Introduction: Xbox 360 12v Fan Mod

make your xbox 360 fans run at full speed for maximum cooling.

This modification will invalidate any warranty that you may have on your xbox, if you have warranty left on your box i strongly suggest you do not attempt this or any other modification that requires opening the xbox 360 unless you are prepared to face the consequences.

Yes this does make the xbox 360 quite loud, the use of a potentiometer could allow for a variable fan speed but i didn't have one to hand at the time of doing this mod.

Step 1: Introduction

This modification will invalidate any warranty that you may have on your xbox, if you have warranty left on your box i strongly suggest you do not attempt this or any other modification that requires opening the xbox 360 unless you are prepared to face the consequences.

The writing below is the theory on why i did this mod... it is not necessary for you to read it.
My xbox 360 was getting extremely hot and causing my games to freeze and at one point even gave me the red ring of death, so I set about trying to find a way to keep it cooler after doing some looking and probing with my vault meter. After looking at the fans in the back of the xbox i noticed that theyre listed as 12v, but when i attached my volt meter to the fan pins they are only drawing a 5v current. This is because when the xbox is relatively cool the fans are kept slow to keep the xbox quiet, and as it heats up the fan speed should increase, however this doesnt always work properly so i set about finding a 12v source to power my fans, i settled on using the dvd rom drive power cable. Well thats the background covered now to set about opening the 360.

To start with we will need some tools:
Torx screwdriver size T-10
2 small flat blade screwdrivers
Wire strippers, or sharp knife
Electrical tape

Step 2: Removing the Case

Picture 1.

First start by removing the faceplate, this is fairly easy, with the xbox on its side, give the base end a firm tug and the faceplate should pop free, don't be scared of pulling to hard, these things are fairly robust.

Picture 2.

Next step is to remove the bottom and top vent covers, to do this use one of the small flat bladed screw drivers, by looking into the holes on the side of the case you should see 3 plastic tabs by pushing against these you can free the vents from the case, there are 3 plastic tabs on each side.

The Top is slightly more tricky. the front tab's are set higher so can't be accessed through the ventilation holes in the side of the case. to unclip these look at picture 3 for guide on how to get to the tabs.

one of the tabs for the top vent is hidden behind one of the rubber feet as shown in picture 4.

Step 3: Removing the Case (continued)

in image one i have circled the 7 clips that hold the back of the case together, these each need to be freed to allow the case to come apart. i will attempt to explain how i do it which i believe to be the easiest way i have discovered.

this is where the two screw drivers come into place.

as you can see in picture 2 if you start at the end of the box with the power connector and push a screw driver into each of these holes, you should hear a distinct clicking noise when the clip is depressed.

once these two clips have come undone use one hand to hold this end of the xbox apart using a small amount of pressure to make a gap between the two halves of the box

now push one of your screwdrivers into the middle of the fan ventialtion section, there are two clips here which come apart with very little force.

now push slightly harder with your hand that is holding the box apart, and proceed to press in the final 5 clips above the video port of the xbox each of these should make a distinct clicking noise as you work your way to the opposite end of the box.

now you have the back spread far enough so that the clips won't go back together turn the box around and unclip the large clips on the front (picture 3).

and remove the base section of the xbox.

Congratulations you have just completed the hardest part of this mod.

now look at picture 4, place your screw driver inbetween the black part and the plastic and pry these apart it should come off with very little effort

Step 4: You've Nearly Got the Box Apart.

I have circled six screws in red, this is where the t-10 screwdriver comes in, remove these screws from the box, once removed take hold of the box turn it over and then remove the top section.

You should be left with what looks like picture 2, except mine has some lights and bits in it.

Carefully lift the dvd drive from the box and remove both the cables from the back of the box as shown in picture 3. then also remove the cables from the points where they are attached on the motherboard.

Step 5:

picture 1 is an image of the DVD-drive power connector from the xbox 360. i have circled the ground and 12v connections on it.

now i couldn't get any pictures of the next steps as my camera died so i will do my best to explain...

take the dvd-drive power connector, take the two wires that would connect to these two points on the motherboard and strip them half way down, it is important that the original connections remain intact so when stripping try not to break the cable.

from these bare pieces of wire attach a short length of wire to each then wrap the bare wire in insulation tape to prevent any shorts.

you should now have two pieces of wire coming from your dvd drive cable. these need to be attached to the fan inside the xbox, the fan wiring is like this.

red + brown need to be attached to +12v
blue and black need to be attached to Ground

picture 2 showsd how my wiring looked afterwards.

