PS2 Hardware Diagnostics and Repair Edit

GameFAQS Edit

PS2 Hardware - Board FAQ - more about the DRE problems of early fat PS2 models, but still has useful info.

GamerTech at GameWinners Edit

A thread from November 2006. Covers a lot of the PS2 models.

Local Cache (Raw) Edit

Seriously, read at the [ link], not here. This is for emergency use only if the thread ever gets dropped from gamewinners.

November 17th, 2006, 08:38 PM #1: [Thread] [Post] gamertech Just checking in...

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Post Repairing your PS2 Repairing your PS2

Table of contents:

Intro Disclaimer: Who died and made me boss? (AKA: Why should you trust me?) All I ask from you: Cleaning your lens (i.e. with care): DVD password: Deactivating the parental lockout feature: Increasing DVD volume:


If your PS2 has given up the ghost, this is the place to get repair tips. Hello, I’m gamertech. I’ll be your tour guide this evening. There’s nothing more frustrating than booting up that new game only to get the dreaded DRE (disc read error). However, any failure can be devastating to the player’s fun. That’s where this thread comes in. If you have a problem with your PS2: First, read – or at least scan – this thread, looking for descriptions that parallel your particular set of symptoms. Remember – for example - that “won’t read discs” is too broad a label as MANY things can cause a PS2 to not read discs. Secondly, if you can’t find the solution to your problem then feel free to post here. Try to describe your unit’s symptom set as best as possible. Also, give the model of your PS2. Understand, however, that model numbers only help me narrow your machine down to a group of versions (there are literally dozens of different versions of the PS2). It doesn’t necessarily pinpoint anything but it will at least help me eliminate many versions. The model number will be on the rear of the “fat” models, above the expansion port. If the unit was sold with a network adaptor, the sticker containing the model # will be on the left side of the unit. Slimlines have the model number on the bottom. If your model # sticker is missing, simply power the unit without a disc inside (if it will indeed power up) and press the triangle button at the boot screen. The number next to “console” is the model #. It should start with “SCPH”. When I refer to model numbers I usually write them as 30xxx, 39xxx, 50xxx, etc… The “x” simply stands for the last three digits. I do this because the actual model numbers vary from region to region. The final digit denotes the region (ex. “1” means the unit was sold in the North American region.) The significant numerals are the first two digits.

Please keep in mind that not all PS2s are repairable. Wee, let me rephrase that… not all PS2s are feasible to repair. Non-fixable units (at least to you guys) may include those needing hard-to-get parts, procedures requiring specialized tools/equipment, of those that are just so far tampered that giving guidance without seeing them is impossible. Other units just simply aren’t worth the price of parts. This especially true when laser assemblies are needed. Some are relatively cheap, some are ridiculously expensive. That’s a case-by-case call you’ll have to make on your own. By taking on this task I’m sometimes forced to dole out bad news, especially in the case of the 50xxx and 70xxx (slimline) series consoles. However, remember that I can only help you as far as I’m made aware of your particular case. There are times where I may be able to see the problem on sight (if I where there) yet - since you may not be aware of all the details – you may not tell me some key, seeming unrelated, detail. I’ll try my best. Just understand that I’m not psychic.


Yeah, I shouldn’t have to do this but as sure as I’m talking to you right now some one is going to try to fix their PS2 with a ball peen hammer then blame me when they burn the house down. So, to perform a bit of CYA, here we go:

Opening your game console will immediately void any warranty that may still exist. By following my advice you take full responsibility for anything that may go wrong in the process. I can promise you that all of my info comes from personal experience and discovery. I cannot, however, vouch for the reader’s skill level, ability to solder, experience, thoroughness, ability, capability, understanding, attention to detail, or overall competency. If you get shocked, tear ribbon cables, break something, or cause any other kind of damage to yourself, your console, or anything else… well… though crap. If you’re not comfortable with doing the job then you shouldn’t be attempting to.

Make sure to mark original factory settings before you start fooling around with adjustments. Ideally, you’ll want to only try adjusting one thing at a time (if any). If you get too many things out of whack you’re going to facing an uphill battle trying to restore proper defaults. Treat ribbon cables with love. They are fragile and almost always non-repairable; don’t tear them. If the connector into which it seats uses a locking latch, make sure to release that latch before trying to remove the cable. The same goes for reinsertion. Don’t just go yanking on them. Remember: love.

Who died and made me boss? (AKA: Why should you trust me?)

I’ve been repairing game consoles for around 16 years now. It’s what I do for a living (well, and repair of other electronics that mean nothing here). I’ve worked for official warranty centers of Atari, Intellivision, and Nintendo. I’ve been THE go-to guy in my area for console repair and, as such, I do and have handled repairs for quite a few businesses around; both locally and for a couple of American east coast rental chains. While I’ve only done “official warranty” work for the three companies I mentioned, they are by no means the extent of my endeavors. I’ve been very deep into PlayStation repair since the PS1 came out, as well as every other console on the U.S. markets. I even had a few years of arcade machine experience. Yes, I’m tooting my own horn but only so you see that when I tell you something here I’m giving you the most honest and informed view I possibly can. That – in short – is why you can trust me.

All I ask from you:

Buy the way, since I seriously doubt many of you out there are electronics technicians, you probably have no way to realize the full significance of these tips I've been sharing. Let me tell you: I've spent countless hours, over several years now, pulling my hair out to unlock the secrets of the PS2. I may be tossing these tips out casually to you guys but make no mistake; I've put forth some serious effort to obtain this knowledge. It's not like Sony provides service manuals for these things; they want themselves to be the only ones to repair them (more likely, they'd like you to just buy a new one).

If you've read this thread, you already know several 1,000 % about PS2 repair than ALMOST EVERY technician out there - including those selling "PS2 repair manuals". Think I'm kidding? Better think again! My closest friends in the biz aren't even allowed access to my vault and that's final. I've guarded these secrets like my wallet because they are and I earned every bit of it. I'm the game console guy in my county. Every one else around send units they take in to me. Now maybe you see the weight of the situation and understand my following statements:

With this in mind, I'd like to take this opportunity to make a personal appeal to those who read this thread. If you want to print - or save to your hard drive - any of the tips I give in this thread: fine. If you're able it apply this "course" to save yourself money or even make yourself money: you have my blessings. But please, I'm asking as a friend: Please respect all my hard work and willingness to share such sought-after information (for free, I might add) and do not repost any of these on other sites and for love of all gaming - Don't attempt to sell my blood, sweat and tears. This would make me sad. You wouldn't make gamertech sad, would you? This info is only here at GW; Let's keep it our little secret.

See, that was painless! Now, let’s get to the good stuff. I’ll start off with a few basics and get them out of the way. Later we’ll get to the “real” stuff:

Cleaning your lens (i.e. with care):

Use only alcohol to clean the laser lens. I use denatured alcohol because it contains no water. Rubbing alcohol will work but be sure to allow it to dry before testing the unit. Also, when cleaning the lens, use a soft cotton swab dampened – not dripping wet. You want to avoid liquids running down into the assembly. With the dampened swab, touch it to the lens and twirl the swab so that it spins on the lens. This method lessens the strain on the focus lens suspension wires. If any of those get damaged, it won’t work. If needed, you may move it around to cover the entire surface. Just avoid forceful gouging as you may either scratch the lens or damage its special coating. Gentle is key.

DVD password:

I’m often asked how to change the parental lockout password on a PS2. The question usually comes from people who buy theirs used. They go to play a DVD and are prompted for a password they don’t have. All PS2s employ a master code of 7444

The master code, 7444, is used to delete the previously stored parental lock code on the PS2. To change the lockout code: When it asks if you want this disc to play select "yes". Next, select "yes" to change parental control level. Now the important step - If you don't know your code press the "select" button on your controller. This takes you to the "delete password" screen. This is where you enter "7444". Now you just enter a password of your choice when the "register password" prompt appears. Enter your new password again and play should begin. This works on all PS2 models. NOTE: to ensure your new password is saved you should EJECT the disc and then close the tray with the OPEN/CLOSE button BEFORE you POWER DOWN or RESET the PS2. I’m not sure off hand if it matters with the slimlines.

Deactivating the parental lockout feature:

To turn off the parental lockout feature perform the following steps (note: this will make it so that you don’t have to enter a password every time):

1) Follow the instructions above if you don't know what the current password is.

2) Load a DVD then press "select". The onscreen DVD menu will pop up.

3) Use the direction buttons to highlight the "setup" icon. It's the one that looks like a toolbox. Press "X".

4) Scroll right to highlight "custom setup". Press "X".

5) Scroll down to "parental control". Press "X".

6) Enter the password. Scroll down to "level". Press "X".

7) Scroll to "off". Press "X".

Enjoy the forbidden movies.

Increasing DVD volume:

Another common question I receive is, “Why is the volume of all of my DVDs so low on my PS2?” Here’s how to fix that problem:

1) Insert a DVD and begin play.

2) Press “select” to bring up the DVD menu

3) Choose “Setup”. It’s the icon that looks like a toolbox. Press “X”

4) Scroll over to “audio setup”.

5) Scroll down to “audio digital out”. Make sure that’s set to “off”. If not, change it.

6) Scroll down to DVD volume.

7) Scroll right and choose the level you want. “+2” is the highest volume. Press “X” to enter. You’ll now notice a huge volume difference. Tommy edited at 12:46 AM (December 7th, 2006) (Reason: Multi-Post)

Old November 24th, 2006, 09:30 PM #2: [Thread] [Post] gamertech Just checking in...

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Repairing your PS2: Section 2

Table of contents: Introduction Glossary Basic servicing Chart of ICPs The blue disc problem - FAT PS2 WON’T PLAY BLUE DISCS


Game console repair is similar to other technical endeavors: A certain level of care must be taken in ensure success. Diving in with an unwieldy screwdriver will only make your troubles worse. This is the beginning of the technical portion of this course. From this point on, you are herby put in charge of using your head. My role here is to introduce you to some of the basic concepts that form the foundation of everything that follows. I will be going through the techniques I use when repairing PS2s. I’ll explain only what operational theory I deem minimal for the student to put this course to practical use. I will explain my methods as plainly as I can. It’s up to you to take my knowledge and apply it to your unique situation. I can guide you but – not being there – there’s always a chance that something critical is being overlooked by you, the one who is there. Please read around the thread before asking a question regarding the solution to a given symptom. I have no problems explaining things I’ve missed or clarifying what has already been presented but, it’d also be nice not to keep having to point out the same statements I’ve already made time and time again. That said, don’t be afraid to ask; just don’t be lazy either.

Now, it’s important to understand that when you acquire a PS2 that someone else has been in to, there’s a chance that you’re up against multiple problems. I routinely get PS2s where people have tried to fix it themselves. You can imagine how frustrating it can be to get in a unit that only needed to be cleaned. Well, it did before the customer decided to have a go at it. I find myself having to restore all average factory alignments, sometimes fixing broken, misplaced parts and dealing with all other kinds of botched repair-induced problems before I can even begin to tackle the original problem. people tend to destroy things. I don’t tell you that to scare you away. I tell you that because it’s vital to remember that you must treat your equipment with great care – especially on the inside. Don’t do stupid things. Don’t pry on things, don’t yank on things, be careful and thorough. Don’t go in and just start turning adjustments blindly. And always mark the original settings before you start adjusting things.

Even units whose seals have never been broken can harbor multiple problems. That’s usually not the case but it does happen so be on the lookout for it.

Also, scratched discs can make a huge difference in your machine’s performance. Make sure you’re using clean, scratch-free discs. Minor surface scuffs usually won’t give you too much problems but anything worse than minor, can. Any deep gouges automatically render your discs null and void, as do most scratches on the top of the disc that cut through the reflective layer that the screen-printing is directly on top of. Most people don’t seem to realize that scratches on the top side of an optical disc is just as – if not more so – detrimental to the disc as a scratch on the bottom side (the side it’s actually read from). That’s also why you should NEVER peel off those clear “disc shield” stickers that some rental stores apply to the top side of the discs. They tend to pull the reflective layer off. It often only takes a small blemish to make a disc not work. If only a certain game or two won’t work in your machine make sure to test the machine with a known good, scratch-free discs of the same type (black disc=CD-ROM, blue disc=PS2 CD-ROM (runs at multiple speeds), silver game disc=DVD-ROM) before tearing apart the console. I usually hold suspect discs up to the light when the bottom side facing me. If I see light through it I know is a bad disc. If the light show-through simply follows the pattern screened on the top side then it’s probably OK.


