Arlec Single Outlet Safety Switch

Thanks to my mate Raz I now have an Arlec Single Outlet Safety Switch from Bunnings. It’s a 30mA residual-current device (RCD), which is a type of earth-leakage circuit breaker (ELCB).

Over here:

You can see my bench UPS in the bottom right:

It’s a PowerShield Defender 1200VA.

The UPS then has the Arlec device in the back of it, which then powers the rest of my bench (behind the scissors):

You can see I still have my Xbox power cable plugged in. We’re not sure exactly what that does. In addition to an electronic fuse maybe an RCD or maybe an arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) or maybe all of the above.

Playing Xbox

So I sorted my Xboxes today. I have owned 36. I sold 2. I turned one into my bench testing system. I have 26 which are in various forms of broken. That’s anything from a dicky DVD drive, to error screen, to FRAGing, to won’t even power on. Then I have 7 which are working. Of those 2 are chipped, 3 aren’t chipped, and 2 I’m not sure about yet.

I’ve introduced a colour coding system. On the left is a red sticker if the Xbox is broken or a green sticker if it works. On the right is a yellow sticker which has an X in it if the Xbox is not chipped, a question mark in it if I’m not sure, and a plain yellow sticker means it’s chipped.

I stuck a reminder on the second drawer:

Picking a 16-channel external power connection

So I’m planning to put an Xbox power supply,

in a box,

I wasn’t sure exactly which box, so I got four, hoping one would work.
The sockets and pinouts vary,

So I will need to make three different types of cables, one for each version range: v1.0-v1.1, v1.2-v1.5, v1.6. But those vary only on the “motherboard side”, the connector that connects to a power supply in a box can be anything, and I can pick it. By my count the maximum cable requirement is 16 cables. So I’m looking for a recommendation for what power connector to install the on the box. Ideally something I can bolt into the box that can handle a couple of amps of DC and into which I can plug my custom cable. Craig? :)
Update: from here maximum observed current 8.6A. I would like to use D Sub Connector Housing, 25 Ways, D Sub, 3, AMPLIMITE HDP-20, Receptacle, Steel Body but I’m not sure if they’re rated high enough for the current.


Man, I walked through the valley of the shadow of doubt with this one.

What is pictured is an after-market Xbox controller I picked up recently. While I was doing the intake I found its plastic was a bit “sticky” so I gave the controller a bit of a clean, but it started tearing gunk off the plastic, and it all basically went to shit.

I scrubbed and scrubbed and hit it with isopropyl and vinegar and ethanol (ethanol seemed to work best) but ultimately I popped the whole thing open and washed the parts with soap, bicarb soda, and boiling water.

I managed to salvage the controller in the end, but there are still some stains in the slots for the memory cartridge as you can see in the second photo below (for a while there the whole thing looked like that!).

I’m gonna have another go at those stains when my Goo Gone arrives, and maybe give it another hit with the ethanol too.

For a while there I was pretty sure this one was destined for the scrap heap. But after taking it to bits and scrubbing it I put it all back together, and not only did I have no screws left over, all the buttons continued to work too!

How to mount an Xbox formatted drive on Ubuntu

When I finally get a PCIe IDE adapter that works, this is gonna come in handy: How to mount an Xbox formatted drive on Ubuntu.

The IDE adapter that I have is this one, but it reports all disks as damaged (and they’re not). I think maybe it’s too new for the drives maybe? Speaking a newer version of the ATA protocol? I have no idea really.

Xbox CPU thermal paste replacement

So I popped the heat sink off the CPU in my ‘chipped’ Xbox. I wasn’t able to get the heat sink off the device to the left of that, which might be the graphics card? I’m not sure. I gave it a pretty mighty tug and it didn’t come loose, so not sure what the deal is there. I cleaned the CPU and the heat sink (I damaged the heat sink a little, you can see the scratches).