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  1. #1
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    Electronics 1st generation 60GB PS3: Red Light of Death

    So after about four years of blissful ownership, my PS3 refused to turn on one day. I went straight to YouTube and typed in, "PS3 blinking red light" and got a ton of hits on the RLOD.

    Long and short of it is that the cooling system in the first generation PS3 is somewhat inadequate and if you leave it on for long periods of time, the heat cycles wear down the solder integrity and the solder begins to crack, disrupting the electrical signals on the motherboard. Sony is not taking care of this globally - if customers call for service, they charge for the fix. With shipping, about $200. Another option are private repair techs of which there are a bunch. They charge about $50 for the fix, but you have to pay for shipping both ways which brings it closer to $80.

    Luckily there was a DIY fix (a bunch of them) that essentially use a heat gun to "reflow" the solder. I literally watched two or three repair techs do it their own way on YouTube, picked my path, bought the parts and did the fix. Essentially all I needed was an adjustable heat gun (harbor frieght - $29) and some thermal paste. Got the paste from Amazon for about 7 bucks.

    Disassembly - a little scary the first time.



    Cleaned off all the old thermal paste and dust, reflowed the solder, applied new thermal paste (Artic Silver 5) and put it all back together. It fired up the first time.

    The follow-on recommendation is to store it vertically and to clean dust off the vents often. A lot of guys mod their PS3 with heat sinks, water cooling systems, extra fans or fan upgrades, etc. There's really no limit to how far you want to go. I might look into another cooling mod just to stop this from happening again. Some people that reflow the motherboard report the same failure again in the future - anywhere from a couple of months to a year or so depending on how much use. Other people never have a failure again.

    Theory is that the factory thermal paste blows and the new thermal paste fixes the cooling issue. Anybody that has a second failure just didn't reflow the solder properly or completely. Guess time will tell if I did the reflow properly. The only indication is that it works... which it does for now! Cool experience for the DIY type!



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    Last edited by jumbosrule; 09-29-2011 at 08:25 AM.

  2. #2
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    Hah the rlod! I had this happen to my 1g 60gb ps3 also and paid some guy on ebay to fix... twice ($100 first, warranty fix the second time). Regret it now and should have looked into the DIY. Nonetheless the ps3 was sold into the hands of a cool guy where it functioned well for him for a few months then died again. I think he was able to trade up to a 2nd gen ps3 through some promotion with sony. If interested you may want to take a look?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jumbosrule View Post
    So after about four years of blissful ownership, my PS3 refused to turn on one day. I went straight to YouTube and typed in, "PS3 blinking red light" and got a ton of hits on the RLOD.

    Long and short of it is that the cooling system in the first generation PS3 is somewhat inadequate and if you leave it on for long periods of time, the heat cycles wear down the solder integrity and the solder begins to crack, disrupting the electrical signals on the motherboard. Sony is not taking care of this globally - if customers call for service, they charge for the fix. With shipping, about $200. Another option are private repair techs of which there are a bunch. They charge about $50 for the fix, but you have to pay for shipping both ways which brings it closer to $80.

    Luckily there was a DIY fix (a bunch of them) that essentially use a heat gun to "reflow" the solder. I literally watched two or three repair techs do it their own way on YouTube, picked my path, bought the parts and did the fix. Essentially all I needed was an adjustable heat gun (harbor frieght - $29) and some thermal paste. Got the paste from Amazon for about 7 bucks.

    Disassembly - a little scary the first time.



    Cleaned off all the old thermal paste and dust, reflowed the solder, applied new thermal paste (Artic Silver 5) and put it all back together. It fired up the first time.

    The follow-on recommendation is to store it vertically and to clean dust off the vents often. A lot of guys mod their PS3 with heat sinks, water cooling systems, extra fans or fan upgrades, etc. There's really no limit to how far you want to go. I might look into another cooling mod just to stop this from happening again. Some people that reflow the motherboard report the same failure again in the future - anywhere from a couple of months to a year or so depending on how much use. Other people never have a failure again.

    Theory is that the factory thermal paste blows and the new thermal paste fixes the cooling issue. Anybody that has a second failure just didn't reflow the solder properly or completely. Guess time will tell if I did the reflow properly. The only indication is that it works... which it does for now! Cool experience for the DIY type!
    I have the same phone...and I'm sure your wife loves you for taking up the whole kitchen table with auto parts! I do the same! lol

  4. #4
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    thats good they can be fixed, my brother has had 2 360s died on him.
    Hopefully the 2nd gen PS3 wont have this problem.

  5. #5
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    I've repaired the YLOD a few times myself. The YLOD will come back, sadly. A better solution is reballing the GPU and CPU. I haven't tried reballing but bought a newer PS3 slim (CECH-3000) which doesn't make popping noises like the other slim models.

  6. #6
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    Random DIY threads like this make me feel all warm and fuzzy. Nice work Jumbo. :tup:

  7.    The Following User Says Thank You to tchuck For This Useful Post:


  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdTrader View Post
    I have the same phone...and I'm sure your wife loves you for taking up the whole kitchen table with auto parts! I do the same! lol
    It was just a few hours on a weekend. No impact to meal time!

    Quote Originally Posted by NopWRX View Post
    I've repaired the YLOD a few times myself. The YLOD will come back, sadly. A better solution is reballing the GPU and CPU. I haven't tried reballing but bought a newer PS3 slim (CECH-3000) which doesn't make popping noises like the other slim models.
    Great, now I'm going to have to YouTube reballing PS3 GPU and CPU, lol. Maybe I'll just wait till it fails again, then try something different. I don't want to give up the backwards compatibility with PS1 and PS2 games (had both of those) but will go to a slim if I must. I have not heard the slim models have the same heat/solder issues. Then again, this was the first time I heard of it on the first gen.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jumbosrule View Post
    ... I don't want to give up the backwards compatibility with PS1 and PS2 games (had both of those) but will go to a slim if I must. I have not heard the slim models have the same heat/solder issues. Then again, this was the first time I heard of it on the first gen.
    FYI, if you send yours in for repairs, Sony will return you a fully functional later model that is not backward compatible. I know two people personally who've had this experience. I have one of the later full size models that is not backward compatible.


 

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