Before going any farther, let’s define the terms I’ll be using. Note that some parts dealers may use different terms for certain parts. My terms are derived from my experience with CD and DVD repairs. Since some companies use alternate terms, I go with consensus of industry standards. When I refer to parts of a PS2, these are the words I’ll be using. A little groundwork now should save us a bunch of time later:

8-screw, 10=screw model: By this, I’m referring to the number of screws that go through the bottom case of the PS2 and are removable from the outside. The earliest 30xxx units were “10-screw” models.

Azimuth gear(s): Technically, this is not a gear. I call it so because it has teeth on it. The azimuth gear is the white, plastic adjustment “wheel” that resides in the rear of the traverse assembly. Most units used a single one. Beginning with the 50xxx series, they went with a two-gear system. Slimlines are devoid of this feature. The purpose of this adjustment is to alter the X-axis of the laser assembly. It – in conjunction with the T-5 – ensures that the laser is pointed perpendicular to the surface of the disc. The azimuth gear(s) are held stationary by the detent spring.

Azimuth motor: Only the very first PS2s had this motor. It was used (instead of a detent spring) to automatically adjust the azimuth every time the unit resets. This quickly proved to be completely useless and was eliminated.

Chassis frame: This is the main plastic part that houses the “fat” PS2’s DVD drive. The tray rides in and out of this piece and the clamper, clamper frame, and traverse frame all mount into the piece. This is not to be confused with the “enclosure”, which is the top and bottoms of the entire PS2 console (the case).

Clamper: This is the part that holds the disc onto the spindle in a “fat PS2”. The clamper is a white, plastic disc with a metal disc clipped into the top of it. This part is seated in the DVD-drive’s lid. In the very first versions of the model 30xxx (the ones having a brass spindle), you’ll need to peel back the black sticker on the top of the DVD lid to remove the clamper. In all later models you can pop it out from the bottom of said lid. I sometimes refer to the “clamper” as the “clamper disc”: same thing.

Clamper frame: This is the U-shaped piece that rides in the two grooves on the clamper lever. It’s the part that causes the traverse assembly to move up and down when the clamper lever moves over to the left. In most units, the clamper frame is metal; in some it’s plastic. This frame has two pivot points that snap into the chassis frame.

Clamper lever: In “fat PS2s”, the clamper lever is the white, plastic lever that works in conjunction with the tray to raise and lower the clamper assembly. The clamper lever has a pin that rides in a groove on the bottom of the tray. When you press eject, the loading gears first slide the lever to the right. As it’s moving to the right, it lowers the clamper frame, clearing the way for the tray. When it’s reached its rightmost position, the tray is nudged slightly forward. This action engages the tray to the loading gears (and disengages itself from the gears), which drive it forward. The opposite occurs when the tray is closed. When the tray gets all the way in, it nudges the clamper lever to the left, engaging it to the loading gears. The disc is then in position for operation.

Detent spring: The metal spring tab that rests in the teeth of the azimuth gear(s) and prevents them from inadvertently turning.

Driver: 1) an IC or circuit that runs a motor (e.g. traverse driver, spindle driver). Also technically known as a “servo”. 2) software that runs a system (e.g. DVD driver)

Focus lens, focus assembly The focus lens is the lens that’s visible on the laser assembly when its plastic dust shield is in place. The focus lens moves up and down to achieve sharp laser beam focus on the disc. The “focus assembly” is the lens with the hardware it’s mounted to (i.e. the focus coils, 4 suspension wires and the plastic piece they’re all attached to).

ICP: Integrated Circuit Protector. These are technically nothing more than fuses but they are distinguished from standard fuses by their case styles. ICPs are surface-mounted (soldered directly to the circuit board) fuses that look like small black plastic components having a metal solder cap on each end.

Laser, Laser assembly: The part that actually emits the laser beam and moves back and forth to read the disc. While the “laser” is only part of the laser assembly, I’ll sometimes use the terms interchangeably.

Left, right: When I say “left” or “right”, I’m always talking about your left/right with the console facing you.

Loading belt, loading gears, loading motor: These parts are responsible for the actions of the tray and the clamper. The loading motor drives the loading belt, which – in turn – operates the loading gears. There are two loading gears.

Location, location number: When I refer to a “location number”, I’m talking about the number that’s screen-printed on the circuit board, next to components. They serve as a reference to identify which on-board component is being talked about. They usually take the form of a letter (which identifies the type of component) followed by a number (which tells which specific component).

Optic nerve: This is a term I made up to refer to the ribbon cable that’s part of the laser assembly itself. I use this to differentiate that ribbon from the one that runs from the motherboard to the laser assembly.

Ribbon, ribbon cable: The flat cables that run from the main board to the controller port (controller ribbon), the laser assembly (laser ribbon), and the power/eject switch block (power/eject ribbon). Ribbon cables of this type are made of thin metal strip conductors laid parallel between two sheets of polyester, Mylar, or other plastic. Some ribbons have an outer layer of foil applied as a means of RF shielding.

Second lens: The “secret” lens that’s mounted in the laser assembly, below the movable focus lens. It has an anti-reflective coating on it.

Spindle: The part on the spindle motor that the disc actually sits on top of. The spindle has a magnet (on the top part of it) that holds the clamper firmly into it and the disc.

Spindle motor: This is the motor that spins the disc. For all intents and purposes, the spindle motor can be considered the same thing as the spindle, as they are essentially the same part and must be replaced as one.

T-5: This is the Z-axis adjustment screw that’s part of the left side of the laser assembly. Its purpose is to work in conjunction with the azimuth gear(s) to align the laser beam for perpendicularity. I currently know of no slimlines that have this adjustment. In most units, this screw is a T-5 torx head but in rare cases it’s a T-4.5. Still others have a size “00” Phillip’s-head screw.

Traverse, traverse frame, traverse assembly: The “traverse” and “traverse assembly” are essentially the same thing and may be used interchangeably. They are the mechanism consisting of the traverse motor, spindle, laser assembly, azimuth gear(s), traverse rails, and traverse frame. All of these parts are mounted to the plastic traverse frame. The traverse frames in slim PS2s are stamped steel.

Traverse gear: This is the arm that’s screwed onto the laser assembly. It’s got a few teeth that mate to the traverse gear and cause the laser assembly to move as the motor turns. Some units use a metal gear with nylon teeth, others are all plastic.

Traverse motor: This is the motor – situated front to back – that moves the laser assembly.

Traverse rails: The metal rails that the laser assembly rides on. All “fat” PS2s have two traverse rails. Some slimlines replace the left rail with the stamped steel of the traverse frame.

Tray hold-downs: The two plastic tabs on the left side of the chassis frame of the 50xxx series. They are there to hold the left side of the tray down to maintain contact with the loading gears.

Tray-in switch, tray-out switch, clamper switch: This is a lever-type switch that is situated beneath the plastic cover that’s over the loading gears. It’s actuated by the clamper lever. When the tray is all the way out, the clamper lever is nudged a bit farther to the right. This activates the switch, which tells the loading motor to stop. When I say “clamper switch”, this is the one I’m talking about. In some units, this same switch is used to sense when the tray is all the in and the clamper is engaged. Other models use a separate switch that’s directly operated by the tray. When I say “tray switch” that’s the one I’m talking about, though I may sometimes use it interchangeably when I’m being non-specific.

Tray mount: Pre-50xxx PS2s had a tray with a metal rod in its left side. The metal rod feed through a plastic piece that screws to the chassis frame. That plastic part is the tray mount.

Tray track: By this I’m usually referring to the groove - on the bottom of the tray – in which the clamper lever’s pin rides. I’ll specify if I mean otherwise.

Sheeew, that’s finally out of the way. I’ll define any other terms as they appear.

Basic servicing

Before going gung-ho with any repair pursuits, always perform the following basic servicing. This will rule out the most basic problems. Power the unit off. The first thing I do after taking the unit apart is remove the DVD-drive cover and use a bristle brush (2-3 inch wide) to remove most of the dust. Next, check the lubrication on the right traverse rail. If it’s gummed up, dry or tacky feeling, the laser won’t glide smoothly along it. To re-lubricate this rail, first remove it and clean it well with acetone (or you may use alcohol) on a rag. Use cotton swabs with acetone (or alcohol) to clean out the two brass bearings – that the right rail rides in - on the laser assembly. Most of the slimlines use lasers without the brass bushings (bearing). Clean the plastic holes in these the same way.

While the laser’s out, use cotton swabs to remove any dirt, dust and hair buildup that may have formed in the grease on the point of the T-5 screw and the traverse gear’s teeth. Reassemble the laser onto the rails.

Quote: Originally Posted by This step applies to the “fat” models ONLY and is one of the most common solutions when laser assembly “KHS-400B (B)” quits reading DVD or DVD-ROM. It’s also useful with the “KHS-400C (C)”, “HD-7” and “R”s, to varying degrees of success. AKA, "THE BIG ONE!" With the tray all the way out (or completely removed) slide the clamper lever all the way to the left so that the clamper assembly is raised up. Remove the laser’s dust cover and slide the laser near the rear. Gently lift the focus lens and use a thin, soft cotton swab to clean the “second lens”. I use “baby Q-tips” for this step because they are very thin and flexible so you don’t have to try to force it to fit under the focus lens, as certainly assemblies have a very tight clearance. Remember, if you force it you risk crimping or warping the focus suspension wires; that would ruin the assembly. The swab should be dampened – not soaking, dripping wet - with alcohol (NOT acetone!). I use denatured alcohol because it contains almost no water so it dries quickly without risk of mineral deposition. You may use rubbing alcohol if that’s all you’ve got. Replace the plastic cover. Make sure the cover is seated properly or it’ll scratch your discs. Next, clean the top of the focus lens with alcohol on a swab. Finally, I get around to lubricating the right rail. This rail requires a very light mineral oil. I’ve found the best oil to be “Franklin’s glove oil” (NOT the glove cream.). It’s sold in sporting goods stores as a conditioner for baseball gloves. You may also use sewing machine oil, 3-in-1 oil (though that is borderline. Definitely don’t use anything heavier). If you’re desperate, you may spray some Liquid Wrench, WD-40, or similar spray oil, on a cotton swab and apply it that way. NEVER spray anything into the machine itself. The oil may be applied with a needle oiler, by soaking a cotton swab, or by dipping the tip of a small (#00 or #000) Phillip’s screwdriver into the oil. Move the assembly all the way to the rear and apply a drop of lube to the front side of each of the two bearing points (the holes the right rails goes through). Then move the assembly to the front and apply a drop to the rear of each of the two bearings. After you move the laser back and forth a time or two the oil will be evenly dispersed along the rail. NOTE: When cleaning the lenses, lay the cotton swab flat on the lens and “twirl” the swab. Try to avoid raking it back and forth as you risk the possibility of letting the swab’s shaft scratch the lens’ surface and/or coating.

As an added bonus, I clean the fan blades with alcohol on cotton swabs. An important note about the fans with the screen: The original 30xxx’s had a piece of screen as a “filter” on the cooling fan. Sony realized the potential problems this screen can cause (as it tends to get rather clogged with dust) and removed it from all future units. I always bend the metal shield up and use a pair of hemostats to tear the screen out of there. Of course, fold the metal back down when you’re down. The only other feasible way to get it out is to completely disassembly the unit, and it’s hardly worth all that effort.

You’ll rarely need to but, if the left rail has to be re-greased, use white lithium grease. It’s sold under various names, including Lubriplate. Check hardware and auto parts stores.

That’s the basic servicing for a PS2.

Chart of ICPs (IC protector fuses)

It took me forever to compile this chart. These are the surface-mount plastic rectangular fuses on the main circuit board. Unless otherwise noted, they are black with gray or white letters. The first number is the number that’s actually printed on the component itself. The second number is the actual current rating in amps. The third number – if any is the standard “F’” or “N”-type ICP number that equals the value of the original. That is given to make it slightly easier to find replacement parts. The “F” or “N” ICPs will be larger (because they aren’t surface-mount components) than the original PlayStation ones. If you use a substitute part – as per this chart – you may need to solder wires to the ends of the new fuse and mount the fuse wherever space permits. NOTE: You’ll still need to solder the leads to the same two points where the original ICP mounted. It’s just that the actual part may not have enough room (especially if you replace an ICP with a standard glass fuse) for the replacement part to sit where the old one was. NOTE: If you use a replacement fuse that needs to mounted elsewhere (because of space limitations), make sure to insulate the exposed metal with heat shrink tubing or electrical tape. This cross reference should help you identify just about every ICP you’ll come across in a PS2, PS1 or PSP. Any replacements should be with fuses rated at least 32volts. The current ratings are per the chart. Stated dimensions are approximate and may not be the actual physical sizes:

[color=red]White ceramic, approx. 5x2mm. (surface mount)[color] There’s one of these in almost every PS2. It’s rated 6.3 amps.

