By Cian Cunningham
Here is a step by step tutorial for making a high quality component cable using an Xbox 360 component cable and a standard original Xbox Composite AV cable that pretty much everyone will have. I was looking for an original Xbox component cable recently and my options were a cheap Chinese non brand component cable, a monster cable or an official HD kit. The latter being crazy expensive nowadays. Since I have a background in electronics I thought why not make one from a 360 cable if a standard AV cable has all the pins present but not wired. I did a quick Google and I am not the first to have done this but thought I'd throw up this step by step for anyone who isn't afraid of some small soldering. You could just splice a 360 component cable onto a Chinese component cable but this way you have a pretty much official cable that is very high quality..
Here goes. Get yourself a 360 component cable and a standard AV cable with the 3 RCA plugs, red, white and yellow.
Cut the head off your original Xbox AV cable.
Take a hair dryer to it now to make the plastic sleeve malleable and remove the sleeve from around the socket. Use a screwdriver to help pry it off if needs be. It should come pretty easy but don't be too rough as we want to get it back on at the end.
Now loosen off the clasps around the cable by prying them out with a screwdriver and then with a long nose pliers if needed. Again don't go too mad as we will need to squeeze these back on at the end.
Now you should be able to remove half this casing. The socket itself with the pins will still be secured inside.
Now take a long nose pliers and carefully separate the remaining casing. Do this carefully and slowly just enough so you can remove the pin housing. The less you bend this the nicer it will look at the end. Take note of the way the two sides lock into each other. The little tabs click in from the top. So grab the side with the tab and pull up. So pull up the right hand side then turn it around and again pull up the right hand side. Patience.remember this has to go back together. Try to open this up less than I have here if you can. Don't worry about the black shield cables soldered on to the casing. We will be removing these anyway.
Once you get the pins out if you're lucky you'll just have a piece of black tape over the pins. If you're unlucky you'll have a blob of hot glue over them both sides. Don't despair....you can get this off with some small effort. If you are met with the glue you can again soften it with a hair dryer and get a screwdriver and gouge the majority of it off carefully. I would then get some sticky stuff remover and spray it on and leave it for 5 minutes. Then carefully scrape lengthways down along each pin with the corner of your small flathead screwdriver until it is all gone. Take your time and make sure it's all off.
This is the stuff I use for that.
Here is the pins that the lucky people will get with the tape.
Lovely clean pins straight from the factory.
Now take your 360 component cable and cut the head off this just below it's socket and get the sleeve off your original Xbox socket and put it onto your 360 cable. Just keep turning it until it goes on. It's pretty much the exact fit.
And a second time...PUT THE SLEEVE ON YOUR 360 CABLE BEFORE YOU START TO SOLDER!!! You do not want that sinking feeling when you've just done lots of tedious work to find you've to de-solder everything because you forgot to put the sleeve on.
Now take a sharp knife and about 2 inches back from the end score a ring around the insulation. Take your time and bend it a bit and let the sharp knife do the work. Don't go mad here. You want all of the shields inside to be intact. Again. Patience.
You'll be met with a load of cables with a braided shield around them. The cable with the colour is the signal every time and the shield wrapped around it is that signals ground. It is possible you could find two cables, a signal and ground both insulated and not braided shields. Either way it's the same thing and actually easier if you don't have the braided ones because the braids are trickier to solder because they are bigger.
You will also have some white fibres up the middle. Cut these off. And an overall screen, the one that's on it's own. Don't cut this off.
For each cable push the braid down a bit to loosen it and make a hole as near the base as you can by separating the braid and pull the coloured cable through. Then pull the braid and twist it nice and tight without breaking it. The idea is to get it as thin as you can.
When you've separated each signal from it's screen measure it against the length of cable already soldered onto the original Xbox pins and give yourself a bit extra and cut them all. Strip the ends of each signal. Only about 3 or 4mm and be careful not to pull out strands while stripping the insulation. Make sure there are on stray strands by giving the ends a little twist and tin the ends and also tin about a half inch or so of each braided screen. Try keep them tight with no loose strands. To tin put a small bit of solder on your iron and use this to heat up the wire and flow the solder with the transferred heat of the wire, not the iron. This makes the strands basically into a solid cable.
Now desolder all on the cables from your original Xbox pins. Also I highly recommend you use Weller solder or similar decent quality solder as it will make life easier than using cheap stuff.
Now to the good stuff. I have taken this diagram from an online search and did not create it myself. It is the best diagram out there and credit to the Creator. I will find the name of the guy on YouTube that has done this and credit him.
So you have already tinned your cable ends and braided screens. Now you want to go and tin each pin you will be using. Just a tiny bit of solder and heat the pin for a second. Do not stay on the pins with your iron for anything over 2 seconds or you'll melt plastic. Take your time. Everything one by one. When you've tinned all the pins all you need to do for every solder joint is put a tiny bit on your iron and press down gently and the tinned cable will marry into the tinned pin. Do not use extra solder, no need. The tiny bit I suggest for your iron is simply to transfer the heat.
Go ahead and tin pins 1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 21 and 22.
