Xbox 360 ATX power supply

power supply

Reader Ran Mokady took a pretty big gamble with this project, but didn’t really have any other choice: his power supply was broken and he couldn’t get a replacement. He ended up replacing it with a standard ATX power supply. Follow along for all of the details.

For anyone who is having problems with their Xbox 360 power supply, or who (like me) have managed to end up with a burnt out PSU and can’t get a replacement, here’s how I managed to run the console off a standard ATX computer power supply.

The added advantage for me, living in a 220V country and having bought a 110V console from Japan is that I no longer need a huge stepdown transformer to run my console.

I have been running my console off a 250W computer PSU for a week now with no problems

Related: Xbox 360 Hacks, Xbox Hacks

Comments

  1. duffman3030 says:

    intresting. but you might want to use a different rail for each power connection since power supplys are not designed for or capable of sending all of its power across one rail.

  2. Justin wong says:

    That’s great… a even BIGGER xbox power supply!
    all in all, that’s a great hack

  3. daniel says:

    Cool tip.. but do yourself a favor and invest in some heatshrink tubing…
    That electrical tape looks pretty gnarly ;)

  4. tnkgrl says:

    What about the blue wire? Did you leave it disconnected?

  5. Why wasn’t replacement an option?

  6. Ran mokady says:

    Thanks for the tip duffman3030.

    tnkgrl – Yes, I left the blue wire disconnected. I suspect (but can’t prove) that it is used to wake up the original xbox psu in some way.

  7. Ran mokady says:

    Replacement wasn’t an option because no one sells spares at the moment and because I imported the xbox from Japan so the cost of sending it back would have been prohibitive. The added advantage is that I now have a 220V psu where the original was 110V. Last but not least, this was much more fun…!

  8. jungec says:

    maybe pin 14 should be hooked to the blue cable. If the blue cable goes to ground maybe it “wakes up” the power supply.

  9. Pedersencato says:

    All I can say is you’re brave… I’d worry to much to try any type of hack on an expensive machine like that.

  10. A Japanese Xbox 360? Crazy!

  11. Would a original xbox psu be able to have enough to power a 360?

  12. Pocketbrain says:

    Ever hear of heatshrink tubing? Wicked dirty job on that cable. It’s beautiful!

  13. What was wrong with the power supply? Would it not have just been easier to fix the PSU in the xbox? I understand that fixing the PSU that came with the the would not be very hackish. But perhaps it would have saved you some time?

  14. Mike says:

    I looked at a US powersupply i believe it showed 5 amps at 120 volts so fallowing watts law volts times amps
    120*5 should be around 500 watts or so you might want to get a bigger psu also you might be able to wake up the psu by connecting green psu to blue xbox hopefully that will work.

  15. hawkeyeaz1 says:

    I do believe you are suppose to use a resistor between the green and ground on an ATX. But I agree, hooking the blue to the green may be beneficial (or maybe not).

  16. Mrgreen says:

    LoL Japanese Sexbox,
    They hate the original,
    +10 points for Ghettoness
    +10 Points for drunk luck
    +10 points for Dirty cabling
    -10 points for faulty sexbox
    -10 points for getting a sexbox free-sex-ty
    -10 points for not using different rails.
    +1,000,000 points for buying imports (w00t)

    Nice hack, Keep it up, now i wanna see an original sexbox with water or phase change cooling, and i wanna see UNIX or Linux botting on its fast(ish) hardware (3 IBM power PC cores, low latency speedy ram, Sata DVD drive)

  17. CaptSnuffy says:

    @11

    Usually a dead psu indicates components critically failing, occasionally accompanied by smoke and frequently followed by much cursing.

  18. tiuk says:

    mrgreen – Someone is already selling a 360 watercooling kit.

    Congrats on getting it to work, ran, it takes balls to just hope that the red and yellow wires are 5v and 12v respectively. Glad it worked out.

  19. Mr. Spork says:

    I agree with most of what’s been said about getting a beefier PSU and connecting to multiple rails. What I’d probably do is go to your nearest electronic supply and invest in some male molex drive connectors, enough so you would have one for each of a given color. Crimp those on your Xbox psu cable and split the load among seperate connectors on your ATX PSU. I’d also investigate that blue wire as well. It’s unlikely that it’s exactly the kind of signal the green wire of your AXT PSU needs to power-on, but you may be able to come up with a circuit which would give you what you need. All likelihood has it that it’s momentarily shorted to ground when you press the power button on the Xbox, so you’ll need to make a circuit which will, when that switch is closed, ground the green wire and keep it that way. It may also serve to put the PSU to sleep as well so take that into consideration.

