Frankenstein’s console

As much as I’m loathed to finally admit it, I’m getting a PlayStation 2. Earlier this week UK supermarket chain Asda slashed the price of PS2 ‘slimline’ consoles to just £49.99. But I’m not going to buy one – not yet anyway…

A colleague of mine – who told me about the Asda price cut, incidentally – mentioned this morning that he’d been into his local store last night and bought a discounted PS2 for his younger sister’s birthday. Whilst there, he asked one of the staff how long the deal was going to last and how many consoles they had left in stock, the answers to which were, “no idea,” and, “twenty-five-ish,” respectively. So I made my mind up to go and get one today. However, before leaving my colleague asked if I was, “any good at fixing things,” which completely threw me at first. It turns out he has a faulty PlayStation 2 tucked away in a cupboard at home, which he has said I’m welcome to have if I think I can fix it.

Now, it’s a long (and I mean long) time since I’ve done any electronics. But this sort of fixer-upper is exactly the sort of thing I used to do; rewiring old pieces of kit, adding or modifying connectors, and installing car stereos–that sort of thing. So I’m looking forward to having a go with the PlayStation 2. It’s not entirely clear exactly what’s wrong with the system, currently. It powers up, but the disc drive won’t open and the machine doesn’t boot, so it could be something as typical as the PS2 drive dying. On the other hand it could be something a lot more complex, which requires me breaking out the voltage tester and then tip-tapping my way across the PCBs in the hopes of finding the faulty component. My colleague mentioned something about a blown diode being the culprit, but he wasn’t certain as it’s a long time since he looked into it himself.

So, with soldering iron and screw driver in hand, I should be tackling this sometime next week. I might even make use of that Flickr account I have languishing with nothing it, or perhaps YouTube if I’m feeling really adventurous. Wish me luck!


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