Xs Xenium Reviews
Posted 10 May 2004 - 01:54 AM
XANTIUM's Review: Xenium Solderless Adaptor
>> I got a 'Xenium Solderless Adaptor' some time ago, I finally got my photocamera back from the store (was broken) ... so here's the review. In meantime the adaptor is released in the retail stores already!
Where to buy::
Divineo.com $19.99 (adaptor alone)
Divineo.com $59.99 (Xenium S (adaptor + Xenium modchip))
XboxChips.com £38.95 (Xenium S (adaptor + Xenium modchip))
Or any other official OzXodus reseller.
What's in the package::
* The Xenium Solderless adaptor
* Special longer screw
* Rivets (optional install)
All packed and protected in a hard plastic box.
What you need to install it::
* a v1.0-v1.5 Xbox
* a TORX 10 and 20
* clear diagrams of "d0" point for your xbox version
* a Xenium modchip (it will not work with any other modchip, besides the discontinued chameleon)
Install the Modchip::
The 'Xenium solderless adaptor' is a special adaptor that will allow you to install the Xenium modchip solderless.
Well ... they just made the original better. The 'Xenium solderless adaptor' is a renewed/better version of the 'Chameleon Solderless adaptor'. You can easily see the difference between the old and the new: the Chameleon adaptor is black, the new Xenium one is purple/blue. Make sure you buy the new one if you plan to buy this.
The new adaptor does not require any "rivets" (some kinda small pins you can put in the LPC holes so the pogopins make good contact) anymore.
They also made the "spring-wire" (hard wire you can bend into the "D0" point) more solid.
The small "hole" they made in the plastic mold (so the adaptor doesn't touch a capacitor on xbox v1.2+) is now smooth and it doesn't look like it has been cut out manually anymore.
With this all they managed to make the install even easier. Basicly you just open your Xbox (that's what will take you most time), you unscrew the motherboardscrew near the LPC, you 'click' the Xenium solderless adaptor into the LPC points, put in the special (longer) screw, screw till it 'stops', lift up the "spring-wire" and depose it into the "D0" point. After that you just have to put the Xenium modchip on the adaptor's headerpin and close your Xbox again.
I tried this on 3 xbox units, and it never failed, worked each time from the first try ... I never even watched under the adaptor to make sure it was all good aligned or so ... it's 'automatically' correctly aligned. Why? because the adaptor's pogopins and spring-wire go 'in' the points and not 'over' (or 'on top of') the points. Because aligning is no longer required this solderless adaptor can easily beat any 'solder install' speed-wise.
You will still get the 'rivets' with the adaptor as theoretically these will offer better contact - but for the tests I did they were never necessary.
I shaked my Xbox a lot ... the adaptor didn't move and contact with all points stayed very stable.
+ Ultra easy and fast install.
+ Best solderless method ("spring wire") for "D0"
+ No need for "rivets" anymore
+ LPC and D0 points are very stable.
+ No 'aligning' difficulties what-so-ever, neither for the LPC points nor for "D0".
- The price of the adaptor alone - combined with the Xenium modchip the price is better ... so better buy it together :-)
Archive of review: http://www.xbox-scen...re/xenium-s.php
(May 10 03:50 GMT+1)
Posted 07 July 2004 - 09:17 PM
>> www.OzXodus.com sent us some review samples for the new Xenium Ice Chip.
It's the full Solderless Kit including the USB Adapter, Solderless Adapter, Pin-header, Screw, Rivits, and the Xenium OS(info) controlled LED add-on. Chips shipped with the most up to date XeniumOS 2.0 at time of shipping. (but will/may vary slightly from XeniumOS 2.0 final.)
Chip Front and Back -
USB Adapter for the controller ports -
LED Module -
Expect a full review on the new OS, and on the Xenium ICE Chip and it's new features in a day or two.
Buy Xenium ICE:
(July 6 15:46 GMT+1)
Posted 07 July 2004 - 09:17 PM
>> www.OzXodus.com sent us some review samples for the new Xenium Ice Chip.
I promised a full review, trust me I wasn’t joking so I’ve broken the review up as best as possible into a chip/hardware review, and a separate OS review. Expect the OS review within 24hrs.
It's the full Solderless Kit including the USB Adapter, Solderless Adapter, Pin-header, Screw, D0 connecting wire, Rivets, and the Xenium OS(info) controlled LED add-on. Chips shipped with the most up to date XeniumOS 2.0 at time of shipping. (technically v2.0 Pre-Release Candidate)
Hardware: (feature list):
- NO DIP SWITCHES
- Multiple install method, Quick-solder, pin header (supplied), wire. Solder less adaptor kit.
- Dual SPI port for unlimited future add-ons
- Compatible with all known consoles to date (v1.0 - v1.6) * 1.6 requires some soldering, the chip and the Xenium OS are fully 1.6 compatible.
- Full color Status/Bank LED (no more Live banning!)
- Hardware protected Emergency Recovery System (ERS). (No reason to ever remove chip for a bad firmware update)
- Inbuilt Flash system. No more need for direct connection to computer (No more troublesome LPT or USB programmers)
- D0 Control. SAVE YOUR CONSOLE. With D0 control we ensure the minimal stress is applied to the D0 line by only pulsing D0 at reset time, all other times the D0 is left free.
