Playstation 3 Cooling Box

Introduction: Playstation 3 Cooling Box

Hello all. My PS3 constantly keeps overheating and giving me YLOD. So I decided to make a box that will help circulate cool air around the PS3 and hot air out. I spent a good amount of time brainstorming about this and writing measurements down and putting things in AutoCAD. I used the measurements I made because I wanted the PS3 to have 2 inches of clear space all around it. This is just what I preferred, you may choose to do things differently.

What you will need:

(Note: I measured the wood how I wanted the pieces to lay when box was completed. Numbers with an ' * ' by it just means the thickness of the wood. I used 1in thick wood which is really measured at .75 inches.)

- 2x Wood pieces measured (L x W x H) ->   18 5/16in      x   15 9/16in   x   1in*
- 2x Wood pieces measured (L x W x H) ->   14 13/16 in   x   1in*            x   6 3/8 in
- 1x Wood piece measured (L x W x H) ->    18 5/16           x   1in*            x   6 3/8 in
- 2x Wood pieces measured (L x W x H) ->   8in                 x   1in*            x   1 1/4 in
- 3x 80 or 120 Case Fans (optional 4th)
- 1x 12v DC Adapter (amps. has to be 1A or above)
- 1x On/Off Switch
- 1x Fan Filter
- Electrical Tape
- Insulate Wrapping Wire or Speaker Wire
- Paint Brush & Paint or Stain(optional) 
- Screws (1 1/4 in)

- Wire Strippers/Cutters
- Soldering Iron w/solder
- Drill w/ Drill Bits
- Some sort of saw for cutting the wood (table saw, band saw, etc)
- Tape measure or Ruler (that measures in 1/16s or 1/8s)

(Images may be kinda small on the site, so I will link them for a bigger view)

I did all my measurements in AutoCAD, so if you have it, then here is the DWG file for you to look at.

I am not responsible for any damages or pain caused. Be careful while working. 12v DV wont kill you but is enough of a shock to make you say ouch. 

Step 1: Prepping the Case Fans

I picked up my fans from Microcenter which is an computer parts store in my area. The fans I picked out move about 90 CFM, has 2000 RPM, and has a 16 dBA in loudness. 

The fans I purchased did not come with the wires color coded for neg. or pos, and they were also 3-pin. They came with a 4 pin adapter which will help you to identify the positive and negative. 

If your fans are not color coded, take a 4 pin adapter and plug one of the fans 3 pin into it. This will show you which is negative(black) and which is positive(red or yellow) Note: You may also cut you 4-pin adapter to use to test your fans, with the 12v DC Adapter , before cutting their wires. 

Now that you know which is positive and negative, get some sort of marker or something to make the negative to help you identify it in the future. After that, cut the 3 pin connects off and then strip the wire. You may choose to cut the third wire off as it is not needed. I personally trimmed it myself.

Step 2: Prepping the Power Adapter

I snagged an AC to DC adapter from an old portable tv we had laying around. My fans are rated at .35A and my power supply has 1A. That means I am over by .05A (.35 * 3 = 1.05A). This isn't to bad but may lead to your adapter dying in the future. So if possible. try to get one that has 1500 mA or 1.5A

If your adapter came with a adapter tip on it, cut it off. Look closely at the wires to identify which is positive and which is negative. If your adapter is not marked as to which is positive and which is negative then if you look at it, you will notice one with long dashes on it. This one is you positive.

Step 3: Optional: Testing Your Parallel Circuit W/ Switch

This step can be done in two ways:

Testing just one fan:
If you didn't cut your fan 3-pin/4pin tip, then you can use the 4pin adapter to test the fans. All you have to do is plug your fan into the adapter and wire that into your dc power supply. This will also help you to find out which is positive and which is negative if it is not marked.

Testing w/ all fans and switch:
(Note: This step, the positive wire from all three fans will be connected together, and the negatives from all the fans should be connected together)
This may be confusing. My particular switch has three connectors to it. On for power source( + ) , One for Main/LED ( + ) and one for ground ( - ). There may be a diagram for you on the bottom of the switch. 

1. If you have a switch like mine - The positive cord from your DC power adapter goes into you Power Source/Load connector on the switch. And all the positive wires for the fans will connect to the second connector (main/led) of the switch. Lastly, the negative wire from you DC adapter and the negative wire from the fans connects to your ground connector.

(picture of the switch I bought -> )

2. If your switch only has 2 connectors - The positive cord from your DC power adapter  and all the positive wires for the fans will connect to the main (+) connector of the switch. The negative wire from you DC adapter and the negative wire from the fans connects to your ground connector

Step 4: Cutting Your Wood

There is not much help I can give on this step really. I am fortunate to have a woodshop at the college I go to, so it made it easier in cutting out the wood I purchased.

I purchased Birch plywood. Plywood can be a pain when you go to screwing in the screws. 

Remember the measurements you need are:
(Note: I measured the wood how I wanted the pieces to lay when box was completed. Numbers with an ' * ' by it just means the thickness of the wood. I used 1in thick wood which is really measured at .75 inches.)

