Those power supplies are only 66.5% efficient, meaning that lots of unnecessary heat is generated by the power supply.

I'm lucky, my PS3 has the much more efficient APS-226 power supply, which is 83.13% efficient. That's a lot better than the other model, but is still contributing to the amount of heat that the console has to exhaust. [Read More]

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February 18, 2017
Xbox 360 DVD firmware key extraction

Every Xbox 360 has a special key that is stored on the DVD drive, and the motherboard. This key is used to prevent modification to the console. In order to flash a custom drive firmware, use an ODE, or replace the DVD drive, you must first obtain the key from the original DVD drive. This is a guide on how to extract the Xbox 360 DVD firmware key using household items.

If you search Google for how to get the DVD key from an Xbox 360 you'll find that most tutorials say that some sort of external device that you have to buy is required. Common hardware devices include the Team Xecuter X360USB, and Xecuter CK3i. Additionally some drives require special probes to be flashed. [Read More]

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February 13, 2017
PS3 delid, Cell CPU and RSX GPU IHS removal

In order to save a little bit of money, maximizing profits, it's common for companies to use cheap thermal interface material. In the case of the PS3, the thermal paste that Sony used for the Cell processor and the RSX graphics processor doesn't age very well.

I recently bought an original 60GB PlayStation 3, with the CECHA01 model number. In the past I have used newer PS3s, and they were all reasonably quiet, so I was surprised at what I heard not long after turning on my console. The fan went to full speed, and never went back down to a reasonable level. [Read More]

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February 11, 2017
Xenon Xbox 360 project introduction

Microsoft was the first company to release a seventh generation video game console when they released the Xbox 360. Even though Microsoft had problems with reliability, and required a paid subscription to play online, they outsold the PS3 within the United States for much of the generation. Last November, I bought one of those original white 20GB Xbox 360 Pro systems for less than $25. That's less than 7% of what the original MSRP was back in 2005.

My console has an interesting past. I know it's one of the launch Xenon consoles because of the 20GB hard drive, the lack of an HDMI port, and the higher wattage power port. At one point the system must have failed and was fixed by Microsoft, because there is an upgraded heatsink, and a sticker on the back marked as 2009. Because these older Xbox 360 consoles are prone to failure, I'm going to be modding my console to run as cool and quiet as possible. This is the introduction to a series of blog posts documenting my experiences restoring and modding my Xbox 360. [Read More]

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February 11, 2017
CECHA01 PS3 project introduction

Sony's original PS3 consoles were built to do everything. With built in support for PS1, PS2, and PS3 games, in addition to a Blu-ray player, the launch PS3 models were very versatile. Last November I bought a CECHA01 system, the original 60GB fat model, from eBay for a little over $50, less than 9% of what the original MSRP was back in 2006.

While I did know that the original Xbox 360s had reliability issues, I didn't know that the original PS3s were also so prone to failure. In an effort to keep my PS3 running for a long time I'm modding the system to run as cool and quietly as possible. This is the introduction to a series of blog posts documenting my experiences restoring and modifying my original PS3. [Read More]

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February 10, 2017
Post 0: Hello World

Hello world.

I've had this domain for a while, but have never used it for anything. Most recently it has been a resume landing page containing information about my experience, and links to my social media profiles.

I have since installed WordPress, so that I can write about projects that I am working on. Writing about my projects should be a lot more interesting than what was on here before. Along with blog posts I'm planning on recording some videos.

Some of the first projects I'll be covering on this blog include restoring and modding an original Xbox 360 and PS3, my weather station, and my plans to build a basic computer from scratch using transistors. [Read More]

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