How to turn an X-Box 360 PSU into a 12v lab PSU

Picture of How to turn an X-Box 360 PSU into a 12v lab PSU

In this instructable I will show you how to turn an X-Box 360 PSU into a high ampere 12v power supply. This is simple and it only requires a few parts. In the 2nd hand store, I found and X-Box 360 PSU for $10 and I looked at the back and thought this great for a 12v Supply because it could output a lot of amps, 12.2 to be exact.

So I tracked down the wire Identification and I made one into a 12v Power supply.

P.S(U) I was using an Iphone Because my camera was dead and I'm 13 so please no bad comments!

Lets Cut the X-Box connector!

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Step 1: You'll need...

Picture of You'll need...

You will need a few basic things for this project...
1. An X-Box 360 PSU (power brick)
2. Heatshrink
3. A small length of Red and Black with able to withstand 12 to 16 amps.
4. Two 15A alligator clamps
5. Solder

The tools you will need...
1. Soldering iron or station
2. Wire cutters
3. Wire strippers
4. Something to shrink heatshrink (My mini blowtorch)
5. Crimp tool

Step 2: First step

Picture of First step
Strip the main insulation taking care not to cut the cores' insulation. After that, You will come across 8 wires. 3 black, 3 yellow, a blue and a red.
Strip the red and blue wires and twist them together. After that, Solder them together. Then move on to the next step.

Step 3: Second step...

Picture of Second step...

Strip all the yellow wires and twist them together. Tin the conductor after that with solder.
Now take on end of the thick red bit of the cable and put some heatshrink over it
After that, solder them together like in the picture and melt the heatshrink over the newly soldered joint
Next step...

Step 4: The Highly anticipated third step

Picture of The Highly anticipated third step

Now repeat the procedure with the ground and black wire. Heatshrink it.

Step 5: Almost done... well sortof

Picture of Almost done... well sortof

Put the big bit of heatshrink over and shrink it. Make sure the red and blue wire are in there. I used a short piece because it was the only bit I had. You're almost done.
r0m4n3 months ago

One disadvantage of this power supply is that it does not switch into current mode when temporarily overdriven and short recovery requires pulling the cord. I have 203W 12V 16.5A XBOX 360 power supply and several 1.5ohm heating loops, should be able to power two loops, but only one works. When powering two, the supply LED goes red and no voltage until power supply mains cord is disconnected.

dog digger (author)  r0m4n2 months ago

Are they in series or parallel?

Great instructable... thank you!

monkeyracing4 months ago

This is an awesome Instructable. I did something similar with an 18v power supply from a satellite TV receiver, but it only puts out 6.5a. I had no idea the X-Box PSU was good for 12a. I've got something new to hunt for!

dang.artman4 months ago

Nice tutorial. The only thing I'm going to change on mine, is to hook the red and blue wires to a button or a switch so I can turn it off and on without having to unplug it.

ShippingGuy9 months ago

Cool, nicely done.

thekanester9 months ago

Hey, thanks for the instructable. The cruddy PSU on my Printrbot has just gone on the fritz and I had a spare one of these lying around. Took me no time at all to knock up a replacement with your guide.

lairdkelly10 months ago

Saves me from hunting down a "big iron" PSU for an old Yaesu Land Mobile transceiver - the radio even has a pair of dedicated contacts to switch the PSU on and off!

just a idea, put a switch between the red and blue wires and you should be able to turn it off and on
dog digger (author)  DustySeven71 year ago
I actually did that in another one I modded
nobody3941 year ago
I gotta old 175W brick and I put a switch on the red and blue wire. When its on i get 12v 14.2A and when its off the 12v lines drop to 5v at 1A, pretty cool... if you wanted both 12V and 5V at the same time, make another lead off the red wire, FYI. 5V is always on too. Thank you for the Instructable, simple, effective and puts an out of date PSU to use
ive done this with a 175w psu so far so question how reliable is this?
i would like to use this to power a car amp to a guitar 4x12 interested in doing this as i dont really need a traditional guitar amp head as i use it only to make my signal loud :) and ive toyed with using pc psu but no to good result burn out my better amp fried an ic on the bridge switch i think someone bumped it on while i had it sitting idle :( .anyways .i have had one 360 psu burn out but that was with a 360 using it
cdances1 year ago
I did this for a 203 W Xbox PSU. There were 10 wires instead of 8, and some extra insulation. However it still worked great! Thanks.
le-Sid1 year ago
Nice instructable. Actually, i've got one of these taking dust in my drawers... Now I know what to do with it :-)
Thanks for this. :)
What are the red and blu wires are they 5v?
dog digger (author)  hightekrednek23963 years ago
The red wire is 5v and the blue is some sort of ground. It's for starting the PSU. Similar on a computer power supply
So the blue wire is called the Power Enable line, it senses if there is voltage applied to it and turns the 12V rail on if it sees 3V inside the 360. My tests have found that you can hack the circuit be sending 1.5V to 5V to this line and it will still enable the power. That's why using the 5VSB line (called 5V voltage standby which is always on as soon as the PSU is plugged in) will work in activating (enabling) the PSU by hooking it up to the PWR Enable line.

By the way while I'm here, I was curious to where you got the inspiration for this hack?
dog digger (author)  Skater_j103 years ago
Thanks for the info!
I got the inspiration from looking at my power brick because I was bored and I found 12v at high amps in the specs. Then I looked on the internet for the plug pin out and worked it all out. I found an xbox 360 PSU for $6 and I bought it!
You give me hope that I don't need to yell, "Get of my lawn!" at every youngster. You're heading to good places!
ogeorgescu3 years ago
Great job! I'd suggest using different lengths wires for the alligator clips to reduce the chance of shorts. I'd probably go even further and perhaps use some kind of bullet connector with the female end instead of the alligator clips.
dog digger (author)  ogeorgescu3 years ago
on most of my PSU mods, I've put on insulated gator clips. Even if there is a short, there are all sorts of protection devices installed in the PSU's
xXNuggettXx3 years ago
My 360 PSU (203W) has 10 cables total. 4 Yellow, 4 Black, 1 Red, and 1 Blue. One of the Yellow and one of the Black are smaller than the others. Any ideas what the extra wires are for?
dog digger (author)  xXNuggettXx3 years ago
They are probably for a low amp output. Just don't use them.