A television game console produced by Sony Computer Entertainment, first announced February 20, 2013 and released November 15, 2013.

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Going to attempt a reball, some questions

I have both a PS4 with a BLOD and a fat PS3 with a YLOD. I have attempted the washer fix on the PS4 and a reflow with a heat gun on the PS3, both have failed. My thinking is that I have very little to lose since I bought both of the systems broken for very cheap, so I might as well try this understandably difficult procedure.

This is my plan, if you have any suggestions or improvements please let me know:

I will buy both these kits: Are lead solder balls good? Is there a concern because it's from China?

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/4-pcs-Dir...

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/2013-Hott...

I do not own a soldering station, was thinking about using a Bosch heat gun (Reaches up to 600C/1100F). I am aware this is not a great idea. What should I pay attention to, in terms of board or chip sagging, frying, or anything else? What temperatures should I use?

I will be reballing the PS3 first, that way I get some practice before moving on to the PS4 which I care much more about it working compared to the PS3. I will be buying flux, thermal paste, copper strip etc locally, and I do own a soldering iron. I am no technical master but I have worked at a PC repair business and am no stranger to motherboards CPUs and the like.

Thanks in advance, Euler.

Update (07/04/2016)

@tronicsfix You are not being discouraging, quite the opposite ;) You have been very helpful and I appreciate that.

@oldturkey03 @mayer I'm gonna see if I can find a shop near me that has a rework station. Again, I live outside the US so my options are very limited, I talked to one shop that made me a ridiculous offer and the guy was a jerk as well. In case I can't find a shop like that:

Does this sort of a machine fit the job https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10706

Do you know what solder the PS3/PS4 use? Or even better at what temperature they flow?

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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@tronicsfix You are not being discouraging, quite the opposite ;) You have been very helpful and I appreciate that.

@oldturkey03 @mayer I'm gonna see if I can find a shop near me that has a rework station. Again, I live outside the US so my options are very limited, I talked to one shop that made me a ridiculous offer and the guy was a jerk as well. In case I can't find a shop like that:

Does this sort of a machine fit the job? (would have given a link but the bot wouldn't let me) Hot-air Rework Station - 303D

Do you know what solder the PS3/PS4 use? Or even better at what temperature they flow?

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No, that hot air station will not work, it is designed for cell phone chips only. Using that on PS4 will destroy the chips and the board.

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I can't speak to the PS3 as I have not messed with those. If you use a heat gun you will ruin the chip if it's not already dead...this isn't it "might" ruin it...it WILL ruin it. By the time the chip gets up to temp the board will most likely popcorn (delaminate).

This type of repair is extremely difficult the first time even when you have a proper rework machine.

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What is the difference between a solder station and a heat gun in terms of chip heating apparatus, don't they both heat the air around the chip? What makes the solder station safe and the heat gun destructive?

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@euler @tronicsfix is not talking about a solder station but a rework station. That is a device build for reballing and it uses top and bottom heat as well as settings for a programmable reball profile. With a heatgun you have zero control of the time and heat applied to the chip. Blasting IC's with heat of unknown temperature for an unknown length of time is a surefire recipe for failure.

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Yes, exactly what @oldturkey03 said. Heat guns are made to do things like strip paint, not repair electronics.

We're really not trying to be discouraging...just trying to keep you from ruining your system permanently.

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With a hot air gun you can see when the solder flows, Different metals flow at different points. Practice is the best teacher. When casting metals you will see it turn to a mirror when ready to cast, all the impurities will come to the surface and it can be touched with a carbon rod to remove slag. Watch a lot of videos on doing it then give it several practice trys until you feel confident in what you are doing. Melt some old and new pennies, do it with some different solders, get familiar with it before putting heat on something expensive.

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@tronicsfix You are not being discouraging, quite the opposite ;) You have been very helpful and I appreciate that.

@oldturkey03 @mayer I'm gonna see if I can find a shop near me that has a rework station. Again, I live outside the US so my options are very limited, I talked to one shop that made me a ridiculous offer and the guy was a jerk as well. In case I can't find a shop like that:

Does this sort of a machine fit the job? https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10706

Do you know what solder the PS3/PS4 use? Or even better at what temperature they flow?

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@euler something going on with your comments on here. Somewhere along the line you ran into issues with it getting deleted 1-0 times as spam, so it dropped your reputation points significantly. I tried to reverse it but can not do it for all. I'll let @kaykay know and hopefully she can get this straight.