- Small compact design with no complicated forced extras for the unit to function.
- External, dimmable, multifunction, full color, ultra bright LED
- USB adaptor
- Anti Clone Technology
The Solderless Kit package comes in 2 parts, an anti-static bag packed with the Xenium ICE Chip, Pin-Header, D0 connecting wire, USB Adapter and the Multifunction LED module and connecting cable. A second blister pack, contains the Solderless Adapter, Screw, and rivets for a more precise LPC fit and alignment. Note: The rivets are no longer necessary for a precise and stable connection. The rivets are included for installers who simply prefer them.
The ICE chip itself is physically identical to the blue/green Xenium from OzXodus, but has been colored to be more aesthetically pleasing. However these new ICE chips appear to be a cleaner cut as the edges are far cleaner. Virtually no rough edges on these chips. The onboard status LED is software controlled by the OS, and can produce 8 colors, a nice feature as it can be set to reflect the Chips ON or OFF status or whether a certain Bios is loaded. (more on that later)
The new toys for modders are the included multifunction LED module and the USB Adapter. They’ve been included virtually free in the price of every Ice Chip, regardless of the package purchased by the user. (solderless or standard)
The LED Module is simple enough to install, simply connect the wire to the appropriate connector on the chip, and the other end to the LED module (connector farthest from the switch on the module). With 30cm of length it is long enough to be place most anywhere needed. The ideal position is under the front edge of the case as this provides an excellent spot to view the status of the chip and xbox. The LED module comes with double sided adhesive tape to quick mount the unit anywhere you wish. The modules are easy daisy chained (to a safe max of 10 units, only tested 2 personally) to increase the aesthetic pleasure of the user. Units don’t produce little or no heat (non I could feel anyways) so no heat concerns there. The unit ships with an ultra bright LED which might be too much for some people to bear especially when mounted in some of the front positions, so OzX added a dimmer switch which in my opinion cuts the brightness in half. (nice to have the option though)
The USB Adapter module is the other new addition to the Xenium Product line. While not a chip and not even a chip add-on, it does have a related use. With this small, compact and sturdy adapter you can connect any USB device to any of the Xbox controller ports. Feel free to hook up mice and keyboards using this adapter. However that is not where the beauty and simplicity of this unit shine. The ICE chip (and for that matter previous Xeniums) with OSv2 can be flashed via USB Pen Drives. Any Pen Drive formatted with Fat on a PC, and loaded with 1 or more bios files, can now be connected directly to an xbox and the flashing process can be done without any burning of disks or hooking up messy network connections. Additionally, using the Pen Drive method you can create and assembly line affect by building a profile and backing it to the pen drive and then having each successive xbox flash itself from that profile on the Pen drive. Bios files, color schemes etc are all stored. Pen Drive Flashing is ideal for the Installer doing units daily. I was particularly impressed with how stiff and sturdy the unit was and how well it fit the xbox controller port. It easily supported the weight of a number of Pen Drives and other things I plugged into it without stress to the unit or the xbox controller port.
In fact one could argue it fits too well as it takes some effort to pull it out. Also a minor irritant, but nothing that will stop me from using it is the pins that connect the USB connector to the PCB it sits on. They are sharp and long in my opinion, and I probably come off as being picky for saying so, but personally I’d like to see this enclosed in future versions of this great adapter.
The Solderless Adapter and pin-header are the same units from previous Xenium Chips Solderless Kits, and continue to work well. Previously reviewed by Xantium. (Xenium Solderless Adapter Review - May 10 2004 - http://www.xbox-scen...lkuXELoFpHj.php )
The Adapter can be used with or without the rivets, on all boards from 1.0 to 1.6. (however for 1.6 to work with the Solderless Adapter.. the installer must connect some LPC holes with some points, and must connect LFRAME to D0 as directed by these diagrams. OzXodus.com Pics for 1.6 Install:
These ICE chips were tested on 3 Xbox units, 1.0, 1.1, and a 1.3 board. (sorry no 1.6 yet up here for me to play with) Pin-header install on one, Solderless on a LPC filled board, and the same Solderless was tested on a 1.3 with standard LPC (unfilled) The adapter worked as advertised on both filled and unfilled LPC (no rivets used). Solid contact first time, as in the past a kick test was done and the Adapters did not misalign. (However, I now have a cracked plastic shell I’ll be selling or trashing. Note to self: do NOT use safety shoes for future kick tests) The Pin-header install, which also required the connection of D0, worked flawlessly as well. Holes on the boards with open LPC where pre-cleaned to ensure optimal contact. (not necessary.. but it’s something that has become a good habit for me)
- Xenium Ice works every bit as well as previous chips from OzXodus. Many connecting options including quick Solder, pin-header, and solderless options.
- LED multifunction module is simple to install, were easy to adjust, plenty of length on the included wire, daisy-chainable for interesting effects, produces little or no heat and can be programmed to reflect chip or xbox status. (Included FREE in both the standard and solderless packages)
- USB Adapter, equally simply to use and install with a number of uses. (Included free just like the LED module)
- Safe chip to use and operate, with a good recovery system in place. Even better when using the current OS revisions.
