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Old 12-04-2007, 05:05 AM   #1
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Default Xbox 360 to PC conversion

No forum can help so far. I'm turning to you, kind BC members. I have a friend who is trying to pick up an Xbox 360 with 3 red lights. There are some on eBay for $10 with just as much for shipping, so we're all set on that. We're going to gut some of it, and there will be computer parts shoved inside. Here'* a great resource on dimensions:

Now a list of hardware, some exotic stuff excluded:
Asus P5VD2-VM SE motherboard
Core 2 Duo E2180
2GB Crucial (with yellow heat spreaders) for $49.99 at Fry'* Electronics!
Radeon X700 video card (free)

We're looking into daisy chaining a couple of 120W picoPSUs for the board with one for the main connector and the other for the 4-pin connector. We'll also use that one for the 3.3V and 5V LEDs. The external power supply gives 16.5A at 12V, has 4 12V connectors, 4 ground connectors, one 5V connector, and one remote power wire. This will be used for the hard drive and CD drive.

The hard drive is included with the Xbox 360 we're ordering, so we'll just use that for the beginning. Bigger drives than the OE 20GB laptop drive are in order, but not yet. The CD drive, as I've been hoping to find out, should be PC compatible. I will have to see who makes it and if there are drivers. Does anyone know off-hand the most common Xbox 360 DVD drive manufacturers and their pinouts? That should help a whole lot.

We'll use this PCI Express riser to angle the video card as necessary:

CPU cooling is undecided. We're trying for either water cooling or just a low profile (rackmount) copper heatsink for LGA processors. Also, I suspect the standard power brick may not give me enough power. I may have to add on one if I run into power problems, but aside from the memory, nothing should be too extravagant.

The front 2 USB ports could be used for the keyboard and mouse, with the keyboard serving also as a USB hub. There'* a rear USB port, mostly simple, and also an ethernet port. I'll ohm it all out and solder the pins on the bottom to some ethernet wire, crimp on an ethernet jack, and plug that into the motherboard. It'* the less stressful way than going straight to the new motherboard'* PCB, and this way we get to keep the warranty.

I saw that the 360'* AV port has a VGA-compatible pinout, and I should have the link available somewhere should someone request it. However, that seems almost unimportant. It depends. I'd like to get a VGA cable, plug it into the video card, and then solder the cable to the rear connector. I know a few of the 15-pin VGA plug is used for the monitor ID, so that'* not necessary at all. I want to use the stock cable and its 12 wires (RGB, RCA, grounds for all 6) to go to a computer monitor, which will have its VGA connector removed and in its place sneakily placed color coded RCA jack-type plugs to correspond with the video output. Technically, I want to manhandle the VGA signal coming out the back of the Xbox360 since there shouldn't be interference if it'* all shielded properly.

I haven't looked, but are there Xbox 360 memory card adapters for desktop computers? I could solder these inside the Xbox case to take the memory cards still but go to the computer'* USB instead. Sound will be provided via bluetooth to a bluetooth headset, perhaps the 360 one. If the controllers are bluetooth as well, they could also connect easily.

All in all, a friend and I are working on this. When we're done, we plan on having a "sleeper" box that looks exactly like the 360, with the original power brick and AV cable, and then a computer monitor with a few component and composite plugs in the back (not really those, but just color coded split up VGA wires). This has a lot of potential, and I hope to be able to do it all very soon. I'll let you know if I run into any problems, but in the upcoming weeks, as opposed to my rice burner project, this should be up and running. Wish me luck, and please give me any input you have.

Thanks a whole lot!
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