”Mini” surface-mount. Approx. 2x1mm

15 or S7 = 0.7 amp = 20 20 = 1.0 amp = 25 30 or S2 = 1.2 amp = 38 50 or S3 = 2.3 amp = 75 63 = 5 amp = none 100 or YD = 6.3 amp

”Micro” surface-mount. Approx. 0.75x0.5mm (these babies are tiny)

ED or H = 0.4 amp = none FD = 0.5 amp = none JD = 0.7 amp = 20 LD = 1.0 amp = 25 TD = 2.5 amp = none

Same size as the “micros” above but green w/black letters

E = 0.4 amp = none G = 0.7 amp = 20

The blue disc problem - FAT PS2 WON’T PLAY BLUE DISCS

This is a problem experienced by MANY of the earliest PS2s, especially 10-screw models. The symptom is that the unit won’t read blue discs (PS2 CD-ROMs) but reads others just fine. This is often accompanied by a “winding” – or sometimes described as a “rubbing” or “grinding” - noise. First, it helps to understand why some or all PS2 CD-ROMs won't read in some PS2s. The problem is that the blue discs are slightly thinner than other discs and, as result, they aren't clamped as tightly as they should be, resulting in the spindle motor rotating faster than the disc. The unit times out before the loose disc ever gains enough momentum to obtain full speed. Forget putting tape on the disc (this risks getting tape goo on the spindle and/or clamper) or hair-brained magnet schemes, as some people suggest. If you're going to do it, do it right.

Now, the proper fix is to do what Sony itself did: modify the clamper. I should point out that there are three different clampers used in PS2s. The first one was used in the first series of 30xxx models (excluding the "30xxx R" series). This first clamper has a piece of blue rubber between the plastic and the steel disc (it can only be seen from the bottom side). This clamper mates only to the spindle it's found with. I don't think I've ever had problems with this clamper/spindle setup.

The second clamper does not have the blue rubber and is found with a spindle having a doughnut-shaped or disc-shaped magnet. If you're having the "blue disc problem", you almost assuredly have this clamper with the doughnut-magnet spindle. To correct this problem, Sony modified these clampers. All Sony-modified clampers are marked with a blue or black marker dot on the top of the metal disc. This blue or black-dotted clamper is the 3rd variety. Later, Sony modified their spindle design to the ones with the disc magnet and reverted to clamper style #2.

That being said, you have two options: 1) replace the clamper with one having the blue or black dot. However, even if you're like me - having dozens of parts units lying around, you'll quickly run out of these Sony-modded clampers when you're in the repair business. 2) Modify the clamper. This is my technique that I've been using for several years now and it works 100% of the time (providing that’s the problem to begin with): First, pop the clamper out of the DVD drive's lid. Now, you'll need to deepen the bowl on the underside of the clamper. I use one of those Dremel-style cylindrical-shaped grinding bits. I use the brown or orange grit in the 7/16 (11mm) size. See the flat section that's at the bottom of the concave on the under-side of the clamper? Carefully grind this down with the bit, trying to keep the bit as parallel as possible to the flat part you're grinding. You'll notice that this part is already quite thin so don't get overly aggressive. You don't want to go all the way down to the metal but if you do expose some it's OK. Don't grind on the spindle - ever. You may also perform the mod by wrapping some 80-100 grit sandpaper over the end of a pen cap (or shaft with the guts removed) that fits into the bowl of the clamper disc. If you do this manual procedure with the pen and sand paper, use a pen with fairly squared-off edges (as opposed to one having a rounded end). You want as flat a contact as possible.

The way to see if you've gone far enough is the same way you'd test to see if this is the problem to begin with: With the DVD drive cover off and the clamper removed from the lid, set a "problem" blue disc onto the spindle and place the clamper on top of the disc. While holding the clamper still with one hand, use another finger to turn the disc by its edge. The disc should be held under enough friction so that it's not just "free-wheeling". Before you perform this mod, try this test, comparing a silver disc with a "problem" blue disc, and you'll easily see what I mean.

Oh yeah, and make sure that the rubber washer (gasket) is still stuck on the spindle. If it's missing, deal with that first, but don't try to fix the blue disc problem by building it up thicker; you may run into focusing issues. Also, make sure the spindle’s rubber gasket is clean and dirt, dust and lint-free.

Wow, this is going be long. Though, I’m trying to boil things down to be as condensed and simplified as possible. Now that a lot of these basics are laid down, we’re going to start moving along a lot faster Lots more coming soon! Tommy edited at 12:42 AM (December 7th, 2006)

Old November 27th, 2006, 08:56 PM #3: [Thread] [Post] gamertech Just checking in...

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Repairing your PS2: Section 3

Table of contents:

Introduction: 39xxx not reading (taken a fall or has toppled over when used vertically): Network adaptor not working on “fat” model: Freezes up – or won’t read certain discs - only when network adaptor is connected: Video distortions, snowy video, faint video, etc…: ”Fat” model spins disc a few times in short jerks (then usually gives up): Unit shuts down after awhile and red standby LED blinks: Vibration not working (sometimes certain dance pads, steering wheels, etc…): Unit works properly but the LEDs don’t light up as they should: Ribbon cables: notes on replacement: When using a new laser assembly for replacement: (READ ME):


We’ve covered enough basic material that the format is going to change a bit now. For the most part, I’m going to present most problems/solutions in a simplified manner. The format I’ll be using will be: State typical symptom – state typical solution. Keep in mind that there’s no single answer for every case of a given symptom. I’ll be presenting you with the most common causes for the listed symptoms. Where alternate causes are of worthy consideration, I’ll list them as well. However, I’ll only be explaining in depth where I deem it necessary to make the repair procedure understandable. Other than that, only new techniques will be laid out in detail. All else should be clear enough if you’ve read all the preliminary material.

Some solutions apply primarily to one model or series. In those cases, I’ll note that where applicable.

39xxx not reading (taken a fall or has toppled over when used vertically):

Applies to 39xxx with the single azimuth gear. This particular problem occurs when the unit gets dropped or if it's being used vertically and it topples over. Note: Not all 39xxxs use this same traverse assembly. The symptom is usually that the unit no longer reads DVD (or DVD-ROM) but may also quit reading CD-ROMs (blue discs), too.

Solution: This azimuth wheel has a metal detent spring tab that rests on the left side of it and keeps the wheel from turning. When a 39xxx topples over, the inertia often causes this wheel to pop up past the end of the detent spring so that the spring tab ends up resting underneath the wheel. To fix this, simply use a dental pick, or some other angled tool, to move the spring over to the left, allowing the plastic wheel to seat back down to its proper position. Take care not to turn the wheel - as this is an adjustment - you don't want to alter the factory alignment.

Network adaptor not working on “fat” model:

Assuming your connection and cable is good (and you’re not on dial-up) the first thing to do – if possible – is to test the network adaptor on another PS2 to determine if the problem lies within the PS2 or network adaptor. If it's the adaptor, take it apart and check the ICP, location #F601. This ICP = S = 2 amp = F50 or N50. If this doesn't fix a bad network adaptor, replace it. [b]If the problem is in the PS2 itself, proceed to the next paragraph:

Freezes up – or won’t read certain discs - only when network adaptor is connected:

I've also had units that have trouble reading certain discs, freeze up, or simply won't read at all, only when a network adaptor is connected. If this is the case: there are two ICPs inside most "fat" PS2s - labeled location #s "PS9" and "PS10" - located of the main board near where the network adaptor plugs in. One or both of these two ICPs sometimes open and cause this. They are both marked (usually) "50" = 2.3 amp = F75/N75.

Video distortions, snowy video, faint video, etc…:

PS2 video distortions are usually caused by:

1) RF switch. Especially, a dirty channel 3/4 switch. Move that switch back and forth several times to see if it's that (this is the #1 problem). Also check the connection at the PS2. Make sure the connector on the PS2 isn’t mangled, corroded, and that it doesn’t have a broken plastic contact support. The cable of the RF switch could be bad, too.

2) Try tuning your TV to another station then back to 3/4, whichever your RF switch is set to. Sometimes, your TV will appear to be on the correct channel but you'll notice a vast improvement when you try the other channel - also, nearby transmissions can cause interference. Note: Sometimes TV's don't tune signals that weren't already present when the channel was tuned in (in other words, if you were to tune your TV then turn on the game console). Some TV's aren't good at fine-tuning "after the fact." Of course, if you're using the A/V inputs this shouldn't apply.

Pixilated video (i.e. having the characteristic of being broken up into small, disjointed blocks) has two major causes:

3) Bad graphics processor on main circuit board. This is a situation where it's best to replace the board. This is also very rare in PS2s.

4) PS2s usually experience pixelation when the laser is having trouble reading streaming video, as in DVD video, because it's being "starved" of data and is forced to compensate for the holes or simply give up and give an error message. This can be a console error or a bad disc.

Finally, if you're using a Magnavox TV from the 80's or 90's, it's possible that the horizontal sync. capacitor is going bad. It's not that these TVs aren't compatible with PS2s, they certainly are. It's just that a HUGE number of these sets have a problem that develops over time. I've worked on a vast number of these Magnavox TVs in which the video looks scrambled in what is known as a herringbone pattern, which could be mistakenly described as pixelation, or scrambled, image. The capacitor that causes this is valued 100mf at 200volts and is located in the horizontal sync. circuit. Sometimes, in the early stages of failure, only certain input signals or stations may show the symptom. Eventually, even a black raster will be affected.

”Fat” model spins disc a few times in short jerks (then usually gives up):

This is a common symptom of a bad laser assembly, usually a laser assembly version C. Sometimes the disc will turn in a few short spurts then go away and catch, reading as normal. This is a sign that the laser assembly is on its last leg and probably won’t last much longer.

Make sure to try the servicing procedure I explained before condemning the assembly to the grave.

Unit shuts down after awhile and red standby LED blinks:

I've seen this only a few times, always with the same solution. Problem: After playing for awhile, the PS2 powers off (shuts down) and the red standby LED blinks. Cause: Overheating. The cooling fan is probably not running. A bad fan in a PS2 is rare. The problem is usually that the ICP to the fan is open. Anyway, in 8-screw "fat" models the offending ICP is usually at location # PS5. This ICP may be marked "S7" or "15" = 0.7 amp - F20/N20. Just look for and check ICPs near where the fan plugs in on the 10-screw models, as I forgot to note the location number used in these units.

Vibration not working (sometimes certain dance pads, steering wheels, etc…):

1) First, weed out the obvious: Make sure you're playing a game that supports vibration or racing wheel and ensure that you check the options or controller menu to see that the feature is activated. Also, make sure you're using a controller that supports vibration.

2) Are you using an extension cable for the controller? If so, check the male end (end with the pins exposed) of the extension cable to be sure that it uses all 9 pins. The extension cables made before the release of the PS1 model #90xx only used 8 of the 9 positions. It's this last pin that's used to carry the rumble voltage to the controller.

3) The main failure - within the PS2 itself - that causes the problem is an open ICP in the area near where the fan plugs into the main PCB. In some models (such as 30xxx), the offending "fuse" is at location # "PS9" and is marked "S7" or "15". In other units (such as 39xxx), location # "PS7" is the bad one and is commonly marked "JD". "JD", "15", and "S7" all = 0.7 = F20/N20.. I don't recall ever coming across this problem with a slimline PS2 yet but another member here at GW has, so it is possible. When I finally do come across this in a slimline, I’ll let you know which ICP it was.

Unit works properly but the LEDs don’t light up as they should:

If the unit works as it should yet, one or more of the LEDs don’t work then it’s either a bad ribbon cable or the cable isn’t seated properly at either the power/eject switch block or at the main board. Usually, in this situation, it’s the blue eject LED that doesn’t light up but it could also be the green power indicator or the red standby one.

