Instructables
Picture of 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.
 
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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
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MaxiP13 months ago

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

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

bobskie10 months ago

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!

nubie4 years ago

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.
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
Heh, what does the T in MOSFET stand for?
nubie nubie3 years ago
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
BTW my fan connector is only a 3 pin connector so you're board is most likely older and may be a little different.
nubie nubie3 years ago
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.
mrmerino2 years ago
Just curious, but how the hell do you get a 5 volt current?
c0deater2 years ago
would a jasper model be 360s?, cause ive opened mine and, let me tell you, it is packed tight in there
Decepticon5 years ago
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
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.
it was my understanding that the xbox has brushless motors in both the fans and the disc motors
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
pooley182 (author)  daiatlus794 years ago
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. 
ok good thank god!!! so i can do the fan mod.. had me worried
pooley182 (author)  Decepticon5 years ago
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.
What's the effect of stupidly using the case as ground?
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.
lawrz283 years ago
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
Void not invalidate.
gyetman234 years ago
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
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.
Plus you ccould always add a few LEDs to the 5v fan plugs.
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?
fyn3zt4 years ago
what resistance potentiometer may i use?
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
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 :)
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
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
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!
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
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!
That's a brilliant idea!

Interested in making an instructable about it? :)
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!
aliendo15 years ago
what's the green wire for?
pooley182 (author)  aliendo14 years ago
The two yellow wires are connected to the +12v pin, and tyhe green is the common ground,  
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
lil jon1685 years ago
u need to explain the last steps better
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