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Opinions on reflow?

 
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Brandon B



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:29 pm    Post subject: Opinions on reflow? Reply with quote

Contemplating doing this to my defunct 60GB. But torching the CPU and GPU with a 500 heat gun blast just doesn't seem like the best idea to try and resuscitate something with any hope of longevity.

What does anyone else think?
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The Seventh Taylor



Joined: 17 Aug 2007
Posts: 401

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What makes you think this could work?
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Brandon B



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's the widely discussed and accepted way of DIY repairing a YLOD older machine:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_Ic1_TY-GU
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The Seventh Taylor



Joined: 17 Aug 2007
Posts: 401

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any indications on the success rates of the treatment? And what are the alternatives? I guess at some point you may consider you've got little left to lose?
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Brandon B



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The consensus seems to be it is a short term fix. The machines resume working, but usually only for a matter of months.

It's hard to get a good read, though, as this is mostly tried by avid gamers who treat their machine somewhat differently than me (as is evidenced by the fact that mine lasted 5 years).

I do have little to lose, I've already bought a slim, and will likely buy an Oppo BD deck for SACD and DVD-A duties soon. But I might consider breaking the thing apart and trying to properly reflow the solder connections if I thought the thing would then last for a few more years as a second low use gaming and SACD ripping machine.

I will say the slim is an ugly cheap looking thing with a really loud optical drive compared to the launch machines.

Also, given the very short life I got out of my sony SCP-C555ES before it started refusing to read SACDs reliably, I will not ever look to a Sony machine again. At least not an expensive one.
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The Seventh Taylor



Joined: 17 Aug 2007
Posts: 401

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brandon B wrote:
I will say the slim is an ugly cheap looking thing with a really loud optical drive compared to the launch machines.

So the fan noise got better over time (not because of better fans -- likely there's an opposite trend -- but because of lower power consumption thanks to smaller IC processes) while the ODD noise got worse?

Still a shame they never made an ultimate unit that combines a good optical drive doing SACD playback with a low-power motherboard.
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Brandon B



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I can hear it make some grind and buzz noises when playing games, probably as it seeks content from different parts of the disk. It's been pretty silent for movie playback though, and there's no discernible fan noise in my environment.

Another nitpick, whereas the old had the blue and green light stripes visible from across the room so you could see if the machine was off or on, the new status lights are small, dim, and only visible from above the machine, so I have to walk almost all the way over to it to see if it got turned off (slightly scatterbrained teenager uses it).

OTOH, $249 vs. $599, so there's that. I'd have paid a lot more for another machine like my original though.
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Brandon B



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found a guy who reballs the chips and does a little more professional job of it, similar to what a Sony repair place does. Going to try him maybe, and retire the machine to PS2 and SACD only duty.
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The Seventh Taylor



Joined: 17 Aug 2007
Posts: 401

PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great! Do let us know how it goes.
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Brandon B



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, changed my mind and did the reflow myself with the heat gun. Unit now powers up without faulting, but have not had time to plug it into a TV and check all its functions.

First priority is to recover my kid's uncorrupted LittleBig Planet saves, then see how long the thing lasts for some DSD->hires PCM SACD rips.
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Brandon B



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, took me two days to restore all the data from an external HDD backup (I had used the 500GB drive from my old PS3 in the new one to start off with a large drive).

First attempt appeared stalled after 6 hours, so I re-re-reformatted and tried again. Took 12 hours to move the 120GB over. Geez.

Then tried putting a disk in the drive. Wouldn't load properly. Evidently I tweaked it mildly when I rescued my kid's game disk from it when died. After monkeying with that for several hours, gave up, smacked it and cursed for a while. After muttering to myself for a couple of hours, I realized that while I could not get it to load or eject a disk, in dis-and re-assembling it over and over to find why the gears were binding, I had a pretty good understanding of the mechanism, and that I could place a disk in it while it was disassembled, and then start it up and it would think it had been shut off with a disk inside and spin it up, no mechanical action required.

So did that, having to take it apart and reassemble it 3 times for the 3 different games whose idiot programmers saw fit to only allow machine to machine transferable profiles by specifically saving them within the game, not from whole machine backups like everyone else in the PS3 industry.

All now recovered. If I am to use this to rip SACDs to hirez PCM, I'll have to do the same thing, open up the machine, put the disk in and run it, then turn it off and disassemble to get the disk back.

I'll have to debate if that is worth my time. Later when I am less irritated.
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The Seventh Taylor



Joined: 17 Aug 2007
Posts: 401

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aww, that's disappointing. How much assembly/disassembly is needed actually? Do you need to put the cabinet around it every time or is leaving it open an option?

With the upcoming tray loader you would not have this problem but surely that's not going to play SACD...
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Brandon B



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've left the plastic slide off lid and top half of the case off, as well as the top wrap around metal housing for the disk drive. The drive just sits in the unit as it is the plastic case screws which normally secure it.

So it is just 5 small screws which hold the top of the drive mechanism together each time. I might even be able to leave 2 or 3 of those loose, but since they are what keep the shell of the drive together and rigid, and support the top magnetic hub while the disk is spinning, I don't what to chance the disk spinning off the the hub and damaging either a $50 game or a hard and expensive to replace SACD.

It's about 90 seconds to pull one disk out and put another one in. Pretty comparable to swapping a vinyl record for another, so nothing I'm not used to. Smile
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