The Power Cord Conspiracy
Posted 21 March 2005 - 02:54 AM
I recommend anyone that with the offending V1.0 and V1.1 PSU's that you use what they call in the trade, a clinch type joint, rather than just resoldering it.
Clinch types of joints have found to be more reliable than normal vertical type joints and are less likely to fail.
The main reason for failure of the active and neutral pins on these power supplies, or any other form of high current area electronics, is due to the solder being heated and cooled by normal operation. The pressure of the power cord against the the AC input socket also doesn't help.
When the X-Box is in standby mode, very little current is being used, therefore the temperature of the solder joints is relatively cool. But when the X-Box is turned on, higher currents are being drawn, therefore the temperature rises on those joints, and also on other high current joints, not only those two offending pins.
This heating and cooling of the joints over the years will cause the the joints to become crystalised and eventually crack. The pressure of the power cord on AC input socket is what helps the cracking proceedure to acceletrate. It will then eventually crack all the way around the pin, thus making it contact intermittently.
Many people will try jiggling the power cord and may get it to work for a while. But unbeknownst to them, they are actually making things worse. i.e. They are widening the crack/s as well as generating voltage spikes.
These cracks now introduce new problems for the X-Box PSU. Due to this intermittent contact, voltage spikes are being generated. Thus, the more a person jiggles the power cord, the worse the voltage spikes become.
Thankfully Micro$oft had the insight of introducing a varistor into the primary side of the PSU to allow for voltage spikes and surges, but this was not enough in most cases, and it often led to the destruction of the varistor (in many cases causing it to flame out), as well as taking the mains fuse with it. The varistor can only handle so much, thus will eventually fail if the faulty solder joint isn't rectified.
All this is definately a fault with the PSU's and NOT with the power cords, as Micro$oft tend to claim. The only advantage with the power cords with the surge protection included, is if the house mains cops a surge, it will trip, but it WON'T protect the power supply from the spikes generated due to intermittent contacts on the power socket pins. It may trip the surge protector, but eventually the person who owns the machine will have to have it fixed at his own expense, if he starts getting sick of having to reset the damn thing all the time.
I've included three pictures of how and what should be done to repair the pins on these sockets.
The first picture shows the pins devoid of any solder.
The second shows how to bend the tabs of the socket pins to create a clinch joint. It also recommends that the two AC input socket support pins should also be soldered. The reason for this is to add more support to the whole assembly. Thus taking some strain off the AC pins themselves.
The third picture shows the finished results.
Micro$oft should be resonsible for this problem and should be covering this under warranty, regardless of how old the machine is. This is a manufacturing stuff-up and no type of power cord is going to magically fix this problem.
I've been in the TV/Video repair business for more than 25 years and I've come across many a faulty joint due to pressure, weight, heat etc. But I've never come across a company that blatantly denies that the real problem is their's alone. The onus is definately on Micro$oft, and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if they end up with a class action suit against them in the future for this very reason.
I thought I'd put my two cents worth into this discussion.
I hope it helps.
Posted 21 March 2005 - 03:55 AM
Posted 21 March 2005 - 04:45 AM
Anyways, the real reason why only the 1.0/1.1 consoles get the Afi:
Although the psu manufacturers (delta, foxlink) revised the PSU in the 1.2-1.5 versions (foxlink added the support rivets), they still would some times break loose (I didn't mention mineba, for the best of my knowledge they never made a 1.2-1.5 PSU, and has anybody had one of those spark?).
The fact in itself that Foxlink added the rivets in the later revisions of the board indicates that they knew that there was a design problem with their PSU, so M$ cant deny any defects with the boards.
the failure rate of the 1.2-1.5 psu's is far less than the 1.0-1.1, so it was good enough to just supply a cord that cannot be pushed in too far.
however, since the failure rate of the 1.0-1.1 psu's (yes, the delta ones sometimes break too, but the foxlink breaks most often because the connector has no support) is much more common, M$ supplies the AFI.
Although the number of consoles cathcing fire is rare (1 in 1000 maybe), I'd say that at least 60% of the 1.0-1.1 foxlink PSU's have broken solder joints, and pop, spark, smoke, cut off, etc. (and maybe like 2% of the deltas) Every single one of the fox's ive seen was broken, and many other ppl on here have said the same.
Just a refresher for ppl too lazy to read 30 pages
Posted 21 March 2005 - 04:53 AM
The sweedish kid getting sparks in his face, other various xboxes that fried even with the new cord, and ppl simply getting mad for their xbox shutting off every 10 mins (mine will jsut randomly shut off, and the solder joints on my Mineba 1.0 psu are fine!) will make ppl not want to buy xbox 2 (I dont want a crap product, Ive had 3 xboxes fail on me, 1. dvd drive 2. hard drive 3. psu. I fixed them, but they still shouldn't have broken in the first place. Oddly, all 3 of these failed xboxes were 1.0. My 1.4 works great)
Posted 21 March 2005 - 06:19 AM
We really need to do more than just complain in this thread and sign petitions though, its time for some legal action
Posted 21 March 2005 - 07:04 AM
Posted 21 March 2005 - 09:08 AM
it is a ARC FAULT INTERUPTER and there not cheap..
the best fix is to remove all the solder then wrap buss wire
around the posts and run it along the trace then solder it all...
as a person that works with electronics all the time i have to agree with xman on desoldering and wraping (winding wire as radio shack calls it) then resoldering it this will not only fix it but will add strenth to help prevent breakage later on
Posted 21 March 2005 - 12:45 PM
Even the underside looks nice. I bought this unit brand new when they first released the Sega GT/JSFR bundle and its still going strong.
Posted 21 March 2005 - 04:10 PM
I, at one point, was purchasing broken xboxes off of ebay and would fix and sell them here on the boards. I had gotten a broken 1.0 one time and when i recieved it, to my suprise it booted and worked just fine.
This confused me as the auction said it wouldn't power on. Upon further inspection of the box, i found that wiggling the power cord was a very bad idea. The power supply would make a crackling noise and the xbox would power off and things of that nature.
I opened the case to find the power cable connector ready to fall off the power supply board. It was completely disconnected and when i removed the power supply the connector fell off the board completely.
I cleaned up the solder area and resoldered the connector down and then also applied a good amount of hot glue to help hold the connector in place for future use. This fixed the power supply and made the connector rock solid.
When i heard of this recall, the first thing I thought of was the power supply connector being the problem, and I thought the cord replacement was bunk after reading the recall. Sure enough people are still having problems. This whole thing is just a way for MS not to front the money to fix it all. They need to address the real problem of these power supplys failing and causing harm/injury/property damage.
I urge all people on here with an early xbox with soldering ability to open and check your xbox power supply for problems and fix it before you cause more problems that you want to deal with.
Posted 21 March 2005 - 06:37 PM
thats just my two cents on the issue.
Posted 21 March 2005 - 10:54 PM
As far as a class action suit.. nothing will happen.
This will be the result of a class action:
MS will be sentanced to give all users $10 off coupon for Xbox 360 (Next) or some other MS product.
You are still buying their product so they still win.
Posted 22 March 2005 - 01:43 AM
Of countless boxes repaired 10 have been revived only by re-soldering the PSU, with FoxLink supplies being the main offenders.
Also on jobs where I have the entire unit I've started checking PSUs without strain relief as a standard practice, most have looked questionable, all were re-flowed.
Should anyone not want to solder their PSU for some reason, I will do it for free (except shipping)
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