Jump to content

Welcome to our site

Take a moment to join us. You can sign in with Facebook with a couple of clicks. No need for a lengthy registration. We also have Tapatalk support so you can use this forum on your phone the same way you use facebook. It will keep you notified.

N64 freak

XBox Alpha Development Kit Build Log

Recommended Posts

As there might be a couple people out there who want to own an Xbox Alpha Development kit but don’t want to spend the Cash they cost I thought I just write up a guide how to build one yourself with off the shelf parts!

This is not the first guide about this topic out there but hopefully the most detailed and helpfull!

I’m going to do this as a picture supported step-by-step guide so it should be easy to follow for anybody.

 

Let’s start with the parts used in the Alpha2 Console:

-Intel VC820 Desktop Board                                         

-128MB RD Ram (Kingston KVR800X 18-8/128)

-733Mhz Slot 1 CPU  (Part number SL3XN)

-250Watt ATX PSU (ATNG Model: PS-250S)

-20GB IDE HDD (Fujitsu MPF3204AT)

-3,5” FDD (Sony MPF920-C)

-DVD Drive (Hitachi GD-7000)

-64MB Geforce3 (180-P0050-0000-A05)

-Network Card (Intel Pro/100)

-Soundcard (Wolfson Micronics WM9707_AMR_EV1_Rev2)

-USB Card (Xircom Portgear PGPCI2 )

 

 

Now on to the parts you need to buy for a basic bootable setup:

-Intel VC820 Desktop Board (CC820 should also work!)

-128MB RD Ram

-733Mhz Slot1 CPU

-Any ATX PSU 250Watt or more

-IDE HDD 20GB or bigger

-Any DVD Drive that reads self-burned CD-r

-64mb Geforce 3 NV20 Video Card ->more details a bit later!

-Intel Pro/100 Network Card

 

 

That’s the minimum that is needed to get the alpha to boot the recovery CD. If you want to be able to do anything except looking at the Recovery Screen you need some more parts:

-2 Port USB Card that uses an Opti Firelink 82C861 Chipset

-Xbox Controller to USB Adapter +Xbox Controller

-Wolfson Micronics Soundcard (or the recreated Version)

-Any Case to install it all to.

(The original case for the alphas is the GlobalWin YCC-802)

 

That’s how my stack off parts for the alpha looks like:

 

IMG_1.thumb.JPG.5395c0eba7cf8619c8dad265b765bf32.JPG

Once you have all the parts together let’s start by putting it together!

Guess I don’t have to cover how to install the CPU, Ram, Video Card, PSU, Network card, Audio Card and the Drives.

The end result should look like this. It’s not important in which pci port the usb and lan card are installed. BUT it is important that the lan card is installed as the Alpha won’t boot otherwise!!!

IMG_2.thumb.JPG.e9ef7eec8e67f6daa11cdeb13125259e.JPGIMG_3.thumb.JPG.7561a2d9b55f356694964e58b5c03b6c.JPG

When it’s all put together turn it on and check that it properly posts and there are no errors or whatever before continuing!

 

 

Now on to burning a recovery CD!

(Thanks to Borman for releasing the May2001 Alpha2 recovery! All credit goes to him for the release!) You can find the files in the download section and can simply download them.

 

Here's a direct link to the files on an external Server: Please login or register to see this link.

Once downloaded just use ImgBurn (or any other iso burning software) to write the May2001 recovery to a cd-r disc.

Pop that disc into the DVD drive off your alpha and you should see the Xbox animation and should be greated by this recovery Screen afterwards:

 

 

IMG_4.thumb.JPG.2806ee2679ef932da30f799de1fb4221.JPG

Now (if you haven’t done it earlier) plug in the Controller using the matching adapter and Press any button to start the recovery. The progress bar should show how far the progress is. It shouldn’t take any longer than 5 Minutes to finish and you will see this screen. Then remove the recovery disc from the drive and reboot.

 

 

IMG_6.thumb.JPG.a324e5510daece1b0b57b590162e655f.JPGIMG_7.thumb.JPG.faad0b3f5774b953f34ac4ebcfcb06ba.JPGIMG_8.thumb.JPG.91ff268c6dac3301b08959fbfbdf7c1d.JPG

You should then be greeted by the following screen where you can set a name for your alpha console.