- 2x Wood pieces measured (L x W x H) -> 18 5/16in x 15 9/16in x 1in*
- 2x Wood pieces measured (L x W x H) -> 14 13/16 in x 1in* x 6 3/8 in
- 1x Wood piece measured (L x W x H) -> 18 5/16 x 1in* x 6 3/8 in
- 2x Wood pieces measured (L x W x H) -> 8in x 1in* x 1 1/4 in

The fan holes will be the trickiest. I used a table saw to cut the fan squares out for the left and right side. For the back wood piece, I got lazy and used 2 separate pieces which made it easier to make the square. ( refer to picture)

If you plan on painting then you wont have to worry about the pencil marks for your measurements. If you are staining then you might want to erase the pencil marks or sand the wood. 

(Note: Make sure you test the fan holes. Each one you cut out, try sticking a fan in there to see if it fits.)

Step 5: Assembling You Box

For this step, I highly suggest making the markings for the middle pieces so you know where those go. I used 1 1/4 in nails for this. Make sure to pre drill the holes so that way the wood doesn't split.

Also, If you plan to paint your box, than leave the top piece off until you finish painting. That will make it easier to get inside of the box while painting. 

If some how you split a piece of the box, you can fix it with wood glue and clamps. Or you can get a smaller screw and just screw the crack back together.

Also another reason to leave the top of you box open, is so that you can connect the wires easier.

Step 6: Optional: Painting or Staining Your Box

Make sure to have extra pieces of wood that you can lay the box on to. When laying the box on the wooden blocks, make sure that you are on the very tips, that way you don't ruin the paint on the box.

This step can be very frustrating and messy. You will indeed get paint on your hands after painting the top piece. You will need to rotate it to get the bottom side you didn't get. Just take your time, don't rush it, and give it a good 10 hours to a day to dry. 

It may need a second coat. If so, give it about 6-8 hours to dry, then apply your second coat. Also, make sure to have a smaller paintbrush or some cu-tips to get into places the big paintbrush can't get to.

I chose a black Satin gloss for my box. 

Step 7: Finishing Up the Box

Now only thing you should have left would be to stick the fans into the fan holes, wire everything and screw on the top piece, if you left it off. I want to apologize in advanced for not having man pictures for this step. It was early in the morning and I was really tired and was trying to get this finished.

In one of the pictures below, I tried to wire everything with the top piece screwed in. Bad idea. My hands couldn't really fit in there. 

For this step, you are going to put all of your fans in the holes. Remember, the one on the left is the fan that blows air in, and the one in the back and on the right sucks hot air out. Look on you fans, you should see text telling which way the direction of the air goes. 

When you finally have all you fans in place, you are going to connect all the positive wires of the fans together and then all of the negative wires together for all the fans. 

Then you are going to cut 2 extra pieces of wire to connect one to the positive bundle of wires and the other  to the negative bundle of wires. These 2 extra wires will go to the switch. Make sure to mark which one is negative.

You can connect these wires by twisting them together, electrical tape, or soldering. You can even do all three. I used a combination of all three, where I twisted them together to hold them together, then soldered them in place. 

Now connect the negative and positive cords to your switch, according to the diagram that came with or on your switch. You may want to cut extra wire so you don't have to put to much of you adapter wire into the box.

Lastly, connect the positive wire for the fans positive to the 2nd positive on the switch. If you switch came with 3 connectors, than the middle connector is the 2nd positive switch you want to use. Then connect the negative wire for the fans negative to the negative/ground of the switch. This is where the negative of the power supple adapter is/will go.

Note: If this step is really confusing, than leave a comment or send me a message with what type of switch you are using, then I will try to assist you on your connections.

Step 8: Optional: Designs for Your Box

This step is for you if you're feeling creative. I chose to have some text cut out of basswood on my colleges laser cutter.

I leave this step entirely up to you. Be creative! As of right now, your box is kinda plain on the outside and could use a little love! Love it!

Step 9: Finished Box

Now you should be all set and finished with you PS3 Cooling Box. Below are some pictures of mine. If you have any pictures, you should post em for others to see. Link them in the comments to help give others ideas

If you need any help, or if anything is confusing that please let me know and I will try and fix it.

 I plan on making another one for a friend, and I will get pictures that I couldn't get the first time and put them in here.

Thanks for reading my guide, and I hope your box turns out great.

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    4 Discussions


    3 years ago

    links do not work but if you comment or message me, I will update


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 9

    the power is safe i would say. Ive used for quite awhile and havent worried about my house burning down


    9 years ago on Introduction


    I think is a nice short project, as putting fans to the ps3 would be. It's functional and if it worked for you is excellent!!!

    - is the back fan connected inverted? As it sucks air out in the PS3
    - Have you tried putting cardboard on top + bottom so the coll air is not wasted around the case?

    - Did you have again the YLOD? How much did it improve for using the fans?
    - What about noise... is it louder than the ps3 fans?