Monday, July 16, 2012

Charging a PS3 controller with a mains wall charger

My new phone charges via USB so I gained a generic wall plug charger that accepts a standard A-type USB plug. Huzzah not only can I charge my phone, but also my wireless headset and my PS3 controller without having to leave the PS3 on.

Yeah of course that didn't work.

It charges the phone of course, and my Sony PS3 wireless headset; what it won't charge is the controller. Nothing wrong with the cable, nothing wrong with the controller. Looking around the 'net others have posed the same question and the consensus answer is surprisingly moronic (on Sony's part).

A USB cable has four internal wires - the outer two for power, the inner two for data. My wall socket charger only uses the outer two wires as it has no requirement to share data with my electrical wiring; and I'd be a little Skynet level of worried if it did. This is fine for my phone and headset, but it seems Sony's controllers won't accept a charge unless it can also accept a handshake/connection on the data lines.

Any reason why? Hmm beyond being able to sell special charging stations I can't think of any, but I guess that's enough.

So when it comes to charging it's all Animal Farm - 4 connectors good, 2 connectors bad.


Orphi said...

Well technically, according to the USB spec, a device is supposed to negotiate how much power it needs before drawing more than [some very small amount]. The idea being that if you plug a dozen devices into a USB hub, the hub can decide whether it can handle the necessary current from all the devices, and tell devices not to go ahead if it can't.

That said… yeah, they probably just want to sell you more gear.

FlipC said...

Hmm yes, but there is also a priviso for 'dumb' chargers in which the two inner pins are shorted informing the device it can draw as much power as it wants.

This would suggest that it's a fault with the charger... except my headphones charge. So either Sony didn't follow the specs for the controller or they didn't for the headphones.

ps3 controllers said...

Great job!

Anonymous said...

Back when the PS3 was being developed the USB charging spec was still rather a grey area.

Headset Factory said...

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