- Aethetically pleasing (to me at least)
- Just enough flashable bank space for the average everyday user. More than enough in my opinion
- Not much to pick on here, except the USB adapter can be incredibly tough to remove once plugged into the controller port. Also, the points that are exposed on the bottom are sharp. I find no fault with the chip, or the other included accessories. All hardware worked as expected.
Expect the Xenium Ice V2.0 Pre-Release OS review within 24hrs. just putting the finishing touches on it.
Xenium-OS V2.0 User Manual: http://dwl.xbox-scen...User_Manual.pdf
1.6 Install Manual: http://dwl.xbox-scen...tall_Manual.pdf
Buy Xenium ICE: Extreme-Mods - Divineo.com - BMMods.com - XboxChips
(July 8 00:27 GMT+1)
Originally Posted @ http://www.xbox-scen...kyleIKxPRts.php
Posted 12 July 2004 - 04:10 AM
>> (Sorry again for the delay in finishing this review.. my wife just gave birth to our first child.)
Note: there are about 50 pictures in this part of the review. They are listed as 001 - 050 in brackets in the text. Use this link http://pictures.xbox...Release_review/ and click on the appropirate number for the pic you wish to view.. or view the original copy of this review here : http://www.xbox-scen...yEpsjoMvEgH.php which has the picture links intact.
With the review of the Xenium ICE Chip Samples that shipped from OzXodus taking up so much space and time and the fact that the OS isn’t just for the new ICE chip, it was necessary to split the OS review from the hardware review.
Xenium Ice Solderless Kit Review Part 1
Xenium OS(info)v2.0 Pre-Release Features: (herein call OSv2-PR)
-Full microkernel OS, developed by OzXodus to be a complete and legal environment specifically tailored to the modder's needs
-Emergency Recovery System
-Fully compatible with Xbox versions 1.0 - 1.6
-Intuitive and clean user-interface
-Automated bank management
-Bank naming and LED color assignment
-Automatic detection of bios names
-Flash Bios from HDD, CD/DVD, USB PenDrive, USB Mass Storage Device, or Windows Fileshare
-Xbox Settings (EEPROM) Editor
-Emergency EEPROM backup/restore, from/to any version Xbox
-Networked access to HDD (Built in FTP and Windows Networking)
-DHCP/Static IP compatible
-USB Pen Drive support
-HardDrive Upgrade Wizard
-General HDD management (Copy/Format partitions)
-Installer One Step setup system
The Xenium OS has changed a lot from the 1.0 incarnation that first appeared months ago on the original batch of Xenium Chips. That one was Cromwell(info) based, and showed signs of it’s lineage. (some good, some bad) It was a functional OS, and showed us at the time what the future of modchips had in store for us. It was first to the market, and suffered alittle because of that.
OzXodus learned a lot since that initial release. OSv2 Pre-Release shows they’ve learned many of the lessons taught to them by their customers. First thing to go was Cromwell. Cromwell is no longer the basis for the OS, as the OS has been re-written from the bottom up and it shows. Even at this current stage, the Pre-Release already outperforms it’s Cromwell ancestors.
For the purpose of this review (and the linked Hardware review) 3 xbox units were used and 2 new Xenium ICE chips. At various times during the testing process.. I’ve had the following plugged in to see if the xbox would hang at the OS level, or if it would choke moving from OS to Hack Bios to Dashboard.
Hardware tested included:
- 7 Different Controllers (MS – Classic/”s”, Logitech, HipGear, MadMax, and no-names)
- 2 remotes (Stock and third party)
- 3 USB Keyboards (one Wireless Logitech, one Ms Office KB, one third party mini keyboard)
- 4 USB Mice (one wireless Logitech, 2 MS, 1 third party)
- 3 light guns (MadMax, and 2 asian models)
- 2 different retail xbox to USB cable adapters (www.lik-sang.com and www.spotted-horse.com plus one homebrew one.)
- 3 memory cards including MS Stock, and two 3rd party no-name ones)
- 1 Xbox Communicator (stock) (slightly used and abused.. long story – “420”)
At no point was there an undue pause or lock-up due to hardware being connected during the power-on cycle, or while migrating from OS to Hacked Bios to Dashbaord. OSv2-PR didn’t miss a step. Being a Pre-Release there are still features to be added, and a few missing. They should make for some pleasant surprises once it’s ready.
Right away we see this isn’t the same old interface. Bright colors, fancy backgrounds and a clean and clear font / text display greets use after a second from power-on. Navigation is simple enough, move up and down, and left and right as needed. Hit the A + B Buttons to commit to an action or to back out of menus.
This main menu is the nerve center of the OS and all of it’s functions. Becoming familiar with it came easily enough as it’s quite intuitive. I’ll gloss over the options:
- Launch Menu: Flash Banks, Add and delete bios from the banks.
- Disk Tools: Lock/Unlock HD, Upgrade HD, Copy Drives, and Format them.
- EEprom Tools: Notes Motherboard Version, Switch Video Standards and DVD and Game Regions, and Backup and Restore the Eeprom
- Settings – Submenues for the Xenium, Network, FTP, Telnet, and SMB options.
- Recovery – To be used to fix or replace the OS.
- Reboot and Power Off – self explanatory.
