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Hardware Hacking Games Build

iFixit Moves Into Console Repair 75

Posted by Soulskill
from the red-ring-of-rebirth dept.
sk8pmp writes with news that iFixit, a website known for Apple gadget teardowns and repair guides, is expanding into the game console market, launching a series of troubleshooting and repair guides to help gamers fix their own machines. They're also starting to sell replacement parts and the tools necessary to work on them. "Right now there are repair guides for 24 gaming consoles, including 206 repairs and upgrades. Some of these fixes deal with major issues, such as the infamous Red Ring of Death from the Xbox 360, but others are simpler. For instance, right now there is no easy way to clean out the fans inside your console. 'I think this is probably the number one cause of overheating these days now that manufacturers have mostly gotten their act together,' Wiens said. 'This is routine maintenance, and it's mind-boggling that the manufacturers don't provide people with an easy way to open the case up and blow it out.' You'll also learn how to replace broken LCD screens on your portables, replace the motherboard on your PlayStation 3, and do just about anything else you might want to do to these systems, from the simple to the harrowing."
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iFixit Moves Into Console Repair

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  • Can you hear that? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday August 31, 2010 @06:39AM (#33424722) Journal
    It's the sound of continuity/anti-tamper sensors being added to the external housings of the next generation of consoles...
    • I suspect that most of their business will be on stuff that's out of warranty anyway. I've used iFixit for years and years when I've had or inherited an Apple product that needed repair. It has always been old stuff because if the product is under warranty, it's quicker and easier for the user to send it to the manufacturer (well Apple anyway, not sure about how well console manufacturers honor their warranty). iFixit comes in when the product is old and out-dated, or you've voided your warranty by e.g.,
  • That's a stroke of luck, as my brother gave me a broken Playstation 3 yesterday. It's an original "fat" model suffering from the flashing red light of death, which means I'll need to replace the power supply, and the iFixit site has a guide for doing just that.

    • by Nunavut (1662173)
      FYI - The PS3 cannot suffer from RROD (Red Ring Of Death) but it can get YLOD (yellow light of death). RROD refers to the Xbox and YLOD is for PS3. I too had just recently fixed a 60 GB launch PS3 from YLOD using guides from YouTube. The power supply was fine, your power supply may working just fine too. I just needed a heat gun to re-flow the solder points on the BGA for the Cell BE and RSX chips. I think its great there is information available for those that are willing to try fix it themselves.
      • by LizardKing (5245)

        There's also a "red flashing light of death" on the PS3, which indicates that the power supply has overheated, and it requires a similar amount of work to fix as the YLOD (about ten minutes). The difference is that with the YLOD the fix is often temporary a further damage has often occurred to the motherboard, which will eventually require replacing.

  • by noidentity (188756) on Tuesday August 31, 2010 @06:55AM (#33424800)
    Not as packaged as iFixit sounds, but I've found the Badcaps Forums [badcaps.net] a great place to learn about LCD monitor repair and electronics operation.
  • it's mind-boggling that the manufacturers don't provide people with an easy way to open the case up and blow it out.'

    I do not think that word means what you think it means. Or your mind is defective.

    You can blow most game consoles out by spraying them with compressed air. There's two strategies for this that I know of. One is to do it in the reverse direction of flow, with the system turned off. The other is to do it in the direction of flow, with the system turned on. I could see doing the reverse and then the forward. Use a can of air, or turn the regulator way down on your compressor. You do have a regulator, right?

    • by vlm (69642)

      The other is to do it in the direction of flow, with the system turned on.

      Works better the closer the can of duster is to the fan... Until you knock a blade off the fan, either by hitting it with the tube of the duster or overreving it. Of course you can work around that by shutting off power and shoving the duster tube inside the device, until it starts knocking (poorly/barely attached) connectors off.

