Worklog Portable Xbox 360 (slim)- Research Thread

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I start this thread because I have the projetc to make a portable Xbox 360.

I am going to use a Slim, because they are much less likely to have red ring of death problems.
The fat versions have a problem of unsticking of the CPU / GPU, due to the alloy of the solder used.

And the slim models consume less and heat less ... and other advantages.

I have ordered 2 defective unit (both already have rgh hack) :
First step is to try to make it work, and if It don't I will sand the board to analyzing.

P1020552.JPG
 

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About 15 years ago it was all the rage to build these into laptops. Of all the builds I've seen, I have yet to see one that runs on batteries. I'd love to see someone get a portable Xbox 360 untethered from the wall.
 

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Yes the goal is to make 100% portable with ideally 1 or 2 hour of battery life :D
I didn't love att all the laptops style Xbox 360, people often said they were portable when it wasn't at all (unless you have an extension cable long enough to walk around where you want lol).
 
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Wow! That's certainly a daunting task! The 360 uses a LOT of power, like A LOT A LOT, so you will definatly have to have a lot of Batteries to get it to run for that long. Good luck though, if you actually manage to do this you will be a legend in the modding community!
 
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I believe the Model E uses a little less power and produces less heat. Might want to take a look at it.
 

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I believe the Model E uses a little less power and produces less heat. Might want to take a look at it.
The E still uses way more power than what is optimal for a portable. The Xbox Slim and E use around 90 Watts when gaming, compare this to a Wii which varies between 7 Watts and 12 Watts and a Dreamcast that uses 15 Watts and you can see that it's just not feasible with current tech.
 
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Well if that's not a real possibility perhaps the development of a translation layer similar to ProtonDB could be used. The basic underlying structure of the Xbox 360 system software was a custom ported version of Windows 2000 so it should be possible to get it and by extension games running on other hardware. This would give better results then the typical emulation on X86 pcs and be much more energy efficient. I of course understand that this in itself is a major undertaking. I wonder if the original hardware could be undervolted to drop power consumption in addition to running with no dvd drive and adding a SSD? I'd love to take a closer look at Microsoft's 360 emulator on the Xbox One and see how much is emulation vs the ProtonDB translation layer. I'm a big fan of the 360 and would love to see a portable version come to fruition :D
 
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Well if that's not a real possibility perhaps the development of a translation layer similar to ProtonDB could be used. The basic underlying structure of the Xbox 360 system software was a custom ported version of Windows 2000 so it should be possible to get it and by extension games running on other hardware. This would give better results then the typical emulation on X86 pcs and be much more energy efficient. I of course understand that this in itself is a major undertaking. I wonder if the original hardware could be undervolted to drop power consumption in addition to running with no dvd drive and adding a SSD? I'd love to take a closer look at Microsoft's 360 emulator on the Xbox One and see how much is emulation vs the ProtonDB translation layer. I'm a big fan of the 360 and would love to see a portable version come to fruition :D
No, it's not running a custom Windows 2000 build, that was the original Xbox, which was in development at the same time as Windows NT 5 (which became 2000). Even then, just emulating the original Xbox has been an uphill battle for indie emu devs, the idea that 360 games can be made to run on an x86-64 Windows NT build because the 360 has a build of NT running on its custom PowerPC idea is very, very naive. Even if you had the source code, it would take not insignificant work to port titles, let alone attempting to just run it through some virtualization layer like ProtonDB. It's just not going to happen.
 
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Taken from Wikipedia:
The Xbox 360 system software was also a modified version of Windows 2000, expanding beyond the original Xbox console's operating system. This would prove troublesome for Microsoft from multiple directions. For the Xbox division, it made it difficult to bring in other Microsoft applications like Internet Explorer and Silverlight which had to be modified to work on the Xbox software. For Microsoft, the separate fork of these apps for the Xbox 360 and for the versions they were developing for the mobile-based Windows CE environment became difficult to maintain. These complexities led Microsoft towards its "Windows Everywhere" approach around 2010, reviewing all the dependencies within the desktop, Xbox, and mobile versions of Windows atop the MinWin process and creating a CoreSystem that contained the basic functionality of Windows that could be ported to other systems.
 

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I made some advancement in the research,
Like, found the better model to work with and other stuff, I don't have taken picture yet, so I don't go to explain that now.
I also made some measurement ...

But for now I am making a Compendium,
I sanded a dead board, for now only 2 sides.

For the moment I am tracing all the (useful) tracks by hand on paint.net, and it is very tedious and long.
So if anybody had an idea of how to separate the copper traces from the background, tell me !!!
Of course, I tried the magic stick, even in Photoshop, I also tried by contrast but nothing work fine.

