I know it’s been a while since I posted (new job, new cat, etc…) but I’m finally taking the time to write about my PlayStation CD Player. The idea of this mod is to make the PlayStation look good, and move the power supply outside of the case. Some claim that this helps prevent interference since the CD drive laser is close to the power supply.
If you haven’t already read about what’s special about the PlayStation CD player, check out the post here.
CD Player Mod
- PlayStation (1001, 5001, 5501)
- PlayStation Shell (or second PlayStation; can be a broken one as long as the shell is intact)
- PlayStation Controller or PlayStation 2 Remote Control
- 8 Pin Port x2
- 8 Pin Connector x2 (or a premade cable)
- Super Glue
- Masking Tape
- Spray Paint (optional, but recommended)
- Cable sleeving/fabric (optional)
- Soldering Iron/Solder
- Heatshrink (or electrical tape)
Needed for Audio Setup
Vibration Isolation Platform (optional)
- Maple Cutting Board (or just some sort of maple or mahogany block)
- Spike Feet
- Vibration Isolation Pads
Step 1: Disassembly
Taking a PlayStation apart is fairly easy. You have the screws on the bottom half, which contains the CD player, mainboard and power supply.
Be careful not to scratch the CD player lens, and try not to touch the parts on the power supply, just in case the caps have any residual charge. Also, make sure it’s unplugged (disregard the picture below).
Now would be a good time to calibrate the laser if the PlayStation tends to skip when playing CDs. To do this, you have to plug in the PlayStation and power it on. Be careful if you do this! The PlayStation has high voltage running through it!
Here’s a great article here on how to calibrate the laser.
Next, remove the power supply board (left rectangular board) and the main board. You’ll have to undo some ribbons, but it’s not difficult. Also, the memory card/controller ports can be removed as well.
This is a good time to clean all the plastic parts which is a good idea if it’s going to be painted.
Next, disassemble the CD player lid and eject button. Just undo the screws and remove the spring loaded parts. Try to remember how they fit together, as that will help when you put it back together.
Step 2: Cutting the PlayStation shell
Now it’s time to work on a PlayStation shell. This can be salvaged from a broken PlayStation, or bought on ebay. Do not use the shell from the CD Player PlayStation! You will need a separate shell!
Disassemble the shell, just like the PlayStation.
Next is the tough part. Using something like a jigsaw, you’re going to cut the top and bottom halves into thirds. Make sure the bottom part has all the necessary parts to hold the power supply board. Also try to keep the top and bottom parts the same length. Don’t cut that power supply third too short or the board won’t fit!
We’re going to take out the middle third, and squish the end pieces together. That way we have the left side that holds the power supply, and the right which just makes it look nice.
Next part will be gluing the parts together. Use tape on one side to hold the parts together until the glue dries. After removing the tape you may want to apply more glue.
Step 3: Filling in the gaps
Next we get to work with Bondo. If you haven’t worked with Bondo before, it’s like Play Dough that drys solid. We’re going to use it to fill in the large hole at the top, the eject button (which isn’t needed on a power supply box), and the seam along the front, back, and bottom. Be sure to use enough to fill the gaps, as we’ll be sanding it down. It’s best to use too much than not enough.
After it dries, sand down the bondo until it’s almost flush with the plastic. There will probably be some pits in the Bondo, so fill those and sand again. And again. And again, until it’s smooth, flat, and pit free. I used a palm sander to make it quicker, and finished with sanding by hand, using a sanding block.
Note: To fit the two parts together, you may have to cut some plastic from the inside of the shell pieces.
You’ll also need to fill the hole on the back of the PlayStation (not the shell) where the power cord plugs in.
Optionally, you can remove the PlayStation logo from the lids (you’ll probably have 2, since you have a second shell) and fill them with Bondo to make a smooth lid for painting.
Step 4: Drill the ports for the power cable
After you fill the power port on the PlayStation, you’ll need to drill a hole for the 8-port connections on both the PlayStation and the power supply box.
Step 5: Painting
Pretty self explanatory. Paint the top and bottom of the PlayStation and power supply box. Also paint the lid, buttons, and the plastic parts for the lid. And make sure to get inside the side ridges. Those can be a bit tricky.
Keep in mind, the Bondo can sort of absorb the paint, so it may look different than the plastic. Just keep applying light coats until it looks even.
You can also paint the memory card/controller slots. Just be sure to tape up the connections. Also, be sure to tape up the piece of clear plastic on the power supply! If you don’t, the power LED won’t shine through.
Step 6: Making the power connections
The goal here is to use the stock cable that connects the power supply to the PlayStation to make new external connections, then make a power cable that connects them.
Cut the cable in half, remove the rings, and strip the wires. Be careful, as these are the only wires that will connect to the PlayStation and power supply.
Extend both sides by soldering on more wire. These wires will connect to the ports we are going to install on the PlayStation and power supply box.
Check and see if the white connector will fit though the hole. If not, you’ll have to thread the wire through the hole first, then solder the port. Once you have the wires threaded through the drilled hole you can solder the ends of the extension wires to the ports that will go on the PlayStation and power supply box.
Also, your 8 pin connector should have a spot to ground the metal exterior. Connect this to the 2nd or 6th wire to ground it (both wires are ground as shown in the image below.) If you have a 5001/5501 system, use pin 4 or 2.
The port should fit just fine in the drilled holes. Depending on which ports you buy, you may only have to connect it with the two screws instead of relying on glue.
Step 7: Making the cable
I created my own cable with a fabric sleeve, but you can also buy a premade cable here. If you’d rather do that, you can skip this step.
Start by cutting and stripping 7 wires for the cable. Go ahead and run the wires through the plastic covers for the connectors. Don’t forget this, or you’ll have to desolder-resolder (learn from my mistakes)!
Once I had the cable soldered, I connected it to the power supply and the PlayStation mainboard. I then used a multimeter to make sure that the connections on the board went to their corresponding connections on the power supply.
Now assemble the PlayStation and connect the original connector to the mainboard. Also place the power supply in the power supply box, secure it with screws, and connect the original connector.
Now you’re done! I decided to place the logos on the front of the system. You plug the power cable into the power supply box, and plug the cable we made into the back of the PlayStation and power supply box and turn it on using the button on the power supply box.
Step 8 (Optional): Vibration isolation platform
Many high end CD players and high end turntables are mounted to a plank of wood which is placed on some sort of rubber or cork. The idea is that it allows the CD player/turntable to vibrate, while isolating it from external vibrations (loud sounds, people walking nearby, etc…). Some claim this helps with the CD player skipping (it made a difference to me), and it also helps to create a fuller sound. Maybe it’s just a placebo effect, but I could swear it has just a bit more bass when it’s on the platform.
These platforms can be really expensive, so I decided to make my own out of some spiked “feet,” a maple cutting board, and cork and rubber vibration pads.
All you need to do, is stick the feet to the bottom of the PlayStation, place it on the wood block, and stack all that on to the vibration isolation pads. And then you’re good!
Overall, I’m very happy with the way this turned out! I find the PlayStation to sound best with classical, piano, acoustic guitar, and folk type music. It still sounds good with rock and other heavier genres, but it really shines in classical. In fact one of my favorite albums to listen to it is the Super Smash Bros. Soundtrack!
This is a long mod, but it’s not that tough. Just make sure the power connections are correct, and you’ll be good to go! If you have any questions, feel free to ask! Thanks for reading!