 

IMG_9.thumb.JPG.3f44e597c15a1a73c3772861ab8b0c4e.JPG

Congratulations your Alpha Development kit is now fully working and ready to be used!

 

IMG_10.thumb.JPG.ea0ada10c2ba1f67c4283efc0d982651.JPG

 

 

Soundcard:

I recreated the Soundcard to build a completely working alpha kit for myself as the original Alpha soundcards are as rare as the original alphas. If you need one for your build just drop me a message and I can build a couple more!

 

img50189cp2d7qnz8.thumb.jpg.dac7fa6e0eaa26f472b04c817757b05d.jpg

 

 

Graphics Card:

The video card is an important part of this build so here’s a little extra information about that part.

The Card needs to be an NV20 Core Card with 64mb. 32MB cards might also work but we want to be as close as possible so buy a 64mb card to not get into trouble!

I successfully tested 2 card from 2 different vendors:

-Medion MS-8838 Geforce3 200ti

-MVGA-NVG3T2A 64MB

 

Many other NV20 core cards should work and I gladly extend that list if you used another card on your build! J

Flashing the engineering Bios is NOT needed it is only a cosmeticall detail you might enjoy.

The motherboard does also not need to be on a special Bios version or anything.

 

Troubleshooting:

You Get a blinking black cursor and no Xbox boot animation?

->You might have forgotten to install the Lan card, got a wrong one or your Nvidia Card is not supported!

Your DVD-drive doesn’t spin up and you end up with an intel Network card boot/bios Screen?

->Something might have gone wrong with the CD you burned or your drive can’t read the cd-r!

Could also be a problem with the boot order!  Check that in the Bios the dvd drive should be the first boot device!

 

If you have any questions about the build or anything just drop me a PM! :)

IMG_5.JPG

Edited by N64 freak
Further information added!
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@dark The password for the archive is "assemblergames" without the quotes of course!

@Circular Pastry Didn't build it from scratch as i had the datasheet off the IC and most off the shematic in the MW9707AMR reference PDF. But yes i've recreated the soundcard for the alpha console/computer.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still have 2 off these soundcards here and i'll gladly sell you one.

The soundcards are for sale for 45€ as completely assembled and tested cards. Just plug it in and your alpha has sound :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you have any Intel VC820 Desktop Board schematics diagram? I am want to read the hardware components.

Edited by Solomono

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Solomono said:

Do you have any Intel VC820 Desktop Board schematics diagram? I am want to read the hardware components.

I might have an idea what you wanna try, but I suggest you look at the chipset itself first
Please login or register to see this link.

Some people had success with diferent motherboards but still the same chipset. basicly, if windows would see the same hardware (use the same drivers), it would work. CC820 I believe worked aswell.

Based on these docs and maybe combining these with the schematics for other parts on the VC820, you might work out a schematic for a Xbox alpha motherboard. I leave any reasons for why you would wanna try this or why not to another forum thread. meanwhile ill be downloading these for my personal reference :D  also, sometimes the servicemanuals are archived using other names, like the factory that maked them or nicknames (camino ?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, codeasm said:

I might have an idea what you wanna try, but I suggest you look at the chipset itself first
Please login or register to see this link.

Some people had success with diferent motherboards but still the same chipset. basicly, if windows would see the same hardware (use the same drivers), it would work. CC820 I believe worked aswell.

Based on these docs and maybe combining these with the schematics for other parts on the VC820, you might work out a schematic for a Xbox alpha motherboard. I leave any reasons for why you would wanna try this or why not to another forum thread. meanwhile ill be downloading these for my personal reference :D  also, sometimes the servicemanuals are archived using other names, like the factory that maked them or nicknames (camino ?)

Thanks for the reference. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do sell the soundcards to anyone who wants one. But i only sell them completely assembled and tested!

I won't sell bare pcbs or DIY solder sets and i also won't release the design files for them.

 

The only thing that's missing for a 100% replica is the metal mounting bracket. But you can easily mod one to fit from an old PCI card. Or get one produced for this special purpose.

The price for each soundcard is 40€ +shipping if anyone is interested in purchasing one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How certain are you that the CC820 Board works? I can only find those, and the VC820 is going for nearly $600, or on Amazon only being sold in packs of 10. The concern is that the CC820 actually uses "fake RDRAM", in that it actually only takes SDRAM and then `translates it`.