Step 6: Re-assembly.

reconnect the dvd power and sata cables to the motherboard

reconnect the cables to the dvd-drive

replace top of the case, flip over and re-insert the six screws,

place on the bottom panel clipping it together at the front first then at the back

replace top and bottom vent covers.

replace face plate.

your 12v mod is now complete.

turn on your xbox and let it run cool.

Comments

author
nubie made it! (author)2010-08-09


I did this much more simply, I found the speed control transistor within an inch of the fan connector and soldered a wire from the 12v side to the output side on the motherboard, took an inch and a half of wire.

Just use a continuity meter, or Digital meter set to Ohms.  The 12v at the DC in connector will show a connection to one leg of the transistor, the large tab on the transistor will connect to the + side of the fan.

This way you are using the intended power traces for the Fan and adding the minimum of wire to an out of the way place.  I would be careful of jumping the bottom wire and make sure not to pinch it in the case.

I did the GPU side fan, it is the transistor on top of the motherboard, the CPU side transistor is on the bottom of the motherboard.

For what its worth this is an original console and it seems to have a memory problem.  I have clamped and overheated the GPU and CPU, but it will freeze randomly without regard for the temperature of the heatsinks.

I put some heat transfer pads on the bottom mem chips, and graphics card "ramsinks" on two of the top RAM and the two other chips toward the back.

It played for 4 hours without a crash after the ramsinks, I might turn up the other fan to 12v as well, for a $15 console it is doing pretty well actually.

author
WilliamS147 made it! (author)WilliamS1472015-12-23

to undo this could you just cut the wire?

author
Outdoorguy236 made it! (author)Outdoorguy2362012-01-28

I did a little research on the way you did the mod. The reason I bring this up is I’m looking at putting in the 12 volt mod myself and you’re method seems clean and simple enough. Not having to cut wires and run them across the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) without connectors is a real plus.
FYI, on 360 Elite model the component is not a transistor, it is a MOSFET. The three legs of the devise are as follows. The leg on the right is called the Source, that’s from where you’ll be picking up the 12 volts. The center leg you’ll notice is not connected, that’s because the top tab is actually the same point and it called the Drain, that’s the output of the device. The leg on the left is called the Gate. That’s what allows the connection between the Source and the Drain of the device. IE… the more current that’s present on the Gate the higher the output voltage and the more air flow there should be.
Here’s what I discovered on the Elite: The Gate and the Drain are connected to one side of two resisters on the top side of the board. The other sides of these resisters are tied together and head off toward the Graphics chip, PN X802478-003. This chip controls the HDMI section of the Graphics chip set. The way these two resisters are connected creates a voltage divider network that the graphics chip set is somehow using as a cooling feedback reference voltage and is testing it.
IE… the higher the feedback voltage the more cooling should be supplied to the unit, the lower the voltage the less cooling.
With this in mind I’m wondering if this will affect using the HDMI output to the monitor or if one is using the Red, White and Yellow leads from the A/V cable does this make a difference. As there’s no Data Sheet on this chip set, thank you Microsoft, will it affect the unit’s ability to operate in the either mode? So I’m asking if anyone has tried this on a 360 in both the HDMI and the Composite video modes and does it affect it? This would be great to know information for all of us.
Thanks

author
mrmerino made it! (author)mrmerino2012-10-14

Heh, what does the T in MOSFET stand for?

author
nubie made it! (author)nubie2011-02-10

Here is the CPU Fan transistor on the bottom side of the motherboard.

The GPU transistor is on the top side and is identical.

I just used a jumper wire to connect the 12v + leg to the Output tab for the fan.


I recommend this PDF of all the Headers and Connectors on the board:

http://dwl.xbox-scene.com/tutorial/Xbox_360-HandC-V1_4.pdf


Picture sources:

http://forums.xbox-scene.com/index.php?showtopic=661299

http://www.edn.com/photo/267/267174-pry_360elite_20079.jpg

Transistor.JPG
author
Outdoorguy236 made it! (author)Outdoorguy2362012-01-28

BTW my fan connector is only a 3 pin connector so you're board is most likely older and may be a little different.

author
nubie made it! (author)nubie2011-02-10

There is quite a discussion here, I just found these as someone PM'd me asking about the transistors.

http://forums.xbox-scene.com/index.php?showtopic=637955

http://forums.xbox-scene.com/index.php?showtopic=609659

Not affiliated, just providing some info for people curious about it.