PaintDotNet_tOyfTdJzsg.png
 

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The board to use is Corona, Trinity have One aditionnal chip for video.
With Corona it is in the southbridge.
And unfortunately the last board revision "Winchester" are not possible yet to Hack

1 - Power Consumption
I measures :
V_MEM 1.8V : 3.8A Max 3.6A moy in game (6.48W)
V_CPUDRAM 1.075V : 3.18A Max 3.12A moy in game (3.354W)
V_CPUVCS 1.25-1.3V : 2.3A Max 2.20 moy in game (2.75W)
V_5P0 : 1A moy, depend how many device is connected (5W)
V_3P3 : 1A, not connected to wifi , with one controler in bluetooth (3.3W)
V_CPUPLL/V1_P8 : 0.11A constant (0.2W)
V_GPUPCIE 1.5V : 0.12A constant (0.18W)
V_1P2STDBY : 0.017A in standby, 0.045A when console is ON (0.054W)
V_3P3STDBY : 0.033A in standby, 0.17A when console is ON, 0.22A peak att boot (0.56W)
Tot : 21.878W

I did not measure the main CPU VRM current because it is more than my multimeter can handle.

DVD drive only :
12V : 0.4A
3.3V : 0A
5V : 0.35A
Total : 6.55W

Hard Drive :
5V : 0.4A : 2W

With USB drive of 500Go we can reduce the consumption to only 0.5W ! (5V, 0.1A)

Console Total Power consumption :
12V in : 5.92A Max, 4.65A home menu
5.5A Burnout Paradise
5.85A AC 3
5.4A Forza Horyzon
5V in : 0.14A home menu/ingame, 0.05A when OFF

Total Max (Without Disk Drive, with USB drive) : 69W:)
(need to measure again to be sure)

Some regulator can be a lot smaller, and can have better efficiency.
So I think the power draw can be reduced again !
I also plan to change the VRM reg from 2 phase to 4 phase, more on that later ;)
 
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2 - Voltage Regulator test and research :

ApplicationFrameHost_ZEoQiolzQA.jpg

I removed the GPUPCIE 1.5V LDO reg and replaced with a synchronous one (Wii PSU)
After that some glitch appears on the screen.
So I replace the LDO, but the console won't boot anymore, and I got a strange very low resistor on this Voltage line.
After that this console never work again ... don't know why but I never going to try this again for sure !

On the console we have a lot of regulators and some are useless.
First I replace the 5V, 3.3V,1.2V regs with Wii PSU and it work fine.
After I removed the 1.2V, 3.3V, 5V standby regs and connected directly these Voltages to the normal one.
It works fine !
So after that I entirely removed the component on the board and everything work.
(spoiler the motherboard at the bottom is also currently dead ... RIP ...not really but ... I'll tell you later )
20220328_170405.jpg
 
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I am emotionally invested in this thread
I am too. Shank's post on YouTube brought me here.
I made some advancement in the research,
Like, found the better model to work with and other stuff, I don't have taken picture yet, so I don't go to explain that now.
I also made some measurement ...

But for now I am making a Compendium,
I sanded a dead board, for now only 2 sides.

For the moment I am tracing all the (useful) tracks by hand on paint.net, and it is very tedious and long.
So if anybody had an idea of how to separate the copper traces from the background, tell me !!!
Of course, I tried the magic stick, even in Photoshop, I also tried by contrast but nothing work fine.

View attachment 21313
I'm going to see if GIMP is any good for separately mapping the traces. If not, someone with some python knowledge could possibly try using OpenAI to make a bot that can automate it. It probably won't be ready in time for this project, but I bet it would be hugely beneficial for the modding community. The trouble would be finding enough training images, but it's not impossible.

UPDATE: GIMP seems to do the trick... Kind of... I won't be able to do it quickly if at all because my computer is a potato. My PC is using all of its 8 GB of ddr3 to work on this file. The file in GIMP says it's between 1.6 and 2.5 gigabytes and I'm not able to do anything useful with it until I cut the image into pieces. However, it appears to work, my PC is just lagging terribly. If you have a modern PC, feel free to try it. Benje, I don't know how far you got with those traces, but here's how to hopefully make it easier!
1648509782329.png

