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Serious Question: Did I damage the PS2 Lens by letting the disc physically touch it?

MiyazakiHatesKojima

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I've been tormented by an incident last year when I got a used PS2 slim console and tried to insert a disc. When I tried, the disc fell on the lens in a slanted angle (kind of like this symbol ---> / ) and to this day, I still don't know whether I damaged the lens permanently or not.

I'm hoping someone can help me by letting me know whether I damaged the lens permanently or not. In my mind, the lens is like a squishy material that can pop if anything touches it in the slightest. I need to learn the truth and remove these silly tormenting misconceptions and please, I'm not trolling or anything. I just need closure.
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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So just to confirm, the lens is alright if it gets a little bump by accident from a disc being inserted?
Yeah the big concern wouldn't be if the lens got scratched but if it was somehow unseated or the surrounding electronics were damaged by it. These are consoles that were designed to survive a fall off a shelf. A scratch wouldn't be a benign problem that progressively turns into a real problem over time anyway (unless you continue to scratch it). If it was scratched you'd probably notice it immediately.

Do you have any playable-but-kinda-scratched-up PS2 games in your collection? Maybe there will be issues when you play those fringe cases but I wouldn't sweat it.
 

MiyazakiHatesKojima

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Yeah the big concern wouldn't be if the lens got scratched but if it was somehow unseated or the surrounding electronics were damaged by it. These are consoles that were designed to survive a fall off a shelf. A scratch wouldn't be a benign problem that progressively turns into a real problem over time anyway (unless you continue to scratch it). If it was scratched you'd probably notice it immediately.

Do you have any playable-but-kinda-scratched-up PS2 games in your collection? Maybe there will be issues when you play those fringe cases but I wouldn't sweat it.
I have games that are not in perfect condition (planning to send them to the US for polishing but don't know where) and the bump that my lens got was very mild. I tried to insert the disc using a certain way and the disc softly fell on the area where the lens was. I just got scared that a bump would permanently damage it but now I know that's not the case anymore, Thank God!

Thanks for letting me know this and I knew I could count on you for this kind of inquiry.
 

Trimesh

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Jun 8, 2019
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I've been tormented by an incident last year when I got a used PS2 slim console and tried to insert a disc. When I tried, the disc fell on the lens in a slanted angle (kind of like this symbol ---> / ) and to this day, I still don't know whether I damaged the lens permanently or not.

I'm hoping someone can help me by letting me know whether I damaged the lens permanently or not. In my mind, the lens is like a squishy material that can pop if anything touches it in the slightest. I need to learn the truth and remove these silly tormenting misconceptions and please, I'm not trolling or anything. I just need closure.
If there are no visible scratches on the lens and the drive still works, you didn't damage it. The lens is actually made of hard plastic (typically polycarbonate or PMMA) and the reason it moves is that it's attached to a 3-axis device that's used for focus, tracking and compensation for disc skew. In fact, even if the lens IS scratched it will probably still work as long as the scratch doesn't cross the very small area in the center of the lens where the beam is.
 
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A.Romero

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I have games that are not in perfect condition (planning to send them to the US for polishing but don't know where) and the bump that my lens got was very mild. I tried to insert the disc using a certain way and the disc softly fell on the area where the lens was. I just got scared that a bump would permanently damage it but now I know that's not the case anymore, Thank God!

Thanks for letting me know this and I knew I could count on you for this kind of inquiry.
Mad respect for investing in polishing the discs. A true gamer.
 
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Northeastmonk

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I use to pull back on the lens of my console. You know the part that can move back and forth. I’d stick my finger in there like an idiot, especially during the days of the disc swap technique. I don’t think you damaged anything. Unless it stops working, then you know.
 
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Dane

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Its easier that your console lens will start to be faulty and need to be turned upside down due time, than your disc damage it.
 
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-Arcadia-

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It actually operates on the five second rule. So, as long as you briefly touched it for under that amount of time, the scratch can not actually physically manifest, in accordance with the laws of physics.
 
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Trimesh

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Just get a launch ps3
The problem with that is the PS3 models that have PS2 BC (CECHAxx - CECHExx) are also the ones with the 90nm RSX and Cell chips, and at this point it's pretty clear that the long-term failure rate on them is close to 100%. The CECHAxx/CECHBxx consoles (I.E. the ones with full hardware based PS2 BC) are the least reliable of all. I still have a DECHA01 test kit, and I'm reluctant to even turn it on...
 
