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Put A Vga Port On The Back Of Your 360!


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#1 G0t M4xx 21

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 04:52 AM

All right, with the new update improving the look of the picture on VGA, I thought I'd release my method of wiring up a VGA port to the back of the 360, so you can use a standard VGA cable to hook up the 360 to a monitor.

The new method involves a way I discovered to have the 360 automatically switch between VGA mode and normal A/V mode depending on if there is a monitor hooked up to the 360 or not (uses pin 11: monitor_ID).

This tut also includes installing a 3.5mm headphone jack so you can also hook up your PC speakers. The audio output is active all the time, regardless of if you're using the VGA plug or a regualr A/V cable, though you could jsut as easily use another tutorial to wire up a coaxial/optical S/PDIF output instead.

So, let's get on with it!

Required materials:

Xbox 360
Female 15 pin (VGA) port
Female 3.5mm stereo headphone jack (I had some spares laying around from Samsung 616T dvd-rom mods)
A buncha pieces of wire (about 24-26 gague works fine)
Some coaxial audio cable (hacking up an old pair of headphones works great)
Soldering iron
Dremel or other tool to cut the metal shield and case so you can get to your new VGA port

Wiring:

We'll start by saying this: it looks difficult, but it's not really that hard. The solder points are fairly large, it's not like the Xbox 1 D0 point or anything.

The colors of the pins on the pictures of the Xbox360 motherboard and the audio/vga ports correspond, but I will also give pin numbers.

First, the VGA port (shown from the back side, the side you should be soldering to. Pin 1 is top left. Pins and their corresponding grounds are circled together (is important later)

IPB Image

Pin 1: (Red) - Red output
Pin 2: (Green) - Green output
Pin 3: (blue) - Blue output
Pin 5: (black) - H-sync Ground
Pins 6-8: (black) - Red, green, and blue grounds
Pin 10: (black) - V-sync ground
Pin 11: (Yellow) - Monitor_ID (sets video mode to VGA in xbox 360)
Pin 13: (orange) - H-sync
Pin 14: (purple) - V-sync

Begin by putting a ~ 6 inch piece of wire on each of the data pins, and a different color of wire for the grounds, so you don't get confused.

Now, there's a reason why each pair of wires on the picture is circled. To reduce interferance in the wires, you must twist each data pin (except Monitor_ID) around its corresponding ground, the ground wire will shield the data pin from interferance.

So, you will have 5 twisted pairs coming off the VGA port, plus Monitor_ID. (it helps to label them by sticking a small piece of tape to each pair and writing R,G,B,H, and V on them).

The audio jack (the top of the picture is the end that the plug goes in):

IPB Image

Top: (black) - Ground
Middle: (red) - Right
Bottom: (white) - Left

Take your piece of audio coax, strip back the shielding on it and twist it up and solder it to the ground pin on the jack.

Then, solder one of the center wires to the red, and the other to the black (if your piece of coax only has one center wire you need to use two pieces, but if you got the wire from an old pair of headphones it will usually have two condutcors inside, or it will be two pieces of coax already stuck together)

End of Part I





Part II

The motherboard:

You obviously need to open your Xbox 360 (bye bye warranty, it's only 3 months anyways who cares), and remove your motherboard from the metal shielding (please be aware of static electricity, it will damage your mobo if you're not careful), we will be soldering to the bottom side of the board, under the audio/video plug.

Each pin is conviently numbered on the board (going across it goes 2, 6, 10, 14... then 4, 8, 12, 16, 20... then 1, 5, 9, 13, 17... then 3, 7, 11, 15...)

IPB Image

Starting on top left, then moving across:

Pins 2, 6, 10, 14, 18, 22, 26, 1, 5, 9, 13, 27 (black) - Ground (they're all connected to each other so it does not matter which ground pin you use.
Pin 4 (green) - Green output (VGA)
Pin 8 (blue) - Blue output (VGA)
Pin 12 (purple) - V-sync (VGA)
Pin 16 (white) - Left (Audio)
Pin 20 (yellow) - VGA Mode select (hook to VGA Pin 11, Monitor_ID)
Pin 3 (Red) - Red (VGA)
Pin 11 (orange) - H-sync (VGA)
Pin 15 (Red) - Right (audio)

OK, solder up all your points (easier said than done, just take your time and triple check that all your connections are correct)

End of part II

Edited by G0t M4xx 21, 13 August 2006 - 06:03 AM.


