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PSP Exposed: Taking Apart the PlayStation Portable

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Not content to watch Spiderman-2 and play Need for Speed, Seth Fogie took apart his PSP to see what makes it tick — and if hardware mods are in its future. Luckily he took notes (and pictures) so the rest of us could take a peek inside, too.
Editor's Note: Don't miss Seth's other PSP articles: First Look: Sony PSP, Web Browsing on the PSP, and Adding an External Wi-Fi Antenna to Your PSP.

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The PSP has redefined handheld gaming. Inside this rather small device you can find a movie player, game system, music player, and even a JPG image viewer. In addition to this, the PSP also supports a cut-down version of web browsing, and I suspect more will come in the following months. However, if you are like me you might want to know what is on the inside! For example, can you make the PSP screen bend up so you can lay it on your desk and still view movies? Or what about an external Wi-fi antenna to get that extra signal strength? Questions like these can only be answered by opening up the cover of the PSP and poking around on the inside.

Now, please note that this can result in many bad things. One small slip and your PSP will be a $200 paper weight. And if you are thinking, "well I'll just take it back," think again. There is really no easy way to get inside without voiding the warranty. In other words, this is a one way trip...there is no turning back. If your PSP suddenly develops problems in a couple weeks, you can forget about getting help from Sony!

The following is a step-by-step guide on how to take your PSP apart. I documented the entire process and was able to remove all the major components, from top to bottom. With this little guide in hand, you too should be able to disassemble and reassemble the PSP in about one hour. In all honesty, once you know how to get around some tricky parts, the rest is easy. Again, we offer no guarantee that your PSP will not be fragged by attempting this.

The Gear

Before attempting to take apart any electronic device, make sure you have the right gear and location. You don't want to lose screws or other parts to kids, dogs, or a sudden blast of air. For the PSP you really only need one small flat head screwdriver that you can use for prying, and a Philips head screwdriver to remove the screws. A pen/paper might also be useful for remembering where the screws go. If you are a professional, then you might want to ground yourself using a static strap to prevent any sudden static discharges from killing your PSP.

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