In the meantime, the hot air station will be difficult to use since it gives you the temp at the nozzle but not at the chip. So, poor control would be the outcome. Problem with such hot air stations is that you can't evenly heat up a large area. The outcome would be that you are burning one area, while the solder has not yet melted on another. You might also run into the board warping since you do not have a preheater. There are large IR with preheaters and tight temperature control for this. What you are really looking for is something like this. It provides the proper preheating and you can control the heat to the IC and limit it to the IC. Even tho there are no real alternatives to using the right equipment and given your situation of not being in the US (not sure where you are) you could consider using the station you were looking at, adding something like this and using a thermometer with thermocoupler like this. Use a griddle as preheater.

Again, really not advisable but if it is the only option you have then you can consider it. Chances are minute to get it done properly.

Now with all this said, you do need to remember that these failures may not be caused by the solderballs etc. If your processor is a flip chip design and the issue could be the solder bumps between the IC and the substrate. A reflow might fix it for a while but even reflows are very limited. YLOD (as well as RROD on a Xbox) are caused by the design of the processor, not necessarily by bad or cracked solder joints. The key to this is the design of the processor which is a flip chip design. The proper definition of that can be found at Wikipedia "is a method for interconnecting semiconductor devices, such as IC chips and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), to external circuitry with solder bumps that have been deposited onto the chip pads." So what happens is that the chip heats up (due to poor design of the ventilation and heatsinks of the console. Does not matter if it is a PS3, a XBox or some of the Mac laptop's) and the bumps that connect the chip to the substrate lose contact and your chip (in this case processsor) fails. The heating of the chip for the reflow actually reshapes (most of the time) the bumps to the point of making contact again. That is the reason why some reflows just do not work. The connection between the IC and the substrate has absolutely failed. In those cases you will need a new processor. Not the most scientific explanation but I hope it makes sense to you.

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General guidelines for a good profile would be something like this:

Temperature ramp up 1ºC/second

Peak temperature should be 200C to 210C

Remain above liquidus (183C) for 45-75seconds

Do not heat any packages above 220C since this will most likely destroy the IC

Here is a good document that will help you with the profile as well. BGA-Reflow-Rework.pdf You now see where it would be very difficult to achieve this type of tight and timeline dependent profile with a heatgun.

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Thank you very much, this is the most detailed explanation I have encountered. I tried replying to @tronicsfix @mayer and your comments, but since I added a link it didn't want to post, I tried like 20 times so yeah (BTW, my rep is at 1.1K right now, and I didn't notice how much rep I had before, is it still less?). I live in Israel, I won't go into detail but that really messes things up for me...

How do I know if my processor is a flip chip design?

Is the solder bumps explanation valid only to the PS3 or to both of the the consoles?

Is there a way to fix the solder bumps issue?

I can't seem to find pricing on the machine you suggested, what's the ball park?

Is it a good idea to order a machine from aliexpress or alibaba?

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@euler no worries about your rep points I bet ifixit is going to fix it. At least you are in technologically advanced country:-). Anyhow you are looking at around $400USD for a low end machine. They do work but are touchy with the temp. Aliexpress and alibaba are okay just use paypal if you can. Haven't had any issues for the last 5 years while purchasing from them. Texas Instrument has a good description and identification for the fcBGA. Download the document from here

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I have a PS3 fat 60gb that had YLOD, and I made the reflow and IT WORKED, is still working after six months. I can assure you that it works and is not like you will break it for sure, the thing is that you need to know how to do it carefully. My first advice would be to completely disassemble the PS3, and work only with the Main Board. Second advice: first heat the board evenly to a certain temperature, And then heat the GPU and CPU units. That is because if the board is cold, and you heat the proccesors only, the part of the board where the processors are will expand but the rest of the board will not. And if that happens some circuits might break, making the board useless. And one more thing, for me it did not work the first time that I tried, I think becaused I was a little afraid of burning something up, so I did not use full heat the first attempt. However I inmediatly tried again when I saw it didn´t work but the second time I placed it full heat. And then it worked!

Funny fact: I do not have a heat gun so I actually did it with my sister´s hairdryer XD

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And about the PS4, I dont own one myself at the moment. But I believe that technically a reflow could work for a PS4. I mean, a reball is just changing the soldering balls of the processor, so with that in mind. If you heat the processor enough with a heat gun ( or a hairdryer XD), the balls should melt and get back in place again. But as I said, this is just a theory because I have never try it, however I´m planning in buying a damaged PS4 and see if that works. If it works, I´ll post it.

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There's quite an extensive article on tfix.co.uk about PS4 reballing if you need to learn more about how it's done and what are the benefits.

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Euler will be eternally grateful.
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