#2 G0t M4xx 21

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 05:04 AM

You should have something that looks like this:

IPB Image

By this point all the wiring is done, so feel free to go test it (jsut don't test it for too long, cause chances are your cooling solution isn't up to spec since you prolly have your motherboard just sitting on the ground.)

With no monitor plugged in, you will jsut get the normal 4 red lights (no A/V cable connected), and the 360 will function normally with the normal A/V cables. But, plug in a monitor, and it pulls the Monitor_ID pin low, triggering VGA mode, and viola!



Part III



Mounting, and case cutting

So, lets get it finished

The best way to mount the VGA plug and headphone jack is to solder it to the top of the A/V port, allowing you to easily install/remove the motherboard, since everything is mounted to the motherboard itself. You're gonna need a pretty beefy soldering iron for this.

Just solder it up:

IPB Image

IPB Image

For the headphone jack, I soldered the ground leg of the plug to the A/V plug shield, since it is also ground. Be caseful not to let any of the other pins touch the shield.

Then, mark and cut in the main chassis so that the VGA plug will fir through (leave a ~1mm gap around the plug so the outside of the VGA cable can go all the way in)

IPB Image

Now go do the same thing in your outside case.

Just trim off some plastic on the fan so it will clear the cables running to the underside of the mobo, and you're done!

Now congradulate yourself on saving some cash, and having a real VGA plug in your 360 like a PC!

Edited by G0t M4xx 21, 18 June 2006 - 05:07 AM.


#3 Foe-hammer

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 06:29 AM

Great! beerchug.gif

Thanks for the time and effort you put into making this tutorial.

This looks like the next big project i'll being doing on my 360, as soon as i decide on a color for replacing the original case with.

#4 xboxexpert

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 07:36 AM

Added to Tutorials located here.



#5 liqwidsky

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 12:40 AM

QUOTE(G0t M4xx 21 @ Jun 17 2006, 11:59 PM) View Post

This tut also includes installing a 3.5mm headphone jack so you can also hook up your PC speakers. The audio output is active all the time, regardless of if you're using the VGA plug or a regualr A/V cable, though you could jsut as easily use another tutorial to wire up a coaxial/optical S/PDIF output instead.


I can't find any tutorials about wiring optical or spdif outputs on x-s... could you please provide a link to where you saw that?

Thanks

#6 G0t M4xx 21

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 01:17 AM

idk i just meant using the a/v pinouts (listed on Llamma and a few other places) and hooking up a S/PDIF output

#7 Grim187

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 01:01 PM

WOW, this is so much better then the tut that i was going to go by, Finlay a pinout for the bottom of the board, i already got the VGA pins soldered up and i will probably start on the board in a couple days (I'm really busy with other things)

Thanks Maxx

Edit: Spelling

Edited by Grim187, 19 June 2006 - 01:02 PM.


#8 InfernO8

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 02:28 PM

Great Job. Out of curiousity does the signal come in good even through a "home made" VGA because I was under the impression that the signal could easily be messed up through work like that. If not I plan on doing this. Thanks.

#9 G0t M4xx 21

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 04:03 AM

On mine the picture looks amazing at 1280x1024, no interferance at all.

The key is twisting the ground wires around the signal wires, this reduces interferance greatly. Its a trick I use at work all the time (I'm a Lab Tech for a company that makes Class D audio amplifier chips, www.jam-tech.com ), for picking off data busses and still recovering clean waveforms (I2S, I2C, S/PDIF, etc.). Adding series resistors also helps when picking off data lines, but on the X360 they're already there (since it's already meant to be an output, not snooping a bus that's not supposed to have anything on it).

So yeah, some "homemade" VGA adapters give bad quality pictures due to improper shielding of the wires, but if you follow my tutorial exactly, it will turn out great.

Edited by G0t M4xx 21, 21 June 2006 - 04:04 AM.


#10 AfGhAnGsTa

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 07:45 PM

QUOTE(G0t M4xx 21 @ Jun 20 2006, 11:10 PM) View Post

On mine the picture looks amazing at 1280x1024, no interferance at all.