Edited by InvasionSurvivor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been on here for one day and n64 freak is already blowing my mind!  I didn't even know this was possible and here he is building his own sound cards! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Bladez1992 said:

Might see if I could get this running in a VM... Just a thought

Does VM have such settings for emulating specific motherboard, cpu and all that shit?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


Board Life Status


Board startup date: April 23, 2017 12:45:48
  • Similar Content

    • By gauchomigo
      A friend gave me back the xbox I made for him years ago.  I want to update it for my grankids.  It is chipped with an xecuter 2, is a version 1.6, and currently has an ancient 150GB hdd.  
      Primarily, I want to put in a new HDD, planning on a 500GB, and use a Startech SATA/IDE adapter with an 80 wire cable.  Then I want to add Coinops, and XBMC;  the XBMC primarily for karaoke.  Also a decent dash, thinking probably the last UnleashX.  I have copied all the contents onto a drive via ftp.  
      I am confused as to how to 1) install the new hdd and 2) how to install the dash/apps.   From what I read on the wiki and elsewhere, supposedly, I can just install the drive, boot, and the xecuter wizard should walk me through formatting the drive.  I assume that then I can put in the Hexen disk and it will install the dash's.  Is this right?  My xbox modding days are long behind me (even the 360 mod days, lol).  
      Any help is appreciated.
    • By Xbmcmodsforxbox
      Hey everyone I am getting 2tb in google drive and I will be putting xbox files in there as I will not fill up all of it so if anyone wants to put some of there xbox files in there I don't mind but I wont put any roms inside there just let me know by PMing me or commenting on this post thx.
    • By N163LPH03N1X
      XCM Consoles

      XCM Pure White Parts List
      Xecuter 3 Purple Mod chip Xecuter 3 Halo Green Pro switch V1.0 Motherboard (Stock) 733mhz/64mb RAM Delta Power Supply Hitachi LG DVD Drive 500 GB HDD White Controller Port LED's White/Red Power/Eject LED
      XCM Chrome Silver Parts List
      Xecuter 3 Purple Mod chip V1.0 Motherboard (Stock) 733mhz/64mb RAM Foxlink Power Supply Hitachi LG DVD Drive 500 GB HDD Red Controller Port LED's White/Red Power/Eject LED
      XCM Crystal Clear Parts List
      Xecuter 3 CE Red/White Mod chip Xecuter 3 Crystal Pro Switch V1.6 Motherboard (Stock) 733mhz/64mb RAM Delta Power Supply Hitachi LG DVD Drive 500 GB HDD RGB Controller Port LED's RGB Power/Eject LED RGB Under Glow LED Bars
      XCM Sapphire Blue Parts List
      Xecuter 3 CE Red/White Mod chip V1.6 Motherboard (Stock) 733mhz/64mb RAM Delta Power Supply Hitachi LG DVD Drive 500 GB HDD Blue  Controller Port LED's Blue/Red Power/Eject LED Blue Under Glow LED Bars
      XCM Ruby Red Parts List
      Xecuter 3 CE Red/White Mod chip Xecuter 3 Black Pro Switch V1.2 Motherboard + Xecuter 2 TSOP (N64 Freak) 1.4ghz/128mb RAM + Speed Switch Adapter PulseVU 2X Microchip (Audio LED Pulsation) Xerc 2 XE Microchip (N64 Freak) + MS DVD Dongle (Menu + On/Off Remote Control) Fox Link Power Supply Hitachi LG DVD Drive 2 TB HDD Red Controller Port LED's Red/White Power/Eject LED Red Under Glow LED Bars Red LED Jewel Xecuter Consoles

