Lighted Xbox Jewel (XBOX 360 Alternative)




Introduction: Lighted Xbox Jewel (XBOX 360 Alternative)

About: im just a regular guy that like regular things

In this instructable i will show you how to place led's under the jewel of your xbox. It adds a litle flare to the otherwise bland system, making it go from an xbox to an XBOX.

With the arival of the XBOX 360 a lot of kids are begging their parrents to cough up the 400 bucks to buy them the new game only to play a few songs or homebrew games or a long list of things that can be done by a hacked Original XBOX.

I have already seen an instructable on here on how to hack the xbox so you can add Xbox Media center onto it. BY doing that softmod you will be able to do almost all the cool stuff the 360 does, cept for maybe play the newest games. but that is just a trade off you will have to take.

So you decide you want to hack your xbox but realise that the XBOX still doenst have the flare that the xbox 360 does. That is where my mod comes in.

After you do this mod you can paint the case white, download the MC360 skin for xbox media center that makes it look just like an xbox 360, and you have a present that not only is a dang sight cheaper than an XBOX 360 but it also is a one off that no one else has.

The kid will be happy he/she has something so cool, you are happy because you only have to buy an xbox, and some lights and paint, so you save about 250 bucks or more depending on where you get your xbox, and the wifey is happy cause you were able to buy her that diamond earing set she wanted that you couldnt originally afford because you had to shell out 400 bucks for a 360. Only one not happy is Bill Gates but he can live off the other gazillion dollars he has and waite for your 400 bucks till Halo 3 comes out.

I decided on this mod as the one to do because it was the hardest that handnt already been done here. The rest of the mods like painting and eveything else are relatively simple and straight forward. Mine is not painted yet but I was going to save that for another instructable later.

this mod has a lot of steps but I tried to document all the important stuff. It may look scary but its not that bad. You will need to void your Xbox warenty to do this but isnt that really what this is all about. well it is to me at least. Oh well on with the fun....

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Step 1: Items Needed

XBOX = If you don't know what this is for then stop here! this will be way to hard for you!
Soldering Iron = For Soldering mine is just a dual heat one from radio shack
flux and solder = I find the thinner stuff is better and easier to work with but its all about preference i guess
q-tip = for applying flux
Butter knife = For removing the jewel
Hair Dryer = For removing the jewel
hole saw = For Cutting the plastic under the jewel. size should be slightly smaller than outside edge of jewel. when you are finished there will have to be a lip to glue the jewel to . again it is all about preference and how much you want to be showing under jewel.
Exacto Knife = for marking the areas you need to cut
straight edge = for marking the areas you need to cut
car window tinting = To cover the jewel, any color you want but do not get a color that is too dark because it will ruin the effect of the light. this is actually optional but I like the effect it gives.
LED's = 5mm or 3mm The higher the mcd rating the better. I used eight 3mm but youcould just as easilly use six 5mm
Hot glue gun = For attaching the lights and wire
Paint Reducer = for removing the green paint on the jewel
tape = for making a handle and other things
credit card = For applying the tint
napkin = for applying the tint
soapy water = for applying the tint
Wire cutters or nail clippers = For cutting the wires when needed.
Molex Connector = Either a "Pass Through" with fan connection or A "Y" splitter or a regular "Pass Through" will work
Wire = I find solid works better than stranded and i find the smaller wire works better
continuity = tester to make sure you didn't screw up
resistor = So we don't blow our bulbs up. Value depends on the Value and amount of the bulbs
aluminum foil = for making a reflector
cd jewel case = for making a reflector
heat shrink = Used to cover the connections after finished to prevent shorts.

i know its a long list but most of the stuff you can salvage from other projects like I did and it wont cost you much at all. i think i actually spent about 5 bucks out of pocket on the whole project.

Step 2: Remove the Lid

Next we must remove the lid to the XBOX. If you do not know how to remove the lid you can look it up. There are plenty of tutorial out there for this, but it is pretty much just remove all the crews from underneath the console itself. dont forget the ones under the feet and the ones under the stickers. rub the stickers and you will feel where they are. if the lid doesnt come semi easy then you probly have not removed all the screws.

Step 3: Remove the Heat Shield

Once the lid is removed you will notice a metal heat shield. This will need to be removed.
You remove this by bending the tabs around the posts until the metal shield is easily removed

Step 4: Remove the Jewel

Next we need to remove the jewel itself. To do this we want to take the hair dryer and heat up the underside of where the jewel is. The jewel is held on with double sided tape, so you will have to hold the dryer there until the jewel gets hot to the touch.

Once the jewel is hot flip over the lid and using a butter knife, gently pry the jewel up and away from the lid. Be careful not to put to much pressure on the jewel or you will crack it.

