Internal 7-segment PS3 Display

[Zach] sent in his temperature controller and display for PS3, and even though it only works with a PS3 fat, we like our PS2 backwards compatibility very much, thank you.

The build stated off with [Zach] putting thermal sensors on the CPU, the RSX, and Northbridge of his PS3. After starting out controlling the fan with his laptop, he moved on to an integrated fan and display controller after seeing this post about a ‘hidden display.’ In the end, one of the coolest looking PS3 mods we’ve ever seen was born.

The build runs off an Arduino Pro that gets the temperatures from the sensors, prints everything to a custom 7-segment display board, and controls the fan. [Zach] thankfully made the Arduino source available and also put up some board files if you’d like to make your own. It’s a pretty impressive build that’s completely invisible when the PS3 is powered off.

The design process of the fan controller is pretty interesting. It first started out as 4 independent 2-digit displays before moving onto 2 displays with 5 LED indicators. Seven 7-segment displays with a really neat custom board were used in the final build.

The Gerber files for these display boards are available to download, and would definitely be useful for other projects. Check out a video of the fan controller and display in action below.


14 thoughts on “Internal 7-segment PS3 Display

  1. I knew that translucent plastic could be put to good use =). I would love this for my PS3. It was salvaged + reflowed after someone overheated it, and I don’t want that to happen again.

    Mine isn’t backwards compatible though =\

  2. It would be really awesome if he added a thermal contact switch (like the power and eject buttons) to toggle through the different display read outs. Love the hack though! The blue looks awesome!

  3. FYI…it is a 40GB model (not backwards compatible). I probably wouldn’t have done it with a 60GB model since there is a memory card reader there.

    I’ll think about the ps3-style controls (they actually measure capacitance, not heat).

    I kinda like the 12:00 idea…but I’m just not sure it is worth the work for the joke.

    I am going to add a startup message…if I can think of something funny to write with the limited letters available…I don’t have K, so I can’t even use the F word.

  4. Cool!

    I remember being amused when I discovered that my fat PS3 was made with translucent plastic. I am fairly surprised that nobody thought of this before…

    One of these days, I’ll get motivated to hack on that fat PS3, and something similar to this will be toward the top of the list of clever things to do with it. (It’s only good for hacks, anyway: The Blu-Ray portion of the optical drive is dead, though the rest of it works fine…)

  5. @killerbug: Cypress makes a series of microcontrollers for capacitive touch sensor driving which are quite cheap.(I bought a dozen of the mid-range ones for $2.50 each) The downside is, the ones I got are QFN(my fault for looking for a challenge, they do make more hobbyist-friendly sizes), and I think I burned the first one up while trying to solder it to a breakout board.

    But hey, that’s why I bought a dozen, right?

    @asiekierka: as soon as a certain Hack-A-Day reader I won’t name decides this can be used for piracy and notifies them.(It can’t, but he’ll decide it can anyway.)

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