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Topic: Connecting an Arduino to an XBOX 360 (Read 4727 times) previous topic - next topic

Fennel Rye

Howdy everyone.  First timer here.  I'm working on an XBOX 360 case mod that I would like to incorporate some moving parts into (servos connected to Arduino).   Basically, I would like the servos to activate whenever the console is turned on and then proceed to move while the XBOX is on.  I know that's pretty vague, but I was curious if you guys had tried anything like this before.  What would be a good starting point?  Is it possible to connect the Arduino to the XBOX?  Again, beginner here so excuse any naivety.  Thanks in advance.

Fennel Rye
Fennel Rye

Osgeld

#1
Nov 17, 2010, 04:25 am Last Edit: Nov 17, 2010, 04:25 am by Osgeld Reason: 1
I dont have a 360, but its microsoft, I am sure its nothing mind bending, the old xbox was just a switch that operated like a atx computer power switch, I doubt its changed
http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php?action=unread;boards=2,3,4,5,67,6,7,8,9,10,11,66,12,13,15,14,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,86,87,89,1;ALL

Fennel Rye

Here are some pics of the power switchboard.  Does this help at all?  How would you tap into the power after the switch?



Thanks!

Fennel Rye
Fennel Rye

Fennel Rye

Also, would this cause the console to overheat?  As of now I'm assuming it will use only one servo and possibly a DC motor.
Fennel Rye

Reboticon

Finally, I get to help! Forget that RF part and work from the main board. The 2 white halves of the case will just snap apart (ive never broken one) without any special tool. All you need is a torx 8 (like you used to remove the rf part) and a torx 10.  Inside you will find the board which looks almost just like a PC and the infamous heatsinks on the GPU/CPU. They have X clamps that help retain them and after many (or sometimes few) heat cycles the expansion and contraction of the X clamp causes the board to bend ever so slightly, which results in the RRoDoom. The newer models (the ones with an HDMI port, have much improved heat sinks and are going to be far more ideal for any project with extra heat.

You will see the pair of fans in the 360 (1 unit, 2 fans) and a piece of white plastic foils the air to the heat sinks. If you remove this piece of plastic, even a brand new xbox that isn't even running a game, just sitting at the dash, will overheat with 5-10minutes, so as far as heat, you have very little wiggle room inside the actual device.

So whats the good news? The fans are triggered the moment the 360 receives power and are connected to the board with an extremely easy to splice 2 wire connector. These fans are 12v so you need a simple voltage step down circuit if you wanted a 5v source from here.

Also inside, you will find the drive which connects to the board through a SATA cable and a 12 pin (10 wire, 2 are empty) ribbon that is also extremely easy to splice. You may be able to draw a steady 5v signal when 360 is turned on through one of these wires, but I am woefully uninformed as to whether or not this will have any ill effects on the drive itself.

If you decide to continue with this project, I would highly recommend searching youtube for RROD fixes, and getting rid of those x clamps and arctic silvering the sinks now, instead of later. I have several boxes of different versions dissassembled and sitting here right now. If there are any specific tests you want run (and dont want to risk blowing up your working box) I am happy to do them for you on one of these parts boxes.

yay for finally getting to contribute something ;D

Fennel Rye

Awesome, man.  Thanks for the reply.  So you'd splice the fan wires, go through a voltage step down circuit to produce a 5V current to power the Arduino?  How would I go about purchasing (creating?) a voltage step down circuit?  I just actually replaced the fans in my xbox for some whisper ones that cool it down much better as well, so I'm familiar with the insides.  Good tip on the arctic silvering, I'll definitely do that.  

I also found this article about drawing power from other places on the motherboard : http://hubpages.com/hub/Xbox-360-12V-Fan-Modification-Keep-Your-System-Running-Longer

Does any of that sound like a better option than splicing the fan wires?  If I were to use one of these other sources of 12v power, how would I integrate the voltage step down circuit?  Thanks for your help, man.  Much appreciated.

Fennel Rye
Fennel Rye

Reboticon

The places you are pulling power from there are still 12v. They may be better options, but they also require soldering to the board. That really just depends on your skill level. Notice how he uses a 12v wire in that link from the disk drive? there is also going to be a 5v wire there somewhere.

As for most of the other stuff, I am a real beginner like you, Most of what I know comes from following DIYs like the one you linked, So I cant really help you with a step down circuit. I know you would need a 5v regulator which is like $2 at radio shack, but there are some other things involved. Its not a particularly difficult thing to create if you can solder (seen one, never made one.)

You may have to draw power from more than one place. The arduino itself can operate at a variety of voltages (though from what I am reading it seems to low a voltage causes problems and to high a voltage (12v) can cause it to burn out prematurely.

The signals that the arduino uses are going to be 5v or less, so if you want to trigger any inputs from the 360, you will need a second power point on the board. If you are just wanting your arduino to run a loop as soon as it receives power, and output to pins (with no inputs) you can get away with just the 1 power source.

