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How to repair a broken PS2 fan using the USB port

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If you're like me and you opened up your Playstation 2 for some reason (to install a mod chip, to do a laser adjustment, just for curiosity, etc) then you probably damaged the case fan connector to your PS2 motherboard. Sony used the thinnest material known to man to make the fan connector on the motherboard, and if this connector breaks off there's no way to reattach it. The bad news is that your PS2 will not function for more than about 10 minutes without a working fan. The other bad news is that the USB fans you can buy that will attach to the front of the unit, are not powerful enough to efficiently cool down your PS2.

The good news is that you don't have to buy a whole new PS2! You can use a spare USB cable to run your fan's power from the USB port in the front of your PS2.

Disadvantages of using my method:

Yes you could damage your PS2, but this is very easy to do and you don't even need to use solder. If you don't like the way it looks, then you can run the wires inside the PS2 and cut a small hole in the front of the system, so that only the plug end of the USB cable is exposed and it will look a little bit cleaner, or you could even solder the fan to the USB port from the inside, just find the right connectors (and remember not to plug anything into that port.)

Advantages of using my method:

So below is my write-up of how to wire your PS2 case fan to a USB cable. (For the record I don't think it makes a difference which version your PS2 is, but mine was a US NTSC Version 10.)

First of all, I'm not responsible for any damage done by you, blah blah blah. This is what I did to my system and it worked for me, take it or leave it.
Be sure you unplug your PS2 power cord first (Duh!)

  • Cut off the fan connector, and run the two wires (black and grey) out the back of the PS2. Strip the two wires (they are very thin and it took me many tries to strip the wires without cutting through them.)

  • Next, take a USB cable and cut off the small connector, keeping the one that plugs into your PS2 (obviously.) At this point you may want to measure the approximate distance from the fan in the back, the the USB port in the front. Leave yourself some extra space so you don't cut too short and have to buy a whole new cable. Strip the outter covering off the USB cable. Depending your USB cable there may be a few layers before you get to the four color coded wires. Mine had the outter plastic layer, a braided wire layer, an aluminuim foil layer and then the four individual ones.

  • There should be four wires plus some uncoated wire. Cut off the exposed portions of the uncoated wire, the green wire and the white wire because you will not need to use these, and you don't want any excess making contacts anywhere. Wrap some electrical tape around the base where you cut open the USB cable to clean it up (or use some heat shrink wrap for a cleaner look.) Now, strip the tip of the red wire, and the black wire.

  • The way I wired my fan was black-fan to black-USB and grey-fan to red-USB. If you wire it the other way, it will just reverse the direction the fan blows (I think.) I soldered each pair of wires together (fan-Black to USB-black, then fan-grey to USB-red), wrapped each one in electrical tape, then wrapped the entire exposed section from the solder point, back to the point I previously wrapped on the USB cord. You can wrap the entire thing in electrical tape if you want.

  • Now, plug the USB cable in and then plug the power cord into your PS2. Flip the switch on at the back of the PS2. The fan won't start spinning yet so don't panic. You have to press the Power/Reset button on the front of the console first. After a slight delay (1 second at he most) the fan should kick on.

  • Lastly, you should tape the wire to the unit, where it comes out of the fan at the back. That way if you pull on it a little bit when trying to plug it in or whatever, you won't rip the wires out of the fan (if that happens, you'll need to buy a whole new fan.)

    That's all there is to it. Last but not least, here's a simple drawing that will show you how the Fan should be wired to the USB cable.