My Playstation Vita now lasts 10 hours. [now with battery life test!]

 

YCP psv battery mod cracked screen

it was one of the worst days in my life. especially when I was so deep into Mortal Kombat. ha.

[UPDATE December 2014] See the same mod performed on a ycptech reader’s PS Vita 2000 slim.

It all started when I inadvertently cracked my Vita’s OLED display.

[battery life test results are at the bottom]

I thought, fine i’ll just take it to Sony. Called them, told me that because my machine is an import, i’d have to send it back to whereever it came from (Japan) and ask them to fix it there. Ok that’s not an option I was looking for. Surely there are plenty of people able to fix the problem- this is Hong Kong after all and plenty people make a living just fixing broken expensive electronic toys. Lo and behold, after going through a “videogame mall” (a cluster of shops under one roof all specializing in gaming products) visiting a number of repair shops, the answer were all: No. in unison. Just my luck.

It wasn’t because it’s tough to fix. I later checked (and tried) ifixit and it’s piss easy to take apart. It was because of the availability of the OLED panel, and a suitable one at that. The only place where this is available is Sony’s Vita factory. Crap.

After much trepidation, a friend turned me to http://taobao.com. Went through an arduous journey of setting up an account and communicating (relying solely on Google Translate!) with a seller who claims he’s able to fix this because he can source the parts. He didn’t agree to send me the components..even though his page says he would do this. I didn’t want to argue when I was only partially understanding the situation. I also thought that since he’s going to open up the thing anyway, I may as well get him to upgrade/mod my battery capacity, which is another one of his listed services (becasue face it the Vita’s battery life can be miserable depending on which game you’re playing.)

I’m not going to go into too much detail regarding Taobao but if anyone needs help then do say so in the Comments.

So I took a chance and mailed my Vita to him all the way in China. it took 5 days to come back but that was only because the period overlapped a weekend. It came back with a brand new possibly illegal Vita faceplate, complete with a shiny new OLED panel.

And a huge ass 5300 mah internal battery (rated 10 hours of ipad-beating gameplay) which I’m voiding my second warranty with the repair dude just so everyone can see what’s inside! Here we go:

YCP psv battery mod facplate repaired

one brand new faceplate and OLED display (which I did test, and is perfect. no dead or stuck pixels etc, real OLED pixels)

ycp psv battery mod voiding warranty

There goes my warranty…again

ycp psv battery mod dismantled

there’s the 4200 mah battery on the left, and the 1100 mah on the right I guess.

[UPDATE 20121211]
just wanted to add some good quality photos of the insides as some of the readers have been asking specific questions about it. Enjoy.
Click to enlarge.

ycp psv battery mod internals

The upgraded primary battery is a snug fit for the original Vita battery slot. No need for adhesives.

ycp psv battery mod circuit board

Top down view of the Wifi Vita’s circuit board.

playstation vita porn emi shielding

Vita Porn: As an eagle-eyed reader pointed out- the shielding is gone, possibly to make space for the fatter battery.

ycp playstation vita high capacity battery mah

The bracket holding the original battery was taken out to make space.

It was super easy to take apart anyway. If you’re attempting this then be very careful as there are connectors at the bottom of the board / device that you could potentially tear apart. I recommend you read ifixit’s guide carefully.

The mod adds no bulk to the Vita. It weighs a little bit more but is probably unnoticeable.

I haven’t had time to test out the battery fully but I did have 2 hours of MGS HD Collection and the battery never went down. We’ll see, once I have a more complete battery life test.

And to those who worry about exploding chinese batteries.. well yer there is that risk I suppose. the repair guy says on his page this (li-pol) type of battery has no risk of explosion. But I do wonder…

 

why buy Trent portable batteries? Or Sony’s very own Official Vita portable battery when you could have something this awesome?

 

Leave me a comment if you need more details.

================================

[battery life test results]

as promised, here are the results of my initial battery test.

test conditions:
played on the initial charge after it came back from the mod, (unknown but) presumably full at 100%.
wifi on at all times, wifi coverage was around 70% of the time
machine stayed in standby mode during night time, instead of switched off (with wifi)
Near has been set to collect location data periodically
screen brightness max possible
purchased, and downloaded a game ~900mb with screen off
Game used- Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, exclusively MGS3.

first battery warning received, battery meter is red-
5:28- does the time accumulate if you die and then Continue game?
left the Vita alone for 6 hours
woke it from standby and the battery meter has returned to green
played for another 30mins- timer now reads 6 hours
no battery warning

left Vita on standby for 10 hours
played for another 45mins
battery warning came on again
went into standby
Vita completely drained by the time I got up 6 hours later.

