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Original Xbox Download  Adding a blinking HDD-LED to the Xbox (v0.2) Original Xbox Downloads

Adding a blinking HDD-LED to the Xbox (v0.2)

Published by James on 2003-10-31
Category: Hardware Mods/Addons | Page Views: 22,747

These instruction are based upon the I-hacked.com LED tutorial. I didn't want to open the Xbox up to get +5v from the bottom [pin 32 in the I-hacked instruction], so I decided to show you how I did it. Thanks to I-hacked for the initial instructions, I hope you will find mine a little more easier to accomplish.

This shows you how to install a disk activity light on your Xbox. The will need the following items to get this done:

  • 5mm Blinking Green LED (Radio Shack Part #276-305, 6v, 20mA) (a non-blinking led will also work fine)
  • 220 Ohm Resistor (Radio Shack Part #271-1111)
  • Two pieces of wire (I used two wires from an old IDE cable and used the red stripe one for the +5volt connection)
  • Black Tape (heat shrink tubing will also work)
  • Soldering Iron and solder (15 watt recommended)
  • 3/16" Drill bit

Cut the Anode [the longer side of the LED] to about 1/2" [13mm]. Next, cut one side of the resistor [doesn't matter which end] the same length. Tin both ends and solder them together. Trim the other end of the resistor, tin it with solder and connect a pre-tinned small wire to it [I used the red striped wire from an old IDE cable so I would know this went to +5v eventually]. Black tape or heat shrink the connections to avoid any shorts later. Cut the Cathode [short one] of the LED and solder the other wire to it. Black tape this connection, again to avoid a short.

When you are done, it should look something like this [sorry for the blurry picture]. An ASCII representation would look like this:

| |
Anode Cathode
| |
| |
220ohm |
resistor |
| |
| |
| |
to +5volts |
| |
| to pin
| 39 IDE cable
| |

Okay, now pull the IDE cable from the Xbox hard drive. CAREFULLY use a knife and slice BETWEEN the 40th, 39th and 38th wires, freeing the 39th wire from the bundle without cutting any of the wires. The side of the cable with the red stripe is pin 1, so this is the opposite side of the IDE cable you should be working on.

I used the soldering iron to carefully melt a little bit of the insulation from the 39th wire so I would avoid cutting it. I connected the wire soldered to the Cathode side of the LED [the one without the resistor] to this 39th wire on the IDE cable using the soldering iron. I taped it up to avoid it shorting out later.

I then pulled the power connector from the Xbox hard drive. I used my multi-meter to verify that the red wire on the Xbox power supply is +5v. I cut back a small amount of insulation from the red wire and connected the tinned wire from the Anode side [with the resistor] of the LED to this. Again, I taped it up to avoid any short in the future.

I decided to mount the LED on the right side of the Xbox. I used a 3/16" drill bit to drill through the plastic. The LED is a little bigger than that and I didn't want to make the hole too big with the next size bit, so I had to carefully "ream out" the hole a little at a time until the LED slid in snug. Here is a view of the LED from the inside.

I used some black tape to route the wire for the LED along the side and over the little metal lip. The cover of the Xbox will push down on it [where it goes over the metal], so I made sure to put a piece of black tape over the wire to protect it.

I assembled the Xbox and powered it one. Here is what the LED looks like in act

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