How to Make a JTAG Cable for the XBox 360

Written by marie cartwright
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How to Make a JTAG Cable for the XBox 360
(Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

A JTAG mod is a common Xbox hardware hack that enables your console to play home brew games. JTAG kits can be purchased online, but they often do not come ready for instant installation. Among the many components included within your JTAG kit will be a length of flat, grey cable. This cable is what will connect the JTAG board to your Xbox's motherboard. Before you can install this cable, it will need a bit of extra preparation.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Soldering iron
  • Utility knife or scissors
  • Solder paste
  • Heat shrink tube
  • 7-pin headers

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  1. 1

    Cut the bundle of flat cabling in half. You can use either a utility knife or a sharp pair of scissors (safety scissors will not be sufficient). This will create two 25-cm lengths of cable, each composed of four individual wires.

  2. 2

    Peel one wire off from one of the lengths of cable. The plastic holding the wires together should pull apart easily without any tools. You will now have one single wire, one three-wire bundle and one four-wire bundle. Discard the single wire.

  3. 3

    Separate a short section of each wire from the others, so that the wires can be worked with individually while still remaining bundled together.

  4. 4

    Cut away a small amount of the plastic insulation around one end of each of the wires, so that the metal is exposed. Coat each wire with a small amount of solder paste. Add a dab of solder to each wire.

  5. 5

    Cut seven 3-cm lengths of heat shrink tube. Insert each wire into a length of tube.

  6. 6

    Solder a pin header onto each wire. Slide the heat shrink tube over the edge of the pin header. Use the heat from the soldering iron to seal the tube.

  7. 7

    Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for the opposite end of the cable. This end will be the section of cable that connects to the motherboard. The wires with the pin headers will connect to the JTAG board.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not use a hacked Xbox to run pirated games. Only use this type of mod for home brew. Keep in mind that altering your Xbox hardware, even for legal purposes, can get you banned from your Xbox Live account.

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