In the picture that you linked to, is that what your heat sinks look like? thats the newer "Good" style. The older style doesnt have the 3rd part that kind of floats in the air from the copper tubing. Also, do you see where some of the fan wires are spliced to the DVD drive in the picture? Thats only on newer boxes as well. On the older boxes that wiring isn't there. That may be the "increased fan speed" he mentions in the link, because that is something I have not observed when messing with mine.

Ill definitely be following this thread because it seems like a great opportunity for me to learn something as well, but I can really only help with the actual box and experimenting (on my parts boxes), and very little with what happens in between.

Fennel Rye

#7
Nov 18, 2010, 12:07 am Last Edit: Nov 18, 2010, 12:22 am by fennelrye Reason: 1
Just did a bit more reading and it's recommending 9v or 12v, 250 mA or more.  Seems like 5v may be too weak.  In this case, could you go from the 12v power supply through a 7809 Voltage Regulator (http://www.amazon.com/7809-9V-Voltage-Regulator-TO-220/dp/B0002ZPVS4) to step it down to 9v, and then into the Arduino?  

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Notice how he uses a 12v wire in that link from the disk drive? there is also going to be a 5v wire there somewhere.


Sorry, what do you mean there is also going to be a 5v wire there?  Do you mean a different gauge of wire?  Would the gauge of wire coming from the XBOX be different than the wire going into the Arduino?  I know I've still got a lot to learn so excuse any stupid questions.  

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(12v) can cause it to burn out prematurely


Where'd you read that?  I was looking here: http://www.arduino.cc/playground/Learning/WhatAdapter

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if you want to trigger any inputs from the 360, you will need a second power point on the board.


Which kind of inputs being triggered from the 360 are you referring to?

Thanks again for keeping up with this topic.  Appreciate your input.  

Fennel Rye
Fennel Rye

Ran Talbott

My (possibly incorrect) recollection from reading about the Xbox is that it has a USB interface (with non-standard connectors) for peripherals.  Why not tap into the 5V and ground on that bus?  You could use an extension cable or damaged gamepad to get a connection,  and avoid doing any modification to the console.

Osgeld

#9
Nov 18, 2010, 06:28 am Last Edit: Nov 18, 2010, 06:28 am by Osgeld Reason: 1
yea there is +5v in a lot of places, poke a multimeter in the power supply connector and your bound to find one
http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php?action=unread;boards=2,3,4,5,67,6,7,8,9,10,11,66,12,13,15,14,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,86,87,89,1;ALL

Reboticon

Quote
Sorry, what do you mean there is also going to be a 5v wire there?  Do you mean a different gauge of wire?  Would the gauge of wire coming from the XBOX be different than the wire going into the Arduino?  I know I've still got a lot to learn so excuse any stupid questions.  

A disk drive is going to have one wire that is 12v and one wire that is 5v. Since 5v is USB that is what mine is running at. One of the guys on the forum who seemed to know what they were talking about said 12v caused part of it to heat uo (I think the regulators?) too much and make them burn out prematurely, and that 9v was a much better supply. You can use 12v, im just warning you what I was told. I have no idea whether it was correct and Id probably trust the arduino main site, personally.

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My (possibly incorrect) recollection from reading about the Xbox is that it has a USB interface (with non-standard connectors) for peripherals.  Why not tap into the 5V and ground on that bus?  You could use an extension cable or damaged gamepad to get a connection,  and avoid doing any modification to the console.

the Xbox has USB interface with non-standard connectors, the xbox 360 uses standard USB connectors. The problem is that they get +5v even when the xbox is not on. The controller wont be on, but my portable HD is plugged in right now and definitely receiving power.

Fennel Rye

Thanks for the input, everyone.  I suppose what I'll be trying is to go straight out of one of the 5v sources into the Arduino.  Is it possible that this might not be enough power to run two servos?  I'd like to avoid the use of a regulator if possible.  I am also wondering about the 12v situation, and whether or not that really would burn the chip out prematurely.  Reboticon, I know you said you were down to do some experimenting on an Xbox you've got lying around. Wanna see if one of the 5v sources will power an Arduino? Here's a list of power outs on the motherboard: http://img229.imageshack.us/i/4dyu9s2jv2.png/  Let me know what you think.

Fennel Rye
Fennel Rye

Ran Talbott

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Is it possible that this might not be enough power to run two servos?

Alas, yes: the console biz is extremely competitive, so there's a good chance that the power supply was cut down to "barely adequate" to save costs.

However,  there's also a good chance that they included enough capacity to run the motors in "force feedback" game controllers.  You need to do careful research.

Another thought:  to overcome the "always on 5V" problem,  you could use a Teensy,  or one of the new Unos,  and include the code for some actual USB device that would detect whether the Xbox was up and running the host-side drivers.


Fennel Rye

Thanks for the reply, Ran.  

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However,  there's also a good chance that they included enough capacity to run the motors in "force feedback" game controllers.  You need to do careful research.


What type of information am I looking for specifically?

/me
Fennel Rye

Fennel Rye

Richard -

So external power is probably going to be necessary.  That's fine, I really just want the Arduino to activate whenever the Xbox is switched on.  How would you accomplish this if the Arduino is using an external power supply?
Fennel Rye

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