EDIT: it took all but 4 hours to fully charge up with a 850mA (moto razr maxx) charger

===============================

and there you have it. I reckon it does live up to its 10 hour claims especially if I switched on Wifi only when needed, and powered it off at night time.

In any case, i’ll likely run another test after it charges up fully.

 

For game and other gadget reviews, head over to http://reviews.yellowchilli.net/.

  • where i can buy the internal battery

  • same question i asked when I first set eyes on this. sadly it’s not for sale. mod-only 🙁 meaning you must send your device in

  • I like this, but since I have the 3G model, I will only be able to replace the main battery if I am correct. Any word on the amps on the stock battery, I’d like to know if it is worth it.

  • hi i’m not sure why you say the 3g model can’t take a battery mod like mine. so i looked it up over on ifixit http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/PlayStation+Vita+Teardown/7872/1.

    on step 7, it shows the slot where my vita has a second battery is not occupied by the sim tray or anything. so that’s available. as for the primary battery slot… the spacing looks pretty much the same as what i have on my wifi-only Vita.

    as a bonus, Step 8 states the stock battery’s rating 🙂

  • Elektron

    Yes i’m interested. Can you send me link to this guy on taobao? Maybe he’ll sell me those baterries… coz mod is very easy. How much did you pay for new screen and batteries? Thanks.

  • mine wasn’t a straight replacement.. i asked him (options available) to stuff as many batteries as he possibly could into the thing lol as you can see, the smaller battery on the right was mounted on the casing, and the original was replaced with a bigger one.

    i really can’t remember the prices…. i think i ended up spending something like 100$usd. anyway the prices are all listed there.

    I sent you an email with the url to the guy’s taobao store.

  • as i said…this isnt something you can just buy. you have to send in your VIta to be modded
    i can give you some help if you’re interested

  • Elektron

    Hi. Can you tell me where did you buy those batteries? Thanks.

  • laptoprepairservices

    Repairing a play station is not an easy job.I have this model and also I am expertise in repairing these playstation gmaes.But will never dare to try repairing this model.It seems to be too complicated.

  • o yes? what sort of repairs?

  • post updated. check out the new pics and see for yourself 😉

  • Thanks for the confirmation, so I would at least be a blue to fit in the 4200mah replacing the stock one. Now, if you were to look at iFixIt, there is a bracket holding the stock battery in, does yours still use it. I’m guessing it is not and it is being held with a bit of adhesive. Also, I notice you have no shields on your board. Was that to make more space. I’m wondering if I can just get this battery and replace my stock one. I’m very good with electronics and the vita has seen my screwdriver multiple times every time I hear of a slim battery with more mah than stock.

  • sadly i never opened up my Vita before I sent it in for modding so I can’t say for sure. but just from comparing the photos I would make the same conclusions as you have.

    I spoke with the guy selling these batteries and he mentioned he wouldn’t allow the modding to be done by myself (neither screen nor battery) so I had no choice but to send it in. language barrier aside, im 95% sure it’s exactly what he meant. thing is he takes the original stock battery away (for resale or whatever, dunno) and stated it will not be returned as being “part of the process for the mod”. I went with it in the end. Not sure if any of those conditions have changed since.

    I can open up my Vita to confirm the adhesives and maybe take more pics (requests?) but that might only happen next week as i’ll be leaving on a trip very soon.

  • correction, you’re quite right. that “second batt” slot is taken up by a huge 3g module… the angle of that photo had me fooled 🙂

    but still, if you take a look at my primary battery, it’s around double the capacity of the stock’s. so at least that can be modded. you’re just going to miss out on a puny 1100mah secondary battery that’s all.

  • Alealabombaladiwhat

    I need help!

    Now please throw me a help pack. Heh.

  • Nice article. hey yellowchilli can you send me the link so i can get my battery modded like yours

  • Mikey

    Hi I would also like to do this with my vita can you send me a link to the person that did this for you? Thanks!

  • here you go. you may have to make extensive use of google translate as this guy only knows simplified chinese.

    http://shop61134977.taobao.com/?spm=2013.1.1000126.d3.GHrsPK

  • Del

    hey Eric, thanks for putting this up, i’ve been looking for some way to upgrade the vita battery. is your enhanced vita battery still performing well?

  • it is still performing well yes. but as always, take precautions with these chinese batteries. i never leave it charging overnight / unattended and keep it within a fire-safe case.

  • Del

    thanks Eric, appreciate it, reckon i’ll get it done too. did you also have this done, whatever it is:

    http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=2013.1.0.0.s0sFXX&id=17277343932

    (the post for the bigger battery also suggests having the above thingy done.)

