PS Vita USB Charging Solved

Last month I documented an issue with how the PS Vita doesn’t accept USB charging via certain devices.  Apparently this issue is the same one that previously affected the PSPGo.  A friend of mine has already detailed how to solve the issue awhile back but I was reluctant to try his solution.  I even attempted Danny Choo’s solution before Tengaport’s.  Not sure why, in hindsight Tengaport’s solution is easier and less expensive.  I went and bought a mini-soldering kit which I never even opened. Since I’m a software engineer, programmer, and graphics designer I was having a difficult time wrapping my head around this simple mod. I am not an electrical engineer by any means however I was able to successfully modify a USB extension cable to use as a charging bridge with a PS Vita and ANY USB charging device.  Let me show you how.

(Just buy the Nook Power Adapteror PISEN USB battery charge adapter/converterand don’t worry about the mod. See below. Add an USB 2.0 Extension Cable (9.8 Feet/3.0 Meters)to the PISEN adapter to extend your Vita charging capability to over 10 feet!)

Tengaport has a great little diagram that shows what the finished product should look like from the inside. I’ve directly linked to it here but he made it so I can not take credit for it.

Credit to Tengaport

I used a spare USB extension cable, electrical tape, wire cutters/splicer, and a pair of scissors. I actually cut my USB extension cable to make it shorter, it started out at about 6 feet long. Way to long for traveling, I wound up cutting it down to about 10 inches.  Do make sure to leave yourself some wiggle room as I used a lot of extra space trying to splice the tiny wires.  After you cut and splice the cabling you should have something that looks a lot better than what I have.

Cut and spliced cable.

Be sure to tape off the ends correctly.  The male end gets the white and green capped off separately with some electrical tape.  The female end gets the white and green cables spliced together then capped off with electrical tape.  If you cut the cable in half like I did you’ll need to join the red and black cables each together separately with electrical tape. So, that’s male red to female red and male black to female black. After you’re done you should have something that looks hopefully better than the below.

Wires joined, ready to be bundled together in more tape

After taping it all together with gobs of additional electrical tape you can now join the USB extension with the PS Vita USB cable and plug the extension into your USB charging device.  Presto, now you’re playing with POWER!

Finished product charging PS Vita via Mophie

So far I’ve successfully tested this mod with a Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation, a MacBook Pro USB port, and an iPhone USB charging block. You will not be able to sync data when using the extension cable.  It will only supply power as the mod removes the data sync functionality. DISCLAIMER: I make no warranties on this mod or claim to have created it. I’m simplying documenting the steps I did to perform the mod.  You perform these steps and mod at your OWN RISK.  I am not responsible for you destroying USB extension cables or worse, your PS Vita or charging device such as a computer or what have you.   CAUTION: Do NOT use the modified USB extension cable with anything but a PS Vita or PSPGo.  Those two devices are designed to look for this type of cable and you may destroy other devices if this cable is used.

You can view more photos of the mod on Flickr.

Sources:  Danny Choo & Tengaport

Appendix notes:

If you’re uncomfortable performing this mod, there is one additional option I’ve discovered.  You can use a Nook Simple Touch USB charger or a Nook Color/Tablet USB Charger with the standard PS Vita USB cable.  This will charge the PS Vita either when powered on or off.  The Nook Simple Touch USB charger is very small, having a smaller profile than a standard iPhone USB charger.

Update 2: 

A new device now available on Amazon.comis the PISEN USB battery charge adapter/converter. This little device will allow you to charge the Vita without the need for the mod or an additional power brick. It’s also fairly cheap which is a plus.