Step 5: Prepping the Jewel for Green Removal

Now using the tape put a piece on the rounded part of the jewel so you can hold onto it easier

While the jewel is still warm remove as much of the double sided tape off the back that you can. The more you get off now the easier the next step will be.

Step 6: De-Greenify the Jewel

Once you have the all the tape removed off the back of the jewel, you can start to remove the green paint. There are many different ways you can do it. I prefer just using a little reducer and rubbing the jewel until the paint comes off. It takes a little while longer than using oven cleaner but you don't run the chance of cracking it from the chemicals. Unless of course you submerge it in reducer then of course you run the risk.. i just use it on the napkin and rub. It will come off. Remember the more you try to rush it the better chance you have to screw it up. This is the most important piece of the whole mod. If it is cracked or scratched it will show big time once iluminated by the leds. Be careful and be patient.

if you do this step correctly and are patient when you are done you will have removed the green but left the chrome that "XBOX" is spelled out with.

Step 7: Pollish the Jewel

When you are done you should have something that looks like this. If you use a little toothpaste on a napkin it will polish up nice.

Step 8: Apply Window Tinting to Underside of Jewel.

Once it is polished to satisfaction, cut out a piece of tinting about an inch bigger than the jewel itself. Apply the soapy water to the flat part of the jewel (its underside). You cannot use too much water so put as much as you want.

Now place the tinting on the flat part of the jewel sticky side down. because of the soapy water you should be able to move it around real easy get it situated in position the way you want it.

Step 9: De-Bubble the Tint and Finish It Up

Using the credit card wrapped in napkins, squeegee any water out from under the tint working from the center to the outside and out of the tint. Remember the purpose of the tinting is not to color the jewel as much as it is to hide the inside of your XBOX when the lights inside of it ore off so don't use anything to dark. Once the jewel is tinted, set it aside, we wont need it for a while, and this will give it a chance to dry.

Step 10: Mark the Center of the Lid for the Hole

Next we must cut the hole in the lid so the light will show through. To make sure you have the hole centered correctly use markings on the lid as a guide. If you look where you took the jewel off you will see A > and a <. Put the straight edge up against the legs of these markings and extend them out. Do this to all four legs. once you are done you will have a diamond shape. Now draw lines through the four points of the diamond and you will have a plus sign that marks the center.

Once you have found center, use your soldering iron to make a pilot for your drill bit to sit in. This will keep it from slipping off the center point and screwing up your lid. If it is not centered correctly your hole will look wrong. It can be off by a little but not much.

(I know Im gonna recieve flack for this one but its just plastic. You just have to clean the Iron when you are done. if it bothers you that much just heat up a nail with a torch or something.)

Step 11: Cut the Hole

Now that you have a pilot hole, place the bit of your saw in the pilot and start cutting the hole. As your cutting let the saw do the work. Don't force it or you will screw it up.

If done right when your done you should have a relatively clean hole cut

Use the Exacto knife to cut away any stragglers being careful not to nick the remaining plastic.

Step 12: Mark the Lid Where You Want the LED's to Go

Now we get to the fun part. We want to align the lights so they are evenly spaced around the whole. Using eight lights will make this easy for you. What I usually do is put my first light North then South then East and then West.

Then once those look spaced correctly fill in the Northeast and Northwest, Southeast and Southwest.

Once we have the layout figured out we want to mark the case where the lights need to go. usually I just slide the blade of my knife under the light and make a mark.

Step 13: Glue the LED's in Place

Next you want to put a dab of glue on a mark and then place the bulb in the glue. Make sure the positive leg is down. (Its the longer one) Once the glue has cooled continue placing bulbs on the lid until they are all glued in place.

Step 14: Wire the Positives Together

Now bend all the negative legs up so they are out of your way when you solder the positives.

Next we want to take 2 long pieces of wire and strip them completely bare. The wire should be long enough to go completely around the circle with wire to spare. lay it around the whole ring of lights (Leave yourself about 2 or 3 inches before the first light) making sure to lay it on top of the positive legs of the lights. . (If you followed the instructions correctly they are the longer legs and should all be on the bottom. If they are not stop and fix them)

Step 15: Solder All the Positive Legs Together

The wire should be laying relatively close to the bulb itself. The further away from the light you have it the bulkier the ring will be and you wont have room to put the lid back on the XBOX correctly. Once you have the wire in place solder the connection between the leg and the wire at every bulb. Once you get back to the last one twist the two ends of the wire together and solder it as well.

Step 16: Now Do the Negatives and Check for Continuity

Now bend the legs back down and do the same for the negative legs. You should be able to just lay this wire on top of the legs and solder with relative ease.When you are done use the continuity tester to make sure the top ring and bottom one aren't touching. If you detect a connection find it and fix it.

