Custom Playstation CD Player Mod

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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.

Needed Parts:

CD Player Mod

Needed for Audio Setup

Vibration Isolation Platform (optional)

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.

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Bottom of the PlayStation. Ignore the black pads, I was trying to isolate the CD player vibrations.

 

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).

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Ignore the fact that it’s plugged in.

 

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.
http://www.theisozone.com/tutorials/psx/general/how-to-calibrate-a-ps1-scph-1001-laser-assembly/

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Here’s point on the ribbon that can be used 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.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
The power supply is the rectangular board on the left.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
The controller ports and memory card slots can be removed completely.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Mainboard completely removed.

 

This is a good time to clean all the plastic parts which is a good idea if it’s going to be painted.

PlayStation CD Player Mod
All Clean!

 

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.

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Underneath the CD player lid.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
PlayStation lid and buttons removed from top cover.

 

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!

PlayStation CD Player Mod
A PlayStation shell I bought off of ebay.

 

Disassemble the shell, just like the PlayStation.

PlayStation CD Player Mod

 

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!

PlayStation CD Player Mod
The jigsaw that I used.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Cut into thirds like this (you don’t need to cut the lid).

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Bottom half after cutting.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Oh god what have I done…

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
The only parts that are actually needed. Be sure to wash the dust off of them after cutting!

 

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.

PlayStation CD Player Mod
This is how the top ends will fit together.

 

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.

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Parts taped together while glue is drying.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Glue is dry!

 

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.

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Bondo used to fill the gaps.

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.

PlayStation CD Player Mod
After the first sanding. You can see some pits in the Bondo.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
After the final sanding, it’s smooth and flush with the plastic.

 

You’ll also need to fill the hole on the back of the PlayStation (not the shell) where the power cord plugs in.

PlayStation CD Player Mod
The port where the power cable used to be being filled with Bondo.

 

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.

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Lids with the PlayStation logo removed and filled with Bondo.

 

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.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Drilled power port including the two small holes for screws. You can see where the old power port was filled with Bondo and sanded down.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Test mounting the port.

 

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.

PlayStation CD Player Mod
I decided to go with a satin black.

 

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.

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Not the best picture, but you can see now the Bondo seems to absorb the paint.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
After multiple coats, that effect starts to go away.

 

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.

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Be sure to tape up the power LED and controller ports.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Looks good!

 

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.

PlayStation CD Player Mod
PlayStation internal power cable and two ports.

 

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.

PlayStation CD Player Mod

 

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.

PlayStation CD Player Mod

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Write down which color wire on the PlayStation connection goes to which extension wire. I only had red, green, blue, and black on hand, so I just checked later with a multi-meter.

 

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.

2i0t8qc

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
The green “looped” wire connects the gound to the port exterior.

 

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.

PlayStation CD Player Mod

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Here’s what you should end up with. A wire that goes from the original power supply connector, to an extension wire, to a power port on the back.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Here is the cable from the PlayStation side. Same as the power supply side, just with the PlayStation connector instead.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Screwed in. Strangely enough I had trouble finding screws small enough to fit the holes. I ended up using tri-wing screws from a Gameboy that fit perfectly.

 

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)!

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Cable running through the connector’s plastic cover.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
When you pull apart the connector, you’ll find 8 pins that you can solder to.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Solder the 7 wires to the pins.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
You can now move the sleeve down and finish one end of the connector. Now just do the same for the other side! Make sure each pin connects to the same pin on the other side.

 

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.

PlayStation CD Player Mod
This shows how the system works. The power supply (left) uses the original connector to connect to a port we made on the power supply box. That port is connected through a wire that connects to the port on the PlayStation. Then the port on the PlayStation connects to the original connector on the PlayStation mainboard.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
These are the solder points for the power connection on the bottom of the PlayStation mainboard (underneath where the power connector plugs in). Use a multimeter to make sure they go to the correct opposite port on the power supply.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Once I was sure that the cable was correctly wired, I cut some fabric from an old black t-shirt I had and sewed it around the cable. I used extra fabric, so it created a scrunchy effect, and ended up looking real nice.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
How the cable ended up looking.

 

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.

PlayStation CD Player Mod
PlayStation partially assembled with the power cable connected to the mainboard.

 

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.

PlayStation CD Player Mod
My CD Setup with a PlayStation 2 remote, a Fiio headphone amp, and Symphonized headphones.

 

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.

mapleplatform-dept-5
An example of a vibration isolation 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!

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
Here’s my PlayStation on the vibration dampening platform.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
The power supply doesn’t need to be on the platform, since it has no moving parts.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod
You can see the spikes the PlayStation sits on.

 

PlayStation CD Player Mod

 

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!

7 comments

    1. Yes, it just works! The remote is made for a PlayStation 2, so most of the buttons don’t do anything (pause, play, next track, etc…) but you can use the bottom buttons for basic controls. Start is play/pause, select is stop, R1 and L1 are next/previous track.Some people do a mod that integrates the receiver into the PlayStation, but I thought it looked fine as is.

  1. Maybe I’m missing something really obvious here, but why did the power supply need to be housed in a separate shell at all? I assumed it was because you needed the extra space in the main PlayStation case, but nothing additional ended up going in there so why not just plug the PlayStation in as normal?

  2. The power supply is close to the laser mechanism and other components on the motherboard. Heat build up can affect playback performance, cause tracking issues, or create other problems affecting audio performance. So, by isolating the power supply from the motherboard components and laser assembly, you eliminate the possibility of these issues from occurring.

    Really cool mod which I am doing now. I would also think this can give you some added room to do a cap mod to the power supply and mount it horizontally, as opposed to sticking out the top of the unit as I have seen in other mods! This is how I am going to utilize the extra room. Thank you for sharing.

  3. This is an interesting mod indeed. I assume it would do the same if you cut open the play station top and build the power supply inside a power supply box/shield and it might have been ending up looking even more awesome as the shield would stick up from the left side of the play station. Read further down in the link it might provide you with some useful details: http://www.ebay.com/itm/IsoTek-Evo3-Solus-Mains-Power-Conditioner-Black-/232175890976?hash=item360ec2f220:g:uQAAAOSwGotWkaBh

  4. A beautiful mod! Your process is very nicely explained. Just what I’ve been looking for.

    I think, if I go the route of modding the case (separate PSU etc), I would remove the (now) dumb Power & Reset Buttons (on the CD player unit ) and fill with Bondo.

    Do you think it’s possible to fit the 8-pin connector, using only the first third as the PSU case?

    Thanks for sharing. Excellent work!

    1. I’m glad you like it!

      That would probably work, but the connector might have to be put on the side. There’s not much room in the front or back.

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