XBOX 360 RF Module

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Project: XBOX 360 RF Module (reverse engineering)
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Name XBOX 360 RF Module (reverse engineering)
Initiator Peterbjornx
Status {{{Status}}}
Skills Programming, Reverse engineering, Electronics
Summary Reverse engineering the XBOX360 rf/frontpanel module's control interface


When I was repairing my XBOX 360 controller I needed a way to test it. I remembered seeing a post about how the frontpanel/RF module of the XBOX360 had a USB interface and could be repurposed to connect wireless controllers to a PC, when I looked up this post it also mentioned a I2C-like interface for controlling the RF module (LED's, linking). After some further research I found an article that gave some code to send commands over the interface and control some features, so I ported the code to the stellaris launchpad I use for prototyping and hacking. I immediately noticed that some commands were missing and as such I set out to discover the full protocol.


Hardware level

The module uses a custom connector with two rows of contacts, the top row provides a normal USB client interface while the bottom row contains connections for the control bus and power button.

Pinout:

Pin Description Pin Description
1 Vcc (3.3V) 5 Power button
2 USB D- 6 Control bus data
3 USB D+ 7 Control bus clock
4 Ground 8 Ground
9 NTX

Xbox360 rf pinout.png

Control bus

The control bus is a weird one, clock is provided by the RF module but the XBOX360 initiates communication. The data line is open drain, as said before clock is driven by the module yet it is specified as BIDIR in the XBOX 360 mainboard schematics. I have not yet figured out how to receive data but sending data is pretty simple:

  1. Controller pulls DATA low to start communication.
  2. Controller waits for CLOCK to go low.
  3. Controller sets DATA to the current bit's value.
  4. Controller waits for CLOCK to go high.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 for all 10 bits.

I hope to work out how to receive data.

USB

The USB interface is the same as that of the commercially available USB wireless controller dongle.

Its ID's are VID=045E PID=0291

Available drivers are those for the dongle mentioned above (to use them modify the INF to add the correct PID) and the linux xboxdrv drivers

Control bus protocol

The control bus appears to use 10bit commands where the first two bits are always 0, these commends are sent in big-endian (MSB first) bit-order.

Known commands and their names in my library:

Data (bin) Data (hex) Name Description
00 0000 0100 0x004 SYNC Displays the XBOX 360 controller sync LED sequence (not sure if it really syncs)
00 0000 1001 0x009 CTRLR_OFF Turns off all controllers
00 0000 01RP 0x01X CONFIG Configures the module (R bit is RF on/off, P bit is 0 for standing orientation)
00 1000 0000 0x080 LED_OFF Turns off the LED controller
00 1000 0100 0x084 LED_INIT Initializes the LEDs (needed before any other commands) and turns on the power LED
00 1000 0101 0x085 BOOTANIM Same as LED_INIT + Displays the XBOX 360 boot LED sequence (appears to only work once)
00 1000 1000 0x088 LED_INIT_NOPWR Initializes the LEDs (needed before any other commands)
00 1000 1001 0x089 BOOTANIM_NOPWR Same as LED_INIT + Displays the XBOX 360 boot LED sequence (appears to only work once)
00 1000 1100 0x088 LED_INIT_BLPWR Initializes the LEDs (needed before any other commands) and blinks the power LED
00 1000 1101 0x089 BOOTANIM_BLPWR Same as LED_INIT + Displays the XBOX 360 boot LED sequence (appears to only work once)
00 1010 ABCD 0x0AX SET_GREEN_LEDS Sets the four green LEDs on or off (four least significant bits encode green led value)
00 1011 ABCD 0x0BX SET_RED_LEDS Sets the four red LEDs on or off (same as SET_GREEN_LEDS but independent of it)
00 1100 0000 0x0C0 CLEAR_ERROR Clears any error display (blinking red leds or orange solid)
00 1100 0001 0x0C1 SLOW_BLINK_ALL Blinks all four red LEDs
00 1100 0001 0x0C2 SLOW_BLINK_1 Blinks top left red LED
00 1100 0001 0x0C3 SLOW_BLINK_2 Blinks top right red LED
00 1100 0001 0x0C4 SLOW_BLINK_3 Blinks bottom right red LED
00 1100 0001 0x0C5 SLOW_BLINK_4 Blinks top left red LED
00 1101 0000 0x0D0 CLEAR_ERROR Clears any error display (blinking red leds or orange solid)
00 1101 0001 0x0D1 FAST_BLINK_ALL Blinks all four red LEDs
00 1101 0001 0x0D2 FAST_BLINK_1 Blinks top left red LED
00 1101 0001 0x0D3 FAST_BLINK_2 Blinks top right red LED
00 1101 0001 0x0D4 FAST_BLINK_3 Blinks bottom right red LED
00 1101 0001 0x0D5 FAST_BLINK_4 Blinks top left red LED
00 1110 0000 0x0E0 CLEAR_ERROR Clears any error display (blinking red leds or orange solid)
00 1110 0000 0x0E1_0x0EF LED_AMBER Sets all leds to amber colour

There appears to be a priority in these commands: Blink overrides the values set by SET_GREEN and SET_RED leds, SET_GREEN and SET_RED override SYNC. When a command is being overridden it is still executed in background (E.g. you can set a value for the LEDs while they are blinking and once CLEAR_ERROR is sent, the value sent will be shown)

Example code

Here is the code i use to send the commands from my stellaris launchpad

void xbox_send_word(uint32_t word)
{
	uint32_t bit_ptr;
    	uint32_t edge_detect_buf;
    	/* Pull DATA low */
	ROM_GPIOPinTypeGPIOOutput(XBOX_BUS, XBOX_DATA);
    	ROM_GPIOPinWrite(XBOX_BUS, XBOX_DATA, 0);
	/* Send all the bits */
    	for (bit_ptr = XBOX_WORD_SIZE; bit_ptr >= 1; bit_ptr--){
    		/* Wait for clock to go low */
    		edge_detect_buf = XBOX_CLOCK;
    		while (edge_detect_buf == ROM_GPIOPinRead(XBOX_BUS, XBOX_CLOCK));
    		/* Set data to value */
    		ROM_GPIOPinWrite(XBOX_BUS, XBOX_DATA, ( word & (1 << (bit_ptr - 1)) ) ? XBOX_DATA : 0);
    		/* Wait for clock to go high */
    		edge_detect_buf = 0;
    		while (edge_detect_buf == ROM_GPIOPinRead(XBOX_BUS, XBOX_CLOCK));
    	}
    	/* Release DATA */
    	ROM_GPIOPinWrite(XBOX_BUS, XBOX_DATA, XBOX_DATA);
	ROM_GPIOPinTypeGPIOInput(XBOX_BUS, XBOX_DATA);
 
}

Credits

Writing the wiki page, porting, discovering BLINK_STOP: Peterbjornx

Pinout: Whoever leaked the XBOX360 schematics ;)

Pinout picture and most of the commands: [guy who writes this]