PS2 laser coil question

Discussion in 'Modding and Hacking - Consoles and Electronics' started by ASSEMbler, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. ASSEMbler

    ASSEMbler Administrator Staff Member

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    Anyone remember what models are and aren't booby trapped?

    They every come up with a solution for fried coils?
     
  2. LeHaM

    LeHaM Site Soldier

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    I thought there was a solution
    you are talking about chipped consoles burning out yeah?
     
  3. Bad_Ad84

    Bad_Ad84 The Tick

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    v9-v12 all have laser issue.

    Its not just chipped consoles, it can happen with movies on DVDR etc - which is likely why they got sued over it.

    Apparently good media doesnt have the issue - I have had several v12 consoles with the PIC fix that powers the console down if the problem happens and its never shut down on me with good TY media.

    There are various fixes on the internets.
     
  4. Helicopter

    Helicopter Active Member

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    Yeah, but moded consoles could burn lasers even with original games in perfect condition. It almost happened to me, luckily PIC-fix shut off my console.
     
  5. Bad_Ad84

    Bad_Ad84 The Tick

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  6. sp193

    sp193 Site Soldier

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    He also mentioned that the problem is also with modchips as well, and I have to agree with him. The MECHACON does control the current going to the laser, so the problem begins whenever the MECHACON crashes (i.e. SCPH-70000, before SONY fixed that).
    Given that the MECHACON is actually a SONY MCU, it can crash due to improper patching by modchips (which is essentially, bus contention).

    It's not known whether any of the updates that SONY applies to consoles sent for repair, actually help with the laser's lifespan. Some models do have their tray settings adjusted, to unseize them.
     
  7. Bad_Ad84

    Bad_Ad84 The Tick

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    He didn't mention modchips on that thread.

    TriMesh did, but he said he's seen it on unmodified units but seems more common on modded units - which you would expect, poor burns are going to be far more likely to be poor than the bad luck of a pressed disc with a scratch in the right place etc.

    Basically to have most chance of triggering the issue, you have to have a modchip installed. Which is why I assumed they went hand in hand. Not the modchip itself causing the issue, but the modchip giving you the position to trigger it with poor burns. If it's just bus contention, that happens with all models as thats how the modchip has to work. But the laser issue only appears in v9-12.

    Also, the way i understood the chips work, they do their patching and that's it. There is no continuous data being sent while a game is running. So if the chips data was the issue, it would happen immediately and not while a game is running. The only streaming data when a game is running is from the disc?

    Like I said, I have not done any research other than my own experience and stuff I've read, but I've installed the pic fix and never had the console trigger it on a v12, but I've only ever used good media and good writers for the best quality burns with the least errors. Which seems to match up with what was said in that thread.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
  8. l_oliveira

    l_oliveira Officer at Arms

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    Discs with incorrect error correction data (that can be generated by bad writers or be caused by low quality media) may cause the mechacon to crash. So a burnt DVD Video disc made with a bad media or with a bad writer can surely blow a PS2. You indeed don't need a modchip to cause it to burn. A modchip can make burning the coils a lot easier, though.

    The thing is purposely designed to break that way.

    Seems like they took the idea from Yamaha, which in 1996-1997 had problems with frying the lens coils on their CD recorders due to firmware bugs (recorder kept a strong alternating current flowing through the coils after a written disc was ejected).
     
  9. Bad_Ad84

    Bad_Ad84 The Tick

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    To clarify though:

    directly? - as in the modchip directly crashes the mechcon
    or indirectly? - modchip allows the use of poorer media and therefore leads to more chance of crash happening.

    My understanding was the latter.
     
  10. voultar

    voultar Rapidly Rising Member

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    The latter.

    It doesn't take a modchip for the MECHACON to overcompensate in voltage and burn up the coils. Badly scratched optical media can have the same effect. Of course, with a mod-chip, you're typically utilizing much more burned media than pressed discs.

    The V9, (very few) V10, (SCPH-5xxxx) and V12 (SCPH-7000x) fall victim to this. I personally recommend the PIC fix that monitors the voltage on that rail. Once it spikes, the PIC shuts the PS2 down.

    If you want to avoid this problem all together. Taiyo Yuden and/or Verbatim AZO silvers will make your system quite happy.

    Nevermind the 1/4W resistors in parallel on the focus and tracking coils. That's not really effective, and only hurts the performance of the laser, IMHO.
    [​IMG]

    Remarkable, I've been a member of this forum for 3 years, and this is my 10th post.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
    tkeely4777 likes this.
  11. sp193

    sp193 Site Soldier

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    I was referring to an old document that one modchip team released quite a long time ago. I don't rememeber its name but it had something about "deadbeef" in its name.
    They were proving how the earlier modchips were causing the (then new) SCPH-50000 to suffer from burnt laser coils.
    One of the reasons described, was some modchips not pulling up signals high enough, which led to the MECHACON crashing. There were other stuff there too, but I don't quite remember them.
     
