Monday, March 15, 2010

PS3 Shenanigans Pt. 1

So, the Playstation 3, bane of my time spent best elsewhere, and home theater champion, has crapped out on me, again. This is actually the third time THIS system has died on me (I got a replacement about six months ago when my first one died.).

Since Sony refuses to replace it for free, I am left with little choice but to fix it on me own. And I have done so twice now. The yellow light of death is a symptom of a cracked solder on the Cell processor. It's a microscopic crack due to either over heating, or uneven heating. To fix it, you heat up the processor to about 700 degrees F and it melts and reforms, then solidifies as it cools, allowing the proper connections to be made and maintained.

That is, unless your heatsink has two gouges in it from faulty manufacturing. Like mine.

The original heatsink will repeatedly cause this problem for me no matter how much thermal grease I put on there, and no matter how cool I keep the system. It's going to heat unevenly and cause differing rates of expansion along the surface. The constant uneven (oxymoron?) shrinkage and expansion will only serve to ruin my goodies.

Solution? New heatsink. Added awesomeness? Playstation 3 submerged in a bath of mineral oil.

Heck. Yes.

Check out this video for an idea of what I'm doing:

Except with a Playstation instead. I have most of the materials assembled: Fish tank, heatsink, fan, plan... Once I decide how to mount the generic PC heatsink to the proprietary Cell processor, and then buy five gallons of mineral oil, I'll get started for realzies.

Pics included.

I have a lot of thanks for Rachel, who has been absolutely fantastic in supporting this ridiculous endeavor. She drove me to Wichita twice now to get parts, and also gave me a pep talk when I felt like it wasn't going to work.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dvorak anyone?

Been trying to learn this Dvorak keyboard for a few days now. I'm probably up to twenty words per minute now, if I'm concentrating hard. It's killer, slowing myself down like this, but hopefully it'll pay off with a boosted typing speed eventually. Now i'm bored, having spent my time resisting the urge to look at the keys...