      Its the type of task you can usually hack your way thru and doing a half-way job does well enough most of the time usually without damage, but actually doing it right is apparentl

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Its the type of task you can usually hack your way thru and doing a half-way job does well enough most of the time usually without damage, but actually doing it right is apparently harder than you expect.

        I have more than a little experience doing this. You don't HAVE to do a great job, and indeed there is no point, because it will just get dusty again right away. "Good enough" is good enough.

    • by Bryansix (761547)
      http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Repair/Installing-Xbox-360-Cooling-Fan-Duct/3336/1 [ifixit.com]
      The fact that ANY air flows through this mess of plastic and metal is amazing! You actually DO need to take it apart to get the dust out.
  • How do they get around ban's from swapping parts?

    yes M$ likes to ban you for swapping the HDD (some times) and the DVD?

  • I like this. Video game console repair and mod tutorials are scattered all over the internet. It will be nice to have them all in one place. The PDF download option is a bonus.

    My question is, who owns the contributions? If I write up a guide to fix a console, what's to stop iFixit from taking that and locking the best features (like PDF download) behind a paywall like Instructables did?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by kwiens (604321)
      Fantastic question! You own it. This information is *never* going behind a paywall. Everything is CC-licensed [ifixit.com], and original authors retain ownership of their own stuff. We are a free, open repair manual wiki. We're finalizing an XML schema for the manuals, and we are going to do regular data dumps to archive.org. If you want to take all the manuals + PDFs and post them on your site, please do. This is too important to risk someone locking it down-- the world needs an open repair manual. We're doing our da
      • by Hatta (162192)

        We are a free, open repair manual wiki. We're finalizing an XML schema for the manuals, and we are going to do regular data dumps to archive.org. If you want to take all the manuals + PDFs and post them on your site, please do. This is too important to risk someone locking it down-- the world needs an open repair manual.

        I love it. Too bad that's not mentioned in the summary, it might have gotten more attention. Next time I fix something I'll do a write-up for you. I have a couple SE/30s that need recapp

      • by kwiens (604321)
        Thanks! I was planning on submitting a story myself, but OP beat me to it!
  • Wow, I'm glad I found out about this place. This reminded me that Nintendo was completely useless in repairing my DS (one shoulder button wasn't working, sent it in, got it back and the broken shoulder button somehow switched sides). I just hope they have a how-to for keeping dust from getting under the screen - my house is FAR too dusty...
  • by couchslug (175151) on Tuesday August 31, 2010 @12:10PM (#33426280)

    ...one reason it's cheap is it's disposable.

    Me lubs MilSpec equipment, but would hate to pay that much for rugged repairability when not required.

  • 'This is routine maintenance, and it's mind-boggling that the manufacturers don't provide people with an easy way to open the case up and blow it out.'

    Really? It seems pretty simple to me:

    1. Build product.
    2. Make product so that it's life is artifically gimped by not being able to do the easiest of things like 'blow it out'.
    3. When product dies early, customer spends more money to replace originaly gimped product.
    4. Rinse, repeat.

    Seriously, they seem to build most 'consumer electronics' to
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kevinNCSU (1531307)

      This doesn't make sense for consoles as they sell them at a loss hoping to make up the money in software sales. So every new console a user would ahve to buy would mean another $100 or so the company would be in the hole. It is far more likely the case that they do this to make modding more difficult. Granted, it's not going to stop someone dedicated to modding their console, but it'll stop a lot of curious kids that just want to try cheating or pirate some games (Yes, the "omg I just want to make some b

  • Great idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by John Pfeiffer (454131) on Tuesday August 31, 2010 @01:58PM (#33427730) Homepage

    I like the idea of putting all this info in one place. I see this more as being a place to put info about repairing older hardware, though. Since not everyone has the know-how and tools to work on today's super-small electronics. If I find the time, I shall endeavor to consolidate all my NEO-GEO arcade hardware repair knowledge and add it to the wiki. It'd be cool to see them including usability mods too, if they haven't already. Like RGB video mods for older consoles, to compliment the regular repair info.

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