PSP Lithium Hack Could Be Called the Franken-Cell

You assume that you’ll be able to get parts forever… after all: The Internet. But what if you can’t justify paying the price for them? [Cristi C.] was in this situation, not wanting to fork over $30+ for a replacement PSP battery. The handheld gaming rig itself was just discontinued this year but supposedly the batteries have been out of production for some time. What you see above is the controller board from an original battery, with the cell from a camera battery.

The key is protection. The chemistry in Lithium cells of several types brings a working voltage of around 3.7V. Swapping the cells — even if they are different capacities — should work as protection circuits generally measure current, voltage, and sometimes temperature as they charge in order to know when the cell is full. With this in mind [Christi] cracked open a used Canon NB-6L type battery and grabbed the prismatic cell as a replacement for the pouch cell in the Sony S110 case (PDF). The Canon cell is enclosed in a metal case and is just a bit smaller than the pouch was. This means with careful work it fit back inside the original plastic enclosure.

On a somewhat related note, be careful when sourcing brand-x batteries. Some manufacturers implement checks for OEM equipment but there are ways around that.

19 thoughts on “PSP Lithium Hack Could Be Called the Franken-Cell

  1. I used to do that with cell-phone and mp3 player batteries. It works okay because protection circuit does not have any memory. Laptop batteries are different story, they have an EEPROM with data about done cycles, cell condition and some other stuff. So when you replace cells you don’t get a new battery.

  2. While I’m still not impressed with li-cells , cost too F-ing much and just Too damn persnickity over care & feeding them still. “AA”cells have gotten acceptable shelf life now and their usage and charging needs just fit my personal needs better still.
    But I see that Canon has bailed on AAs for a li-pack in the sx-1xx powershot line, So I guess when I can’t trawl C’list for working AA powered models , then im going to have to deal with the lithiums.
    Was a shame when Panasonic dropped AAs from the Lumix line.
    I liked the reds and highlights much better withe Panys.
    But Panansonic went to lithiums and cell-DRM first…ARRGH!
    $40~$50 USD per battery pack?? and you need to carry a minimum
    of two spares (prefer having 3) batteries when you head out to shoot pics on along day.
    Sigh…. Looks like I’m going to have to ghetto rig/hack an AA powered battery grip from a DSLR to screw under the next camera
    and hope the hack mentioned in an older article of using the original power pack and i.d. chip will get me by the Fucking battery DRM.
    But then that kills the small space storage in a kit with those extra
    batteries and memory cards.

    1. Generic, low cost batteries with low-quality power management/charging functions. I had one that lasted a week. I read reviews strongly advising against buying one. I suspect that Sony did not publish their specification for the charging function. In addition to that, the generic batteries (that’s what I read somewhere else) do not implement a communication function with the PSP.

  3. Did something similar on a “broken” Sony Ericsson phone, actually used it for a full month before the replacement cell lost capacity enough to make it fail.
    Protip: lots of “replacement” batteries use inferior button Li batteries instead of the correct prismatic cell to save money, I got stung by this too.

    A good test is to take the untested (presumably less than 3V) cell, charge it carefully using a current limited to 0.7C where C is the capacity to 3.7V MAX until C drops to less than 5% of start current.
    Then put it on a shelf for one week, if it drops by more than 0.2V it is bad and should be recycled responsibly.
    This avoids much of the risk with full charging and reduces the odds of hazardous Li plating to near zero, YMMV.

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