Ribbon cables: notes on replacement:

OK, I'm going to point out a few very important things that must be considered when replacing ribbon cables in any piece of electronics:

First, inspect the old cable carefully. Look for signs that the cable has been bent back and forth too much at ends, right where the plastic stiffening piece is glued to the cable. Also look for metal contacts that have folded over or that are touching adjacent contacts. Ribbon cables can look good but still have bad conductors. Folded contacts should be straighten as flatly as possible and avoid gluing. Glue only as last resort and do so sparingly. Also, let the glue dry completely then – carefully - sand the contacts with 400-600 grit sandpaper, to ensure that proper contact will be made in the connector. Like I said, avoid gluing if at all possible. If the contacts are damaged only at the very tips, you can often get away with trimming the end a little bit with scissors. Try laying the contacts down first.

Continuity: remove suspect ribbon and lay it flat. You can weight it down or use a few pieces of tape to stick it flat to a tabletop. Use an ohmmeter or continuity tester to ensure that all the traces have near-zero resistance from one end of the cable to the other. It's also helpful to flex the cable some near the ends when testing because the offending trace may only lose contact at certain angles. I've built test jigs that consist of two extra-wide ribbon connectors, C-cell, and separate LEDs and resistors for each pin position. That way I'm set up to test practically any ribbon that comes my way, as long as I'm set up with the right contact scale.

Replacement: Now, many, many pieces of electronics have ribbon cables in them so finding a replacement in some broken junk CD player, e.g., is possible but beware, all may not meet the eye at first glance. Not all ribbon cables are the same. Here's what to look for when using salvaged ribbons from other equipment; ignore at your own peril:

1) Obviously, check for correct length and width. If the replacement is too long, you can usually just fold it over to shorten its overall length if needed. Use care if "shortening" a ribbon used on a laser assembly to ensure that you don't stifle movement and flexibility. If you want to use a replacement that is too wide, you can usually narrow the cable by snipping it to the desired number of contacts (make sure you count from the same side on each end!) with wire cutters and carefully tearing the cable lengthwise. Take care when seating a cable that has been altered widthwise because - without the extra plastic on the edges to center the cable in the connector - it's possible to short out contacts if you're careless.

2) Butt the ends of the old and prospective replacement cables up to each other and closely, carefully inspect to ensure that the contact width and spacing are identical. I mean that now! Look closely and carefully because it's very easy to be fooled at first glance. There's lots of different contact gauges and spacings in use out there and say, the first and fourth contacts, can be lined up perfectly - giving the illusion that they ribbons are interchangeable - but closer inspection may reveal that the two are not the same. The silvery contacts have a way of dazzling the eyes. First impression will not suffice! Wrong spacing means trouble!

3) Ensure, also, that the contacts are on the same sides of the cable. Most ribbon cables have both sets of contacts on the same surface. In other words, if you lay the cable flat, the exposed contacts on both ends will be up. Don't assume this to be the case, however. A lot of ribbons used in various pieces of electronics have the contacts exposed on OPPOSITE sides of the cable. Never use the wrong type cable. Color doesn't matter but type does.

A few other words of caution:

  • When replacing the ribbon to the power/eject block, make sure to pay attention to how the cable routes. You’ll notice the cable routes around – not through – the switch block.
  • Always have the power cord unplugged, or at least the hard power switch in back of the PS2 turned off before messing with ribbon cables.
  • Make sure that cables are seated firmly. Don't allow a unit to be powered with a ribbon sitting crookedly in a connector.
  • Never plug in a ribbon backwards. It usually doesn't matter which end you put where but it does matter that the contacts be facing the right direction in the connector.
  • Don't try using a cable having the wrong setup by twisting the cable 180*. That doesn't work and can cause severe damage.
  • Avoid plugging ribbon cables in and out too many times. They are not durable in this sense and it doesn't take too many times for the contacts to start separating from the backing.
  • Always use the plastic stiffener that's on the ends of the cable. It's not only for support but it's required to make good, firm contact. If it ever comes off you may try holding it in place on the cable with locking hemostats and plugging it in that way or using a minute amount of super glue spread thin to tack it in place. Make sure to let it dry thoroughly before inserting the cable into the connector and keep glue off the contacts (even the white haze that super glue vapors cause can foul electrical connections). I do – however – recommend avoiding glue if at all possible.
  • Some ribbon connectors employ a latch that must be disengaged before the cable can be removed or reinserted.

When using a new laser assembly for replacement: (READ ME):

A lot of people don't realize that, if you buy a new – (usually not used) - laser you'll usually have to de-solder the "safety short". When laser assemblies are sent out from the factory they are sometimes enclosed in static-conductive plastic or foam to prevent the assembly from being damaged from a static shock. This is not always the case though. There is a spot on the laser assembly with bare metal contacts (on its optic nerve). With new lasers, these are soldered together so that the critical points are grounded, bypassing potential problems caused by static electricity. If they are soldered together, you'll need to de-solder them in order for the new laser to work.

On assemblies KHS-400C or HD-7... Well, look at the bottom side of the laser and, with the connector towards you, you'll see a tiny surface-mounted capacitor on the right side right above the connector. Above that, and slightly to the left, you'll see either a solder blob or three exposed contacts lined up top to bottom. If there is a solder blob there, just unsolder it so that the three contacts are separated. On laser assemblies "B" and the “R”, there are two sets of two contacts that are to the right, just above the connector. With the lasers for the slimlines, the shorting points are on the side of the assembly to the left of the connector. When storing good laser assemblies, wrap them in aluminum foil for ESD (Electrostatic discharge) protection, as well as physical protection.

Only one or two more big sections to go then we’ll be back in business. I should be done within the week (hopefully)

Old December 1st, 2006, 12:39 AM #4: [Thread] [Post] gamertech Just checking in...

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Repairing your PS2: Section 4

Table of contents:

Introduction: Have to reset the clock every time you turn it on: Dead controller port: Tray tries to open/close but binds up: Repairing the tray track: Fixing broken tray hold-downs: Repairing a broken clamper lever: Fat PS2 won’t read discs (unit took a fall or toppled when used vertically): The BRRRRRR problem (roll the “R”s): Disc freezes mid-stream:


In this section, I introduce several techniques that I’ve devised to repair what would otherwise be un-repairable parts, forcing them to have to be replaced. Replacement parts aren’t always easy to come by (or cheap when you do). I’ve used all of these techniques many times and have perfected them to be extremely reliable and plenty sturdy to withstand years of use. In most cases, these fixes make the parts stronger than they ever were.

Have to reset the clock every time you turn it on:

If a PS2 keeps losing memory of the clock and system settings - such as language, password, parental lockout settings, DVD volume, etc… - the memory battery is bad. The backup memory battery is inside the unit. On the very first series of units, the battery was located on the right side of the DVD drive (near where the power/eject ribbon is). Note: the very first units used a cluster of wires, rather than an actual ribbon cable.

In all later units, the battery is on the top side of the motherboard itself and you have to disassemble the unit – removing the shielding from the motherboard to gain access to it. Luckily, the battery rarely does go bad but – as time marches on – they will be increasing more likely to need replacement. In every PS2, the battery is in a holder so there’s no soldering to be done. All PS2s use a standard type ”CR2032” lithium 3-volt “coin cell”. These are the same type used in many large LCD watches and other devices. They’re available at most drug stores, dept. stores, Radio Shack, jewelers, etc… They are about the diameter of a U.S. (or Canadian, French) quarter (about 1 inch diameter) and about twice as thick. As long as the replacement battery you use says “2032” it’ll be fine; the “CR” doesn’t have to be there.

Dead controller port:

There are five common things that can cause a ps2 controller port to not work:

1) Damaged - or improperly seated - ribbon cable. 2) Damaged - or improperly latched – connector on either the port or the main board. 3) Bad controller port. The IC on the controller port's board sometimes goes bad. The only fix is to replace the port. 4) The little metal springs that hold the controller plug into the connector can become bent down just enough that the controller fails to work. (Look in the socket where the controller plugs in and you'll see the springs on top of the three plastic sections that house the contacts.) 5) Sometimes the plastic housings that conceal the port’s controller contacts get broken off and the contacts get mangled. If the contacts are mangled or shorted to each other, try straightening them (with the power OFF) then try again. Though, it’s best to replace any broken port.

If all else fails, your controller port is most likely bad and in need of replacement. I always keep bad controller ports to repair others. When the board is bad, it makes a good spare part to fix one having broken plastic (and visa-versa). In most cases, the circuit boards interchange.

When removing or replacing the ribbon cable for the controller port, remember that there's that latch that flips down. To remove or insert the cable, disengage the latch (flip it down) first, then close the latch. Now, if that latch (the one on the main board) is broken to where it won't stay closed: Take a piece of rubber (I use sections cut from a flat vacuum cleaner belt when I come across a machine with a broken latch) that's slightly thicker than the clearance between that connector and the metal shielding. Simply insert the cable into the connector, close the latch, then wedge the sheet of rubber in there to hold the latch solidly in place. If the latch is broken off and missing, you may be out of luck. You'll have to find a thin sheet of semi-rigid plastic (such as packaging that many products come in) and cut it to fit. I can't vouch for how well that'll work, though.

Some controller ports have the board (the circuit board on the port itself) shaped so that the connector is on a section that sits lower than the rest of the board. If the connector latch is broken on one of these you can usually fit it as follows: Insert the cable and set the latch in place. Now, I use a kind of rubber tape - known as “cold-shrink tape” – to do the job. It’s sold through electronics parts suppliers under that name but it’s also sold in some plumbing supply stores as “pipe tape”. I’m NOT talking about “pipe thread sealer tape” (Teflon tape). That’s something completely different. Cold-shrink tape is made of a special type of rubber that – when stretched – will form a permanent bond to itself. Anyway, I use the cold-shrink tape to wrap tightly around the board/connector. You may use standard electrical tape but cold-shrink is far superior for the job because it’ll squeeze the connection tightly and won’t ever come loose. Electrical tape won’t hold nearly as firmly and doesn’t last as long. Remember, this only works on ports having the type of board I mentioned.

Note: To use cold-shrink tape, you must peal it away from its plastic backing and stretch the tape (it has no adhesive) almost to the tearing point and wrap it tightly around itself. Make at least three complete wraps. If you get a tear it’ll be too weak.

Note 2: If only one of the two controller connectors doesn’t work, it’s definitely the port that’s bad. Same thing goes for the memory card slots.

Note 3: All of the controller ports for the “fat” units are interchangeable. In some cases, you’ll have to either cut the plastic tabs in order for it to mount or bend the metal shielding a little bit to make enough clearance. Usually though, a straight, unaltered replacement is possible.

Tray tries to open/close but binds up:

1) The most common reason for a PS2 tray to bind is that the clamper lever is out of its track on the underside of the tray. If the lever is simply out of the grooved track (tray track), you can align it by pulling the tray all the way out then sliding the lever all the way to the right. (You may need to slightly lift the right side of the tray - while it’s all the way out – to get the lever to move over). If the tray is stuck closed, you may need to unscrew the tray mount (in pre-50xxx units) and lift the left side of the tray up to clear the clamper lever. In the 50xxx, you’ll sometimes need to flex the middle of the tray upward to get it past the lever.

2) A loose, worn, or oily loading belt will cause the tray to not operate properly. Usually, the first signs will be in having trouble ejecting because the force of the clamper against the magnetic spindle takes the most power to break.

3) In earlier PS2s, the ledge that holds the disc onto the tray (when the unit is used vertically) is a separate piece that snaps into the tray. Sometimes, that ledge will lift up because of one of its snap tabs getting broken. If it lifts up, it’ll rub on the DVD-drive lid and cause difficult tray operation. If one – or both – of the tabs are broken and the piece won’t snap back down, hold (or tape) it down and use a drop of superglue from the bottom side to secure it.

4) In some cases, the cover that sits below the tray - and covers the loading motor and gears – lifts up and rubs in the bottom side of the tray.

5) When someone forces or pries the tray, it’s possible for the shaft that one of the loading gears sits on to get broken from the chassis frame. In this case, you’ll usually need to replace the chassis frame. Sometimes, however, it’s possible to remount the shaft by applying a drop of superglue to reattach the piece. That alone rarely provides a strong enough bond to handle the job. If it’s not broken out too badly, you can drill the hole in the shaft out a bit larger (from the bottom side) and use a screw with a thin, wide washer to provide strength. This is not always possible but I have done it in a pinch (and with great success) or when the customer doesn’t want to pay the price to have the chassis frame replaced (I’ll only do it if I know it’ll be at least as strong as the original, which is certainly possible).

