I’m sick of seeing this notification! I’ll usually only get 20 minutes play time before the controller requires charging again. I’ve had it on charge for weeks, since the last time I used the PS3. I don’t use the PS3 often, and I’m holding out for Uncharted 4 next year before I consider buying a PS4 😛 Anyway the controller’s internal battery is beyond it’s number of recharge cycles and in need of replacement. Here’s how I did it…
Luckily there’s just 5 phillips-head screws and no security screws, a rarity for consumer electronics these days. After removing the screws on the back of the controller, hold it face down and carefully remove the back half. You’ll see the Li-ion battery pack in it’s cradle as pictured.
You can see on the left it’s connected to the PCB with a standard 2-pin JST connector. Carefully disconnect this by prying/wiggling it off with a flat-head screwdriver, and it’s ready for a replacement battery. Simple! 🙂
There is a label on the battery pack with all the relevant details. It’s a model LIP1359 – which as far as I can tell is a custom battery by Sony used in the PS3 Dualshock 3 controllers only. It’s a 3.7V 610mAh Li-ion battery.
Li-ion battery teardown
I couldn’t help doing a quick teardown on the battery pack. It’s obviously a standard Li-ion flat pack as found in mobile phones, but I was curious to see if there was any protection circuitry inside. The plastic shell was quite difficult to separate so I think it’s been ultrasonically welded. I had to be careful because damaging a li-ion cell can cause a fire.
Here are a few photos of the LIP1359 teardown (close shots were taken using my Andonstar microscope):
Immediately the suspected protection circuit was found (the skinny white PCB). On the flip-side there are a few SMT components. IC01 is marked “AD 1B7”. I was unable to find data sheets for any of these parts, but I think this is a Li-ion protection IC. Q01 is marked “201” and I’m assuming this is a MOSFET or similar used by IC01 to disconnect the battery for protection. Usually integrated Li-ion protection is to mitigate short-circuit and under voltage conditions.
If I was feeling particularly keen and wanted to save a buck, I could use the identifying marks on the Li-ion cell to replace only that and reuse the protection circuit and housing. I’m too lazy for that (and I destroyed the housing), but Googling US323450 returns a bunch of suppliers, Sony MSDS documentation, etc.
Time to find a new battery pack and swap it out…
Finding a replacement battery
There are a number of replacement batteries available online. But, as always, one must be careful buying li-ion batteries online! The capacity ratings are often greatly overstated, and you end up paying for a battery that won’t last nearly as long as the genuine one being replaced. All that in consideration, I ended up chosing this item on eBay. It’s in the US, and due to a weak Aussie dollar it’s costing me about $26. Not great, but other options aren’t much cheaper and this seller has decent feedback and shipping times.
Edit: Since posting this blog I found this item on Deal Extreme that would’ve been much cheaper, however shipping is typically much slower too.
Here’s the label on the replacement eBay battery. It’s a direct swap, so all I had to do was plug it back in to the controllers PCB and replace the 5 screws. Sorted!