  20. Steve says:

    below are some good resources for atx power supply modification, with varying sophistication and technical depth:

    http://web2.murraystate.edu/andy.batts/ps/powersupply.htm
    http://wiki.ehow.com/Convert-a-Computer-ATX-Power-Supply-to-a-Lab-Power-Supply
    http://www.instructables.com/ex/i/D5FC00DAB9B110289B50001143E7E506/?ALLSTEPS

    naturally, i checked past hacks only <caps>AFTER</caps> submitting the above to the hackaday tipline (thinking i had something that had not been featured). sorry eliot

  21. jap says:

    Take a look in almost all 350W psu’s there is only a single 12V rail, all of the wires connect to the same area on the board.

    Also the xbox is only specced at ~200W, DC 12V 16.5A, 5V 1A.

    The 12V rail takes a fair amount of current however, hopefully the atx psu used has a decent 12v rail. So either keep the wires as short as possible, or maybe even double up the wiring (atx cable is rated for about 16A when used in those lengths).

  22. Nevyn says:

    To fix the PSU you would’ve needed to know something about the PSU – this way you only need to know anything except the voltage and the fact that it’s a DC current.

  23. BE CAREFUL!!
    Check the manufacturer of your power supply!
    Dell Power supplies have a different wiring scheme on their power supplies. Failure to recognize the differences could potentially result in serious hardware damage.
    Standard ATX: http://pinouts.ru/data/atxpower_pinout.shtml
    Dell ATX: http://pinouts.ru/data/dell_atxpower_pinout.shtml

  24. emmanuel Caballero says:

    tnx diraddo for your post. When my old dell’s power supply broke I could not find a replacement. Good thing, my friend knows someone who could. Now, I just need a generic atx, wire cutting and stripping tool, and heatshrink tubing.

  25. Alan says:

    Great job. I am like everyone else I would have been chicken to “try” to fix it and risk blowing it up! Jap is right, most power supplies common up all of the taps.

  26. brian says:

    The AC power in Japan is actually 100V. Maybe supplying 110V to the power supply led to it’s failure? Although many switching power supplies I’ve come across have a wide input voltage range like 100-240V 50/60Hz. Helps the manufacturers keep costs down by only needing one model.

  27. BrutalMutant says:
  28. Wobble says:

    nice mod, looks like somthing i would try :) someone mentioned the need of a resistor, i highly doubt it, i ran a machine with 2 psu’s for over 3 months in a simialr config. while i was getting a cpu replaced i had to run my 6800 gt in a box that had a 250watt psu, (it was a gutted dell board and propritary psu and i couldnt easily upgrade it) so i wired a PSU to always on and hooked it up to my vid card and the other psu up to the mainboard, worked with out a hitch for atleast a month with no issues. id say your all set.
    -Wobble

    ps. electrial tape is great screw heat shrink :)

  29. Liam says:

    OLD NEWS

    Many of us have been running consoles off ATX PSU’s for a long time. Hell, I ran my Gamecube off an old 450w Antec Truepower for over a year because I left the PSU at my parents place, 200 miles away. I’d hardly consider this a ‘hack’. Scraping the barrel, I’d say….

  30. notch says:

    the post about the dell power supply is wrong, at least for all new dells. they comply with the atx standard now. and all the taps come off the same spot in a psu if you have ever opened one up, the limitations would be the current capacity of the wire as long as it is at least 18 gauge he should be fine. I would just hold the “new” wire in your hand and make sure it isnt getting too warm, if not you will be fine

  31. zipperseven says:

    mr green-

    hardocp did a homebrew water cooling solution for the 360, looks pretty cool for an aftermarket mod.

    http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=OTM5

  32. chase snyder says:

    hey, whoever posted that second post justin wang, wennier, whatever the hell your name is, shut the hell up. he didnt do it to be cool, he did it because he had no other power supply to work with. dumbass

  33. andrew sim says:

    great work! all we need now is someone to hack the 360’s PSU to use with a computer…

  34. appleguru says:

    Nice hack; at least someone had the balls to try it :)

    As for not being able to buy a replacment psu anywhere.. I wouldn’t say that either… Ebay is a good place.. I’m currently selling one there ;)

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=8248866566

  35. Tifose says:

    Hey let me first thank u for this, i have my 360 power supply not working too when i start up my 360 the menu would come up but when ever i try putting in the DVD or Game the system would turn off try it with my friends power supply and it worked. i do have a ATX power supply and i do think it’s 250 too . ganna try this out!!

