Electronics Repair (sci.electronics.repair) Discussion of repairing electronic equipment. Topics include requests for assistance, where to obtain servicing information and parts, techniques for diagnosis and repair, and annecdotes about success, failures and problems.

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Default PS3: red LED flashes

This may have been discussed here before but I'm retired now and don't
drop in here often. My son's 4 year old Playstation 3 has suddenly died.
Powerup shows the green LED, then yellow followed quickly by 3 beeps and
the red LED flashing. The PS checks good (caps ESR OK and O'scope
clean). Searching the net, I found a few people heating up the main
processor and another big IC near it with a heat gun, supposedly to
reflow solder connections under those chips. I tried that, no go. Does
anyone here know the strait dope on those game units... why all of them
eventually puke that way and perhaps a more reliable fix? Supposedly
Sony will repair one for $150 out of warranty but is as likely to swap
it out. They obviously know what's happening to their units but want to
sell new rather than repair old. Are the new ones any better?

Ray Carlsen
Carlsen Electronics... a leader in trailing-edge technology
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Default PS3: red LED flashes

On 13/11/2011 22:49, Ray Carlsen wrote:
This may have been discussed here before but I'm retired now and don't
drop in here often. My son's 4 year old Playstation 3 has suddenly died.
Powerup shows the green LED, then yellow followed quickly by 3 beeps and
the red LED flashing. The PS checks good (caps ESR OK and O'scope
clean). Searching the net, I found a few people heating up the main
processor and another big IC near it with a heat gun, supposedly to
reflow solder connections under those chips. I tried that, no go. Does
anyone here know the strait dope on those game units... why all of them
eventually puke that way and perhaps a more reliable fix?


Google PS3 BGA reball

--
Adrian C

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Default PS3: red LED flashes

Google PS3 BGA reball

Thanks, Adrian. The first thought that came to mind when I saw the
reball video is that I've lived too long. ;-) I might try the "flux and
reheat" process. My eyes are just not up to any more than that.

Ray
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Default PS3: red LED flashes



"Ray Carlsen" wrote in message
...
Google PS3 BGA reball


Thanks, Adrian. The first thought that came to mind when I saw the
reball video is that I've lived too long. ;-) I might try the "flux and
reheat" process. My eyes are just not up to any more than that.

Ray


I tried these kitchen table 'reflow' processes for a while (although
actually on my professional workbench and using sophisticated hot air rework
equipment !) and I can pretty much say that I had total success with every
one - for about a week ...

Then they come bouncing back. It's known as "YLOD" or yellow light of death.
It is caused by the solder balls under the two BGA ICs giving way due to
thermal cycling, and in no small part I feel, as a result of the fact that
lead free solder is used, which lacks the ductility of the old leaded
solder.

Out of all the ones I did, I think I only had one that survived, and that
was my son's one too. I tried just about every temperature and duration
combination, as well as various different techniques for applying the heat,
including pre-heating the board, and using liquid flux. I tried all sorts of
thermal paste when re-attaching the heatsinks, including large thick dollops
of standard white paste, as Sony themselves seem to favour in the original
construction, thin scrapings of the same stuff, and thin scrapings of artic
silver, as most people on here will swear is the right way to go. In every
case, when reassembled, the unit would come straight back on, and work a
treat. You could play DVDs in it, or use it as a permanently powered media
server for weeks on end, and it would keep going. But send it back to a
serious gamer to actually play games on, and it would be back inside a few
days.

I think that these games are so processor and graphics-engine intensive,
that the amount of heat generated is just too much for any tenuous 'fix'
obtained by the kitchen table methods which are, make no mistake, definitely
*not* actually re-melting solder balls under those ICs.

Just as a matter of interest, the game "Call of Duty" seems to be the big
one for re-killing them.

By all means give it a go, and if you follow the instructions of any of the
people on the net who are publishing these fixes, you probably will get at
result, initially. But don't get too excited, as there will be a good chance
that you will see it come back to haunt you ...

Arfa

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Default PS3: red LED flashes

On 14/11/2011 17:10, Arfa Daily wrote:


"Ray Carlsen" wrote in message
...
Google PS3 BGA reball


Thanks, Adrian. The first thought that came to mind when I saw the
reball video is that I've lived too long. ;-) I might try the "flux and
reheat" process. My eyes are just not up to any more than that.

Ray


I tried these kitchen table 'reflow' processes for a while (although
actually on my professional workbench and using sophisticated hot air
rework equipment !) and I can pretty much say that I had total success
with every one - for about a week ...

Then they come bouncing back. It's known as "YLOD" or yellow light of
death. It is caused by the solder balls under the two BGA ICs giving way
due to thermal cycling, and in no small part I feel, as a result of the
fact that lead free solder is used, which lacks the ductility of the old
leaded solder.

Out of all the ones I did, I think I only had one that survived, and
that was my son's one too. I tried just about every temperature and
duration combination, as well as various different techniques for
applying the heat, including pre-heating the board, and using liquid
flux. I tried all sorts of thermal paste when re-attaching the
heatsinks, including large thick dollops of standard white paste, as
Sony themselves seem to favour in the original construction, thin
scrapings of the same stuff, and thin scrapings of artic silver, as most
people on here will swear is the right way to go. In every case, when
reassembled, the unit would come straight back on, and work a treat. You
could play DVDs in it, or use it as a permanently powered media server
for weeks on end, and it would keep going. But send it back to a serious
gamer to actually play games on, and it would be back inside a few days.

I think that these games are so processor and graphics-engine intensive,
that the amount of heat generated is just too much for any tenuous 'fix'
obtained by the kitchen table methods which are, make no mistake,
definitely *not* actually re-melting solder balls under those ICs.

Just as a matter of interest, the game "Call of Duty" seems to be the
big one for re-killing them.

By all means give it a go, and if you follow the instructions of any of
the people on the net who are publishing these fixes, you probably will
get at result, initially. But don't get too excited, as there will be a
good chance that you will see it come back to haunt you ...

Arfa


Tried all this myself as well, best success I've had was a white X-Box
360 that lasted about 3 months before failing again. It doesn't work. I
suspect you are more likely to warp and damage the PCB before you melt
the solder. Very common failure I suspect as mentioned due to the lead
free solder and BGA package design. Same problems afflict some GPU's on
laptop motherboards.

My suggestion is to try and get it going temporarily for long enough to
get any data off the hard drive, then bin it and get a new one which
hopefully will be of improved design.


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Default PS3: red LED flashes

On 11/22/2011 12:24 PM, Clyde wrote:


Tried all this myself as well, best success I've had was a white X-Box
360 that lasted about 3 months before failing again. It doesn't work. I
suspect you are more likely to warp and damage the PCB before you melt
the solder. Very common failure I suspect as mentioned due to the lead
free solder and BGA package design. Same problems afflict some GPU's on
laptop motherboards.

My suggestion is to try and get it going temporarily for long enough to
get any data off the hard drive, then bin it and get a new one which
hopefully will be of improved design.


The problem may be caused by the solder balls being lead-free. All
currently designed and manufactured BGA chips have led-free solder
balls. They are no longer made with lead solder balls.

We recently finished a small production build that had a BGA and it was
placed on the board by it's self and run through the convection oven.
Then all the other components were placed and the boards put back
through the oven using a profile for lead based solder paste.

Paul
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