The “Launch Menu”, once you enter it looks empty except for the “Add A New Item” function. The New OS kind of treats the space virtually, and one of the things it does transparently is allow you to flash and organize your bios banks. When ADDing to the Launch Menu you’ll have the option of flashing a bank with the TSOP’s onboard Kernel from the Xbox, flashing from any of the Partitions on the Xbox, flashing from a Pen Drive (h:) and from an SMB share. There a third “option” to add a launch item from the Hard Disk but that is currently disabled in this Pre-Release. (003, 051)
One of the exciting new features of this OS is the ability to flash from USB Pen Drives. Frankly, no one I know has floppy disks anymore but everyone I know has a Pen Drive, whether it’s an 8MB one of a 1/2GB one. I used the supplied Xenium USB Adapter to plug in a 32MB Pen Drive that was FAT formatted, and had a number of files on it including my favourite colormod bioses into any one of the Xbox controller ports. I then fired up the Launch Menu, navigated to the ( H: ) drive and selected my Bios of choice. Flashed in a second, renamed it and booted the xbox to see my colormod bios boot and then boot the dash.(050, 051, 052, 053, 054, 055, 056, 057, 058, 059)
Backing up the TSOP to the Chip makes good sense in case something happens to the onboard TSOP. It doubles the chance that you’ll stay up and running. Many times.. a modchip has been the last chance for life for someone with a flaky tsop.
“Disk Tool Menu” is where you’ll get to play with some of the great functions of this chip and OS combo. If the HD in the unit is still the stock one.. you can unlock it (for migration into another Xbox perhaps.. or a PC). If you have already placed a larger replacement upgrade drive in it you can dynamically lock and unlock it at will.
Altertenatively, you can use the Drive Upgrade Wizard to copy one HD to Another. Copy single partitions from one drive to another with the “Copy Partition” option, and/or “Format Partition” on either a Master or Slave Drive. Keep in mind to do most of this you’ll need to have disconnected the IDE cable from the DVD rom and the power source from the Master HD will need to be connected to the Slave via a “Y” SplitterHD.
OSv2-PR makes it simple and painless. It also goes out of its way to prevent you from accidentally nuking drives and partitions giving you clear messages and plenty of chances to say no to potentially risky actions. I had some fun trying to get it to blow away my partitions and drives. No one will have a problem unless they IGNORE the messages.. and continue the process with each step.
OSv2-PR is Dummy Proof? Well.. it’s smart enough to know not to upgrade a non existent drive (004, 005, 006, 007) The OS is also smart enough to not allow overwriting of the same drive.(008, 009, 010, 011, 012) OS unsuccessful attempt to format the non-existant Slave Drive partition, and it’s successful attempts to format the Master’s Partitions (013, 014, 015, 016, 017, 018, 019)
Everytime an attempt was made by me to do something it shouldn’t be able to do, the Chip/OS combo did one of the 2 desireable actions… warned me like crazy.. or prevented or acknowledged it couldn’t be successfully done.
“EEprom Tools” is the area in which few will enter out of fear of messing up their chip. Most people may never need to enter this area of the interface. However, everyone should enter it once. You’ll be able to make critical changes to the EEProm here.. including chaging the Video Standard from NTSC to PAL. Important for people who love to play imports. Also of interest to them is the ability to switch DVD Rom Regions and Game Regions.(020, 021, 022, 023)
By far the most important part of the EEprom area is the Backup and Restore options. Backing up your EEprom just makes good sense, and is easy to do. You can also take the backed up EEprom and use the Xenium ICE Chip to transfer the EEprom to another Xbox. Imagine, you can backup an EEprom on a 1.1 and migrate to any version of Xbox including a 1.6 (if I had one. I would have tried that, instead I went from a 1.1 to a 1.3 and back with no issues) Alternatively it’s good to know that if something ever happens to the Xbox, you have a backup of the EEprom.
“Settings Menu” (026) All of your various sub-menus live here. Chances are good that if you are new to modding, and the OSv2-PR is going to be your first jump into the scene you’ll be playing in this section to get your modded box up and running in a jiffy.
“Xenium Settings” Menu. (027)
Not a lot to see here currently expec the option to turn on and off Instant boot. Once you are flashed and running the way you need to.. chances are good that you’ll not want to see the Xenium OS interface every boot so you’ll do as I have and turn on Instant Boot.(028, 029)
“Network Settings” Menu (030) Change various characteristics of the Xbox including IP, Gateway and DNS. (031, 032)
“FTP Settings” Menu (033) Turn on and off the OSv2-PR’s FTP Client dynamically, and change Username and Password to add extra protection to the box in case you have your xbox on the lan and in the wild. Setting these right will allow you to simply copy the Bios files from the PC to the XBOX hd of your choice.(034)
“Telnet Settings” Menu (035) Turn on and off the Telnet Server Dynamically.in this menu and change User Name and Password when you feel the need for security.
“SMB Settings” Menu (040) With this menu you can set the OSv2 Client Share Path, Username and Password. You can also set the Server Workgroup name and the server name of the unit. As is the case with the other networking settings.. the server can be turned on and off dynamically.
Being an SMB neophyte, this review and this section had me working for awhile. Once I did a littler reading.. and understood the sheer simplicity of SMB shares, I realized the potential. Drag and Drop across the network is great, but executing and flashing across the netwowk was another altogether. (I never should have put off learning about SMB shares, it’ll change the way I personally use my favourite dashboards and XBMC.)
