Monday, December 17, 2012

Xbox 360 Power Supply Hack

My most recent scooter (that I built and haven't yet blogged about) uses a 7s2p Lithium Iron Phosphate pack using A123 cells. That is great except my Triton EQ charger can only handle 6s Lithium anything. The obvious solution was to purchase new charging equipment like this beautiful Turnigy 8s charger capable of 7A continuous. However, it also means I need to find a suitable power supply that can output at least 4.6A at ~23.1V with an input range of 11 to 15V.

That last requirement removes most laptop power supplies from the list of hopefuls. But, it does shine some light on my favorite gaming platform, the Xbox 360. The 360 variants feature external power supplies with some funky 8 pin output cable. Furthermore there are variants that output some 135W (Xbox 360 Slim) to 203W (Xbox 360 original console) of power. My favorite part about these power supplies is they can be obtained for cheap because they are available everywhere. I grabbed a 150W variant off ebay for $18 free shipping.

Alright! Hacking time! I received my box and noted many familiar items. Wall plug, power brick, lalala... oh wait.

8 pins wtf

What the hell is this? Some 8-pin output connector that goes into the Xbox. No clear labeling on the outside to signify the purpose of the pins.

It turns out, six of the pins are used for power transmission and two are used for a "standby" state. This is probably the minimum power required for the sleeping state on the Xbox (I mean how else do you turn it on using the wireless controllers?). Here is the pinout:

Courtesy of that website. Kudos go to them.
If you were to probe the outputs with a multimeter, you will find a 0V potential between the yellow and black UNTIL you supply the PWR_ENABLE pin with +5V. We are going to simply take the +5V USB line (RED) and connect it to the PWR_ENABLE permanently. Then we will connect the yellow and black wires together in parallel because I don't feel like 22ga PVC jacket wire is ever going to safety transmit 150W.

Anyway, I unplugged the charger cord, and immediately sliced into the cable behind the connector. Conveniently enough, the cables are colored accordingly.

8 pins, 8 wires. Life is good.

Strip away more wire and begin soldering things together. Three BLACK in paralle, three YELLOW in parallel, and connect the BLUE and RED/PURPLE.


Your choice on the shrink wrap and external connector. A good choice might be a power strip in case you want to power multiple items with it. Since this power supply is single duty, I soldered in an XT60 connector used for hobby RC.

27 comments:

  1. Hey guy. I got a question about the xbox 360 slim power supply, I'm trying to run my slim off of a fat brick power supply from the 1st xbox 360. so far I took it all apart and have a problem now. the xbox slim power cord has 2 black, 2 yellow, 1 red, 1 blue, and 1 grey wire. I have no idea where to solder the grey wire on the fat brick.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I noticed that the various PSU versions all have different variants of connectors. I expect similarly of wires. If that wire is not soldered to anything on the PCB then I would neglect it. Carries no current, serves no purpose.

      Delete
    2. The grey wire goes to "rsense" on the board. Seems to monitor voltage. Mine was wired to the black wires, I did same, no problems so far. It wouldn't work without it wired.

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    3. hello,I have the same machine as you,your ac power cord is 0.75mm2?

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  2. The gray wire doesn't do anything and isn't even connected. I think Microsoft just got a good deal on cables that had an extra wire in it. (manufacturers do this all the time)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it reads "resense" for grey wire on motherboard....must be there for a reason...but no gray on fat psu....where do i connect it

      Delete
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  5. Hey thanks! I figured there was some kind of enable but didn't want to poke around much. Got a few of these bricks at the thrift shop to use on my 12 volt LED lighting projects.

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  7. Trying to connect a fat brick to a slim power cord does it matter which yellow go where

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  9. Many thanks for the info, Jamison. I appreciate your taking the time and effort to document and share your experience with this particular power supply (one of which I just picked up for 5 USD at a local Goodwill store).

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  12. Thank you for figuring out the details on this PSU. The 10A brick that came with my 3-D printer wasn't up to the challenge, but the spare 203W I had is doing a perfectly adequate job.

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