How to fix a Playstation 3 Dual Shock controller that does not start

Yesterday, for the first time in a while I started my Playstation 3. (tellingly, I did not start it to play a game but to stream a movie… ). Annoyingly, the controller did not come on, not even while connected to the USB-power cord.

At that point I used the secondary controller to watch the movie and left the faulty controller to charge overnight.

This morning, still no response on the controller. Tried resetting, resetting while connected to the PS3, and some magic incantations but no dice.

This is the point I usually turn to the internet and google – but no dice, the best other gamers came up with seemed to be “buy a new controller ” (e.g. here and here)

Since that seemed like chickening out and I figured I had nothing to loose, I got a bit creative and managed to get the controller working!

How? Easy…

WARNING: Following the instructions below will void your warranty and any results are solely your own responsibility!

1) Remove (and carefully set aside) the five screws in the bottom and open the controller.

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Carefully remove the backside to reveal a simple Lithium-Ion 3.7 volt battery.

2) Using a volt meter, I found that the battery was at 2.8 volt, which is pretty much the threshold below which a Li-ion pack loses the ability to hold a charge. I figured charging it using a proper charger might just bring it back to live…

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This is where it got a bit ghetto – I stripped a small bit of insulation of the battery leads to be able to connect the alligator clips of my Li-ion charger.

I used a nice computer-controller charger, but a minute or 15 on any 1amp 4 volt power source should do the trick. Chargers from al kinds of electronic trinkets abound these days so this may be the time to get creative…

3) With the battery now at 4.2 volt (don’t overcharge, as this may damage a Li-ion pack too!) I tried turning the controller on again, and Bingo! Works on first try.

Now reassemble, taking care to maneuver  the L2 and R2 buttons in their proper places.

Now go and enjoy a game (or movie!)