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Tortuga Cove's review of Cobra ODE

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I know many people aren't fans of ODEs, but here is our review.

First off Cobra ODE boasts a feature list of:

  Supports virtually all PS3's including previously "unbreakable" 2k5,3k and 4k systems!
  Homebrew now possible on previously "unbreakable" 2k5,3k and 4k systems!
  Play games on SEN in pass-through or emulation modes**!
  On screen selection of games through Cobra ODE manager in XMB
  Emulation or pass-through modes
  Advanced Smart Fusion AES encryption and decryption engine on board
  Fully updatable high speed FPGA's and high speed secure MCU on board
  Updatable via USB storage
  Expansion ports for future proofing
  Simple and easy to use
  High quality components used throughout
  Built at a high tech facility
  Solderless installation on FAT*** and SLIM (2xxx and 21xx) series
  Easy installation on 25xx,3xxx and 4xxx series Slim and Super Slim series consoles with QSB (quick solder board)
  Easy setup for PATA or SATA consoles
  Advanced software onboard and frequent free updates

  BD Movie support to follow (In a future update)
  PS1 and PS2 ISO support to follow (on BC consoles in a future update)
  PS3 BD game disc dumping on all PS3 consoles is supported and can be enabled through third party managers (dumping throughput will be improved in future updates)

**We cannot guarantee the longevity of this feature owing to the use of homebrew app to achieve it.

As you can see a couple of the features aren't yet working so I was unable to review those.

Consoles Supported:

  CECHL (SATA) (most consoles)***





***FAT consoles (SATA) CECHL, CECHM, CECHP and CECHQ with drive controller BMD-21 will be supported in a future hardware iteration

If you have one of the consoles in red, its not supported at the moment nuff said.

Ok on to the actual review.

Cobra sent me a sample to review, and I tinkered with it hard.  It has a couple problems, but nothing that makes it awful or unusable, we'll get to those later.

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First off lets go over install:

I installed this on a CECHA01 that was running 3.55.4 rebug rex cfw.  On this console Cobra ODE is in fact plug and play. A minor issue is that the FCC ribbons they send in package are a bit too long, and require bending to make them work and taping to secure the extra lengths, also the ODE must be placed in the proper location or the ribbons can be knocked loose by the ridges coming off the underside of the top shell piece.  The location in the install guide was actually a bit off for me, and I had to spend a while tinkering with it to get it installed properly.

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A warning:  Just because the cobra is functioning doesn't mean its installed properly or securely.  Double check your connections, then check them a third time just to be sure.  Turn the consoles main power on but don't start the console and check the red led in the back while replacing the top shell.  If the led goes out, the ODE board is in the wrong place, and is being moved by the shell panel.  

Furthermore, using the ODE in a unstable setup can cause freezing and other issues related to game play, I personally had a unstable install for a while and wasnt aware, when the game froze the system became unresponsive causing me to kill power at the switch at the back.  When i turned the console back on, the file system on the internal hdd was corrupted beyond recovery and i lost all data on it.  UNSTABLE CONNECTIONS ARE BAD MM'KAY!

Now then,  knowing 3K3Y supports GUID partitions (hard drives with larger then 2tb on a single partition)  I tried one on cobra ODE, they are not supported.  The ODE didn't see the hard drive at all.  Since this is not a feature they advertise anyways, consider yourselves warned.

A 2tb WD elements hard drive formatted to NTFS with default windows cluster sizes worked fine however.

How it works:
Cobra's main manager is not pretty, but fully functional.  You insert the hard drive with the proper files in the proper directorys into the rear USB port on the ODE (this is all covered fully in the user's manual).  If everything is functioning the led should turn green. Once it turns green your ready to play.  Boot the console, and insert one of the many supported discs (a full list can be gotten from them and its quite massive and they support a lot of games.) I personally had at least 3 that I have owned for years, including the USA releases of "Resistance", "Resistance 2", and "Genji: Days of the Blade".

Once you insert a supported disc, the disc icon should come up stating "Cobra Manager" unless the ODE is in pass through mode.  Pick a game or homebrew that's been built to function as a .iso, and the manager will tell you to either "eject the disc or reboot the console." Do one of those 2 things and when you reach the XMB again the iso you picked is now the Disc icon on the XMB.  Pretty simple, and you're now ready to enjoy the game you chose.


Updating the ODE is simple, turn the console off at the main power switch on the back, wait 5 seconds and you just place the mcu file in the root of a compatible hdd or thumbstick. Insert the storage decive you used into the usb port on the back of the console and turn the main power back on.  It will flash a series of lights if it sees the update file then go back to either solid red (if you only have the update file on it) or solid green (if its on the root of the storage device you keep the cobra ODE files located).

If you update the console while the ODE is installed, (I updated to 4.46.1 rebug rex after installing the ODE) YOU MUST PLACE THE ODE INTO PASSTHOURGH MODE
Failure to do so will cause the system update to fail with a error code related to the BD rom drive.

That's it for the ODE itself.

However another thing Cobra did, was release the libraries needed to compile other managers to work with it.  People have already discussed Multiman as a alternative manager, But I'm going to discuss Eleganz released by KaKaRoTo.

While his manager is also simple, it boasts one important feature.  After selecting a game when the "eject or reboot" text comes up.  Simply quit Eleganz via the xmb, and the console will reboot on its own.  You are now ready to play.

In the end, Cobra ODE is a nice functional product that does 1 very nice additional feature in allowing homebrew that doesn't rely on specific cfw syscalls to function on non-softmoddable ps3's.  It's a bit sad not all boasted features are available now, but im sure they will be supported in later updates to the ODE.  All in all this product is a good product, and while many will complain about the price.  Its not much more expensive then other ODEs on the market and I like it.  I would recommend this product to anyone looking to either save space on their internal hard drive and not have to split files for external, or looking to avoid compatibility issues with internal/external hard drives with games, or looking for a easy method to mod ofw 3.56+ consoles, that doesn't require hardware flashing and possibly remarrying the BD drive.

~igor242 (review was done on mcu update 1.2 and manager version 1.1)

All links below link directly to Cobra's official webpage.
Cobra ODE main page
Cobra ODE offical resellers
Cobra ODE downloads(user manual, install guide, fw, and any other required files)
Cobra ODE contact links



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