      Skeleton Black Limited Edition Parts List
      Xecuter 3 CE Red/White Mod chip Xecuter 3 Black Control Panel V1.2 Motherboard + Xecuter 2 TSOP (N64 Freak) 1.4ghz/128mb RAM + Speed Switch Adapter PulseVU 2X Microchip (Audio LED Pulsation) Xerc 2 XE Microchip (N64 Freak) (On/Off Remote Control) Fox Link Power Supply Hitachi LG DVD Drive 2 TB HDD White Controller Port LED's White/Red Power/Eject LED White LED Jewel
      Crystal Clear Limited Edition Parts List
      Xecuter 3 CE Red/White Mod chip Xecuter 3 Crystal Clear Control Panel V1.2 Motherboard + Xecuter 2 TSOP (N64 Freak) 1.4ghz/128mb RAM + Speed Switch Adapter PulseVU 2X Microchip (Audio LED Pulsation) Xerc 2 XE Microchip (N64 Freak) (On/Off Remote Control) Delta Power Supply Hitachi LG DVD Drive 2 TB HDD RGB Controller Port LED's RGB Power/Eject LED RGB LED Jewel
      Debug Green Special Edition Parts List (Electronic Arts Debug Shell)
      Xecuter 3 CE Red/White Mod chip Xecuter 3 Crystal Green Control Panel V1.2 Motherboard + Xecuter 2 TSOP (N64 Freak) 1.4ghz/128mb RAM + Speed Switch Adapter PulseVU 2X Microchip (Audio LED Pulsation) Xerc 2 XE Microchip (N64 Freak) (On/Off Remote Control) Delta Link Power Supply Hitachi LG DVD Drive 2 TB HDD Green Controller Port LED's Green/Red Power/Eject LED Green LED Jewel
      Dead or Alive Ultimate Limited Edition Parts List 
      Xecuter 3 CE Red/White Mod chip Xecuter 3 Crystal Blue Control Panel V1.1 Motherboard + Xecuter 2 TSOP (N64 Freak) 1.4ghz/128mb RAM + Speed Switch Adapter PulseVU 2X Microchip (Audio LED Pulsation) Xerc 2 XE Microchip (N64 Freak) (On/Off Remote Control) Minebea Power Supply Hitachi LG DVD Drive 2 TB HDD Blue Controller Port LED's Blue/White Power/Eject LED Blue LED Jewel
      Mountain Dew Limited Edition Parts List
      V1.2 Motherboard + Xecuter 2 TSOP  (Stock) 733mhz/64mb RAM Fox Link Power Supply Samsung DVD Drive 500 GB HDD Green Controller Port LED's Green/White Power/Eject LED Green Under Glow LED Bars Cyclone Red/Blue GPU Heatsink
      Asian Halo 2 Limited Edition Parts List (Frankenstein)
      Xecuter 3 CE Red/White Mod chip Xecuter 3 Black Control Panel V1.0 Motherboard + Xecuter 2 TSOP  (Stock) 733mhz/64mb RAM PulseVU 2X Microchip (Audio LED Pulsation) Xerc 2 XE Microchip (Floydthebarber) + MS DVD Dongle (Menu + On/Off Remote Control) Fox Link Power Supply Hitachi LG DVD Drive x2 IceBerq 4 Pro LED Red/Blue Heatsinks GPU/CPU 5 Xtreme Extender + x4 Stock HDD (8 GB) 500 GB HDD Blue Controller Port LED's Blue/Red Power/Eject LED Blue LED Jewel Blue Under Glow LED Bars Xbox Controllers 

      Top Row:
      Xtreme Enterprises Ruby Red 
      NTSC-J ABXY LED Modded Buttons Transparent Red Thumb Sticks Transparent Red D-Pad 8 Red LED's Internally Installed Skeleton Black Limited edition
      NTSC-J ABXY LED Modded Buttons Transparent Smoke Thumb Sticks Transparent Smoke D-Pad 8 White LED's Internally Installed Halo Green Limited edition
      NTSC-J ABXY LED Modded Buttons Transparent Green Thumb Sticks Transparent Green D-Pad 8 Green LED's Internally Installed Bottom Row:
      Crystal Clear Limited edition
      NTSC-J ABXY LED Modded Buttons Transparent Clear Thumb Sticks Pink/White Thumb Stick LED Boards Transparent Clear D-Pad 8 RGB LED's Internally Installed Halo 2 Blue Limited edition (Black Gem)
      NTSC-J ABXY LED Modded Buttons Transparent Blue Thumb Sticks Blue/Red Thumb Stick LED Boards Transparent Blue D-Pad 8 Blue LED's Internally Installed
      Sparkling Grey Controllers (Japan Only)
      Stock (Untouched)
×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.