Reliability of PlayStation 3 DECR-1000A Reference Tool's

Discussion in 'Repair, Restoration, Conservation and Preservation' started by FromAllAspects, May 25, 2019.

  1. FromAllAspects

    FromAllAspects PlayStation Collector

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    Hi all,

    I'm unsure if this is the right place to put such a post in, but here I go. I've been attempting to track down a DECR-1000A Reference Tool since 2017 with no luck whatsoever. My intention for the Reference Tool (which may be different from others), is solely for preservation only, with maybe light use to ensure everything works properly. Now my question is with the Reference Tool's, are they as reliable as a retail PlayStation 3 or do they suffer from problems unique to the DECR-1000A? I've heard that what can go wrong is the RSX (GPU), is this true and if this component becomes affected, what's the procedure for repairing? (eg: reballing, re-applying thermal paste, et cetera) Another thing that allegedly plagues these systems is the YLOD (overheating), would this be due to the thermal paste failing or is it another problem that can occur with these particular systems? (eg: Blu-Ray drive, fan failure or general hardware failure, et cetera) I look forward to hearing everyone's responses regarding these special units.

    EDIT: Also, regarding the video output, is there anything else you can do to fix such problems (eg: GPIO lights/switches, Target Manager, or CR2032 batteries, due to settings being lost?, et cetera)

    Kind regards,

    FromAllAspects
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
  2. Tokimemofan

    Tokimemofan Dauntless Member

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    There is no thermal compound, it uses pyrolytic carbon pads, the cooling system is well built, but you are still dealing with a 90nm rsx. Those were always unreliable, still far better than the 60gb retails
     
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  3. TriMesh

    TriMesh Site Supporter 2013-2017

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    It's exactly the same problem as the CECHA/DECHA consoles - thermal cycling on the RSX eventually causing stress fractures on the solder balls. The DECR has better cooling, but being a development tool is also more likely have been heavily used.

    My honest feeling about all the 1st generation PS3 stuff is that the best thing you can do with it is to put it on a shelf and don't even try to use it. Sure, you can try to mitigate the failures by doing things like replacing the thermal interface material or winding up the fans, and this does work to some extent, but the basic design is flawed and it's not really a question of if it will fail, but when.
     
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  4. Tokimemofan

    Tokimemofan Dauntless Member

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    To be fair I’m starting to find that later generation systems are rapidly catching up to the 60gb in failures. There is no safe model, a fundamental engineering failure in the rsx design. Seems the most reliable is the 2xxx series and the dech 1400
     
  5. FromAllAspects

    FromAllAspects PlayStation Collector

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    The 90nm architecture was always considered quite unreliable, however I've had a DECHA00A for the past year and have had no issues in regards to the RSX and that gets used quite regularly. In my opinion, it always depends on the environment you provide and the regular preventative maintenance that comes with owning an older system, especially development ones. I've only ever had one 1st generation PlayStation 3 fail on me entirely, and that was back in 2008. In terms of the design, yes, it is heavily flawed, there's no denying that. If I ever go for a DECR-1000A, would it be worth reballing for the sake of being safe and would there be any repair businesses that would take it on?

    They are quite problematic, however it all depends on what you do with the system (eg: environment , preventative maintenance). I've owned Fat/1st generation models since 2007 and have only ever had one fail, badly. It started with the RSX artifacting (common issue), then fan no longer kicked in and eventually died from a mixture of the GLOD (no video output) and YLOD due to the fan not kicking in on time. Whilst it was strange, I guess it's inherent with all PlayStation 3's regardless of how careful you are. Personally, with Slim's I've never really liked them (no offense, guys!), they seemed to me a little on the cheap end in terms of build quality (no power switch on the back and no touch sensors). Isn't the DECR-1400A based on Slim hardware, but enclosed in a 20GB-like case? At least these answers have given me a lot to think about, I really do appreciate it. I never knew a DECR-1000A didn't use thermal paste from factory, but instead pyrolytic carbon pads. I'll tell you all how I go with getting one as I feel I'm getting close to finding the right one. Take care, guys and thanks again!

