CECH-2001A PS3 slim custom firmware installation with Teensy

Teensy wired to PS3

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]

PS3 custom firmware installation (fat CECHA01, and slim CECH-2101A)

Teensy 30 AWG wire

Installing custom firmware onto my PS3 was one of my goals I mentioned in my project introduction post. This post describes my experiences during PS3 custom firmware installation on my fat CECHA01 console, and my brother’s slim CECH-2101A console.

Update: I have written another post going into more detail on custom firmware installation using a Teensy on a CECH-2001A PS3 slim.

What is custom firmware, and what it’s used for

Before I begin I’d like to provide some background information. Sony released firmware version 3.55 for the PS3 in late 2010. In this version Sony messed up the encryption system which allowed the PS3 hacking community to create custom firmware updates that could be installed, also called custom firmware or CFW. [Read More]

Powering a PS3 with a PC power supply

Power PS3 with 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]

PS3 delid, Cell CPU and RSX GPU IHS removal

PS3 delid

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]

CECHA01 PS3 project introduction

CECHA01 PS3

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]