  • hi Del. if i remember correctly, there was a separate item that I had to order and it was for the service charge. I believe this was it..

    p.s. the guy will keep your original battery. you may need to ask him for more details if you plan on keeping it for whatever reasona

  • Tim

    I just stumbled across this. Is this mod still worth it? Any problems with the batteries yet? I’m thinking of finally buying a PS Vita but would only consider it with this mod. The slim version PCH-2000 is out but I prefer OLED and want longer run time. I don’t want issues with two Li-ion batteries charging at different rates and all those issues. I guess my question is are your batteries all working properly still?

  • hey Tim. yes the batteries are still working as they should. I opened it up and did a quick physical check and no expansion or anything. I’m only speaking from my experience though… everyone has different luck with these things.
    Have fun.

  • CPU

    So how did he connect the secondary battery to the primary one?
    What is the wiring, is there any chance you can explain; because I think it’s possible to do this battery mod with a PSP 2000/3000 battery by cutting off the battery motherboard and soldering wires onto both of the red and black contacts of each battery.

    I’m confused as to if I can just cut off the psp battery’s logic board and then solder 2 wires to positive and negative, then strip some plastic off the vita battery’s black and red, and just connect them to each other, please can you give me an idea on how to go ahead with this?

  • sadly i’ve never looked into this in such detail. but i think ifixit can help you here. take a look at this:

    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/PSP+2000+Logic+Board+Replacement/1272

    feel free to share your experience with us 🙂

  • Alek Dimitric

    I’m pretty sure this won’t be seen D: but how much would it be to replace the front panel? These rainbow scratches really bother me during gameplay, and I wouldn’t mind the boost in battery life (but that’s not a priority)

    • Hi Alek. It’ll cost you around $100USD to have it fixed by Sony- assuming you didn’t import your Vita.

      back then it cost me around $180usd to do everything on Taobao, if I remember correctly.

      here’s the shop that did it for me: http://goo.gl/SKEIzW

      • garrett nagle

        Very interested in doing this. I plan on buying a vita with a broken lcd screen to have the guy replace the screen and add a new battery while he’s at it. Any tips or suggestions you’d make for getting it shipped to china from california?? thanks!!

        • Hi Garrett, just wanting to say while the newer slim model doesn’t quite come close to 10 hours, it’s noticeably better than the original model. Not sure if you’re happy with that. I helped someone do just that – ship the Vita from the US to China. but it’s not as straight forward on its way back. it involves shipping to me (in HK) becuase the modder won’t ship directly to the US. and then I fedexed it back to the US. so admittedlty there is some extra cost added on top of the 100 or so bucks for the mod.

  • Хадисов Александр

    recently modded my psp street with alike feature (took out umd drive and installed 2750mAh battery). Got at least 12 hours battery lifetime (maybe 13, i felt asleep at one moment).

    Now wondering – what battery did you used? Are you forced to use two batteries at the same time? (I see it on the picture). I just soldered + and – on my psp and it worked like a charm. Is there some kind of controller forcing you to use old battery?

    • I wish I was savvy enough to know lol. I had somebody else mod this for me instead. good to hear the PSP has similar mods.

      • Joel

        help me get my vita done

        • hey Joel. here’s the guy / shop you need to reach: http://goo.gl/b2YKER
          you need to communicate with him in chinese, which you can accomplish with google translate. if you need help wtih the translation part, let me know.

          • Joel

            do i have to make a account on that website and the hole page does not translate to English

          • yes 3g should be fine. the 3g module does take up some space but not so much so that you can’t put in a bigger batt I think. anyway yes you will need an account, and you will have to be willing to send your Vita in because the seller doesn’t sell parts.

          • Joel

            i got the 3g vita can they do it

    • Wallkar Wallkar

      Здравсвуйте, а как вам удалось обмануть контролер батареи ? Я припаял банку в 1800мап но псп разряжает е до 50 иногда до 45 и вырубается, тоесть работает часа три максимум..

      • Хадисов Александр

        увы могу подтвердить работу только на fat 1004 (она же кастратка)

  • Joel

    help me plz need to get my vita battery done for more play time thanks yellowchilli

  • Travis David

    Wait here… So you sent a perfectly working Vita 1000 and it came back without its original battery? It should have came back with the Vita itself, original battery, and two batteries. You just got ripped because nothing in this article mentions about the status of your Vita’s original battery which I assumed never came back.

    • yer i thought of that. But it was something I had to accept…think of it as part of the cost kinda thing. Besides, as explained.. my screen was shattered and local Sony wouldn’t touch it because it’s an import. Shipping it off was my only chance

  • I wonder if they still do this, be nice to have some mods done now that warranty isn’t an issue at all!