I'm going to break this down a lot because people are probably more used to Photoshop, and the similarites between the two make the differences very confusing. It's not hard, it's just different. (GIMP can be downloaded for free from https://www.gimp.org/downloads/) All I did was....
1) make a massive blank image. Mine is 10199x11000
2) Load Top-Sanded.JPG as a new layer
3) Select all with CTRL+A or ⌘+A on a mac.
4) Choose the "Select by color" tool. By default, it's Shift+O
5) Use the select by color tool in "-" mode (*more info to come) and click and drag across any region of green. This gives the tool more sample shades of green to select, or in our case, subtract from our selection.
*In order to put the tool in "-" mode, you'll need to hold a certain key. For me it is Ctrl. I think this is the default, but don't know for sure. It should be Ctrl (or ⌘ on a mac), Shift, or Alt. Try holding any of them and look for the - next to your cursor. If none of them show the - then try clicking the image, and try steps 3-5 again.

7) This should give you something like the image I attached. From there, you can add to the selection if needed by holding Shift (or whatever shows a "+" next to the cursor) and subtract by holding Ctrl or whatever shows the "-". From there, use the bucket to color the copper traces! You may want to do this as a separate layer.
Good luck! You can do this! If you have any questions or need me to rephrase anything, let me know! Also, your video on your progress was great! I'm excited.

Another update:
Bad news, I tried with a partial image at a lower resolution and GIMP gave me mixed results. Sometimes it works great, other times it just fills all the traces with 1 color. Luckily you can just use Undo, but it appears to be more difficult than I thought. If you do try this, you'll want to go to the "Configure this tab" button >Tool options and then experiment with all of those settings for the "Select by color" tool as well as the bucket tool. You might have better luck with the higher resolution scans if your computer can handle it. It might also help if you do one last round of sanding so that all of the scratches are going in the same direction, but I also get it if you want to never look at sand paper or files again. But because GIMP is a community driven project, it might be worth reaching out to GIMP in order to ask about what settings you can change in order to get the fill tool to only fill a continuous selection, because the software is already doing the difficult just fine.
 
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I am too. Shank's post on YouTube brought me here.


I'm going to see if GIMP is any good for separately mapping the traces. If not, someone with some python knowledge could possibly try using OpenAI to make a bot that can automate it. It probably won't be ready in time for this project, but I bet it would be hugely beneficial for the modding community. The trouble would be finding enough training images, but it's not impossible.

UPDATE: GIMP seems to do the trick... Kind of... I won't be able to do it quickly if at all because my computer is a potato. My PC is using all of its 8 GB of ddr3 to work on this file. The file in GIMP says it's between 1.6 and 2.5 gigabytes and I'm not able to do anything useful with it until I cut the image into pieces. However, it appears to work, my PC is just lagging terribly. If you have a modern PC, feel free to try it. Benje, I don't know how far you got with those traces, but here's how to hopefully make it easier!View attachment 21811
I'm going to break this down a lot because people are probably more used to Photoshop, and the similarites between the two make the differences very confusing. It's not hard, it's just different. (GIMP can be downloaded for free from https://www.gimp.org/downloads/) All I did was....
1) make a massive blank image. Mine is 10199x11000
2) Load Top-Sanded.JPG as a new layer
3) Select all with CTRL+A or ⌘+A on a mac.
4) Choose the "Select by color" tool. By default, it's Shift+O
5) Use the select by color tool in "-" mode (*more info to come) and click and drag across any region of green. This gives the tool more sample shades of green to select, or in our case, subtract from our selection.
*In order to put the tool in "-" mode, you'll need to hold a certain key. For me it is Ctrl. I think this is the default, but don't know for sure. It should be Ctrl (or ⌘ on a mac), Shift, or Alt. Try holding any of them and look for the - next to your cursor. If none of them show the - then try clicking the image, and try steps 3-5 again.

7) This should give you something like the image I attached. From there, you can add to the selection if needed by holding Shift (or whatever shows a "+" next to the cursor) and subtract by holding Ctrl or whatever shows the "-". From there, use the bucket to color the copper traces! You may want to do this as a separate layer.
Good luck! You can do this! If you have any questions or need me to rephrase anything, let me know! Also, your video on your progress was great! I'm excited.