Step 17: Check Check and Recheck

Once you are sure there is no continuity take the pair of cutters and cut the legs right after the solder point to get rid of any excess wire.

Once you are satisfied with the ring, Use the continuity tester once again to test for a connection between the upper and lower wire, and then check each bulb to make sure it has a connection to the wire. If it does not re solder it so that it has a connection.

Step 18: Cover the Wire With Hot Glue As an Insulation

Once we have determined that there is no connectivity between the positive and negative wires and all the bulbs are connected properly, use the hot glue gun and cover every bit of wire in the rings. Make sure to use as much as you need to cover the wires completely. when you are done the only wires that should be exposed are the ends that were twisted together.

Once the glue has dried check for continuity between the two wires one last time. If thee is continuity STOP AND FIX IT!!!

Step 19: Make Your Molex Connector

Next we want to set up our molex connector. You could just use a Y splitter or tap into a pass through. If you use a "Y" splitter you will want to cut the yellow and one of the black wires at the base of the female connection and the male connector off the other end of the black and red wires. If you are just using a "Pass through" you will want to solder a wire to the 5V(red wire) and one to either of the blacks. The object here is to have a female with one male and two wires sticking out the female to connect to our ring.

Step 20: Choose a Resistor

Next we need to fid out what size resistor we need. To do this we can go Here. This page has a very easy to use calculator. Make sure you use the calculator for LED's in parallel. Because we are connecting the lights in a ring we will only need one resistor. there is no need to put a resistor at every light because the resistor is the first thing after the power. Place a piece of heat shrink over the red wire of the molex connection and then solder the resistor to the red wire.

Be sure the connection is secure then solder the other side of the resistor to the positive twisted pair of the ring. (should be the bottom one) Now put a piece of heat shrink over the black wire then solder the black wire to the negative twisted pair of the ring.

Step 21: Test Your Connection

You are now ready to test the connection. Use the continuity tester to make sure you have no continuity between the positive and negative wires. If you do stop and find the connection and sever it. Unplug the molex connection from the XBOX's hard drive and plug it into the female molex connection on your ring, Don't worry about plugging in the hard drive right now.Turn the XBOX on. The lights should light up. If your lights light up move on to the next step, if they don't find where the connection is lost and fix it.

Once everything is ok slide the piece of heat shrink over the positive connection and heat the tube up until it shrinks around the resistor and seals the wires from exposure. Slide the heat shrink over the solder joint of the negative connection and heat it until it shrinks around the wire. Now you can look over the ring and make sure there are no wires exposed. If there are make sure to cover the wire with hot glue. Tack down any wires you want to to the lid to pretty it up a bit.

Step 22: Finish Prepping the Jewel

Now that your jewel has sat for a while it should be relatively dry and can be handled. Using your Exacto knife, cut any excess tinting that remains on the jewel. You only want the tinting on the bottom of the jewel, you do not want it overlapping the sides.

Step 23: Make the Reflector

If you want to see into your XBOX then skip this part, But if your like me you don't want to see the ugly top of your hard drive showing through on your new mod.

Take the clear side of a CD Jewel case and cut the sides off. so all you have left is a flat piece of clear plastic

Fold a piece of aluminum foil to about the size of the jewel case. If you want it highly reflective like a mirror (this is the way I wanted it) fold it nice and crisp like, however if you want it to really refract light crinkle it a bit. do it both ways and hold it in place while you turn the lights on to see which way you like best.

Tape the aluminum foil to the jewel case.

Step 24: Glue Your Reflector in Place

Glue the reflector to the underside of the lid. Make sure the side with nothing on it is facing down. When your done you should be able to touch the aluminum foil. If you cant, it is upside down and you need to change it. This piece serves as two things. The first thing it does is reflect light so you get more light out of your mod. The second thing is protect the lights from shorting something out.

Step 25: Put It Back Together

If you havent already done so connect the female end of the molex to the conection that was hooked to the hard drive when we opened it up, connect the male end to the hard drive.

Place the lid back onto the XBOX.. Now you can re affix the jewel. Put a few unnoticeable dabs of glue around the lip of the lid and place the jewel in place. The glue cools fast so make sure you have it where you want it before you set it down because you Probably wont get another chance. Try to make sure the XBOX logo is straight or it will be really noticeable.

Step 26: Now You Have an Xbox Like No One Else on Your Block

Well if you followed everything right when you turn on your XBOX it should now have a glowing jewel. it looks really cool but the pictures dont do it justice. It Glows.

When the XBOX is off you will see just the tint from the tinting on the back of the jewel becasue there is no light inside to counter it so make sure the color you choose is the color you want to see when the XBOX isnt being played. Once the lights come on if you chose a good tint, you wont even see it.

