Six Pearls Designs

PS3 Repair Part 2

2011 January 16

Last weekend I ordered a sweet high def TV, but realized I didn't have any high definition media to watch on it. To remedy the situation, I asked to borrow the PS3 I fixed and invited people over to watch Scott Pilgrim. Moore's law was observed to the letter, with a broken optical drive on the old PS3, missing cables for the new one, and then a controller that wouldn't turn off.

The next morning, Angus and I ventured to fix the broken optical drive. This time, with pictures!

The drive wasn't taking in disks, and as we took it apart we discovered that the disk moving mechanism was misaligned. As you can see from the picture, a locking mechanism remained "locked" preventing the disk from entering the drive:

Outer disk mechanism misaligned

Delving deeper into the gear box, we found the rack-and-pinion had been mis-aligned:

Rack and pinion misaligned

So we reset the gear box and things seemed better:

Rack and pinion aligned
Outer disk mechanism aligned

When we first went to re-assemble the drive, we didn't align a magnet lifting mechanism as shown below:

Lifting mechanism misaligned

But it was easily remedied by more carefully placing the outer cover:

Lifting mechanism aligned

I'm not sure what the magnet was for, but the kinematic mechanisms in the drive were really cool! A neat little linear actuator to move the laser across the disk (perhaps the data being read provides the position feedback), and awesome locking and disk moving mechanisms. I forgot to mention that the drive ended up not working due to software reasons, so I don't have a PS3 at this point. But fixing the disk accept/eject mechanism was perhaps more fun. If only I knew that when I was a kid before my parents spent so much money on video games for me...