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Modified Xbox

The modified Xbox, powered on

A view from the top, with the cathodes on

First modification: A translucent blue case is installed to replace the standard black one. White carbon-fiber decals were purchased separately and applied around the Xbox

A close up of the power button area. An Xecuter modchip control panel is installed on the bottom of the unit and is sealed in place with epoxy

An Intel logo I stuck on the Xbox. After all, it does have a Pentium III inside

A photo from the top. The circle in the middle had some reject plastic from the molding process sticking out, so it had to be sanded flat before the decal was installed

The Xbox with the lid off. The DVD drive is on the left and the hard drive is on the right

Second modification: Removing the DVD drive exposes the mainboard. An Xecuter X3 modchip is soldered onto the LPC bus, which enables increased functionality and features

A close-up of the installed modchip

Third modification: I replaced the Thompson Xbox DVD drive with a Lite-On 16x PC DVD-ROM Drive. This was because the Thompson drive stopped reading disks, and consistently gave "Dirty Disk" errors. The advantage to the PC drive is that it can read any media at high speeds. The down side is it cannot read Xbox game disks

In order to open/close the new drive, I soldered the wires connecting the eject button on the drive to the eject button on the face of the Xbox. That way, pressing the eject button on the Xbox opens/closes the DVD tray as normal

With the hard drive removed, the power supply is exposed. The power supply had to be replaced with an identical unit after I mistakenly plugged the Xbox into a 220V outlet on a trip to Greece

Fourth modification: I replaced the standard 8GB Xbox hard drive with 120GB, 7200RPM Hitatchi drive. The extra space allows me to store my mp3 collection, videos, and backups of Xbox games

Testing the first cathode with the inverter, powered by the Xbox

Both cathodes running off the inverter. The ultra-bright white cathodes were taken from the disassembled LCDs used in my video projector project

Fifth modification: The cathodes are placed on the inside of the Xbox case for a glowing "X" light effect.

The cathodes are glued in place

Both cathodes running with the lights off

The lid right-side up. The light from the cathode shines through nicely. Since the case is partially UV reactive, it glows softly from the light

A close up of the circle in the center of the lid

The hard drive can be seen through the case, illuminated by the cathodes

The Xbox runs Xbox Media Center, which is capable of playing music with visualization, videos, and DVD movies. It can also run emulator programs for older game consoles, or load backed-up Xbox games stored on the hard drive


Translucent Case $25.00
Decals $10.00
X3 Modchip $59.00
X3 Control panel $19.00
Lite-On DVD Drive $25.00
Hitatchi 120GB HDD $80.00
Replacement PSU $15.00
Cathodes FREE
Dual Cathode Inverter FREE
Molex Y-adapter FREE
XBMC Software FREE
Solder/Wire/Epoxy $1.00

Total $234.00