I chose to use orange LED's on my mod becase it went with a whole theme i was doing. because it is a hacked xbox i was able to change the flubber screen is orange too. I also changed the jewels on the controlers to orange as well. I also put a power button on the controller so i could turn it on and off without getting up. if you look at the picture in the dark you can see that my chip is on as well ( i hardware modded mine instead of doig the softmod shown in the other instructable, but it doesnt really change much.) that is where the other orange light is from. Also if you look at the picture the box is about an inch taller to accomadate a second hard drive. I run both a stock hard drive and a modded one so i can still go on live, (you cant go on live with a chip installed like i haave so i shut off the chip and swap drives) there are also a red and green light on the front to warn me when i am using the stock hard drive or the hacked one so i dont try to get on live and nuke my eprom. and the last mod i did was to change the ring to orange to match everything elsebut that was done after the pictures were taken.

But those are all instructables of a different color so to speak.

in retrospect, if it weasnt for the theme i probly would have went with a nice blue or red.

Once you have done all of these things package it up and set it under the tree and waite for the shock and awe you wife gives you when she gets the diamond, oh i meen the kids get there new and improved xbox.

Well that is my instructable. I hope you like it and I hope you can use it. I know it was long winded but i wanted to make sure it was done right. because of the fact you are messing with the inside i didnt want others to screw up their box because i left a step out.

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    25 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    i took it one step further and cut a hole in my dvd drive so you can see the spinning disk


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    here are the pics, also included ones of my ps2. sorry they aren't the bes quality, i took 1 with an iphone and the other 2 with a galaxy tab

    2011-05-31 20.13.11.jpg2011-05-31 20.14.19.jpg2011-05-31 20.14.53.jpg

    10 years ago on Introduction

    The glow looks kind of sharp...  maybe you could add some diffuser glass inside the jewel?


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Another way to defuse an led is sand the tip of the led down a little with sandpaper. Works real nice, I have done it a few times. But in this application I kinda liked the sharpness.


    9 years ago on Step 14

    Why solder the leds this way when it would have been much easier to solder them in series. That way you could use the leads of the leds to connect to each other and then connect the power at the ends. Would have been less work if you ask me


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 14

    Multiple reasons. One was because by doing it this way it was easier for me to hide the wires. Second is because in series, If one light goes out they all do and trying to troubleshoot is harder if you don't know which one is blown. So for a beginner parallel is the way to go. Third is because if I want to add more lights with relative ease I can, and locate them where I want; however, in series I have to add them into the end. I was not sure I would want 8 lights until I had seen it. And fourth was a matter of convenience. I had the resistor for doing it in parallel however, I would have had to go buy a resistor if I did it in parallel. So for me this was the easier way at the time.

    You are correct that it could have been done in series; however, just because its easier does not make it better.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the instructions on removing the jewel, i took mine off but instead of lighting it up I repainted it blue :D


    12 years ago on Introduction

    I didnt put it back on. And nothing up till now has happened. Dont see a reason for it short of keeping the lid cool so I left it off. Doesnt seem to effect it at all.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    I always thought the "heat shield" was actually some kind of radio frequency blocker, to prevent interference...


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    That might be too... Honestly I don't know but it doesn't seem to matter either way. Don't rightly see what interference would affect it but its possible. I'm no designer so who knows.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Its actually to keep radio waves IN the xbox to keep it from interfering with other stuff. removing that violates the FCC rules, but i doubt anything will happen :)


    11 years ago on Introduction

    If this is to hard for someone to do or they don't trust there sodering skills they can go to and get the case mods that do the same


    12 years ago on Introduction

    It would have been nice to get some credit for my work, but at least you took your own pics and rewrote it. Jewel LED Tutorial


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Nice Tutorial. And I can see why you would think I copied yours by the pictures you use but I assure it it is merely coincidental. When I did mine all the tutorials I found where showing how to use the tubes and I couldnt find one that used leds so I made this one. The reason I went with 8 lights was cause that is how many I had and the reason I went with that formation around the hole was because it was evenly spaced out. It isnt supprising that the two look a lot alike, how many different ways would there be to hook them up? I guess I could have hooked them up by using wires another way but this was the easiest way i could figure. So like I said, I am sorry if you think I ripped off your idea but it was just a coincidence and nothing more.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Man, don't get stuck on it. Unless there is something I don't know, this tutorial is way more instructional and vivid than that one, and he used different methods in a lot of aspects. I have done this mod as well as putting a chip in and several others, and on this one I did the wiring very very similarly (but my leads were side by side, not top and bottom) and I came up with the hard drive power stealing. Again, I may be missing something, but probably not... Be nice and don't get stuck up on things like this. Maybe cammel8 deserves credit here, instead of you? Well done, cammel8. I would advise brighter LEDs though, mine are 6000 mcd blue and one white one in the middle.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    No big deal, but come on it's just common courtesy.