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Thread: so I ordered me an ailing Xbox 360 this morning

  1. #1
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    Default so I ordered me an ailing Xbox 360 this morning

    4.99$ + shipping. And from right here in Joisy! I would have requested a p/u, as I still frequent that part of Monmouth county frequently. But only under cover of darkness. And saved 12 bucks. But what can you do. And what will I do to alleviate the RRoD?

    I've finally conquered my hankering for a new console. I speny more money this holiday season then any prior. A new PS4 would only have set me back 200$. But I can't abide all the strictures. Don't tie my hands and expect me to want to play. So if I manage to get my *new* conse working, I'll finally get to enjoy some old fashioned solitary, sanitary game play. Wish me luck.

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    I have been thinking of getting a Xbox360 for a while but just haven't yet.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
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  3. #3

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    I've got one myself. I bought it partially for the architecture, being a PowerPC bigot, but I do enjoy the games (particularly the Portal and Bioshock series).

    I might pick up a PS3, but since it plays most of the same stuff, it seems superfluous and I don't have too much interest in Cell.
    I use my C128 because I am an ornery, stubborn, retro grouch. -- Bob Masse
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  4. #4
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    Without reballing both the CPU and GPU with leaded solder, there's no real longterm fix for the RROD.

    You can try doing a hot air reflow of both chips with a hot air station and lots of flux, I've had some success with this. Take the console apart to where you just have the bare motherboard. Put lots of flux around the perimeter of the GPU and CPU and hold the hot air tool about 2 inches directly above the chip set to 350C and move it in small circles over the chip for about a minute. You should see lots of smoke and bubbling of the flux around the perimeter of the chip. After that, slowly ramp down the temperature of the hot air tool in 50C increments every 30 seconds or so until you get to 100C and pull the heat off. Let the board cool undisturbed until it gets back to room temperature.

    Depending on which version of Xbox you have, you may need heat shields around the CPU and GPU to avoid heating unwanted components like capacitors and memory chips. Several layers of aluminum foil work.

  5. #5
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    I take it you've been around thr block with these things. Wow. And an elaborate procedure for getting them working. I'm quite impressed.

    There is a cheap rework station on ebay. But reflowing the solder with a wire wrapped around the end of the iron, itself acting as a tiny solder tip, wouldn't alleviate cold or cracked solder joints? I've watched exactly one video on using a hot air rework station, and exactly none of it makes sense. I'm all for learning a new skill, but where I can improvise, I'd rather take that route.

  6. #6
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    I do board level repairs on stuff and I've had to be creative in fixing stuff due to not having the proper tools, which are often hundreds or thousands of dollars. I don't recommend attempting repairs without proper tools, but sometimes you gotta work with what you can afford.

    The hot air station I use is this:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/191557453776

    I have not used the soldering iron part, as I have a weller soldering station, but I assume it works fine. I just use the hot air side.

    But reflowing the solder with a wire wrapped around the end of the iron, itself acting as a tiny solder tip, wouldn't alleviate cold or cracked solder joints?
    We're talking about BGA parts here, the solder joints are under the chip and inaccessible. This is why you need a heat source to heat up the entire chip, and flux to recondition the failed joints. If you heat up a BGA part without flux, the solder will melt, but it will quickly oxidize and turn into a horrible burned mess. Professional BGA rework stations often use an infrared heat source so that only the chip being worked with it heated, which prevents damage to heat sensitive components like memory chips and especially electrolytic capacitors. Hot air stations can be used instead, you just have to take precautions to prevent the heat from cooking other parts on the board, like using heat shields.

    If you want to learn more about board repair, Louis Rossmann on Youtube has hundreds of videos on Apple logic board repairs and he shows you his methodologies on repair so you can easily learn how to do the same. The stuff he does can be applied to any board level repairs.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl2...jw_ELax4Yisf6w

    Here's a video of removing a BGA part with a hot air station:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1WxfqlcmOo

    Larger BGA ICs often need more time because of power and ground planes sinking up the heat. But keep in mind when you do a hot air rework you DON'T want to touch the IC at all, you just want to reform the BGA joints with the flux and heat. If the chip moves, you'll have to remove it and reball it, which is more complex process.

  7. #7
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    Well shiver me timbers I'm not going to let some bga nonsense get in my way. I'll find a way of doing it w/o profeshunull tools.

    Clearly you don't want to damage an o/w good chip when soldering or resoldering. It occurred to me some years ago that if I suspended a board over a tank of water, the circuit side actually in the water, you could apply heat to the pins on the solder side, and not worry about excessive heat damaging a chip. But ... I have yet to try it. All that pertains to dual inline packaging, nothing germaine to the present conversation. But there certainly are unorthodox solutions to problems. But I really need to take delivery of the thing first to see what's going on.

    I said on ebay, but really meant Wallyworld. Not that it makes much difference. Your unit is like 3$ cheaper . But my day to day finances are in the tank, so I ain't buying anything soon. But I'll be inducted into the world of repairing video consoles. Soon. And the unit is likely to arrive prior to the tool set I ordered over a week ago. Also in NJ. But only a scant 15-20 minutes away. And from a town I used to live in. I could have driven ther literally 90x in the time it's taking to take delivery.
    Last edited by tipc; December 11th, 2019 at 10:39 PM. Reason: 9th

  8. #8
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    PCBs can tolerate a bit of heat, they go through a reflow oven after all during the assembly process.

    I'd avoid the water idea, the extreme differences in temperature could warp or crack the PCB, as well as other components. Ideally, you'd want to preheat the entire board to maybe 100C to reduce the amount of warping. Putting the board in a jig would be better still.

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