I have found it strange that my PS3 controller will only charge with the provided USB cable. I bought 2 aftermarket controllers that use the USB to mini USB cables but the cable will not charge my Sony unit (unfortunate since the cables are a lot longer than the short thing Sony gives us). I also have a Motorola wall charger from my Bluetooth headset that will charge my aftermarket controllers but not the Sony controller. I also noticed when I plug in these other cables that the charge icon on the screen when you hit the PS button shows a dash mark instead of the normal charging bars. Does anyone know why this is happening and what can be done, if anything, to correct this issue? Is the Sony cable special?
My friend just told me to plug it into the wall charger and hit the reset button on the controller and it will probably charge. I couldn't see why there would be any difference since USB is a stanardized connector but he thought there might be a difference on which conductor the unit charges off of on the sony cable and by resetting it, the unit would change which conductor it charged off of in the USB cable. Stranger things have happened.
my aftermarket controller WILL charge off the aftermarket cable. The cable came with the controller. It is the Sony controller that has the issues. The aftermarket controllers accept every cable I have tried as long as it is mini USB. I can use my portable hard drive cable, my Motorola bluetooth headset wall charger, and the original Sony cable.
It should charge with any USB cable of that type, and you shouldn't need to reset it.
There may be some charging blocks/ac adapters that will not charge the controller, but that's more to do with the ac adapter and not the USB Cable.
The PS3 USB cable is not special. In fact, I have never used mine. It is still in the plastic bag that it was packed in. I have lots of mini-USB cables, and I have yet to find one that doesn't work. Actually, most of the time I recharge my DS3 by connecting it to my Windows PC, which works fine. Windows won't recognize the DS3 as a controller because it doesn't have a device driver for it, but it recognizes the DS3 as an unknown USB device, and it will charge it. The PS3 has to be on (not in standby) in order to charge the DS3 in a reasonable period of time (or at all, depending on the PS3 model), and when my controller is out of power I usually turn the PS3 off. The Windows PC in my office is always on, so it is a better charging platform. I don't think that a wall charger will work. Sony devices that charge via USB usually do a USB protocol hand-shake first, so they have to be connected to a real USB port. Wall chargers don't usually support the USB data protocol, so the device won't start charging.
But not all of them work. I think the OP may have one that doesn't work with the PS3. But... not enough info to tell.
Any USB port has worked just fine for me. In the living room where the PS3 is set-up I have used a laptop, USB port on the TV, USB port on the Dish Network box and a wall charger. Right now I have a nice short cable (about 6 to 8 inches long) that works perfectly without having to coil the cable up to keep things much neater. I have 2 DS3's, a official Blu-Tooth headset, an extra no brand name headset (that works fairly well on the PS3) and a Sixais that I have never had to have more than one of these connected at one time.
The Motorola chargers are actually where the problem is. I noticed when I had a RAZR phone, that ONLY the Motorola charger would charge the phone (until I found and downloaded a Motorola driver for Windows that allowed me to charge the phone with my computer, and then ANY mini-USB cable worked for it). The DS3 also won't charge plugged into the wall with an Apple or Kindle AC-USB plug, but oddly, it WILL charge with a DC(car lighter)-USB plug (why I ended up trying that is a long story for another day). The voltage probably has a lot to do with it.
Windows Vista/7 recognizes the controller as a Playstation 3 controller, and will charge it, but it doesn't function as a controller in Windows, nor can you use it for the PS3 while it is connected to the computer.
Are the aftermarket controllers you are using connected via Bluetooth or USB Dongle? I believe the issue you are having with the battery meter not showing up on the aftermarket controllers is that it's a bluetooth function.