PS Vita disassembly and charging port replacement

PS Vita working

The Playstation Vita (PS Vita), released in 2011, was Sony’s successor to the Playstation Portable (PSP). I recently aquired a cople of these consoles, 1x original PCH-1000, and 1x PS Vita “slim” variant. The PCH-1000 had a serious problem: the charger port was broken. It is not uncommon that these ports fail, and replacing them is a bit of a hassle. I looked around online and found a neat solution: replacing the charging port with a USB-C port.

In this post I will write about my experiences of disassembling the PS Vita, and replacing the charging port with a USB-C port. !Disclaimer! This is not a guide as my soldering in this case can hardly be considered best practice. This is more of a log over the process, and I will include links to more information about the procedure. Nevertheless, I hope my experiences, and the images in this post, will help others considering performing the same procedure, or need to disassembly their Vita for some other reason.

Disassembling the PS Vita

This section describes how you disassemly the PS Vita to free the mainboard to access the charging port. To disassembly the unit, you need a small Philips screwdriver and a plastic prying tool.

PS Vita disassembly 1
Remove these two screws.
PS Vita disassembly 2
Remove these two screws, and the four black screws from the back of the case.
PS Vita disassembly 4
Remove these two screws.
PS Vita disassembly 4
Gently pry the shell open.
Lift the cables from the battery to separate the case. If you are only out to replace the battery, this is where you perform that step.

Now, take a close look at the image below. Areas marked in red are important for disassembling the unit. I already removed one of the small metal plates to the right before taking this picture. Be careful not to damage any of the delicate flat cables.

PS Vita disassembly 7
PS Vita disassembly 8
This is how I keep track of parts.
PS Vita disassembly 9
Gently pry the top button section off.
PS Vita disassembly 10
Remove this screw.
PS Vita disassembly 11
Remove the screw under the camera.
PS Vita disassembly 12
Gently lift the mainboard, and be careful not to damage the two cables attaching it to the rest of the unit.

Done! Now, we can start working on the charging port.

Replace the PS Vita charging port

PS Vita mainboard
The charging port is down to the left next to the audio jack in this image.

Removing the charging port was a bit of a hassle to me since I don’t own a heat gun. That, in combination with Sony’s rock hard soldering joints made this part a bit tricky, and my solution was far from optimal. I used flux and heated the pads and connectors with my soldering iron. The port hardly budged. At the end, I used a lot of brute force with pliers to disintegrate and remove the port. Luckily, the pads on the mainboard are of great quality, and they did not came off as a tore away the port!

PS Vita charging port removal

Now, it is time to replace the port with a usb-c connector. I will continue to write about my experiences here, but there are far better guides out there. The usb-c charging port for the PS Vita can be bought here:

Shipping to Sweden from Canada was fast, the unassembled port came in a letter. This was a daunting task for me as I have never soldered anything this small before. This video show how it can be done:

Unlike the channel owner, I did not have access to a magnifying device. At times, I felt blind while trying to solder the magnet thread to the tiny solder points. But at the end, everything went fine!

PS Vita usb c charging port 1
PS Vita USB charging port.
PS Vita usb-c charging port

A couple of notes when assembling the PS Vita: To be able to attach this camera cable, first remove the controller board, and then attach the cable directly to the mainboard.

PS Vita assembly 1
Remove one of the controller boards.
PS Vita assembly 2
Then, attach the camera directly to the mainboard.

Now, follow the guide in reverse, and attach everything in the correct order! Before closing the case, you need to modify it slightly by removing these plastic parts:

PS Vita shell modification
Cut out or dremel these plastic parts (section above the plastic compartment with the little “bubble”.
PS Vita assembly 3
PS Vita usb-c charging port.
PS Vita working

My PS Vita now works perfectly and can be charged via an usb-c charging cable.

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