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SLoWMoTIoN

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The problem with that is the PS3 models that have PS2 BC (CECHAxx - CECHExx) are also the ones with the 90nm RSX and Cell chips, and at this point it's pretty clear that the long-term failure rate on them is close to 100%. The CECHAxx/CECHBxx consoles (I.E. the ones with full hardware based PS2 BC) are the least reliable of all. I still have a DECHA01 test kit, and I'm reluctant to even turn it on...
How hard would it be to fix it? Basic soldering?
 

Trimesh

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How hard would it be to fix it? Basic soldering?
It's doable if you have experience and the right equipment, but certainly not easy. The short version is that you need to remove the Cell and RSX, clean them up, replace the solder balls (preferably with PbSn ones since they seem to last longer) and then solder the parts back to the board. You should also remove the heatspreader from the chips and replace the (generally completely dried out) thermal paste below it.

The other thing to watch out for is that these packages are flip-chip BGAs and have two sets of interconnections - one between the chip and the package and the other between the package and the PCB it's soldered to. As a result, you need to be very careful about the rate of temperature change, since rapidly heating or cooling can introduce thermal gradients that will break the connections between the chip and the package. If this happens, then the chip simply won't work even if it is correctly reballed. This is also the reason that a lot of people permanently killed these consoles trying to reflow them with heat guns. Typically, the device vendors recommend temperature ramp rates no greater than 2/3 degrees C / second - which is easy to do if you have a proper BGA machine, but quite a challenge if you are trying to install the parts using just hot air.
 
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Doczu

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So just to confirm, the lens is alright if it gets a little bump by accident from a disc being inserted?
Dude, i've scratched off some stuck dirt with my fingernail once. It was so stuck, thst i REALLY had to scratch. Still works like a charm.

Random bumps aint enough for permanent damage. Unless you had a brick tied to the disc and the brick touched first 🤷🏻‍♂️
 
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SLoWMoTIoN

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It's doable if you have experience and the right equipment, but certainly not easy. The short version is that you need to remove the Cell and RSX, clean them up, replace the solder balls (preferably with PbSn ones since they seem to last longer) and then solder the parts back to the board. You should also remove the heatspreader from the chips and replace the (generally completely dried out) thermal paste below it.

The other thing to watch out for is that these packages are flip-chip BGAs and have two sets of interconnections - one between the chip and the package and the other between the package and the PCB it's soldered to. As a result, you need to be very careful about the rate of temperature change, since rapidly heating or cooling can introduce thermal gradients that will break the connections between the chip and the package. If this happens, then the chip simply won't work even if it is correctly reballed. This is also the reason that a lot of people permanently killed these consoles trying to reflow them with heat guns. Typically, the device vendors recommend temperature ramp rates no greater than 2/3 degrees C / second - which is easy to do if you have a proper BGA machine, but quite a challenge if you are trying to install the parts using just hot air.
Holy shit I should just mod my Ps4 at this point.
 

Dane

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How hard would it be to fix it? Basic soldering?
Reballing with lead I suppose.

The problem with that is the PS3 models that have PS2 BC (CECHAxx - CECHExx) are also the ones with the 90nm RSX and Cell chips, and at this point it's pretty clear that the long-term failure rate on them is close to 100%. The CECHAxx/CECHBxx consoles (I.E. the ones with full hardware based PS2 BC) are the least reliable of all. I still have a DECHA01 test kit, and I'm reluctant to even turn it on...
Honestly, the last generation consoles except for Wii and portables are unreliable as fuck, I had to send a X360 S to reball, my Jasper never required that, and according to some, it's actually the most reliable model, the SoC models heat more due to its layout.

The PS3 fat models became a time bomb in 2009, when they were being two to three years old.
 

SLoWMoTIoN

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Reballing with lead I suppose.



Honestly, the last generation consoles except for Wii and portables are unreliable as fuck, I had to send a X360 S to reball, my Jasper never required that, and according to some, it's actually the most reliable model, the SoC models heat more due to its layout.

The PS3 fat models became a time bomb in 2009, when they were being two to three years old.
My wii's cd drive is fucked so yeah...
 

cireza

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You should have dropped a Wii U disc. They are soooo smooth, no risk to scratch anything.