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Sony PS3 APS-231 Power Supply Voltage Mod

PSU Ratings
PSU Ratings
PSU Ratings

I was recently given a Sony PS3 with a dead disc drive, and since I’m not a console gamer I figured I’d see if there were any handy parts inside. Turns out these units contain a rather nice SMPS, the Sony APS-231 with a high power 12v rail, rated at 23.5A. A bit of searching around discovered a thread on the BadCaps Forums about voltage modding these supplies for a 13.8v output, suitable for my Ham radio gear.
These supplies are controlled by a Sony CXA8038A, for which there is very little information. Active PFC is included, along with synchronous rectification which increases the efficiency of the supply, and in turn, reduces the waste heat output from the rectifiers.

Regulation Section
Regulation Section

Like many of the SMPS units I’ve seen, the output voltage is controlled by referencing it to an adjustable shunt reference, and adjusting the set point of this reference will in turn adjust the output voltage of the supply, this is done in circuit by a single resistor.

Here’s the regulator section of the PSU, with the resistors labelled. The one we’re after changing is the 800Ω one between pins 2 & 3 of the TS2431 shunt reference. It’s a very small 0402 size resistor, located right next to the filter electrolytic for the 5v standby supply circuit. A fine tip on the soldering iron is required to get this resistor removed.

Attachment Points
Attachment Points

Once this resistor is removed from the circuit, a 1KΩ 18-turn potentiometer is fitted in it’s place, from the Anode (Pin 3) to the Ref. (Pin 2) pins of the TS2431 shunt reference. I initally set the potentiometer to be the same 800Ω as the factory set resistor, to make sure the supply would start up at a sensible voltage before I did the adjustment.

Potentiometer
Potentiometer

The pot is secured to the top of the standby supply transformer with a drop of CA glue to stop everything moving around. The supply can now be adjusted to a higher setpoint voltage – 13.8v is about the maxumum, as the OVP cuts the supply out at between 13.9v-14v.

Modded Voltage
Modded Voltage

After doing some testing at roughly 50% of the supply’s rated load, everything seems to be stable, and nothing is heating up more than I’d expect.

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Dell SE197FPf Monitor 12v Conversion

My other monitors are a different model, and have a slightly different main PCB inside, but the process is mostly the same for converting these to 12v supply.

Main PCB
Main PCB

In this monitor type, there is only a single board, with all the PSU & logic, instead of separate boards for each function.

PSU Closeup
PSU Closeup

This monitor is slightly different in it’s power supply layout. The mains supply provides only a single 12v rail, which is then stepped down by a switching converter to 5v, then by smaller linear regulators to 3.3v & 1.8v for the logic. This makes my life easier since I don’t have to worry about any power conversion at all.

PCB Reverse
PCB Reverse

Here’s the backside of the PCB, the mains PSU section is in the centre.

Attachment Points
Attachment Points

Here’s the pair of 12v supply wires soldered onto the main board, onto the common GND connection on the left, and the main +12v rail on the right. I’ve not bothered with colour coding the wiring here, just used whatever I had to hand that was heavy enough to cope with a couple amps.

12v Socket
12v Socket

A small mod later with a cone drill & the 12v input socket is mounted in the LCD frame.

Casing Mod
Casing Mod

Some light removal of plastic & the back cover fits back on. Current draw at 13.8v is ~2A.