I changed a few settings in the SMB section, set up a folder on the PC with share privileges, went to the Launch Menu and flashed a red colormod bios from the PC to the Xbox and then booted the xbox to the dashboard. (041, 042, 043)
Review Video Summary: Xenium OSv2 PR – Around the world in 12 minutes -Review Video WMV
- Fresh updated new look and interface, and even that will change shortly.
- Makes the Xenium Flashable via new methods like SMB and USB Pen Drives, on-top of the old standards like flashing from drives.
- EEprom Backup and Restore work without a hitch
- Plethora of EEprom tools for the import or overseas game junkies including Region changers and video mode switchers
- HD Wizards for upgrading, copying, and formatting simplify adding, upgrading, or duplicating Hd’s
- SMB Shares. Chuck your old FTP program. Once you try this you won’t need it anymore.
- Burning Bios disks with archaic programs, odd fats and dummy buffer files is now officially retired. (but still possible) Save your blank media for backups.
- OS is more or less dummy proof. (at least until a better?!? Dummy comes along)
- Cromwell is Dead (in this OS anyways)
- Red Backdrop in the interface. This will piss off the designer of it but’s it’s ugly as sin. (where is MomDad when you need him to produce a slick background)
- Now that I think of it, so is that Xenium Logo/banner at the top. (why’d they change it?
- The HD feature from the Launch/Add Item menu was disabled in this release. I would have love to seen it in action.
- Waiting for other features rumored to be in the final release but were disabled or removed form this Review Sample.
- Something not mentioned above in the review, keyboards currently do not function in the OS. They don’t lock up or prevent the OS from functioning, but at the same time it would be nice to connect and use my keyboards during all those settings screens in the Settings menus. For that matter, it would be nice to have mouse support in there as well.
Overall, OSv2-PR works well, runs fast, and is feature rich. It puts to bed many old and archaic methods of flashing chips and managing resources, and introduces some new tricks. Gone are the days of dummy files on media. OSv2-PR is a leap forward for Xenium owners, new and old.
Xenium-OS V2.0 User Manual: http://dwl.xbox-scen...User_Manual.pdf
1.6 Install Manual: http://dwl.xbox-scen...tall_Manual.pdf
Buy Xenium ICE: Extreme-Mods - Divineo.com - BMMods.com - XboxChips
Link to the review as it was posted on the news page : http://www.xbox-scen...yEpsjoMvEgH.php
(July 10 23:06 GMT+1)
Posted 13 April 2005 - 11:07 PM
Original posting.. http://www.xbox-scen...upFCGibSNTX.php
All the pics and links work in the original posting..
We’ve had the Xenium(info) S.P.Ice samples for awhile, and have had some fun putting the chip/adapter combo through a battery of tests. As many readers know, I’m a proponent of solderless solutions. I’ve used them since the first Matrix offering, and have continued to use them right up to the current generation.
With each new revision of the Xodus brand adapters, we’ve seen product improvements, and more stable use.
With that said.. 1.6 motherboards posed a unique problem for people wanting a solderless solution. MS did a nice job of consolidating functions on the motherboard, and even moving or disconnecting old functions. Anyone wanting to use a solder or solderless solution on a 1.6 board have had the tedious job of “fixing” what MS intentionally broke.
Solutions like rebuilding the LPC by soldering wires, top or bottom of the motherboard work well. Soldering the recent LPC rebuild boards to the bottom of the 1.6 motherboard work also work well. Nothing wrong with either method, and both have their fans. But, for those wanting that quick screw down solderless solution, especially a safe one, there wasn’t much to choose from.
So, with the Sample in hand, lets see what we get for our money…
Xenium S.P.Ice Combo Kit $69 US
- Xenium Ice Chip
- S.p.ice 2 piece Adapter (one in this kit should really only be used with this chip, a separate SP (Solderless Pro) adapter is on sale that is for wider use with competing chips)
- Clear Safety Piece (for 1.6 installs)
- Bag of rivets, replacement Screw, Washer for 1.6 install, and optional spacer for 1.0-1.5 install
- USB Adapter
- Pinheader and Wire connector
- Led Module and Wire connector
You can order the Xenium S.P.ICE from: BMMods.com, Divineo.com, Divineo.co.uk, Divineo.cn, Extreme-Mods.com, ModWhiz.com
Well.. I’m not going to spend a lot of time rehashing the details about the ICE chip, or it’s OS. I covered those in depth in the last Xenium reviews, which can be found here and here. I will say though.. that the OS has been updated, looks better, and features many fixes and improvements.
I wanted to focus on the solderless aspect, and it’s improvements. The 2 Piece Adapter (3 if you include the Safety Piece in that count) is definitely something new and different. The Black base, which sits on the LPC, is clearly well made, and clean looking. On non 1.6 boards, this is all you’d use, plus the screw and spacer to achieve a solderless install on 1.0-1.5 variants. My focas, is on the 1.6 boards, and the issues they pose. That’s where the second part of the adapter comes in, the white pcb with the 4 wires.
When the Black and White Parts are combined, you now have a complete 1.6 solution. That alone, will get the job done. However, Xodus seems to have responded to customers wishes for a safer modding environment. As with some other chips on the market with wires for 1.6 installs, safety has become a concern. Motherboard tops are easily scrathed by those wires during an install. This isn’t really the fault of the user, so much as it is by the design.