    Kind regards,

    FromAllAspects
     
  6. TriMesh

    TriMesh Site Supporter 2013-2017

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    Well, my personal experience with the old PS3s was pretty good - I had a CECHA01 that I got on release day in Japan and it worked with no problems until it was finally killed by _The Last of Us_. That's about 7 years - not great, but certainly not Xenon 360 levels of fail either.

    The reason I consider them time bombs is that one of my friends is in the input-export business, and was grey importing Japanese PS3s into Hong Kong (there is lots of that in HK - mostly because its status as a free port makes parallel importing completely legal). It was a disaster for him - he was shipping 20' container loads of dead PS3s back to Japan for repair on a regular basis. They weren't all YLODs, there were quite a lot of Blu-Ray drive failures too, but it was bad enough that he ended up making an overall loss on the whole deal.
     
  7. FromAllAspects

    FromAllAspects PlayStation Collector

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    I've heard a few of the newer games can throw the 1st generation PlayStation 3's out a bit. Gran Turismo 6 was another that would cause trouble by creating a false YLOD error (probably overloaded something is my guess). That's not good to hear. I had to fix a 60GB CECHC02 myself (I think i mentioned it once. It has OFW 2.76) that had a Blu-Ray drive failure (the disc drive mechanism was perfect, it was just the laser that decided to die randomly) and has worked perfectly since. Just in case anything ever happens to one of my 1st generation's, I keep a few working ones so that I can at least enjoy what they had. As for PlayStation 3's that have the YLOD error, I usually steer clear of them, mostly due to the fact they were probably stored in a bad spot such as the inside of a media cabinet (worst case is they can warp some of the internal components, which must be a pain if you can even fix it at all).

    The Xbox 360's weren't bad, but they weren't great either. I've got a 2007 Elite (I think they had them back then. It's white in colour) that still has the old "Blades" operating system, but that rarely gets any use. (only to make sure no error codes come up such as the infamous E68 or E26). Considering, yours did go for a good while. The one I had (another CECHC02; I don't count this one being a one that died normally) was very strange. It would start triggered random artifacting and throwing error codes on the top of the screen. I found out later on it was due to the RSX not getting a proper cooling cycle, so it created bumps on the die. Not the greatest and that died officially due to a botched repair in 2016. Anyway, thanks for the tips and words, TriMesh. I appreciate it!

    Kind regards,

    FromAllAspects
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
  8. FromAllAspects

    FromAllAspects PlayStation Collector

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    Just wondering, are there any other things to consider before purchasing a DECR-1000A such as the power supply and Blu-Ray drive? (apparently they're not an off the shelf component, but rather prototype related?) I would appreciate all the information I can get on the DECR-1000A's before purchasing one to avoid any regrets.

    Kind regards,

    FromAllAspects
     
  9. TriMesh

    TriMesh Site Supporter 2013-2017

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    In general, they are pretty robust - the only problem I've seen with any regularity was the RSX dying. I've also seen several that were smashed to pieces because they weren't packed properly. The power supply is unique to this unit, but seems reliable (it's also universal, so there is no problem plugging even a DECR-1000J into 220V). No idea on the BD drive - I never used it because the machine has a built in optical drive emulator.
     
  10. FromAllAspects

    FromAllAspects PlayStation Collector

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    That would've been a sad sight to see one smashed beyond technical recognition. At least the power supply is universal so it does have a somewhat similar thing to DECHA00A I currently own and even better that it is a reliable unit. There isn't a heap of information on the PlayStation 3 Development Wiki, this is the only reason I ask (sorry if I ask too many questions, I'm just a bit curious). Apparently the Blu-Ray drive uses its own unique model number (not sure if it's a typo), 303R. Has anyone ever torn apart one and replaced the laser on one and if so, does it use a retail related one or a one-off component, and is the procedure easy to do if in the event it does fail?

    Kind regards,

    FromAllAspects
     

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