I recommend this instructable if soldering irons on computer boards isn't your favorite thing to do.

author
MaxiP1 made it! (author)2014-08-24

http://shhort.com/b?r=zjur3VfQc

author
forwardcrusader made it! (author)2014-02-21

nice work. checkout my 3 fan video card mod i made - http://www.benshardwareblog.com/pc-hardware/hd3850-triple-fan-solution

author
bobskie made it! (author)2014-02-01

makes xbox loud but does work! I used a different solder point though as it was easier. Xbox may be loud but dont notice it with volume and being immersed in a game!

author
mrmerino made it! (author)2012-10-14

Just curious, but how the hell do you get a 5 volt current?

author
c0deater made it! (author)2012-07-10

would a jasper model be 360s?, cause ive opened mine and, let me tell you, it is packed tight in there

author
Decepticon made it! (author)2009-04-22

Actually, using the 12v linefrom the DVD drive is NOT a good idea. It has led to 3 red light errors in the past. There are MUCH better places to get the 12v from....namely on the bottom of the PCB where the power connector is soldered to the board. The pad is large enough to solder larger gauge wire to and have a more reliable connection. Using the dvd 12v line can cause power fluctuations on the line and could cause all kinds of unforeseen issues.

http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j9/CornWallis13/xbox5.jpg

xbox5.jpg
author
Outdoorguy236 made it! (author)Outdoorguy2362012-01-29

That’s probably because the DVD’s power source is picking up motor noise from the DC motor brushes in the fans and looking at the etches that lead into that socket they are very small and that can make them subject to noise pick up. While this may not be an issue, at this time with every unit, as the fans get older and the brushes ware down a little the noise will increases. Additionally the drive can be affected making the system think there’s an issue with the drive and cause an error indication. I know this seems a little over the top but as a retired Test Engineer having worked in electronics for over 20 years I’ve run into this kind of issue before. Just an FYI the larger the etch the less it will be subject to the noise.

author
damianyoung12345 made it! (author)damianyoung123452012-03-19

it was my understanding that the xbox has brushless motors in both the fans and the disc motors

author
daiatlus79 made it! (author)daiatlus792010-01-26

the power fluctuations from the DVD drive as well can alert Microsoft while you are online to think that you have a chipped system, and they are seriously cracking down on them now!  it was even on CBC Radio's national news broadcast

author
pooley182 made it! (author)pooley1822010-01-26

Microsoft can NOT read the power consumption of your Xbox 360 and therfore can not ban you for it. the only way they can tell your system has been tampered with is because of modified hardware... such as extra components or non-standard dvd drives. 

author
daiatlus79 made it! (author)daiatlus792010-01-26

ok good thank god!!! so i can do the fan mod.. had me worried

author
pooley182 made it! (author)pooley1822009-04-22

I already have my cold cathode lights soldered to this point on the under side of the motherboard, so i am aware of it. However, I have been using my way for a long time with my console and have not yet developed a problem, also there are multiple 12v lines into the DVD-drive and the fans them self draw very little current away from the dvd-drive. I would never suggest wiring multiple fans or lights to the dvd-drive power cable. as this would likely draw current away from the dvd-drive, but at least with my method you don't need to solder and you don't need to take the motherboard out of the tray.

author
MaDsCiEntist724 made it! (author)2011-06-24

What's the effect of stupidly using the case as ground?

author
Outdoorguy236 made it! (author)Outdoorguy2362012-01-28

Answer, it's not the it's using the case as a ground but it supplies the unit with an EMF shield so as not to distrub other electronics such as a wireless connection to a device.

author
lawrz28 made it! (author)2011-04-09

i have a problem there is no power to the 5v fan jack but every thing else has power is there a fix to this problem

author
LetsExplodeSomething made it! (author)2010-06-20

Void not invalidate.

author
gyetman23 made it! (author)2010-03-27

I understand the stripping the wires half way down on the dvd drive but do I need to the same on the wires coming from the fan

author
zack247 made it! (author)zack2472010-05-03

no, the fan wires get stripped and they are spliced into the dvd rom's power, they have no plug anymore, but its worth it.

author
ryguy425425 made it! (author)ryguy4254252010-05-25

Plus you ccould always add a few LEDs to the 5v fan plugs.

author
zack247 made it! (author)zack2472010-05-30

but of course not too many, the dvd drive still needs it power too. perhaps a 5v external power supply for all of the accesories?

author
fyn3zt made it! (author)2010-04-01

what resistance potentiometer may i use?