Xodus solution, the Safety Piece.
It’s the simplicity that shows how brilliant it is. The Safety Piece sits clean and flush to the motherboard, and provides and error free and safe guide for the 4 wires (plus d0 wire) to get connected, and inserted into the vias. It’s pretty dummy proof.
As per their guide (here), I’ve cleaned the area, removed any dust and debris and then proceeded to place the Safety Piece on the 1.6 motherboard.. I then grabbed the Black and White halves of the adapter, and pressed them together. Installation was simple enough.. I pressed the Adapter onto the LPC slowly, with the Wires slowly guided into their proper vias’ via the Safety Piece guide. Checking and listening for each wire to “click” into place.
Power on, and look for all 5 LEDS to be lit for a secure and proper install of the adapter. If the wires are just sitting on top of the via, adjust, tweak, and slightly shift the wire in the safety piece until I heard a click.
With the Adapter Secure, I powered off the unit, Placed the included Xenium Ice Chip on the adapter, and booted. As the Xenium Guide noted.. the chip is working and properly install when the second led from the end of the adapter goes out.(off) The Chip’s own led will show green also indicating a proper install.
So, with the Xenium S.P.Ice Adapter/Chip installed, successfully on a 1.6 board in less than a minute, I could have ended the review. After all, I’ve thoroughly used, reviewed their os in the past. The chip is solid, the OS is updated and is still evolving. What I really wanted to know, was just how good is this new adapter? Will it survive bumps and drops that knocked older adapter from all venders loose? What about all those new wires going into those vias.. will they stay in place?
Lots of questions. I wanted answers.
Xs Video Review: http://pictures.xbox...ReviewVideo.wmv
So, with this successfully chips xbox now in hand.. I proceeded to abuse the box. Dropped it from table height. The adapter/chip booted like a charm. Decided to abuse it a little more.. and kick it around the house. It booted like a charm. Wash, rinse, and repeat… same results. The S.P.Ice Adapter/Chip combo stayed in place, and did not misalign. (woot)
I should have been happy with that torture test. I wasn’t. Everyone has a solderless solution these days. I wanted to see if this could go above and beyond a reasonable expectation of abuse survival.
So, with the assistance of LD (a buddy) and a new Acura TSX, and about 25 feet of Ethernet cable I decided to stress test the stability of this install. We took the unit to a safe area, and attached the Xbox to the back of the car. We then dragged the xbox with the S.P.Ice installed 100 feet. Case looked like crap, but the chip and adapter looked fine, so we did it again, only faster.
We went back indoors, took the unit back to the testing table. Powered it up first time. The Adapter/Chip booted up perfectly fine, as if the box hadn’t been dragged on rough asphalt for over 200 feet total.
I’ve been doing “proper” Solder installs for 3 years now. Many of my customers demanded it. I don’t need the headaches from fumes I used to get despite the solder being “lead free”. I also don’t need to get any more burns from an iron that far too frequently burned, me, my table, or my work area.
-Safe 1.6 Solderless Install Solution
-Preloaded with a feature Packed Legal OS
-Includes LED module/wiring for cosmetic/functional use
-Includes USB adapter for USB to XBOX port connectivity (usb pen drives)
-Includes everything needs to do an old fashioned solder install.
-Color? Who cares!
-Shape? I needed to put something here.
After kicking the crap out of the xbox, and dragging it behind a car, I doubt I’ll want or need to do a solder install anymore. (this.. from a guy who installed a chip with a coathanger and solder) If anyone asks me to do the solder install, I’m going to show them the Review Video. After doing this.. I’m throwing away my Soldering Iron, Solder (lead free) wick, and Flux.
* Xenium S.P.ICE in its package (High Resolution Image)
* The solderless adapter 'kit' (High Resolution Image)
* The springwire adapter for Xbox v1.6( (High Resolution Image)
* Back of the springwire adapter (High Resolution Image)
* Pogopin adapter (High Resolution Image)
* Back of Pogopin adapter (High Resolution Image)
The XS Review Video: http://pictures.xbox...ReviewVideo.wmv
(April 13 17:56 EST)
Posted 17 May 2006 - 02:42 PM
Team Xodus Official Website: http://www.teamxodus.com
Buy Xenium Gold: Divineo.com | Extreme-Mods.com | Divineo.cn | Divineo.es | Divineo.fr | Divineo.se | Divineo.de
It’s been a while since I wrote a modchip review for the original Xbox. In fact, the last one I wrote was for the X-Changer chip and I vowed to not write another review for any modchips for the original Xbox Console. The reason I took that stance at the time was that I felt that after 4 years, the console is done chip wise. For four and a half years ago, we needed modchips (softmods gave us most of the same functionality) to give us easy access to homebrew apps, alternative dashboards, media players, alternative OS options, etc. All of which, we’ve hand for a long time with little actual change. We’ve seen just about all the useful features, and innovations we can expect to realistically see for that console. I’ve held to that ideal since that review.
What’s changed? Well, just before Christmas of 2005 we saw the Xodus hype and announcements of the Xenium 24k Gold version. I was both excited, and a little dismayed at the same time. Xodus chips have time and again been a hardy breed, with a lot of fan support in the scene, and a lot of work behind the scenes by some great people work and tweaking their Xenium OS. Xodus has time and again innovated, and came up with new and interesting ideas for the Xbox modding world. Xodus in their various incarnations gave us the first real Solderless solutions, and to this day despite a lot of competition I still hold them up as the best solderless solution on the market. (check previous reviews I wrote and filmed about their solderless solutions.)
Video #1: http://pictures.xbox...LD-rotating.wmv
That announcement though also seemed to hallmark a changing of the times for the scene. Xbox 360 had been around over a month.. and it was clear around the scene that the old guard was changing. This 24k Gold Chip, while a thing of beauty in those initial announcements screamed “last call” to those paying attention. (not necessarily for the team.. but for innovation/features in chips for the first Xbox console).
Clearly, the Xenium 24k Gold was cosmetic in nature. Designed to appeal to those easily swayed by it’s simple esthetic beauty. Comments from TeamXodus indicate that this chip is an offering, to cement it’s place in the scene and to say thanks to it’s loyal supporters over the years. Now.. the Hype:
The only 4th gen chip worth its weight in pure Gold. Thanks to a custom OS (Xenium OS) this is by far the most advanced, feature rich device ever to be released for your console. While others are cutting costs and removing features, we @ Team Xodus wanted to go out with a device that shows the standard you all are used to from us, nothing but GOLD is and always will be our aspiration. Of course our now industry standard, SP adaptor, will be an option for this truly unique collectors item. You have to see this item physically to actually appreciate its sheer beauty and unique design.
Xenium GOLD 24K : Team Xodus is proud to announce our latest offering in the hugely successful Xenium range of products. As a special celebration of our two year birthday and in keeping with the spirit of giving we have decided to release a special collector’s edition Xenium. ANNOUNCING THE WORLDS SMALLEST AND BY FAR THE MOST STRIKING 4th GEN CHIP. AND THERE’S MORE…… we have decided to go a step further for this one of a kind commemorative edition. We decided to plate it in PURE 24 CARAT GOLD! AND THERE’S MORE…. Same great price. Same great value. AND THERE’S MORE…..
XeniumOS 2.3.1 Gold Edition:
- Fixed RTC access problems. System clock is now read correctly, and overridden to a default time if not set
- Fixed heap allocation, full 64MB ram is now available to XOS (previously fixed at 21mb)
- Fixed task switch inconsistency. Task switch interrupt was previously using an inconsistent delay, causing unreliable performance
* Replaced red borders left on default skin
* New default skin exclusive to Xenium GOLD
- Bug fix
What is this new product called? XENIUM GOLD of course! …BEAT THE GOLD RUSH!!!
We would like to let all our resellers and valued customers know that our production problems are now behind us and we expect full stock supply by the end of next week. ALL backorders will be fulfilled at once as we are now in full production. As a thank you gift for your continued loyalty and patience, we are including a unique “dummy” Xenium GOLD PCB in every chip sold, which can be used as a keyring, box decal or necklace. We hope you like it and would like to thank all of you once again for sticking with us through all this
Ok.. With the hype aside.. lets take a look at this chip..
What you actually get in the package, in Pre-April Shipments, was an Xenium 24k Gold Chip, Pin header, D0/LFrame Wire, and USB adapter. In current shipments, Xenium 24k Gold Chip, Pinheader, D0/LFrame Wire, and USB adapter plus as an added bonus a Keychain PCB (Gold Plated).
The Chip is easy to install, you’ve got 2 options. You can solder the included Pinheader to the Xbox mothboard and use/solder the included D0/Lframe Wire to the appropriate points on the Xbox motherboard, or you can use the optional Xenium Solderless adapters on the market. Both methods with give you a trouble-free experience when installed properly.
The Chip is smaller than it’s predecessors. It’s a lot smaller, roughly two-thirds the size of the Xenium Ice Chip. The Xenium 24k Gold is still using the same AMD and Xilinx Chips that they’ve been using for years now. It’s also clear that the Gold is a consolidation, as it has fewer surface mounted components then it’s ICE predecessor. Less components, should equal cheaper to produce. Originally, I had intended to to do some Gold Quality tests on the Gold Plating, to properly determine if the plating was in fact real Gold or not. I wasn’t able to do so. It does seem to exhibit all of the qualities of plated Gold, including being really easy to scar. Little More can be said about a Gold Plated Modchip. The Meat and Potatoes of any Modchip, is what can it do for you, not how it looks.
The Xenium 24k Gold, inherits almost all of it’s features it’s Xodus ancestor, Xenium Ice. 2MB, with 1MB usable as the OS takes 1 MB. Can be banked as 4*256KB, 2*512KB, 1*1024KB, 1*512KB/2*256KB. Features Recovery Option/Switch. Chip is flashable from Xbox Homebrew Software options. Like most chips, it can switch to Xbox onboard Bios. Chip usage can be selected via Power/Eject buttons for selecting wither the chip run or not. Also possible to have LED and HD Led Indicators. External LCD screen is a possible option via a third party add-on. Also features an expansion port (dual SPI). The Chip is compatible with all version, 1.0 – 1.6b of the Xbox console, with Pinheader or Solderless Adapter install methods.