6) Yet another cause of a stubborn tray is when one of the raised ridges that the tray actually rides on gets broken. When this is the problem, the tray will usually try to open/close but it gets slightly crooked so that it binds. To solve this, you’ll first need to identify the section that’s broken. This can sometimes be a bit tricky if you don’t know what you’re looking for. The most common part to become broken out/off is in the guide that the right side of the tray rides on and it’s usually in the section towards the rear. In a few cases, I’ve seen the ridge right up front where the left side rides on broken off.

To fix this type of problem, I've devised an extremely effective method I stole from pinball machine design: If you look at the playfield of a traditional pinball machine, you’ll see that there are three primary methods used to create lanes that the ball can travel trough. The three main methods are “pinball rubbers”, sheet metal, and wire. It’s this wire method that I use (that should give you a visual that’ll help you understand what I’m talking about). When you need to replace part of a broken guide ridges, first cut a section of a straightened paper clip an inch or so longer than the distance you’re spanning. I use the “jumbo” paper clips (the larger of the two standard sizes) for this job. Next, bend the wire to the proper length, leaving legs at the ends. Once you’re sure of the best length to leave you can trim the legs so that they don’t protrude too far through the chassis frame. I let them stick about 1/8 inch out of the bottom side of the plastic. Make the bends as squarely as you can. I then heat the legs until they’re red hot and plunge them into the plastic so that the wire acts as the missing plastic ridge. You may need to heat the legs and plunge them several times to get through the chassis frame’s thick plastic. Use the existing ridges to judge the proper height for the “new rail”. Melting is preferable to drilling because the melted plastic helps hold the wire in place. Finally, after it’s situated properly, use a drop of superglue on each end to ensure that the wire can never travel up or down.

Note: I use this same technique to repair broken tray hold-downs. Use the small paper clips for that job. More on that later...

If the wall of the tray track is broken out, read on…

Repairing the tray track:

On the bottom of the disc tray, there is a track, or groove, that the clamper lever rides in (the tray track). Usually – if it’s broken - the broken area will be in the section of the track that's parallel to the front edge of the unit.

To get where we need to be, I must first teach you a technique that an old luthier friend taught me in the early 90's (he used it to fill the grooves in a guitar nut when they got too wide and a string started to buzz. He could then file the new notch just as if it were a new, blank nut.). This may seem off-topic but, bare with me. I use this technique to repair almost every broken tray track I run across and it’s extremely reliable when done right. Note that not all tray tracks can be repaired. Usually, though, it’s completely doable.

The magic of super glue and baking soda.

Done properly, a mixture of superglue (brand isn't important) and baking soda (good, clean, fresh stuff - not refrigerator hand-me-downs) will form a strong plastic-like material. The trick is to place a few drops of cyanoacrylate glue on the surface in question then add just enough baking soda to saturate the liquid glue. Next, apply another serving of glue, then baking soda. There's no need to wait between layers. Using these alternating layers, you can build up to the desired thickness. Make your final step be a thin coat of glue for a smooth, durable finish. You'll definitely want to practice on some scrap before putting it to use. The benefits of this method are that it sets much more quickly than epoxy, it's easier to build up a thick area because it runs less than epoxy, and you can touch it virtually immediately after each baking soda coat without getting stuck to the surface.

Now, this is how I apply it fixing the tray track: First, I use a razor to trim the broken plastic ridge to a nice squared-off, 90 degree “break”. In other words, at the edge of the breaks, make that a straight edge rather than leaving the jagged vertical edge. Next I use hard rubber from a block or a flat vacuum cleaner belt (as opposed to a round belt) to cut a piece that's wide enough to fill the void as closely as possible. You want the edge that'll form the new track wall to be straight, of course, but make the rest of the piece kind of triangular so that you get more edge to glue to. Make sure the filler piece is as tall as the wall (ridge) you're replacing. Too short or too tall could give you troubles. Use a drop of superglue to tack the rubber piece in place and then line the edges of said piece (outside of the tray track only; avoid using the baking soda inside of the track itself, as you don’t want to hinder the movement of the clamper lever.) with a bead of super glue. Next, sprinkle in the baking soda. Blow or brush off the excess baking soda and apply another layer of glue. I usually do this for about three or four layers and finish off with a coat of glue to achieve a nice, glossy finish. Don't worry too much about how wide the patch gets just too get overly thick to where the tray drags. Clean up the inside wall of the newly repaired track with a razor, as needed.

Finally, let it sit for a few hours - out of the machine - to prevent that white haze that superglue is notorious for from getting in your PS2.

When I'm patching a fairly long section, I'll cut the non-critical edges (those not forming the track's inside wall) into a sawtooth pattern to ensure enough perimeter for a secure mounting.

Hopefully, I've explained this so that it makes sense. You'll discover that there are many other uses for this technique as well but, for the problem at hand, there really is no better solution to this problem - short of tray replacement, that is. Practice, Grasshopper, Practice.

Note: Don’t use the gel superglue; only use the thin, liquid stuff.

Fixing broken tray hold-downs:

When the tray hold-downs in a 50xxx get broken off, the tray can lift up and lose contact with the loading gear. It can also allow the clamper lever to get out of its track.

To replace these, I use the same technique I mentioned HERE (CLICK ME) when I talked about repairing the tray guide walls (ridges). Notable differences are that here I use the thin (small) paper clips as my wire source. Also, I feed the wire through both layers of plastic then fold the legs over on the back side. Apply a drop of glue on the ends of both legs. I also put a drop in between the two layers of plastic, for added strength. Make sure not to let the wire rub too hard against the tray in the groove. Use needle-nosed pliers to adjust it so that it won’t allow the tray to lift up past the loading gears yet, it doesn’t actively touch the tray’s groove.

Repairing a broken clamper lever:

Note: This is only practical in SOME cases. Usually, a broken clamper lever must be replaced. Be aware that there’s at least 4 different clampers levers that I know of. They do not interchange with each other. So, in certain cases, this is a very desirable option to not fixing the PS2. Every single time I’ve done this fix and it turned out satisfactorily (which has been most times I’ve done it) to where I felt it was worthy to go out the door, it’s lasted. I’ve not had a single one ever come back on me.

Now, this procedure is similar to the two above. When the clamper lever’s pin is broken off near the end so that there’s at least 1/8 inch of the arm still attached to the top or bottom of the pin, it’s a possible candidate for this technique. The first thing I do is tack the end in place with superglue. The glue will not bond very well to this plastic so you’ll need to hold it in place for a while to get it to stick.

Next, I use a very thin drill bit (one that’s a little bit thinner than a small paper clip) to drill through the end that I glued back on. Just go through deep enough to reach – and line up with - the notch in the top of the clamper lever’s arm. Then, I straighten the end of a thin paper clip and heat it red hot then plunge it through the pilot hole I drilled and into the arm’s notch. It should melt its way through the hole you’ve drilled and about ¼-1/2 inch deep in the notch. You don’t want the wire to be loose through either part. Finally, I completely fill the notch with superglue then pack it with baking soda. Let the part dry for several hours before you re-install it. As a finish, make sure to clip the wire off and file it flat with the end of the lever.

Note: Remove the clamper lever before performing this fix.

Note 2: As in the earlier repairs, you may need to pull out and reheat the wire a few times in order to get it to melt deep enough.

Fat PS2 won’t read discs (unit took a fall or toppled when used vertically):

Be sure to also consider the fix (entitled: “39xxx not reading (taken a fall or has toppled over when used vertically):”) that’s mentioned in section 3 of this course.

The metal clamper frame has two pivot points – one on each side – that snap into the chassis frame. Sometimes when a PS2 takes a fall one of those will pop out of its mount. Simply press it back down to seat it again.

The BRRRRRR problem (roll the “R”s):

The symptom of this problem is usually described as a grinding, or "BRRRRRR" (roll the "R"s) sound that is heard when the unit is first powered up, when eject or reset is pressed, or when a game tries to load from the disc; and often coincides with game crashes. Note that this problem isn’t always accompanied by the noise.

This problem is almost always caused by either: dried-out lubrication on the right traverse rail, a “loose” traverse gear, or a combination of both.

First of all, remove the laser assembly from the right traverse rail. If you're working on a unit with the metal retaining clip (as opposed to screws) on the traverse rails, make sure to mark the positions of the two white azimuth adjustment "gears".

Next, clean the right traverse rail, and the two brass bushings on the laser assembly (through which the rail slides), with acetone on a cotton swab. There's usually a green crud that comes out of the brass bushings. Clean all that out. Get all the old lubricant off of the right rail only (unless otherwise needed). Then, re-lubricate as explained in: “Basic servicing” in section 2 of this course. You need to turn the traverse motor’s shaft very slowly and verify that the laser assembly glides smoothly the entire distance. Any jerkiness will cause playback problems.

In the case of the plastic traverse gear, however, it's often necessary to adjust, or “tighten", the gear to bring it back down to the proper level for optimal pressure against the traverse motor. I remove the laser completely away from the unit and leave the plastic gear on the laser. I then use a small heat gun - with shielding - to GENTLY heat the traverse gear to the point where it just softens enough to bend the arm of the gear. You may use a lighter but just be careful not to burn the plastic. You’ll need to kind of wave the flame back and forth under the gear to heat it slowly and not catch it on fire. You'll need to adjust that arm down just a small amount, don't get gung-ho.

The proper adjustment height for the plastic traverse gear is so that - when you place the laser back onto the rails and set the rails into their positions (but not fasten the rails down) - the back end of the right traverse rail raises up about a millimeter when the laser is resting at the “home” position (nearest the spindle motor, towards the front of the unit).

Remember, you don't want to liquefy the gear, or deform its two teeth, be careful. Don't direct heat onto the laser assembly itself. DON'T try to rush the cooling of the gear, either. Just let it air cool or it'll probably crack and you'll need to replace it.

Now, reassemble the laser back onto the rails and fasten the rails back down and lubricate.

Disc freezes mid-stream:

This is often the first sign of “The BRRRRRR problem (roll the “R”s)” but it can also be a sign of a bad disc. Make sure to check the traverse rail lubrication and traverse gear, as described above.

Old December 5th, 2006, 09:16 PM #5: [Thread] [Post] gamertech Just checking in...

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Repairing your PS2: Section 5

Table of contents:

Disc freezes up (yet more reasons) Factory alignment of azimuth gear(s) Special notes concerning azimuth motor (first versions of 30xxx only): Boot-up procedure (homing): Laser doesn’t home, blue LED doesn’t glow and the screen remains black (homing failure): 10-screw PS2 laser won’t home; tray won’t operate: Red and green LEDs lit at once: With power off (standby), green LED stays lit and red LED doesn’t light: When you eject, the blue LED keeps blinking and the tray closes again by itself. Unit keeps trying to home even when the laser is at home (may sound like the “BRRRRR” problem): The laser assembly: Identifying your laser assembly (“fat” models): No laser output at all (may or may not try to focus): Laser homes but won’t try to focus (may or may not emit beam): Dead; No signs of life at all: Repairing a bad power supply in a “fat” PS2: Sluggish reading: Tray creeks as it comes out/goes in (may have a slight “bounce” to it): Replacing a bad focus assembly: Adjusting the T-5: Adjusting the laser power adjustment pots: Signs of a bad laser assembly: Tries to power up but then shuts down immediately (no action from any of the motors) Very dark video (audio OK): Special segment for slimlines: IF YOU HAVE A SLIMLINE: READ ME BEFORE YOU OPEN THE MACHINE!!! Quickies (some general information): Read me. Parts interchangeability: Conclusion:

Disc freezes up (yet more reasons)

1) We’ve discussed a few reasons why discs freeze up in a PS2 (azimuth gear – mainly in 39xxx – being caught under the detent spring, bad disc, poor lubrication on the right traverse rail, bent traverse gear, dirty lens or second lens) but I should also mention that if the spindle is a tab bit bent or if there’s a small piece of debris on the spindle – so that the disc wobbles when it spins – it may load and run fine until the laser moves farther out, then the unit may lock up.

2) It’s also possible that the cause is the azimuth gear(s) needing to be aligned. Usually, if that’ll solve the problem, it’ll only take an adjustment of one to three teeth clockwise. If the unit has TWO azimuth gears, adjust them both the same amount. Make sure to mark where the settings were originally before you start turning things.