  36. mtxf says:

    i seem to remember that the 360 psu brick had a fan/fans, maybe the blue wire is some kind of control for that…

  37. Mrgreen says:

    to zipperseven and tiuk, yes i have seen this, but i dont accept it because it looks so proffesional- i want ghetto!

  38. Tifose says:

    “i seem to remember that the 360 psu brick had a fan/fans” there is no fans in the power supply i did open my own

  39. daguuy says:

    very nice! computer PSUs are a good idea since they don’t overheat easily. since XBOX 360 only uses 12v and 5v and 136 watts, it would be possible to use one of the older PSUs from a pentium or something because they use a real power switch instead of a clicky switch so you don’t have to worry about the green wire and stuff. they also ouput 12v and 5v at 150 watts which, if i’m rigt about XBOX 360 taking 136 watts, should be enough

  40. j0hnnywest says:

    OmG I HaD A pOwEr SuPpLy OnCe!!
    NoT On A xBoX ThO

  41. pimpmaul69 says:

    so what about the blue wire…is it a trigger switch to power the psu…i dunno this may be answered in the comments

  42. pimpmaul69 says:

    ok so on the blue wire check for dc voltage output while powered off then try it powered on…that will tell you if it is power for psu’s fans if there are or supposed to be there….and to check if it powers on the psu then run a continuity test…put one bar to the cables ground and one to the blue wire and with the psu turned off press the power button…if you get a quick connection then this means you need to connect the blue wire to pin number 14

  43. pimpmaul69 says:

    oh and one more note…if you do it the way this guy did install a pushbutton on the psu and attach pin 13 and 14 to it…YOU DO NOT WANT A CONSTANT POWER TO GROUND!!!!!!!…you will fry the psu eventually

  44. Dan says:

    I’m sorry pimpmail, but you’re wrong.
    Shorting the green pin (14) to any ground (13 is closest) will NOT fry the PSU. The ATX specification calls for this pin to be shorted constantly anyways, it’s how the computer you type on stays on. The blue wire is usually for negative 12 volts (-12), it should be connected but I’d check an actual power supply from a 360 first. This wire could also be a vsense wire to check the status of the voltages coming from the supply itself, but I’m willing to be on -12 volts.

  45. pimpmaul69 says:

    even if that is so about the jumping of the 2 wires…even though a mobo does have resistance between the two and it is safer that way it is irrelavent to how i told him how to test the blue wire…a continuity test will answer if it is for turning on the psu just by pressing the power button on the xbox

  46. stace says:

    did this hack all worked and powered up but the main system lights all flashed red ???? so still i cant play my xbox360 i used a atx psu 230 volts was this correct??? also my dvd tray wouldnt open is this a power issue ???pls reply to my e mail thxs stacehughes16@hotmail.com

  47. Aaron says:

    Coudln’t you go to radioshack and buy an simple on/off switch, attach the blue wire to the positive, black wire to the negative which would allow you create a circuit in which you could turn the PSU on/off at will. Isn’t this what few of you are suggesting. Cool workaround tho.

  48. stace says:

    hi there so i did the atx power pack thing great stuff but my xbox360 all the lights when i power it up flash red around the on button??? and it wont open my dvd tray?? is there not enough power going ttrough it ??? im using a 230 volt atx psu ??? pls help i follewed the wireing in the diagram so its all good apart from that ?

  49. stace says:

    hi there so i did the atx power pack thing great stuff but my xbox360 all the lights when i power it up flash red around the on button??? and it wont open my dvd tray?? is there not enough power going ttrough it ??? im using a 230 volt atx psu ??? pls help i follewed the wireing in the diagram so its all good apart from that ?

  50. Ran Mokady says:

    stace – I had the red light thing initially when I didn’t have all the wires connected or when I wasn’t providing enough juice – I tried this on my lab PSU first which didn’t have enough power to run the box and gave the red light thing. Make sure it’s all connected. Also I’m using a 250W PSU – 230 sounds marginal as as far as I know the number quoted is always peak.

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