Like so many people, my Xbox 360 suddenly died. The console itself was unusable (Red Ring of Death), but the power supply seemed OK. Unfortunately, it uses a proprietary connector, making it hard to reuse. To avoid putting it in the garbage with the console, I reverse engineered the connector and built a custom enclosure to reuse it as a dual voltage benchtop power supply.
Power supply reverse engineering
The Xbox 360 power supply provides two voltage rail : 5V and 12V. Most of the available power is on the 12V rail. As mentioned, the power supply uses a proprietary connector as shown below.
The connector consists of two barrel connectors. In each one, there are two ring connections and one pin connector. In the cable sleeve, there are two yellow wire, two black wires, one grey wire, one blue wire and one red wire. Using a multimeter, I was able to match each plug connection to each wire as displayed in the image and table below.
|Black / Grey||outer rings||ground|
|Blue||right pin||12V enable|
By default, only the 5V rail is enabled. To enable the 12V rail, 5V must be applied to the “12V enable” wire (blue). When this wire is enabled, the LED on the power supply turns green. There seems to be a pull down resistor inside the power supply on the “12V enable” wire, so it should be safe to apply directly the 5V to the cable. To be on the safe side and reduce the current draw on the enable line, I used a 1K pull-up resistor as shown on the circuit below.
To reuse the power supply in my home lab, I decided to build a custom enclosure to expose the two Xbox power supply voltage rails to two pairs of binding posts. The following video shows the process of building this enclosure.
The first step is drilling and cutting the holes for the connectors. There are 2 double binding posts for the output and a Molex Micro-Fit connector for the input. The holes for the binding posts were drilled with a hand drill. The hole for the Molex connector was cut using a rotary tool with a drilling bit. This template was used to place and cut the holes. The resulting holes are displayed below.
After the final assembly, this is the result :
All the components used are detailed in the table below.
|Molex male pin||WM1841CT-ND|
|Molex female pin||WM9168CT-ND|