3) Laser adjustment pots. More on that later.

4) Open tracking coil or bent, broken or crimped focus suspension wire. For testing procedure, read about testing focus the coil THIS SECTION (CLICK ME).

5) The azimuth gear(s) may need to be tweaked a tooth or two. This is because – as the laser moves outward – the distance from the disc, as well as the angle – will get father out of alignment if the azimuth is out of alignment.

Factory alignment of azimuth gear(s)

When you get a PS2 that some one has tampered with, you’ll find the azimuth gear(s) out of whack. The following will give you general guidelines for restoring factory alignment. Note that these are only guidelines, taking into consideration the average factory settings. From that point, they are fine-tuned for proper operation. Note: Slimline units don’t have this adjustment.

1) Units having single azimuth gear that sits ON TOP of the traverse frame (has a screw that holds it on): Start with the hole in the gear lined up with the detent spring then rotate the gear 5-7 teeth clockwise.

2) Units having single azimuth gear that sits UNDER the traverse frame (has no screw): Line the hole in the azimuth gear up with the detent spring.

3) Units having TWO azimuth gears: Line the holes on the gears up with the notches in the detent/hold-down spring. That will be at the 12 o’clock position.

4) Units having the azimuth motor (only the very first run of PS2s had this motor): Read the next section special notes concerning the azimuth motor.

Special notes concerning azimuth motor (first versions of 30xxx only):

Only the very first PS2s (10-screw models) had this motor. It was quickly determined to be useless and was left out of all subsequent units. Its purpose was to automatically adjust the azimuth gear whenever reset or power was pressed; or when the tray was first closed and the laser looked to see if there’s a disc inside. There are unique problems (but not necessarily unique symptoms) that this motor can cause. If you’re having problems with one of these units not reading discs or losing tracking as the laser moves out from the center, it’s possible that the azimuth motor is at fault. I’ve had to perform this fix on maybe a dozen or so PS2s. And don’t worry; it won’t make your machine perform any worse.

You’ll notice that if you manually rotate the azimuth in any direction, it’ll always re-position itself where it was. The problem is that that automatic setting isn’t always the ideal setting. The cause is the servo that controls the motor but it’s for from plausible to repair that circuit. The best way to solve this problem is to remove the brass gear from the azimuth motor. Don’t eliminate the motor itself because it will cause you problems because the feedback loop required by the servo will be broken. The gear is held in place on the motor shaft by Locktite thread lock. [b]To remove the gear, you have to soften the adhesive with heat. Apply a hot soldering iron to the brass gear then pry the gear up and off. It shouldn’t require great force; when the adhesive has softened, the gear should come off fairly easily without being damaged. Make sure to remove the plastic azimuth gear before heating the motor’s gear.

With the brass gear removed, reinstall the plastic azimuth gear and align it as you would if it were a unit having the single azimuth gear ABOVE the traverse frame, as explained above. Test until you’ve got the adjustment correct then use a drop of Locktite, fingernail polish, or similar liquid thread sealer around the head of the screw to hold the gear still. Don’t use superglue – or any other “permanent” adhesive – as it’ll make future adjustment near impossible. Note: the azimuth motor will still try to do its thing but ignore it; it no longer matters.

Boot-up procedure (homing):

The first mechanical thing a PS2 does when it boots is “home” the laser assembly. This is because the disc’s table of contents (TOC) begins nearest the center of the disc and work its way out. Homing is when it’s moved to its starting, or home, position all the way to the center near the spindle motor. The laser should move all the way to the center – triggering the “home switch” – then immediately back out about a small amount. The focus driver is then activated and the focus lens moves up and down, seeking optimal focal length. Then, the video boots up (along with the boot-up sounds) and the BOIS looks for the presence of memory cards, controllers, and other peripherals. If it’s not homing properly, that may be your problem. Failure to home can cause the following symptoms:

  • ) Won’t read discs.
  • ) Won’t eject.
  • ) Only gets black screen.
  • ) Blue LED never glows.
  • ) Tray won’t even try to eject.

Read the following section on homing failure if you’ve got those symptoms.

Laser doesn’t home, blue LED doesn’t glow and the screen remains black (homing failure):

If you have all of these symptoms it means that the laser assembly isn’t homing properly. I also sometimes refer to this situation as “traverse not homing”; same thing - different wording. Note: In some versions, you may still get video on screen and/or blue LED action when the traverse fails to home. For 10-screw models, see next segment.

The first step is to determine why the traverse is failing to home:

1) Is the unit even getting power? Is the red standby LED glowing? If no, then make sure the power/eject ribbon cable is good and seated properly. Next, check the power supply. If yes, go to step 2.

2) Is the traverse motor trying to move the laser but the laser isn’t moving? If yes, you need to clean and re-lubricate the right traverse rail (as explained in the section about basic servicing) and/or adjust the traverse gear (as explained in “The BRRRRRR problem (roll the “R”s):”). If no, go to step 3.

3) Inspect the traverse motor: Is the motor’s shaft bend (even slightly)? Is the motor’s ribbon cable unplugged or damaged? Is the shaft of the motor loose and wobbly? Is the shaft seized up so that it doesn’t turn? Has the back end of the motor come apart? If yes to any of those, either plug the ribbon back in or – if the motor is damaged – replace the bad motor. If no, go to step 4. Note: Replace a traverse motor only with one that looks the same (same housing on motor/scale-down gear box, same ribbon cable setup, same type of worm gear shaft.) Don’t replace a brass-shafted motor with a nickel one (and visa-versa) and don’t replace if the cable or housing looks different. Doing so can ruin your PS2!! You’ve been warned.

4) Check the ICPs for the traverse driver motor: It’ll be located close to where the traverse motor ribbon plugs in to the motherboard. It should test like a fuse (dead short, near-zero Ohms). This ICP blows when the traverse motor driver IC – or the spindle motor IC – shorts out. Sometimes it blows if a bind occurs or just because it feels like it. Usually, unfortunately, the IC blows and repair may or may not be feasible. In about ¾ of the cases when the traverse motor IC shorts it cause damage farther down the line, meaning that replacing the bad ICP and/or IC may not solve your problem. It’s worth the effort to at least replace the ICP and giving it a shot. I’ve fixed plenty of PS2s by only replacing the ICP.

A few other things that can cause the traverse motor driver ICP to blow are: Power/eject ribbon getting plug in backwards (so that the contacts are on the wrong side of the connector), That cable gets crooked (so that adjacent contacts short out against each other), The contacts of the laser ribbon cable touching the metal shielding while the unit is powered on (this usually causes irreparable damage!! Don’t let it happen!), using the wrong type of power/eject switch block (see the section about parts interchangeability, or the traverse motor’s ribbon cable getting plugged in backwards).

Here’s a few examples of traverse motor driver ICPs: In some 30xxx – location # PS14 = 50; in the 39xxx - location # PS11 = 50.

Here are a few examples of traverse motor driver ICs used in PS2s: BA5815FM, LA6508.

Here are a few examples of spindle motor driver ICs used in PS2s: LB11971, BA6664FM.

5) If all of the ICPs near where the traverse motor pugs in then your problem may lie in an ICP on the motherboard near where the power supply plugs in (on “fat” PS2s). The location # is usually PS3 = 63.

10-screw PS2 laser won’t home; tray won’t operate:

Open ICP on lower circuit board. Location # PS5 = 30.

Red and green LEDs lit at once:

Bad power/eject ribbon cable.

With power off (standby), green LED stays lit and red LED doesn’t light:

Bad power/eject ribbon cable.

When you eject, the blue LED keeps blinking and the tray closes again by itself.

This almost always means that the tray isn’t extending all the way out so that the “tray open” switch isn’t being activate and the unit times out and closes the tray. It’s also possible for the switch to bad but, unlikely. I’ve already discussed several reasons that a tray may bind (cracked tray mount, broken tray guide, broken ridges that the tray rides on, broken clamper lever, clamper lever out of track, lip on tray not seated properly, bad belt, loading gears cover rubbing underside of tray, cracked tray, tray rail needing re-lubrication (use Silicone-based lubricant, etc, tray getting in a bind, damaged teeth on the loading gears). Be sure to consider those possibilities, too.

Unit keeps trying to home even when the laser is at home (may sound like the “BRRRRR” problem):

The home switch isn’t being activated. The home switch is part of the spindle motor assembly.

1) The switch itself rarely goes bad but it does happen (The switch is replaceable). 2) Sometimes this is caused by some of the contacts on the spindle motor’s ribbon cable being folded over (so that they’re losing contact in the connector). 3) Sometimes it’s simply a tarnished contact on said cable/connector. Try unplugging and re-seating the spindle motor’s ribbon. 4) Another cause is when you replace a “laser B, tall-shoulder” with “short shoulder”. See the section on parts interchangeability for more info.

The laser assembly:

As you should know, the laser assembly is the component that produces the laser beam and detects and translates the modulation of the beam reflected from the disc. The assembly consists of a two-part laser diode (which produces the beam) and a detector IC (which translates the reflected beam into an electrical out. That output is, in turn, sent along the ribbon cable to the converter circuitry on the motherboard. The laser must first home before it’ll initiate the reading of a disc. Next, the focus coils are energized, causing the focus lens to move up and down, finding optimal focus. The spindle motor usually begins to spin as soon as the assembly recognized the presence of a disc.

Remember the “second lens” when cleaning the laser assembly’s focus lens (see: Basic servicing for more info). Keep in mind, however, that it’s some assemblies have very tight clearance, making cleaning of the second lens difficult. Take care not to damage the focus coil suspension wires. Also, be sure that the laser is free to glide smoothly along the traverse rails.

Identifying your laser assembly (“fat” models):

Since there is really very little correlation between model number and which assembly a given unit has, this will help you identify which one you’ve got.

Version B (KHS-400B): This is the very first assembly used in PS2s. It is 3/4 inch tall (from the top of the dust cover to the bottom of the ribbon connector) and made of cast metal. The black plastic dust cover has one locking tab on the left and two on the right. The tabs are on the outside of the cover. The part number is found on a sticker on the back side of the assembly. NOTE: There are two different variations of laser B: “Tall-shoulder” and “Short-shoulder”. When you order a replacement “B”, you’ll have no way of knowing which you’re getting. It seems that most suppliers don’t realize that there are two different variations. It doesn’t matter which one you get but – if you replace a tall-shoulder with a short-shoulder – you’ll have to perform a simple modification. Tall-shoulder: The metal at the front brass bearing (where the right traverse rail feeds through) extends straight across for about a half inch, towards the left side. Short-shoulder: The metal at the front brass bearing (where the right traverse rail feeds through) DOES NOT extend straight across but, [i]goes down – similar to how the rear one does – THEN goes across, towards the left for about a half inch. (See the section on parts interchangeability for more details).

Version C (KHS-400C): This was the second assembly to make its rounds. It’s shorter than version B, only about 5/8 inches tall (from the top of the dust cover to the bottom of the ribbon connector) and made of cast metal. Its black plastic dust cover has one tab on the left and two on the right but, the tabs are inside the cover, accessible through holes in the top. The part number can be found on a sticker on the back side of the assembly. It’s also often on the dust cover itself.

Versions R: There are a few subtle variations of laser R. They are 5/8 inch tall (from the top of the dust cover to the bottom of the ribbon connector) and made of cast metal. There is no single part number but they usually have two stickers on the BOTTOM side of the assembly having 7 to 9-digits each. Usually, one sticker is green, the other pink (but not necessarily). Versions R have an open-framed black plastic dust cover with four lock-down tabs: two in the front and two in the rear.

HD-7: This assembly is about 5/8 inch tall (from the top of the dust cover to the bottom of the ribbon connector) and is made of PLASTIC. Its part number can be found on the black plastic dust cover. The dust cover is open only above the focus assembly mount.

Misc: I’ve run across a few stray oddballs over the years but they are few and far between and, unfortunately, I have no info to share about them. I classify them under “Versions R”.

No laser output at all (may or may not try to focus):

Remember, the laser must first home before it’ll emit a beam. If it’s not homing, read THIS (CLICK ME) section first.

