Apr 30 2013
By: Doppelgangergang Treasure Hunter 8212 posts

PS3 Charging Controllers in Standby Mode [Project]

[ Edited ]
2 replies 904 views Edited Apr 30, 2013

Inspired by the PS4 charging controllers in Standby Mode, I went out and thought it would be cool if I could somehow retrofit that function to the PS3. Well, one month of research looking up how to charge a DualShock 3, a few prototypes here and there, buying some parts, then a long break for one month because of college and then a weekend of putting it all together and now I'll never have a dead controller again.


This is all done without software tampering or messing with the firmware, thus the PS3 remains legitimate.





NOTE: The date is WRONG! It should be 2013 and not 2012!

Must be because it was 2AM when I finished the board and I was having a headache from soldering tiny chips.


This is the completed "Charge Board" which is to be installed on the PS3. It basically serves as a switch. When the PS3 is switched on and playing games, the Opto-Isolator (Black Rectangle, Top-Left) activates, causing the Multiplexers (Two Squares, Middle and Right) to relay the PS3 Motherboard USB signals. Therefore the USB Ports operate normally.


When the PS3 is then put into standby mode, the Opto-Isolator deactivates. The Multiplexers stop relaying USB Signals to the PS3's motherboard. Then they start relaying signals from two microchips (one for each front USB Port) instead. When a Dualshock 3 or a Playstation Move is connected, the microchip sends a signal, going through the multiplexer, then out the USB Port, then into the controller. The controller is then instructed to charge.


A Voltage Regulator (Upright Rectangle, Black, Lower Left) steps down voltage from 5V to 3.3V. The multiplexers need 3.3V to run.






These are the two microchips that the controllers communicate with in order to charge.


Unlike many devices that charges on USB ports, Dualshock 3s and PSMoves do NOT support DCP. This is why they cannot charge with regular wall adaptors shipped with smartphones. They have to explicitly be told to charge, even when 5V is given to them.


While DCP chargers are now common these days, and it seems that it was a mistake not to support DCP on controllers, this wasn't always the case. The PS3 was released (2006) before the USB Consortum released the Dedicated Charging Port specification (2007). Sony might just be following rules where negotiation must take place before full power is drawn, which is why the microchips are needed.


These chips are plucked from a controller charging station module. More specifically, this one. Note that I just got the part that clips on the controller, I didn't have the charging mat it went on.






Installed on the PS3, it looks like a big mess. I did tidy this one up before closing it up (no photo, sorry!). It doesn't seem to interfere with airflow that much as I left the power supply air intake clear.


I also took this as an opportunity to rework the Rear USB Ports Mod, now relocating the USB hub at the back, and tightening up the wiring.






And finally, a shot of it working! Here it is charging two controllers, then a PSMove also charges on it. Note the red light: It's in standby mode.


I think this offers a glimpse of how convenient the PS4's ability to charge controllers when powered off. I could play all I want, then power the system down and connect the controller and have it charge there. Next time someone else plays, it's full and ready to run.






  • This may be easily be built into the PS3 on future models. On it's very core, you only need one multiplexer, one communication IC and a few supporting components to pull it off per USB port. The components are also tiny and won't take up much board space if built in.
  • No, I'm not making more of these. Soldering ten hair thin wires on tiny tiny DGS chips with tiny tiny quarter-millimeter solder points and tiny tiny half-millimeter spaces takes a lot of time and results in a lot of mental stress. Never again. Hours lost when one mistake snowballed to a big mistake and I have to start over.
  • Rejected Idea: Dual Power Supply, Enhanced Charging. I was going to put a second Power Supply in there that provides 5V at 4,000mA. This would also allow the PS3 to act as a fast charging station, charging smartphones and tablets at 2.1A (4x the power of regular USB). However I had to drop the idea because I didn't have enough space to install the power supply. Not to mention the difficulty of soldering a more complex multiplexer (Hand Soldering BGA chips? Not a chance.) as well as another tiny tiny DGS chip to support Tablet/iPhone/Smartphone Charging plus programming a Microcontroller to manage all those charging modes was just too complex and large to cram in the PS3.
  • Scrape Scrape Scrape... For this mod, 6 tiny traces on the circuitboard have to be severed. With a knife. One scrape was so deep (by accident) I penetrated the top layer and nearly damaged the traces below the surface! Was a close one, I tell you.
  • No More Mods. This PS3 is maxed out. There is no more space to cram anything in. Therefore this may be the last and final extra this PS3 will ever recieve.




  • Remote Start needs to be turned on for it to work.  Remote Start is the only way the USB ports will be active on sleep mode. This is because when Remote Start is on, it's the only way the 12V rail will be energized. If it's off, the power supply goes to "Deep Sleep" mode and won't be on enough to output 12V. I did try to splice the 5V line (which is active even when sleeping) but then the PS3 started acting erratically.
  • Seamless Operation! The Multiplexer does a seamless job of toggling from two different USB hosts. When powering on, any charging controllers continue to charge. At the end of a long game session, any connected controllers will continue to charge on sleep. It works so smoothly, in fact, that one can say it was factory done. USB Ports still operate with zero loss of functionality, it still reads flash drives, PS2 Controller Adapters, PSVitas and more.
  • Minor Bug: The PS Button doesn't wake up the PS3. If a DS3 or Move is connected to the PS3, the PS button won't wake up the PS3 from Standby. You'll have to press the front power button OR remove the USB cable then press the PS button. This seems to be a side effect of the Multiplexer redirecting all the controller inputs to the charging IC and not the PS3's circuit board. This is no big deal as the controller is connected to the PS3, and the power button is so close anyway. (And really, the controller's fully charged, just disconnect it and then press the button. Smiley Wink)


That's just about it.


Comments Welcome! Now to get some sleep. Smiley Very Happy


DISCLAIMER: If you attempt to do this to your PS3, and then it doesn't work, neither me nor anyone in this forum or anyone who runs said forum is responsible!

Message 1 of 3 (904 Views)
Fender Bender
Registered: 01/27/2012
3436 posts

Re: PS3 Charging Controllers in Standby Mode [Project]

Apr 30, 2013

Excellent job Doppel.Smiley Happy..i knew you would do it and i have been wanting to do something similar but been busy with other things and has slipped my mind..


glad you didn't run into any serious problems..careful on them traces LOL..





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Message 2 of 3 (878 Views)
I Only Post Everything
Registered: 02/25/2012
891 posts

Re: PS3 Charging Controllers in Standby Mode [Project]

Apr 30, 2013

Very, very cool man! This is a function I thought would have been implemented from the start but alas it's not. If I need to recharge overnight I just plug into my PC.



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Message 3 of 3 (849 Views)