Modding your Sony Playstation

February 24th, 2004 - 3:24pm by Slye Fox
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Lesson learned - don't try to mod your playstation yourself.

(Or at least read up on all you can beforehand and don't drink to much coffee.)

The Rabbit asked me to help him and his buddy mod their playstations this last weekend. For those not in the know - this means adding some sort of "chip" that allows the playstation to read DVD-R's as well as other useful new options. "Sure, no problem," I said, not knowing what exactly this would involve. So when Saturday rolled around and we cracked open the case, (voiding the warranty), the challenge really presented itself. Those were some damn tiny spots that wires would need to be soldered to.

But we dove into it anyway. Kevin and Travis ran the screw drivers and held wires as I soldered away at all the microscopic wire connections. After four or five hours of effort and near paralysis from carpal tunnel syndrome and blindness from squinting through magnifying glasses, the modification was complete. "Plug 'em in , boys, let's see how they work." -- Black Screen, on both of them -- not good. Try holding down various buttons and restarting... -- still Black Screens -- still not good. (Very bad actually and disappointing.) After figuring that something was obviously amiss, the things were torn apart again in hopes of finding the error. Correct solder placement -- check. No bridging of connections -- check. No anything wrong visibly -- check. What the hell, it oughtta work.

So back to the internet for some troubleshooting guidance from the modding gurus. (Big hint for the do-it-yourselfers -- read the online help first. All of it.) We learned all kinds of things we weren't aware of originally, like grounding issues and shielding and sensitive joints. We then did all we could to incorporate this newly obtained info to correct the problems and hopefully rid ourselves of the cursed Black Screens of death. But after reassembly, (taking these boxes apart is like an advanced Rubix puzzle, by the way), the damn things still didn't work and now it was almost midnight. And I haven't had any beer yet and it's Saturday for the love of god. Let's go home and try in the morning.

Now on Sunday with both boxes cracked open and strewn asunder again, we decided it would be best to try and reverse the mods, if possible, and see if they can be put back to their original state. Hours after meticulously picking off the epoxy that held the fragile connections in place and de-soldering all the wires, the boxes were reassembled for the last time. Travis's appeared normal. :) and Kevin's was still the -- Black Screen - . Bummer. :(

So lesson learned, leave this to the pros who'll do the work and guarantee results. It's definitely worth the $60 bucks or so that they charge. Now the Rabbit has to try and find a new motherboard on Ebay to have his playstation back.

February 24, 2004 - 6:18pm
Marcel Luc says:

I guess I won't try this at home then. Good luck to Rabbit, how disappointing! I would be heart broken if I couldn't play Road Rage or Looney Tunes Space Race anymore.

February 25, 2004 - 7:08am
Anonymous says:

all that work without a beer?

wow !!!!