With no disc in the unit, the beam may only emit for a split second up to a few seconds (depending on the firmware). It’s also normal for the beam to be bright at first (The DVD beam) then quickly dim to a lower level (the CD beam). The lens should try to focus when the beam begins to emit. If no beam is being emitted at all:

1) It’s often nothing more than the ribbon cable being loose (or otherwise not making good connection) at either the assembly or the motherboard. Sometimes the latch on the motherboard’s connector can open if the unit takes a fall (though that’s rare). Try disconnecting then re-inserting the ribbon cable. I also use a “burnishing tool” to clean the contacts inside the connectors. You may use a piece of very fine sandpaper; 600-grit will do just fine. Also clean the contacts on the ribbon itself.

2) One of the laser power adjustment pots may be dirty. Try twisting the two adjustments on the under-side of the laser assembly a few times then set them back where they began.

3) The laser ribbon may be bad; again, this is rare.

4) The laser assembly itself may be bad. Usually, however, a bad assembly will still emit a beam, at least momentarily.

5) The very first versions of the 30xxx had the circuit board shaped in such a way that the “optic nerve” would catch and tear. If the ribbon cable that’s actually part of the laser assembly itself (the optic nerve) is crinkled, crunched up or visibly torn then you’ll need to replace that. Replacing the optic nerve is a job that can be very difficult if you’re not good at soldering but it is possible to do. I’ve replaced many of them with great success.

Laser homes but won’t try to focus (may or may not emit beam):

Failure to move the focus lens is usually due to one of the following causes:

1) Open focus coil. Here’s how to test the focus coil: Remove the laser assembly and its dust cover. Set it with the right side facing towards you. Use an Ohmmeter or continuity tester. The two contacts on the right side of the focus assembly is the focus coil. The two on the left is the tracking coil. Each pair should read near-zero Ohms (continuity).

2) Bent, broken or crimped focus coil suspension wire. This may also cause the lens to move up and down at an angle, so that it doesn’t aim squarely at the disc.

3) Debris in between the focus assembly and the magnets.

4) (Most common) Poor contact at either end of the laser ribbon cable.

5) Burnt-up focus coil (very common in slimline PS2s).

Dead; No signs of life at all:

First, check for a bad power/eject ribbon cable or damaged switch block. Make sure cable is seated properly at both ends. If that’s fine, check the output of the power supply; you should read 12 volts DC at the output pins of the power supply (I’m referring to the “fat” models. If you’re dealing with a slimline, read the special section on slimlines). The power supplies for slimlines should have 8.5 Volts DC.

Check to ensure that there is 120Volts AC (or whatever your region’s AC line voltage is) coming into the PS from the power jack/switch. In several cases, I’ve come across bad “hard power” switches, albeit rarely.

Testing the power supply is also easily done using a 12Volt car turn signal lamp with wires soldered to it. Use a standard filament-type lamp, not an LED or halogen type! Don’t try using a headlamp; you’ll ruin the power supply! Simply touch one lead to each pole of the power supply’s 12Volt (or 8.5V) output terminals. If the supply is good, the lamp will glow at moderate brightness. If the lamp doesn’t glow, the supply is dead. If the lamp glows very dimly, the supply is breaking down under load.

If the power supply is dead, read the following segment on repairing the power supply. If the supply is OK, continue on:

If there is 12VDC then the PS is good. Look for other problems. There are two ICP "fuses" that you should check - On most 8-screw models they are located on the bottom (the side where the power supply is mounted) near the center of the board. The first one - the main fuse on the motherboard - is usually a white ceramic surface-mounted fuse at location # F1 or F3, depending on the model. This fuse is rated 6.3 amps.

The other fuse to check (on the main board) is tied to the main one I just mentioned (and is located next to it) and is a tiny (usually black) one at location # PS1 in most units. This one may be marked ED or H and is rated 0.4 amps. This is usually the one to cause a "dead PS2".

In the 10-screw models, the offending fuses will be (if memory serves me correctly) on the bottom-most circuit board.

Repairing a bad power supply in a “fat” PS2:

This segment is mainly for those who are familiar with electronics troubleshooting. If this segment confuses you then you probably don't have the experience that'd make me comfortable enough to give you the "go-ahead". Anyone can check the fuses on the main board and see if the PS is supplying the 12VDC but the actual power supply repairs should be left to the pros - no offense intended. Power supplies contain potentially lethal voltages/currents. Proceed at own risk…

This section applies primarily to “fat” models.

If there is no DC voltage coming out of the power supply (PS), check to ensure there is 120 Volts AC coming from the switch block - where the power cord plugs in - to the PS. Sometimes the power switch on the rear goes bad (rarely though).

Once you've determined the PS to be bad, check the fuses on the PS itself. Most of the PS2 Power supplies use SLOW-BLOW fuses, not fast-acting, so replace with the right type. Many PS2s use ceramic fuses but standard glass fuses will work perfectly fine. Inspect for any capacitors that have swollen out at the top - or that have blown apart at the base - and replace as needed. Inspect the solder side of the board for burnt traces.

Most PS2 PS failures occur in the "front end". Check the main rectifier diodes for shorts. Now, in some of the PSs, there is a device that looks like a diode but has a yellow band rather than a white band. This is not a diode as some techs mistake them as being. These are a type of surge protector and should read like an open circuit, not like a diode. These are called TVSs (Transient voltage suppressors) and are usually at location # D011 (don't let the location number fool you, they aren't diodes) and may have the number KIV607 or KIV609. Use either of those two part numbers to replace a shorted TVS. The TVS is a common failure in bad PS2 PSs. Often that's the only problem (well, and a fuse). If all seems to check out okay, you're probably facing a bad shunt regulator. The shunt regulators used in PS2s look like standard TO-92 style transistors and are usually in location #s IC101 or IC201. These are difficult to cold test and are best replaced when suspected. The part numbers include: 1431T, 1431A, 431, 1431, TL431, etc... They are replaceable with generic number NTE999.

If you find one of the heat-sunk components to be shorted you're usually in for a tough parts search. I just replace the PS if that’s the case. Of course that's easy if you've got parts units lying around. If, for example, you've got one with the 2SK2545 load transistor bad then you've probably got shorted secondary duty cycle transistors, diodes, and/or open resistors, etc, that are also bad.

In rare cases, the opto-isolator goes bad too. So, to recap: First check all standard components in the primary section. Next, suspect the shunt regulator and possibly the opto-isolator.

Sluggish reading:

If your “fat” PS2 is reading but it’s starting to take longer and longer to read it could be a multitude of reasons. Here are some things to consider:

1) Perform the basic servicing laid out in section 2 of this course. 2) Check lubrication (also explained in basic servicing, and other areas). 3) In 39xxx, check that the azimuth gear is seated properly beside the detent spring. 4) Has the clamper frame popped out of one or both of its pivots? 5) Try tweaking the T-5 (on the laser assembly) ¼ - ½ turn: Clockwise. 6) Try tweaking the azimuth gear(s) 1-3 teeth: Clockwise. 7) Try tweaking the laser power adjustment pots on the bottom of the laser assembly a few degrees: Clockwise.

If all else fails, it most likely means your laser assembly is on its last leg. Milk it for all it’s worth (use it as is ‘till it finally gives up the ghost). Remember to restore the original settings if the adjustments don’t make any difference.

Tray creeks as it comes out/goes in (may have a slight “bounce” to it):

This is becoming less and less common as it occurred more in the older units but it still does happen. Here are some common causes:

1) In pre-50xxx units, the lubrication on the tray rail can become tacky. Remove, clean, and re-lubricate with a silicone-based clear lubricant. 2) In pre-50xxx units, the tray mount can crack, causing a bind. Replace broken mount. 3) See: “Tray tries to open/close but binds up” in HERE, IN SECTION 4. (See point #6 of the part), as that sometimes causes the problem at hand. Also, clean the grooves on the under-side of the tray that the ridges (the ones mentioned in the section I just referred to) ride in with alcohol on cotton swabs. 4) Also, consider that things mentioned earlier in this section: When you eject, the blue LED keeps blinking and the tray closes again by itself. (CLICK) 5) This can also be a sign that the tray hold-downs are broken in a 50xxx. 6) You may have bad teeth on the loading gears.

Replacing a bad focus assembly:

This is really only feasible on assemblies “B” and “C”. All others are designed in such a way that replacement will spoil critical factory alignments that are very difficult to true up:

De-solder the optic nerve where it connects to the focus assembly. Remove the single screw that secures the assembly. Use a sharp razor blade to cut the “suspension goop” as close to the metal frame as possible. Remove and replace focus assembly.

Note: Never try to replace the focus assembly by de-soldering the metal frame it’s attached to. If you do you’re screwed; you’ll never restore proper alignment again.

Adjusting the T-5:

You should only need to adjust the T-5 if the unit is starting to read slower. Be sure to read the segment of this section concerning sluggish reading: (HERE)

And, possibly, if you replace the laser assembly. Usually in that case you won’t have to.

Adjusting the laser power adjustment pots:

It’s very rare that you’ll need to adjust the two laser power pots on the underside of the laser assembly. Note: Rotating the pots clockwise raises the output power. Only adjust them a small amount. Don’t max them out or you’ll risk burning the laser out. More is NOT always better. Too high can also cause the beam to scatter, making reading more difficult.

Here are some cases where you may want to try adjusting laser output power:

1) If there is no laser output at all, one of the two pots may be dirty. Try tweaking them back and forth a few times to restore good contact. A drop of electronics contact cleaning may help in this process but try not to get contact cleaner in the assembly or on the lens. 2) If the unit is starting to read sluggishly but only do so as last resort.

Note: On assemblies B, C,and HD-7 the pot on the left is the one for DVD. The one on the right is for CD. On assembly R, the one on bottom is for DVD and the one on top is for CD. On most of the slimline units’ lasers, the one on the right is for DVD and the one on the left is for CD.

Signs of a bad laser assembly:

Before you condemn a laser assembly as being bad, make sure to consider all other things this course covers. There’s not always a single thing that screams, “Hey, I’m bad” but there are a few signs that tend to point to a bad laser assembly. The following signs are usually indicative of a bad laser:

1) Drifting. If – when you reset - the laser starts drifting outward rather than reading, as it should. 2) If the disc just jerks a few times. In some cases, the disc will jerk a few times then eventually catch, spin up to speed, then read as normal. This usually means that the assembly is on its last leg. 3) When the lens makes a loud click. 4) Won’t focus. The beam may emit but you’ll see it through the disc trying to focus but it’ll just keep getting sharp, out-of-focus, sharp, out-of-focus. Lather, rinse, repeat. 5) It seems to focus OK, revs the disc up to proper speed, and then suddenly starts going into focus spasms. 6) Reads DVDs OK but won’t read CD-ROMs. While it’s usually the DVD portion that fails first, when the CD portion fails it’s often a bad laser. Make sure to read the segment about the blue disc problem HERE, in section 2, if the unit is reading black PS1 discs but not reading blue PS2 discs.

Note: Just because a laser assembly emits a beam doesn’t mean that it’s good. Sometimes the detector portion goes bad. Other times, the beam appears to be solid but is really clipping. The only way to know for sure – besides replacing the assembly – is to use a laser power meter and an oscilloscope to monitor both the laser beam (for intermittent characteristics and proper output power level) and the electrical output the assembly sends to the motherboard (the “eye pattern”).

Tries to power up but then shuts down immediately (no action from any of the motors)

This is most common in the model 50xxx. The culprit is yet another ICP. In the case of the 50xxx, the open ICP is located on the main board next to where the power supply plugs in to it. Location # PS3 and it's usually marked "63. Slimlines will sometimes these will exhibit the same symptom but due to the DC power jack being broken loose from the board: Re-solder.

Very dark video (audio OK):

There are several common causes for dark video in a PS2. First of all, I'm only talking about dark video. Sometimes this dark video will appear reddish and look like a photo negative, kind of. If there's no video at all, that's something different.

1) Most common: Bad RF switch. 2) Dirty or bent contacts on the A/V output connector on the rear of the PS2. 3) The 3/4 switch on the RF adaptor being set to the wrong channel. 4) Faulty graphics processor. Replace motherboard.

5) (most rare) Next to the A/V connector on the main circuit board of the PS2 ("fat models", I forget if the slimlines use them too at the moment), there are three little black, surface-mount devices with 6 legs each. I call them "68's" because they usually have the number 68 printed on them. These devices - as far as I've been able to deduce - are opto-isolators. You'll need an oscilloscope to diagnose this but, in rare cases, one of those will go bad. It's usually the one that's closest to the center of the board. When it goes bad you'll have either no picture (but the sound will still be fine) or the picture will lose the luminance signal, giving a dark, negative-looking image.