That is for audio right and left signals and grounds, two jumpers for the mode and red, green and blue signal and grounds.
To note the connector I've used here is one that was covered in hot glue so it looks a bit bashed up but is electrically sound.
Audio right - red to pin 1 and it's ground to pin 2. Also make 2 small jumper wires and tin them as previously. Solder these as shown to pins 6 and 7.
Bend the jumper wires around to the other side and solder pin 6 jumper to pin 18 and pin 7 jumper to pin 19. Ignore that strand to the right, that is the overall screen and it's not soldered to a pin, just a bad picture.
Blue signal to 9 and it's ground to 10.
Green signal to 11 and it's ground to 12.
Audio left - white signal to 14 and it's ground to 15. Be careful that you don't mix up the pink with the white, they look very very similar.
Last but not least the pink signal wire to 22 and it's ground to 21. Careful with this one. All the rest were 'signal, ground' and this one is 'ground, signal'.
Tape up the yellow cable. Nice to have a spare socket at the end of your cable so you can fix this in years to come if one of the rca plugs every gets broken you can solder the yellow up instead. Take the yellows ground and twist the thin overall ground wire around it. Bend it as shown and then tin them together with some solder. We will use this to ground the metal housing on the plug.
Scratch up this part on the plug housing with a screwdriver.
Now turn your iron up a touch if needed and flow solder onto the part you just scratched up. Solder the screen from the yellow that we tinned together with the overall screen to this part of the case.
Cut a strip of electrical tape. The width of standard electrical tape is perfect to cover the pins. I recommend you do this instead of hot glue to insulate the pins.
At this point plug it in to your OGXbox and see does it all look good. (Troubleshooting tips at the bottom of this post if it doesn't look quite right)
Put this guy back into the other part on the plugs housing and carefully crimp back on the cable grips after around the outer insulation.
If you were careful taking apart your plug top earlier you will be happy right about now. If you weren't don't worry, just get a long nose pliers and carefully form it all back together.
Remember these tabs click in from the top. They won't sit right if you try click them in from the under side so you'll have to do a touch of light convincing with a long nose pliers again. Be careful of the pins inside now. Don't want to break it now after all of that.
Don't lose the cool once they are almost snug you can put a bit of pressure on the tabs with a screwdriver to secure the housing. Once it is fairly solid slide your sleeve back down to cover it up.
Now what you have is a top quality fully Microsoft component cable for your OGXbox. In my opinion it's better quality by a mile than the old HD kit and and the monster cable. It's also two fingers up to the cretins that want 70 quid for a cable. You'll get a brand new 360 component cable for around the price of one of those horrendous terribly shielded Chinese component cables and everyone has an AV composite 3 plug standard cable lying around.
Also the 360 cable is about 2 metres long.
Hope this is of some use to someone. I originally threw a few of them pictures up on the Facebook group but thought I'd post it up here as a reference for anyone who is interested.
When you have finished soldering all of the pins do a continuity test with your multi-meter between each pin that are next to each other, You may have one strand from the shield bridging the pin next to it. If this is the case you can try run a sharp knife between the pins to separate any stray strands. A quick multi-meter test is to test between each tip of each RCA plug to the pin you soldered for that signal on the plug. Also check the tip of each against ground (outer ring or barrel the of RCA) make sure there is nothing bridged out. Note that all ground will be connected together.
If you plug it in to your OGXbox and it doesn't look right, go back and check each cable you soldered against the diagram again and if needs be reflow any dodgy joints.
If you plug it in to your OGXbox and you are missing a colour again go back and check your wiring/soldering. The colours are RGB (Red = Pink cable, Green = Green cable, Blue = Blue cable) For example if you see only Greens and Blues when you load up a game the issue is with your Red colour (Pink cable) and you may have mixed up the ground and signal. The same is true for any colour you seem to be missing.
Also do a test of the Audio Right and Left by plugging one out at a time and see do you still have sound. Any issues, the fix will be as above, re-check your wiring against the diagram and re-flow if necessary.
Try the cable with a game you know well so you know how it should look colour wise.
If it all looks and sounds good close it all back up and enjoy!! Note also that there is a perfectly good optical audio pcb inside the Xbox 360 head, maybe someone could have a go getting that usable. You can also connect the yellow to pin 24 and it's ground to 23 instead of connecting ground to the overall screen and leaving yellow spare if you want to have the option of using it like a regular composite AV cable like the one we butchered to make this. I rather keep it as a spare, means your cable will last long into the future and I don't ever plan on using it as a regular yellow, red and white composite.
i have a bunch of old videos on my xbox i want on my computer, but i don't know how to do it.. do i have to record it through a capture card or is it possible to take the hard-drive out and get the videos
By Frank D'Agostino
I'm interested to know once the original Xbox is modded what can can the king of emulation play?for movies what kind of movie formats can she play? For example MP4 Avi Etc. Also would be nice to know what kind of music and picture files will work with the original Xbox for example MP3? Wave? Jpeg?
Either a list or a link would be great. I got a lot of cool stuff that can go on the Xbox and we all know how FTP speeds are..lol