  12. Bloodr0se

    Bloodr0se Spirited Member

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    So essentially on an unmodified v9-12 just running a scratched rented DVD movie or home video of your wedding recorded on a Memorex disc could be enough to kill the laser and render the console effectively useless?

    If that's the case then it's shocking that something like that could get past hardware QA tbh. Realistically, Sony should have done a product recall on those models.
     
  13. Bad_Ad84

    Bad_Ad84 The Tick

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    It was intentional, they got sued for it too IIRC.
     
  14. Bloodr0se

    Bloodr0se Spirited Member

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    Surely part of the resultant action from that lawsuit should have been a product recall though especially since in the EU manufacturer's are legally meant to provide products that meet a certain standard and will last a reasonable amount of time. With that 'design' choice it would have been more than possible to kill a v9-12 on day one of owning it and without the user trying to do anything even remotely dodgy.

    Interesting case in point is that Tesco sell DVD-R's in the UK and have done for years. Some of them use Taiyo Yuden Azo dye and others use a dogshit quality type from India. The customer would have no idea which dye brand they had just purchased to record their home movies onto and even then they would need to know what to look for in order to find out.
     
  15. Bad_Ad84

    Bad_Ad84 The Tick

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    They also removed OtherOS from PS3 consoles they sold (and was on the box!) as advertised feature. Not much came of that either.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
  16. Bloodr0se

    Bloodr0se Spirited Member

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    Oh yes, that one was shocking as was their handling of PS2 backwards compatibility on the PS3 but at least they were slightly more upfront in that case.

    My first PS3 was a HK unit with the full PS2 hardware included (J-region). Unfortunately the BD drive motor died a few years after buying it and it ended up being cheaper just to replace it with an 80GB local model than replace the BD drive so I had to reluctantly let it go.

    In 2010/2011 I did see people wrongly accuse Geohot over the OtherOS removal but IMHO the blame with Sony. They had the option to clean up the holes in the firmware and keep OtherOS but they chose not to because that would probably work out being more expensive and complicated for them.
     
  17. nilats

    nilats Site Supporter 2014

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    They may not have legally been held liable but it gave hackers the encouragement and motive (re-enabling otherOS) they needed to start digging into the machine completely unlocking it and showing how poor their internal security design was allowing signing of code to run on non-modified systems which as I am aware hasn't ever happened before on a major system. (Also lead to same thing happening on the PSP due to the cross compatibility features)

    So it was a big slap on their image and consumer confidence this all happening after the big PSN breach a year or so before.
     
  18. sp193

    sp193 Site Soldier

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    The irony was that they did all that, to curb hacking.
    It wasn't the first time that they've cut out features anyway, in the history of PlayStation consoles.

    Regarding the "deliberate sabotage": nobody actually know for sure that it was done deliberately because nobody actually decapped the chip to look at its firmware. So other than the fact that it looks deliberate (because who can believe that such a bad thing was made, right?), there isn't actually any evidence.
    Personally, I believe that it was the result of people making it do things that it wasn't meant to do (was it ever meant to read burned discs, as in advertised to?). It would mean that the console wasn't too well designed, but that's about it.
    They even let the first K-chassis (SCPH-70000) get released, even though its MECHACON had a problem with crashing.

    But that's just my 2 cents. Everyone around here long seemed pretty convinced that it was sabotage and it isn't without reason.
     
  19. Bloodr0se

    Bloodr0se Spirited Member

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    It was a DVD player released at the time when DVD-R was just becoming a viable home format and new PC's/laptops were being provided with DVD burners out of the box so I don't think they DVD-R compatibility would have been too much to ask for. Let's not forget that the earlier models had no issues with DVD-R either and this was years into the PS2 life cycle (the V12 launch coincided with the release of GTA: San Andreas IIRC).
     
  20. sp193

    sp193 Site Soldier

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    The sabotage theory includes earlier models, not just the the SCPH-50000 and SCPH-70000 series.
    The SCPH-70000 series had another problem altogether - apparently you don't even need to use a disc to crash the MECHACON (or to trigger this "sabotage"); pressing the RESET button could do that.

    I believe that it is possible for the increased problems to be just a coincidence as the problem only really became chronic with the release of the SCPH-50000, which was a major redesign of the console. They also replaced the MECHACON chip itself with a new model.
    The SCPH-70000 was another major re-design too, and it also had a few revisions.

    Within one of the SONY service tools, it mentions that the service part for the early DEX units is the "KHS-400B for DEX". The jitter threshold for electrical circuit adjustment is also lower, compared to CEX units.
    I wondered whether that meant that the optical block used in the DEX and TOOL units were ever different from the one in CEX units. Of course, it could simply have just been a sign that they tagged their parts for CEX and DEX units differently.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016

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