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LED Lighted PSP Mod

This is definitely a difficult mod, the pieces are small and the spaces are tight proceed at your own risk.   Expect to damage multiple 0603 LED's so have a corresponding # LED's extra depending on your soldering skill (making this your first soldering project is almost certain to end in disappointment).  That being said we do have a kit available

000 Phillips Screw Driver
Low wattage (15-20) Quality Solder Iron or variable temperature Solder Station. 
X-Acto or other blade for stripping/scratching off the insulation on the wire
Small Tweezers
5/64 Drill bit and drill

30AWG Magnet Wire (enamel coated) (NOT 30AWG Kynar)
0603 SMD LED's
10 Ohm Resistor for 4 blue

Original Forum discussion
Updated Discussion Topic


 Start out with a couple 0603 surface mount LED's  Just for a size reference they are about as big as the E in Liberty on a Dime.
I find it is best to find a spring loaded tweezers.  This kind wants to close on its own when you squeeze it opens.  We sell a set that contains the tweezers that I am using in these photos.
First you will need to scrape away some of the red enamel coating to reveal the copper, then tin with fresh solder.  Tin the LED and then join the two with a breif application of heat.
Once completed it looks something like this.  Notice the green marking on the bottom of the LED, think of it as an "arrow" that always points toward the cathode or ground side of the LED.  In this photo the cathode would be on the left wire. (once together the whole contraption becomes very delicate, simply bending the wires can cause the LED to break so do as little bending of the wire close to the LED as possible, twisting the wires together causes the wire to rotate and this will often break the LED as well so try to have your wires basically how you want them prior to soldering)
Prepare the trigger by drilling a small hole.  I used a 5/64 drill bit.  Try to use the plastic tabs the protrude from the sides as a general guide, you want to be parallel with them and go in about as deep as they go
Another angle of the completed drilled hole.
Put a little hot glue on the led and over the hole and insert the LED as deep as it goes with the bright side facing the long side of the trigger.
Test it out
It should look something like this when installed.


We use the same method to attach the other LED's as we did with the trigger button LED's.  For the D-Pad it is necessary to cut a little notch for the wires.  A little hotglue keeps it in place
To keep the D-Pad working freely it is important to bore a couple holes so the wires do not need to travel under the rubber pad for far
To balance things out we added another LED on the right side in the middle of the ABXY buttons (aka trinagle square etc) just stick it in there and shoot some hot glue down from above
We had to cut the circle in the middle of the rubber pad so it would show through properly

Updates: It appears possible to skip the transistor and just wire it in direct.  I definitely like this idea from an ease of solder-ability standpoint.  And Hey if it works it works.  view/provide Survey Feedback on the reliability of this method

Also see our Forum Discussion many have reported success eliminating the transistor and simply wiring a resistor and the LED's between the power and ground for the onboard LED.  I made an assumption that the circuit was built with just enough to power one LED, apparently the circuit is made well enough that nothing burns out.
Run wires from the positive point for the power led to a 10 Ohm resistor, then into all the positive legs of the LED's.  Then out from all the negative LED legs to the ground point on the ABXY printed circuit board.

Old Method Using Transistor removed available here for reference

020106 042.jpg (24695 bytes) Getting the thing to close properly is the tough part, this is a photo of the difficult part, it turns out you are better off if you run the wires higher rather than lower, keep the wires as short as possible to help them stay in place.
020106 046.jpg (45497 bytes) As promised when the yellow LED is on the blue ones are off.   I will probably be opening it back up to do some re routing, every button is working but the D pad feels a bit funky and the home button is kind of tight due to my placement of wires coming too close to the buttons.






PSP Parts Available From  The Llamma
Sony, PlayStation, and the Playstation logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of Sony Corp.  Llamma.com is in no way affiliated with Sony.  All references to Modchips, Linux and any other forms of modifications are done for the purpose of writing and testing interoperable software as allowed under Sect. 1201 (f) Reverse Engineering exception of the DMCA.  This site does not condone the illegal copying of games.  All advice/information is provided as is without warranty to accuracy. Do not consider any comments as legal advice, I am not a lawyer. All references to Mod chips should be taken as hypothetical in nature, actually installing a mod chip may be illegal. In simple terms don't sue me if you mess up on your own or with my help. Make your own decisions do the research determine what is legal and what is not, I take no responsibility for your actions.  
All photos and content copyright Llamma Corp. 2002

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