Another update:
Bad news, I tried with a partial image at a lower resolution and GIMP gave me mixed results. Sometimes it works great, other times it just fills all the traces with 1 color. Luckily you can just use Undo, but it appears to be more difficult than I thought. If you do try this, you'll want to go to the "Configure this tab" button >Tool options and then experiment with all of those settings for the "Select by color" tool as well as the bucket tool. You might have better luck with the higher resolution scans if your computer can handle it. It might also help if you do one last round of sanding so that all of the scratches are going in the same direction, but I also get it if you want to never look at sand paper or files again. But because GIMP is a community driven project, it might be worth reaching out to GIMP in order to ask about what settings you can change in order to get the fill tool to only fill a continuous selection, because the software is already doing the difficult just fine.
Thanks man, for this very detailed test :)
Personally I tried with paint.net and Photoshop, but I quickly gave up because it was doing nonsense, gimp seems to do a much better job !
I will try if I have better result, it can be a huge² time saver.
I had also looked for edge detection algorithms, but that too didn't work well (or the ones I tried were bad).
But as you say the best would be a good AI, trained for that, but yes for now the dataset is too small.
 

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I don't know if I can share some screenshot of the shematic of the Xbox 360 because I think it is property of MS ?
It can be better to explain.

3 - Use other Better Voltage Regulator !
Some regulators could only have Vin up to 14.5V, and I plan to go up to 20V (I will explain you why later)

Since some voltage regulator can be shrunk and have no dependencies or special feature.
I have search for smaller ones (fully integrated switch-mode synchronous converter) for 5V, 3.3V, 1.8V, 1.075V, 1.2V.
And after a lot of research I think I found the good one :
MP2329GG-Z

For the V_CPUVCS 1.25-1.3V, I don't think to change it because it has a tracking input which is connected to a processor output (CPU_SRVID), and so far I have not found a similar component.
So I looked for two mosfets in a single package to reduce the space taken, and I found that :
BSC0925ND
I also need to find a smaller inductor

And now for the CPU voltage (V_CPUCORE 0.9-1.2V), the component that manages this (NCP4201) has an input that takes a signal from the processor (VREG_CPU_VID).
I did not find similar components and this one already looks very good.
The issue here is : currently there are mosfet drivers, far too many big mosfets, and only 2 phase out of 4 possible used.

So my idea is first to use 3 - or 4 phase to increase efficiency, reduce parasitic oscillations and reduce the number of smoothing capacitors.

I found something that looks awesome that combines a mosfet driver as well as a half bridge : a Smart Power stage (FET and FET Driver) : FDMF5820DC
with that I should save a lot of space, now I have to find suitable inductors.

I explained it quite simply, but it took me a long time to understand how it worked and also to find the components (shortage ...) that could potentially be used.
 
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I'm not a lawyer, and I don't know for sure, but I would think sharing the schematic would be the same as sharing any other image. You can't claim that you created the schematic, but you can use it for educational purposes. Just my thoughts. I think if they (Microsoft) have a problem with it, they will ask you to take it down before any sort of legal threats. If you don't want to risk it though, I understand.
Edit: Shank made a good distinction and my views have changed.

On a separate note, do you happen to know what the purpose of these wiggly lines like the light blue one in this image are for? Is it something to do with inductance? Or maybe INCREDIBLY precise resistance values?
1648586162988.png
 
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Shank

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If the schematics are from illegally obtained/leaked documents, then they should not be shared here.

As for the squiggly traces, this is for impedance/timing matching.
 

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After a very long time of research, reading, learning, and calculations, here is my custom VRM for the XCGPU, 4 phase instead of 2.

It's not quite finished, but it's in progress, so if you have any suggestions let me know ;)

kicad_i5BStf6apT.png
 

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The big PCB is almost finished, now I have to make another PCB which will contain the other regulators, the charging circuit and the main powering up system.

I really don't want to code anything for this project because I suck at coding, and I already have enough headaches with the calculations for the regulators :XD:
So, I'm going to avoid using a microcontroller, anyway I have no idea which one to use.
Mee-Vs-Programming.jpg

Battery :
I plan to use a 4S battery of about 10Ah
I don't know for the moment if I'm gonna use li-po (4*10 000mAh) or li-ion.

For the power input it will be USB-C power delivery 20V 5A (100W, the maximum).

For battery charging I looked for a circuit that manages a charging current of at least 5A and could also manage the switch between battery and adapter power.
And of course one that does not require communication by SMbus (almost all of them need SMbus !!!!).
So after long research and components not in stock, I finally found this circuit : BQ2461x which is just perfectly what I was looking for !
I only found it in stock by chance on aliexpress, so I ordered some.

Turn ON/OFF :
Now to turn on the console I would like to use a single button, I'm thinking of doing something like this:

I would like to find a way to add a delay electronically after powering up the main power and then turn on the console naturally, instead of having one power tact switch and another for the console.

Battery level indicator :
To know the battery level I am looking for a circuit that could manage an RGB led.
But all I find are circuits with OP Amp that control several LEDs.
so if anyone knows this let me know
 
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