The key is twisting the ground wires around the signal wires, this reduces interferance greatly. Its a trick I use at work all the time (I'm a Lab Tech for a company that makes Class D audio amplifier chips, www.jam-tech.com ), for picking off data busses and still recovering clean waveforms (I2S, I2C, S/PDIF, etc.). Adding series resistors also helps when picking off data lines, but on the X360 they're already there (since it's already meant to be an output, not snooping a bus that's not supposed to have anything on it).

So yeah, some "homemade" VGA adapters give bad quality pictures due to improper shielding of the wires, but if you follow my tutorial exactly, it will turn out great.



Ok, I followed your tutorial, and everything is working beautifully. The only problem is I have a HDTV and HD Xbox360 cables, and when I have this VGA port connected (pin 11 on it) won't let my 360 get into HDTV mode with the regular HD Cables. When I disconnect pin 11 from the VGA port, it lets me get my 360 into 1080i. With it connected, it will only go into 1080i and then switch immediately back. Any ideas? I was thinking of wiring a switch, but I'm not quite sure as to how I should go about that.

#11 G0t M4xx 21

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 06:08 AM

Yes if you have the vga cable plugged in and a monitor hooked to the other end (even if the monitor is off), it will force the 360 into VGA mode.

If you plug in a HDTV cable at the same time, it sets both modes at the same time, which I believe enables RGB (scart) mode, which will certainly do funny things to your tv.

Just unplug the vga cable when your not using it and it will be fine

If you're saying it's doing it without a cable plugged in, then something's up, pin 11 pay be shorted to something else.

You could wire a switch, jsut connect the video mode wire (that would go to pin 11) to one side of the switch and the other side to ground

Edited by G0t M4xx 21, 05 July 2006 - 06:11 AM.


#12 AfGhAnGsTa

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 02:53 PM

QUOTE(G0t M4xx 21 @ Jul 5 2006, 01:15 AM) View Post

Yes if you have the vga cable plugged in and a monitor hooked to the other end (even if the monitor is off), it will force the 360 into VGA mode.

If you plug in a HDTV cable at the same time, it sets both modes at the same time, which I believe enables RGB (scart) mode, which will certainly do funny things to your tv.

Just unplug the vga cable when your not using it and it will be fine

If you're saying it's doing it without a cable plugged in, then something's up, pin 11 pay be shorted to something else.

You could wire a switch, jsut connect the video mode wire (that would go to pin 11) to one side of the switch and the other side to ground


Alright, what I did was pretty interesting, but it works. I cut the wire that goes to Pin 11 (the yellow wire) in half, and I soldered one end to one of outer legs on my 3 pin switch and the other end to ground. Now I switch between VGA and my HDTV. It works pretty well now. I just have to mount everything, but I don't know when I'll get around to doing that. You might want to add this to your tutorial G0t M4xx 21.

#13 bidomo

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 06:06 PM

Congrats on your Great tuto G0t M4xx 21

Maybe I'm a little offtopic with this little doubt I have, but this is the right place to do it (am I right?).


I've just tried the 'pinout' tutorial, the one using the AV plug for wiring the VGA, for this to work, I had to cut the AV cable, worked fine, but it has some interference...

While de-ataching/re-ataching the AV plug to the back of the box, the "pins" got damaged, so I've just lost the ability to connect to TV (either RCA or HDTV mode and even the M$ VGA cables)

That's not the problem, I can just remove the AV port on the back of the box and use this tut to wire a better one, but I don't know the pins that the box uses to get into TV mode (RCA Yellow Plug).

If someone knows the meaning of the full AV interface, it would be very helpful for me to know what pins to wire the female jacks directly to the box are needed.

Can someone tell some considerations for me to take?

This is the last post I write this little legend: Excuse my bad english, maybe I'm explict enought to explain myself, but there's some things that I know how to tell but not how to express.

#14 jtom617

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 03:11 AM

Simply amazing, now all i need to do is just get my soldering skills up some. Then this will be the perfect project for me! smile.gif Thanks man, great work!

#15 kjmc

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 12:44 AM

Hi, what is the minimum gage wire that can be used? I have some 30 awg sitting around, would that be suitable for the few inches required to mount to the vga plug? Is the tighter the twist result in better shielding, so the wires cross each other at 90 degrees? thanks




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