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Xenium Ice Solderless Kit + OSv2 Pre-Release Review Part 1
>> www.OzXodus.com sent us some review samples for the new Xenium Ice Chip.
I promised a full review, trust me I wasnít joking so Iíve broken the review up as best as possible into a chip/hardware review, and a separate OS review. Expect the OS review within 24hrs.
It's the full Solderless Kit including the USB Adapter, Solderless Adapter, Pin-header, Screw, D0 connecting wire, Rivets, and the Xenium OS(info) controlled LED add-on. Chips shipped with the most up to date XeniumOS 2.0 at time of shipping. (technically v2.0 Pre-Release Candidate)
Hardware: (feature list):
- NO DIP SWITCHES
- Multiple install method, Quick-solder, pin header (supplied), wire. Solder less adaptor kit.
- Dual SPI port for unlimited future add-ons
- Compatible with all known consoles to date (v1.0 - v1.6) * 1.6 requires some soldering, the chip and the Xenium OS are fully 1.6 compatible.
- Full color Status/Bank LED (no more Live banning!)
- Hardware protected Emergency Recovery System (ERS). (No reason to ever remove chip for a bad firmware update)
- Inbuilt Flash system. No more need for direct connection to computer (No more troublesome LPT or USB programmers)
- D0 Control. SAVE YOUR CONSOLE. With D0 control we ensure the minimal stress is applied to the D0 line by only pulsing D0 at reset time, all other times the D0 is left free.
- Small compact design with no complicated forced extras for the unit to function.
- External, dimmable, multifunction, full color, ultra bright LED
- USB adaptor
- Anti Clone Technology
The Solderless Kit package comes in 2 parts, an anti-static bag packed with the Xenium ICE Chip, Pin-Header, D0 connecting wire, USB Adapter and the Multifunction LED module and connecting cable. A second blister pack, contains the Solderless Adapter, Screw, and rivets for a more precise LPC fit and alignment. Note: The rivets are no longer necessary for a precise and stable connection. The rivets are included for installers who simply prefer them.
The ICE chip itself is physically identical to the blue/green Xenium from OzXodus, but has been colored to be more aesthetically pleasing. However these new ICE chips appear to be a cleaner cut as the edges are far cleaner. Virtually no rough edges on these chips. The onboard status LED is software controlled by the OS, and can produce 8 colors, a nice feature as it can be set to reflect the Chips ON or OFF status or whether a certain Bios is loaded. (more on that later)
The new toys for modders are the included multifunction LED module and the USB Adapter. Theyíve been included virtually free in the price of every Ice Chip, regardless of the package purchased by the user. (solderless or standard)
The LED Module is simple enough to install, simply connect the wire to the appropriate connector on the chip, and the other end to the LED module (connector farthest from the switch on the module). With 30cm of length it is long enough to be place most anywhere needed. The ideal position is under the front edge of the case as this provides an excellent spot to view the status of the chip and xbox. The LED module comes with double sided adhesive tape to quick mount the unit anywhere you wish. The modules are easy daisy chained (to a safe max of 10 units, only tested 2 personally) to increase the aesthetic pleasure of the user. Units donít produce little or no heat (non I could feel anyways) so no heat concerns there. The unit ships with an ultra bright LED which might be too much for some people to bear especially when mounted in some of the front positions, so OzX added a dimmer switch which in my opinion cuts the brightness in half. (nice to have the option though)
The USB Adapter module is the other new addition to the Xenium Product line. While not a chip and not even a chip add-on, it does have a related use. With this small, compact and sturdy adapter you can connect any USB device to any of the Xbox controller ports. Feel free to hook up mice and keyboards using this adapter. However that is not where the beauty and simplicity of this unit shine. The ICE chip (and for that matter previous Xeniums) with OSv2 can be flashed via USB Pen Drives. Any Pen Drive formatted with Fat on a PC, and loaded with 1 or more bios files, can now be connected directly to an xbox and the flashing process can be done without any burning of disks or hooking up messy network connections. Additionally, using the Pen Drive method you can create and assembly line affect by building a profile and backing it to the pen drive and then having each successive xbox flash itself from that profile on the Pen drive. Bios files, color schemes etc are all stored. Pen Drive Flashing is ideal for the Installer doing units daily. I was particularly impressed with how stiff and sturdy the unit was and how well it fit the xbox controller port. It easily supported the weight of a number of Pen Drives and other things I plugged into it without stress to the unit or the xbox controller port.
In fact one could argue it fits too well as it takes some effort to pull it out. Also a minor irritant, but nothing that will stop me from using it is the pins that connect the USB connector to the PCB it sits on. They are sharp and long in my opinion, and I probably come off as being picky for saying so, but personally Iíd like to see this enclosed in future versions of this great adapter.
The Solderless Adapter and pin-header are the same units from previous Xenium Chips Solderless Kits, and continue to work well. Previously reviewed by Xantium. (Xenium Solderless Adapter Review - May 10 2004)
The Adapter can be used with or without the rivets, on all boards from 1.0 to 1.6. (however for 1.6 to work with the Solderless Adapter.. the installer must connect some LPC holes with some points, and must connect LFRAME to D0 as directed by these diagrams. OzXodus.com Pics for 1.6 Install: "Top-Bottom", "Easy"
These ICE chips were tested on 3 Xbox units, 1.0, 1.1, and a 1.3 board. (sorry no 1.6 yet up here for me to play with) Pin-header install on one, Solderless on a LPC filled board, and the same Solderless was tested on a 1.3 with standard LPC (unfilled) The adapter worked as advertised on both filled and unfilled LPC (no rivets used). Solid contact first time, as in the past a kick test was done and the Adapters did not misalign. (However, I now have a cracked plastic shell Iíll be selling or trashing. Note to self: do NOT use safety shoes for future kick tests) The Pin-header install, which also required the connection of D0, worked flawlessly as well. Holes on the boards with open LPC where pre-cleaned to ensure optimal contact. (not necessary.. but itís something that has become a good habit for me)
- Xenium Ice works every bit as well as previous chips from OzXodus. Many connecting options including quick Solder, pin-header, and solderless options.
- LED multifunction module is simple to install, were easy to adjust, plenty of length on the included wire, daisy-chainable for interesting effects, produces little or no heat and can be programmed to reflect chip or xbox status. (Included FREE in both the standard and solderless packages)
- USB Adapter, equally simply to use and install with a number of uses. (Included free just like the LED module)
- Safe chip to use and operate, with a good recovery system in place. Even better when using the current OS revisions.
- Aethetically pleasing (to me at least)
- Just enough flashable bank space for the average everyday user. More than enough in my opinion
- Not much to pick on here, except the USB adapter can be incredibly tough to remove once plugged into the controller port. Also, the points that are exposed on the bottom are sharp. I find no fault with the chip, or the other included accessories. All hardware worked as expected.
Expect the Xenium Ice V2.0 Pre-Release OS review within 24hrs. just putting the finishing touches on it.
Xenium-OS V2.0 User Manual: Xenium-OS_V20_User_Manual.pdf
1.6 Install Manual: V1.6_Install_Manual.pdf
Buy Xenium ICE: Extreme-Mods - Divineo.com - BMMods.com - XboxChips
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