Special segment for slimlines:

Until now, most of what I’ve talked about only applies to the slim PS2s. Given the uniqueness of these units; I’ve made this segment as a quick reference for them only. Keep in mind that most slimline problems boil down to a bad laser assembly or having to replace the motherboard. It’s just an unfortunate fact; don’t kill the messenger. This is why I often speak of the slimlines in a less-than-enthusiastic manner.

Here are some things I've seen that can scratch discs in a slim PS2:

  • Debris in the disc cavity or on spindle.
  • Bent spindle.
  • Metal laser assembly cover not seated properly.
  • Traverse rail not seated properly.
  • Spindle forced too far down on spindle motor.
  • Ribbon cable to the laser assembly not adhered to metal frame as it should be (it’s stuck down with double-sided tape).
  • Bent traverse motor worm gear shaft.
  • Unit had been taken apart and someone put a screw that was too long into the metal traverse frame, causing the assembly to be pushed up at an angle. This, in turn, caused the plastic in the cavity to contact the disc.

Laser assembly won’t slide:

In a few slimlines with the plastic-bodied laser assemblies, I’ve seen where the assembly cracks – where the right traverse rail feeds through it – so that the holes no longer line up properly. The only fix in this case is to replace the broken laser.

Dead, or powers off intermittently (at random times):

  • ) Bad power supply. There should be 8.5 Volts DC coming out of the supply. Use a voltmeter or 12V lamp to test it (as explained in THIS SEGMENT).
  • ) The power-in jack is broken loose from the motherboard. Re-solder.
  • ) The power switch has fallen off of its little circuit board. This is much more common than you’d think, sadly. (This won’t cause the unit to power down by itself but it will cause it to not power on.)

Slimline lid switches:

Slimlines have two switches that must be held closed in order for the unit to try to read discs. Therefore, if you run the unit with the lid removed, you’ll need to hold the two switches down. One is located on the small board onto which the power switch is mounted and the other one is located on the main board to the left of the rear part of the disc drive (traverse assembly).

Backup memory battery:

In section 4 of this course, I talked about when you have to reset the clock – and other things – every time. Well, the slimlines have the same cause (a dead 2032 battery) but in the slimlines, the battery sits on top of the shielding (rather than under it), is wrapped in heat-shrink, and simply plugs in (rather than fitting into a battery holder). These batteries may be replaced like I mentioned in that segment but you’ll have to solder the old wires w/connector to the new one. You’ll need to rough up the surface of the new battery with sandpaper in order for the solder to wet the surface. If you don’t you risk ruining the battery by overheating it.

Note: Sometimes when you clean the lens of a slimline the lens will get hung-up kind of crookedly. If this happens, simply tap the assembly a few times and it should straighten itself out. If the unit read discs fine until you cleaned the lens, this is probably what’s going on.

Laser burn-out: READ ME!!!

The slimlines are notorious for having bad laser assemblies. Often you’ll notice that the lens has become dark, burnt, clouded, or deformed. Even if it doesn’t show signs yet, this is still very often the problem:

Many… WAY TOO MANY… slimlines have a problem where the focus driver circuit literally cooks the focus coils. In the worse cases, the lens becomes visibly distorted before the coils finally open up. I’ve fought Sony on behalf of quite a few of my customers concerning this very problem. This is absolutely a design flaw. [b]If your slimline develops this problem, I STRONGLY URGE YOU TO CONTACT SONY AND TELL THEM ABOUT IT! Sony, it seems, is perfectly aware of this epidemic yet they remain very tight-lipped about it. All they’ll tell me is that “Some units have an extended warranty that covers certain problems.” This is that “certain problem”. If your slimline has this problem, SONY MAY REPAIR IT AT NO CHARGE BUT ONLY IF THE WARRANTY SEAL IS NOT BROKEN. It took awhile for them to spill anything to me (since the units aren’t my personally and I kept introducing myself as a repair shop) They are trying to sweep this one under the rug.

Quickies (some general information): Read me.

1) When removing and re-installing the black plastic dust cover on the laser versions B or C, do the single tab on the left first then the one on the right. This sequence will prevent the lock-down tabs from being broken off.

2) When re-installing the dust cover on an HD-7, you’ll need to use hot glue, tread lock or similar type of adhesive. The cover is glued down to begin with so that’s the way to re-attach it. If you fail to secure it, it’ll probably scratch your discs.

3) Always have the unit powered off when unplugging or re-inserting a ribbon cable.

4) Don’t over-grease the traverse motor’s worm gear. If you do, it may sling grease onto the laser assembly and/or disc. Use lithium grease on that gear.

5) To test for smooth traverse action (that the laser glides smoothly along the rails), move the laser all the way to one end. Now, manually rotate the traverse motor’s shaft slowly. In that manner, move the laser all the way to the other end then back again. Watch closely and verify that the laser moves smoothly without any jerkiness. If its movement is jerky, read the segment concerning basic servicing.

6) I often get units with hair wrapped around the spindle motor. If you come across this use tweezers to carefully unwrap the hair. Avoid tugging on it because if you break the hair, you may never be able to get it out of the motor.

7) Don’t let the metal shielding on the controller port rest against the port’s circuit board.

8) Use a toothbrush or similar brush to ”drag” the dust out of the air vents on the front and rear of a PS2. If you use short strokes – all in the same direction – you can remove the dust without pushing it inside of the machine.

9) A good way to test a PS2 for proper operation is to play a clean, scratch-free DVD all the way through. That way, you can be sure that it’s reading all the way through. Game discs read in a very non-linear fashion. That is, the laser will move all over the place. With a movie DVD, it’ll start at the center, sometimes move out to the outer area to read the previews, then return near the center and read then read in a linear fashion through the movie. If you’re fighting alignment problem where the unit locks up at various times, a long audio CD with as many tracks as possible makes a good test disc because you can quickly access disc sections to narrow down where the failure is occurring. If your machine is scratching discs, use one of those free AOL discs they send out in the mail. The machine will read it like any other CD-ROM (you just won’t hear any audio) and you can test the machine without ruining discs you care about.

10) The 10-screw units use several more ribbon cables than other models. Be sure to use care when disassembling and reassembling these units. They can be tricky if you’re not careful.

11) Using really bad discs can shorten the life of your laser assembly because the focus assembly is strained - as is the laser itself - as the unit continually tries to auto-adjust for optimal reading.

Parts interchangeability:

Finally, I’d like to address the issue of parts interchangeability. While all PS2s may look the same from the outside, that can be very deceiving. Sony purposely changes the mechanical and electrical components in an effort to deter repair shops from trying to fix their machines. Naughty, naughty Sony. (Actually, most companies are doing that.) The following segment points out some things of concern that should be considered when taking parts from one PS2 to fix another. It’s also worth consideration when buying parts from dealers.

Power/eject ribbon: The very first PS2s used a bundle of wires. Next, they switched to an extra long 7-pin ribbon. After that, a 7” 7-pin cable (the extra long can replace this one). With the 50xxx, a short, narrow, 3”, 12-pin ribbon. The slimlines used an even smaller, 1 ½” 8-pin cable.

Clampers: I know of three different clampers used in the “fat” models. See the segment on “The BRRRRR (roll the “R”s)” for more info.

Clamper levers: I know of 4 different clamper levers in use. They do not interchange at all. You must use the correct one. They all look similar. Compare the end with the gear teeth, the tip with the pin that rides in the tray track, and the two grooves that the clamper frame rides in. The units having plastic clamper frames have wider grooves in the clamper lever.

clamper frames: The plastic and metal ones do not interchange

Tray: I know of four different trays in use: three in the pre-50xxx models and one in the 50xxx. With the pre-50xxx, compare the tray track (that the clamper lever rides in) at the very back of the tray. The differences are subtle between them. None of the different trays interchange, as they all mate with specific clamper levers.

Traverse motor: I know of at least three different traverse motors in the “fat” models. One has a brass gear and the other two have chrome/nickel. The bushings at the end of the shafts, the housing on the motor, and the ribbon setups vary. Two of them interchange safely – the others will ruin your traverse driver servo. To my knowledge, all of those for the slimlines interchange… but… I forget which at the moment so – to be safe – I recommend you only replace with the same type. Ignore at your own risk.

laser ribbon: All of the laser ribbons for the “fat” PS2s interchange. All of those for the slimlines interchange.

Controller port ribbon: The 10-screw models used one that was longer than the 8-screw models. However, they all are the same except for length.

Controller port: All of the “fat” models have interchangeable ports. Minor physical alterations may have to be done to allow certain ones to mount properly but they are all safe to replace with. I believe the slimlines all follow that rule as well.

Cooling fans: While they may have different appearances, I’ve found that all of the fans in the “fat” models should interchange. Same goes for the slimlines.

Spindle motor: as long as the ribbons are able to reach, the spindle motors in “fat” models should all interchange except: Don’t replace a brass-spindled motor with the plastic type (and visa-versa). I think all of those in the slimlines interchange but inspect them visually to ensure they’ve got the same mounting setup and cable because my notes don’t mention that so I can’t say for sure at this time.

Laser assemblies: In general, replace only with the same type. You won’t cause any damage by trying to substitute laser types. The worse thing that’ll happen is that they may not work. There are no hard, fast interchangeability rules but here are general guidelines: The R rarely replaces others but will in some cases (with certain firmware). HD-7 and C often interchange but not necessarily. I can’t speak for every setup, though, only the cases where I’ve tried it. B never replaces C, because of space constraints. C usually will replace B. Now, if you replace a B “tall shoulder” with a B “short shoulder” (See THIS segment on identifying your laser assembly for details.), you’ll need to glue a piece of rubber or plastic to the laser’s dust cover to replace the “tall shoulder”. If you look at the two side by side, you’ll see what I mean. If you don’t, the laser will home but will keep trying to home because the home switch won’t be activated. Again, if you’re in that situation, you’ll know it and see what I mean. It’s an easy mod and it works perfectly. B “tall shoulder” will always replace B “short shoulder” without any modification. B is never used in the 50xxx. In slimlines, always use the original type.

Power supplies: Most of the 8-screw PS2s have interchangeable power supplies. I know of at least four different ones. As long as the connectors and mounting screws line up, it doesn’t matter what the component layout looks like, as there are several different looking power supplies. The same goes for the 10-screw models.

ICPs: ICPs can be replaced with standard fuses. See the “Chart of ICPs” segment for values and notes.

Traverse gear: The metal one will always replace the plastic one. Sometimes the plastic can replace the metal one; only sometimes, though. In many units using the metal one, there isn’t sufficient space to use the plastic type. In slimlines, always use the same type, as they are specific to each style of slimline laser assembly.

Motherboard and power/eject switch block: The 10-screw models have unique circuit boards and switch blocks that must be replaced only with the same types. In the 8-screw models, most – but not all – motherboard/switch block combos interchange. I know of at least 20 different variations of the motherboards. The exceptions that do not interchange are: 1) If the connector for the power/eject ribbon on the motherboard has its contacts on the side closest to the circuit board, it mates only to switch blocks having the BLACK connector with its contacts away from the switch block’s circuit board. 2) If the connector for the power/eject ribbon on the motherboard has its contacts on the side away from the circuit board, it mates only to switch blocks having the BROWN connector with its contacts closest to the switch block’s circuit board.

Don’t get the two combos confused or you’ll ruin the motherboard!!! Other than that, pretty much all motherboards will interchange as long as the connectors match up.

All else: In general, all else should be replaced with the same parts.


Out of respect: Quote: Originally Posted by Vincent it's crazy how many people tear their ribbon cables just trying to take the top off. i've heard of at least 5 people i know doing that, and i've repaired a few myself that had replacement ribbon cables in them. So true… So true…

Well, there you have it: the most complete PS2 repair manual you’ll likely ever encounter (possibly, in existence). It may seem long but – believe me – compressing all of that into only 21,958 (!) words was no easy task. Man, that was a lot of tedious work (I need some serious rest after all of that). I hope this helps you guys out. Come closer, I have a secret: If you’ve been able to make use of this work, feel free to spoon a thanks in the ‘ole rep box

This officially concludes the formal portion of this course. It took awhile but we finally got there. Hopefully, I’ve covered the main problems you’re likely to encounter. You may post your own help request thread now… But please, scan around in here before you ask for help. Thank you.