Removal of "the chip" in a Sony Playstation SCPH1002
by Mick Feuerbacher, August 2005
The standard PS is protected against the use of CD-Rs in order to force users to buy the original games. There are several companies out there, however, selling chips which override this protection. If you want to use your PS for audio only, this chip is not needed. The standard PS will play audio CD-R disks, the protection is only for games.
It is not known whether or not the chip influences sound quality. However, I am quite sure that it does not improve sound quality, so there is no reason not to get rid of it. It is certainly not bad to have as few components as possible involved.
There are several chips on the market, which have differnt amounts of connections and different connection points. They all seem to have in common that they are not directly positioned on the board but connected by several wires. The procedure given below holds only for the type of chip I found in one of my PS. However, in principle there is always not more much to do than to locate the positions to which the chip is soldered and then to solder them off. Hence, the disassembly procedure described below may be the only part which is generally valid for chip removal.
It is strongly recommended that you read the complete text before you start to work. You are doing this operation at your own risk and I do not take any responsibility if anything goes wrong.
Open the case of the PS (screws on bottom) and remove the top cover. In many cases you will see the added chip already then. In my exemplar the chip was connected via a flat cable coming out of the metal inner housing between the main board and the power supply (arrow).
Remove the metal shield covering the front connectors (controller and memory slots). Remove the connector to the PSU (lower left corner of the board). Remove the copper sticker (upper right corner) providing the ground connection between the upper and lower shield. Remove the laser unit - the body of the unit can be simply lifted from the three pins on the metal shield. It is connected via a power cable (grey and white cables) and a short flat cable for data connection. Be very careful disconnecting the latter - the bare cable is held by a plastic brigde in a slot connector on the main board. Make sure that you dont break of the ends of the plastic bridge, otherwise you will not be able to connect the laser unit again. You can open the bridge by carefully putting a thin screwdriver or tweezer tip in the two gaps on the sides and bend outwards.
You have now access to the top side of the board.Most chips (maybe all ?!?) are connected to the lower side.
Remove the RCA and parallel-port connectors, then you can lift the board.
Be careful when desoldering the connections not to apply too much heat. Don't add solder or flux, just heat very quickly and pull off the cables. Some wires are just soldered to pads on the board, but others are directly connected to the pins of the ICs.
Reassembly is straighforward. Make sure that you properly reconnect the copper sticker connecting the two shields. Also take care that you put the screws back into the right places - they do not all have the same lenght (I told you to read the complete text before you start ;-) Ok. The short screws are for the metal shield of the front connectors.
You may also take the opportunity to add rubber feet to the case. There are holes in the case which you can use in order to fix feet by screws. The two right holes are hidden under the main board (the left holes are under the power-supply board).