Fun with solder reflow

This thing.

Is awesome.

If it works as good as it looks!

There is a red ring PS3 and Xbox one at the thrift store for 5 bucks each I’m thinking about trying to reflow them maybe to try it out?


Fun fact, a fully red ring on an XBox is actually the least terrible failure mode:

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For $5 it’s worth it just for practising removing and replacing different components even if it doesn’t work in the end.
it’s already e-waste.

Check the PSUs too, if they’re still good that’s worth $5 to turn into a bench power supply.

But PS3s seem to have a fairly high rate of PSU failures in some batches so it might not even need reflow.


Oh not sure how many lights, it just said on the note,my guess it is probably the 3 lights. It’s common to just be able to reflow the main cpu I think it should work.

From what I understand this is most typically caused by oxidation on the solder balls on the bga of the main chip. Likely the result of trying to save a few pennies on each one of these by using cheaper solder.

My guess.

The cheap solder is the cause but it isnt oxidation its due to sepperation of the BGA from the PCB due to overheating which causes the solder to crack and discconect

Yeah, when you’re lucky it’s the solder balls that crack and a simple reflow can reconnect everything.

Sometimes it’s the traces right off the PCB and then that’s pretty much done for.

Technically repairable but it goes from a quick shot of glorified hairdryer to hours of work taking the chip off, rebuilding the pad(s) somehow, then reflowing that giant chip without shorting anything especially with the iffy pad repair then hoping that it doesn’t snaps 8 hours of use later.

Louis Rossmann’s channel has some videos of fixing pads of small BGAs before reballing them.

[Bit of swears warning]

And sometimes (not sure if that’s the case with 360s, but it’s the sometimes case with GPUs in general) it’s the chip itself that is cracked internally and heating it up reconnects the chip through thermal expansion and allows it to work for a few hours before it fails again.

So if it works for a bit then fails again soon after it’s not necessarily because the reflow was done wrong.


Yah it’s worth $5 to test out the hot air tool anyways, and if I end up with a working plastation out of it, all the better!

Yeah, it’s funny too because if I was in shenzhen I bet I could get the ps3 reballed and put back on for $20 or so. Although they would probably sell me a working used ps3 and take the broken one.

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xbox 360 no such luck, might be the power supply.

I have better hope for the ps3. need thermal grease to reassemble.

Status update:

ps3 no dice either.

Sad panda