author
DannyboyINXS made it! (author)2009-07-17

Hey mate, something has happened to my rear 5v source, and was wondering how i would get it working again, or if you could give me a hand getting another 5v source, because i got the whisper max fans and want to switch from 5v and 12v. Cheers

author
CoryBoyo made it! (author)CoryBoyo2009-08-08

Hi, i had the same problem so i wired my fans up to a dc adapter. Yes you can still wire your fans up and use the 5-12v switch :) Cory :)

author
DannyboyINXS made it! (author)DannyboyINXS2009-08-08

thanks for the reply! but i managed to repair the problem. I found an alternative 5v source other than a dc adapter... and guess what it was? the rear USB port. I made a converter for the 3 pin fan plug to USB. It was pretty straight forward. 2 of the 4 wires in a USB cable are power - active and ground, so i just connected them to the active and neutral of the 3 pin fan connector (the 3rd pin was the RPM detector. After making the converter, i fed the cable out through one of the ventilation holes at the back and into the rear usb port - and there was my 5v source! Feeding it out was the hardest part! I had to strip half the adapter so it could fit in between the back fans and the case without cutting the cable or making it hard for the fans to click in place. But it was the only place that leads out of the case. It was either that or drill a hole through the "manufacture details sticker" area, and i didn't have a drill on hand

author
daiatlus79 made it! (author)daiatlus792010-01-26

i guess i will have to do the same thing tonite.. i already rechambered the airflow with cardboard and tape like many have done, as well as cut away most of that back hole-shaped grating.  airflow is improved quite a bit, cause i was tired of it being the third time i had to fix the red ring (right in the middle of playing Dead Sector, to boot!) (i rechambered the airflow afterwards and its blowing good.. but i may have to also cut into the top of the case i think (i lay mine on its side) and put another fan on that hole and put an intake fan in there with 12 volts to make sure it draws in enough air

author
DannyboyINXS made it! (author)DannyboyINXS2010-01-27

yeah! i mean, if you've mutilated (sorry, lol) the back ventilation holes, you'll find it much easier to work with! with extra air flow!

However, the xbox i did that to red ringed believe it or not! So i took my mods out, used the dvd data cable's 5v wire to keep everything INSIDE the box, shoved the warranty sticker back on, and sent it back into the store! hahaha and i traded it in for one of the new jasper chip xbox's. I think i'm going to leave it be this time and hope it was revised PROPERLY so i don't have to touch it! I even bought the store's extended warranty, so after a year of it being microsoft's responsibility - if it red rings next year, all i have to do is send it back to the store, and i get a new one! (Figure that one out!). But if it red rings this year, off to microsoft!

author
daiatlus79 made it! (author)daiatlus792010-01-27

are the jaspers the ones with the epoxy on the corners? thats what i have.  mine was red ringed when i got it (50 bucks second hand off my cousin.. then did the heatgun treatment and some now thermal paste)  and then did the air reflow.  i think the other fan may go on tonite

author
DannyboyINXS made it! (author)DannyboyINXS2010-01-29

I would have no idea about the insides of the new jasper revision, as i've never dared to open it up - i think the american's have a saying for that: if it ain't broke, don't fix it! haha.

Anyway, the only way i could tell a jasper is from the outsides - i don't know what the new motherboard looks like and how they've re-arranged things (I do know the specs though).  One easy way of telling is my power brick is half the original size!

author
Dirtie Hippie made it! (author)Dirtie Hippie2009-10-09

That's a brilliant idea!

Interested in making an instructable about it? :)

author
DannyboyINXS made it! (author)DannyboyINXS2009-10-09

Thanks! I'm sorry, but i've been pretty busy of late, and it seems like a pretty small thing for an entire instructable. However, if you need help, i am more than happy to give you a hand!

I might make a "USB - 3 pin fan connector adapter" instructable if a few people ask for it.

Thanks for the comment though! i really appreciate it!

author
aliendo1 made it! (author)2009-08-22

what's the green wire for?

author
pooley182 made it! (author)pooley1822010-01-26

The two yellow wires are connected to the +12v pin, and tyhe green is the common ground,  

author
emopuppies09 made it! (author)2009-07-28

will the version described in this instructable or the one mentioned a few posts above this (with pic) get me banned from live. if not ill do this rather than usiing talismoon`s method for installing their misper max fan with nitro

author
lil jon168 made it! (author)2009-04-22

u need to explain the last steps better

author
pooley182 made it! (author)pooley1822009-04-22

i will try get some pictures up later but my camera died as i was doing this last night.

About This Instructable

220,163views

40favorites

License:

More by pooley182:Xbox 360 12v fan mod
Add instructable to: