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General Mod Chip Install Guide
This guide is intended as informational only. We take no responsibility if you botch your install.
Table Of Contents
Tinning – This is the process of coating your iron, and whatever you want to put solder on with a little flux. The flux will draw the solder to metal components and is basically used to help control the solder flow. You want to tin the wire and component that you are about to solder it to, to get the best connection. With this also be careful not to put too much solder on the iron. It will splash on the component and bridge parts together that are not supposed to be. Use as little solder as you can get away with.
AWG - Stands for American Wire Gauge. Basically the thickness of the wire by American standards.
Kynar - Insulation on wires. Allows for some shrinkage with heat applied. Best to use with this type of project.
Tools and Materials Used
Soldering Iron - Generally, you do not want to use any iron more powerful than 15 watt. (The higher the wattage, the hotter it gets.) This being, if you use too hot of iron, you can accidentally desolder a component from the board, or burn it up causing damage to your system. Cold solder is not recommended. Also be sure to get one with the smallest tip possible. (Then grind the tip down to a fine point. It makes it easier to solder the small points) One other thing, get a pencil iron. They are a lot easier to control.
Flux - You want non-conductive electronics grade flux. What it does is allow the solder to draw to metallic parts. Very helpful in tinning and soldering the wire to the point on the board.
Desolder braid/wick - This is a copper braided wick that will assist you in correcting mistakes such as too much solder on a part or a solder splash where it shouldn't be. Also great for removing bridges between components.
Magnifying Glass - Used to look closely at your work for inspecting
Tweezers - Very helpful for holding wires in small places.
30 AWG Kynar wire - This wire is used for every point on your mod chip install except for your power hookups on your chip. (+3.3v and ground points.)
24 AWG wire - Used only for your chip's power (+3.3v and ground points.) Doesn't have to be Kynar, (hell, I used spare USB cable)
Tips Before You Start
Note: Other systems will be added later.
First you will need to know what version your system is.
All that needs to be done here is to take your system apart your system and locate the correct diagram for your system.
Know what mod chip you have and select the proper diagram. Click HERE.
Since the same techniques are used on all game console mods, anything here can be applied to any of them.
First thing you want to do is tin the pads on your mod chip (or PIC socket legs). Then you'll want to tin the points where the wires will connect to on the board. This makes it easier to deal with connecting the wires. Once done, you'll want to check all of the tinned points for any bridges with a multimeter on continuity mode. Check each point with anything around it to make sure that you didn't accidentally bridge it with anything that may be around it. If you did, use some flux and some desolder braid to clean the area and try to re-tin the point. Then recheck with the multimeter.
At this point, you'll want to consider chip placement. You will want to keep the majority of the wires as short as possible as well as keeping them from crossing over each other as well.
Ok, you've got everything prepped. the next step is to place a bit of flux on the wire. Then get some on the iron and apply some solder to the iron. Touch the end of the wire to the iron. Since you're using Kynar wire, the insulation will shrink and expose minimal wire. (which is what you want)
Now. You'll want to solder that end of the wire to the point on the board. Be it a pad, solder blob, resistor, or IC leg. Make sure it's a strong connection by giving it a few light tugs. this will test the durability of the quality of the solder job. Now you'll want to figure out how you want to run the wire from the point to the chip. It doesn't have to be fancy, but you'll want to keep it out of the way of any possibility of being smashed during reassembly (causing it to ground out and cause problems) or running across ventilation holes (blocking them) or running near any quarts clocking device (causes system problems) Once you get that, go ahead and solder that wire to the chip (or PIC socket.) After each wire, I do suggest you check the continuity between the wire and any other component around it for bridging.
Just repeat the last step until you've installed every wire according to your install diagram. Once you finish, reassemble your console and give it a test. If it works, your done, and enjoy your hard work. If it doesn't, I really suggest you check your install with the multimeter again. It's a very very slim chance that you have a bad chip. Also be sure to use a magnifying glass to help you search out problems.