This guide will help you install PS2 Slim Methylene – Complete (version with ESP32).
For standalone versions (without ESP32), a flash guide will be available shortly, and soldering process of the ESP32 on Methylene is a straightforward soldering pad.
In this guide, I’ll assume that you have your PS2 Slim board in your hands, as you’ll find some excellent disassembly guides on the Internet.
The guide may seem long, but installation is relatively quick (about 15 minutes).
NOTE: If you’re using a SCPH900xx, installation is doable, but the space under the motherboard is very tight. I advise you to remove the ESP32’s metal caps to free up some space.
Before start installation, I recommend that you first read this guide in its entirety, then follow it step by step during the installation.
You can find an installation video here: https://youtu.be/p2AAjnSoD7s?si=mXjJyEjHpQ8B3bp8
1. Preparation for wired controller detection
If you wish to use ONLY wireless peripherals with your console, you can skip this step.
We start with an optional step, the most technical part of the installation. This involves electrically isolating 2 pins of the controller connectors from the motherboard. According to my tests, there’s no way of just cutting a trace of the motherboard, so this operation is necessary if you wish to use wired controllers to avoid interference when using your console.
It consists in removing the solder from PIN N°5 of the 2 controller ports.
The aim of this operation is to break the contact of this connection, so that the port’s power is routed through Methylene and no longer through the console.
There are several ways to do this, depending on your equipment:
- use desoldering braid and your soldering iron
- use a desoldering pump
- use a desoldering gun (the best solution in my opinion, but the most expensive if you don’t have the equipment)
Once the desoldering operation has been completed, check the continuity between the motherboard and the pin. Normally, there should be no contact, but if not, repeat the operation until there is no contact.
Optional/recommended: Once this is done, you can add UV paste or glue to hold the pin 5 in position and avoid false contacts
IMPORTANT: this operation can be done later, but will require you to desolder Methylene from the motherboard, which can be quite painful.
2. For Methylene BASIC versions only
Flash the ESP32 using your external programmer, or use an ESP32 already flashed with blueretro, and you’ll be able to update it by OTA update via bluetooth.
You’ll find an excellent tutorial on this on Blueretro’s Github repo at this address:
A link to get Blueretro (bootloader.bin and partition-table.bin):
https://darthcloud.itch.io/blueretro (please make a donation to the team behind this great work)
The modified version of Blueretro 1.9 for Methylene (pending implementation in the official version)
Blueretro HW2 – Methylene edition
Once your ESP32 is flashed, all you have to do is solder it to the corresponding pad on the flex.
3. Solder flex to controller port pins
Check the alignment of Methylene with the connection pins. If you see that the flex is bending a little too much because of the soldering tips on the memory card port, you can cut them off with a wire cutter.
When the flex is aligned, tack the first weld to align, then another at the end, and then weld all the points.
Beware of the specific connection detection point: although it’s isolated behind the board, it’s advisable not to overload it with solder to avoid coming into contact with the motherboard, and to be in good contact with the pin that comes out.
TIP: you can stick on a piece of kapton tape, and pierce it with the detection pin to solder without worrying too much about a possible connection problem.
4. Soldering the power supply wire
Solder a wire from your console’s power supply to the PAD named VCC on Methylene.
I recommend using at least AWG26 wire.
For SCPH70xxx, SCPH750xx, SCPH770xx boards
Solder the wire just after the fuse named F0001 next to the console’s power port.
For SCPH90xxx boards.
Solder the wire on the power connector pin
5. Solder the reset point
Solder the control wire from the RST pad on the hose to the reset point on your console, the same one used by the chips.
If you have a chip, you can solder to the RST point on your chip, taking care not to unsolder the wire already in place.
You can consult the bullet diagrams on my site to find the reset point, which is generally located at this point.
6. Final result
Once installed, it should look like this.
WARNING: on SCPH7xxxx, I don’t recommend replacing the metal shield. To hold the front plate in place, you’ll find washers available for 3D printing here, or get 2mm-diameter nuts for the console screws.
7. Start-up and apparaige
Now that installation is complete, you can connect your console to the power supply. LED 1 should flash when connected.
Start your console by pressing the power button on the console. The ESP32 is now waiting to be paired with a joystick; the LED on Methylene flashes slowly.
Perform the pairing operation specific to your controller, e.g. on Dualshock 4, hold down SHARE+HOME until the LED on your controller flashes rapidly until it turns to a fixed color to indicate the success of the operation, and the LED on Methylene will also be fixed.
To pair a second controller, switch off your console and carry out the same procedure with another controller.
8. Wired controller detection
To test this functionality, I recommend using a Bluetooth controller with an indicator light.
For example, a Switch Pro controller or a Dualshock 4.
Pair up your controller and boot up the console.
Then connect a wired controller to port 1, and the position of your Bluetooth should change. For example, your Dualshock 4 will turn red, or a Switch Pro controller will switch to position 2.