The 24k PCB Keychain piece, is interesting. It’s the same PCB visually, that they use for the Gold 24k Chip. What id does not have is all those surface mounted Chips, flashroms, leds, etc the the actual chip has. What I find interesting though, is that the GOLD chip had a lot of shipping issues and delays, and I have to wonder why a second PCB was made and manufactured, solely to be given out as a free keychain? It’s a cool gimmick, and some people will dig the keychain, if for no other reason than it’ll be a collectable to some people. If I had to wager a guess though, it’s a dud PCB that didn’t make the grade. Regardless, as a non function add-on, it’s interesting. Good luck though separating the extra board material from the Keychain PCB. It’s stiff.
The USB Adapter is not a chip add-on, but it does have a related use. With this small, compact and sturdy adapter you can connect virtually any USB device to any of the Xbox controller ports. Feel free to hook up mice and keyboards using this adapter. Like previous Xenium Chips in the v2/Ice lineage, the 24k Gold chip can be flashed via the included USB Adapter. Any Pen Drive formatted with Fat on a PC, and loaded with 1 or more bios files, can be connected directly to an xbox and the flashing process can be done without any burning of disks or hooking up messy network connections. Additionally, using the Pen Drive method you can create an assembly line affect by building a profile and backing it to the pen drive and then having each successive xbox flash itself from that profile on the Pen drive. Bios files, color schemes etc are all stored. Pen Drive Flashing is ideal for the Installer doing units daily.
As I said earlier, what’s important about a modchip is what it can do for you. Well, what The 24k Gold can do for you is directly tied to it’s OS. The OS, currently at 2.3.1 (Gold) is a feature packed build that fixes many of the minor lingering hang-ups of it’s predecessors, and added a little bit more. Newer Skins and LEDS, they’ve fixed RTC Problems (they claim it’s 100% fixed). Internally, TeamXodus was unable to cause the OS to fail to boot. Testing I did myself, which probably could never be compared to what they can do, gave me the same results. However, if I removed, or altered some bytes with a hex editor to replicate a corrupted OS UPDATE FILE, the chip would fail to boot. I don’t know if that’s a fair test, but I do know that file can become corrupted. I can say though, the Xenium OS is more stable than it has ever been. Network Transfers, etc seem faster under the current OS, and according to Xodus, the Networking components of the OS are improved and running faster under the hood. Speed improvements are always good news
Overview of the OS..
The OS Screens sure have changed a lot of the years. (and for the better in my opinion) The OS has grown from those early Cromwell OS and later RTOS incarnations. Looks, speed, and stability have all improved. For previous Xodus Chip reviews, I used a battery of different machines, and a store full of third party devices to test for compatibility. I’ve started to sell off some of that cache of devices, but what I had left, still all worked well with the current Xenium OS. (nothing I plugged in caused it to hang, or slow the booting process needlessly.)
The Xenium Gold 24k Chip /OS has all the feature you want/need, including a variety of Flash methods, plenty of network access methods, hard drive management/format features, OS recovery, bios management, and LED and OS Skin options. I won’t waste your time or mine listing or re-reviewing all the same features over again. If you’d like to see and read a detailed overview of the features of the Xenium OS, take a look at my previous Xenium OS Review and OS Video.
For your viewing pleasure though, I have done a summary walk-though video showing the Current Xenium OS v2.3.1 Gold OS.
What do I think of the Xenium 24k Gold?
- Xenium 24k Gold works every bit as well as previous chips from Xodus.
- Still supports Xenium LED multifunction module (but is not included)
- Includes USB Adapter, equally simple to use and install with a number of uses.
- Safe chip to use and operate, with a good recovery system in place.
- Esthetically pleasing (it’s the only Gold Plated Modchip in any scene..)
- Just enough flashable bank space for the average everyday user.
- No Quicksolder Option (previous generations had this)
- No Wire Install Option (previous generations had this)
- Does not included the external LED Module (previous generations had this)
It’s a nice modchip. Works as advertised, and is an improvement OS wise over it’s predecessors. I do have some beefs with it though. In some ways, I feel that the smaller size, and gimmick look of the chip sacrificed options. For example, the 24k Gold does not include solder pads, so that kills options for wire install methods, unless you want to ghetto it with a pin header and wires, which of course will look like crap, and begs the question.. why bother? Also missing from previous incarnations is the Quick Solder/Flush Mount method. Some could argue that any new Xbox consoles on the market are 1.6 or higher and aren’t good candidates for a Quick Solder method, however some people, myself included enjoyed the method and we still see a lot of older consoles where the quick solder method was a viable and useful option.
Removing those options to make the chip smaller and cheaper to produce probably made good sense to them, but it took away options we’ve enjoyed having with Xodus products for a long time.
Also missing, is the free LED Modules. Once upon a time they were included free of charge, 1 per chip. They were useful, as it was a great way of showing externally the status and condition of the OS. If you had an creative inkling, you could daisy chain them for some interesting visual effects. (up to 10 safely.. I usually only used two.) Without this old freebie, we no longer have a simple plug and play option that is compatible with the Xodus brand of chips. Fortunately for myself, I have some of these older LED modules and can still benefit form the LED options in the OS Menus. (the LED options still work for the single LED that is on the top of the 24k Chip, but you’ll never really ever see that LED when the box is closed.
I recommend the Xenium 24k Gold chip for people who want a solid, reliable and working modchip with good OS support.
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