Replacing the Controller's Rechargeable Battery Pack
Got an old Xbox 360 Rechargeable Battery Pack that no longer holds a charge? Well if you don't want to drop 15 bucks on replacing one this guide is for you. Refurbishing the old battery pack is easy, these instructions will show you how to remove the bad batteries and replace them with better and longer lasting batteries.
Advanced Hardware Guide - Guide Created: 7/21/2011 - Last Modified: 6/7/2012
So, you got a Xbox 360 controller battery pack that needs to be replaced? You found the right place then! Instead of buying a new battery pack why not just replace the batteries. This is not only cheaper but you can also place in better batteries. These higher quality batteries last longer, have a longer shelf life, and have more overall life. Did you know that the stock batteries that are included in the older battery packs are considered to be obsolete?
Step One: Open the Case
Time for some fun. These battery packs are not designed to be opened so you are not going to find any screws to make this easy. You are going to have to break the case open but it's not as hard as it sounds. You are going to need to get a hold of a small flat head screwdriver to gently pry open the case. As shown below just place the screwdriver in between the top and bottom of the case and gently pry (pull down on the screwdriver). Do this until the case is completely opened. You are going to be breaking the small plastic pieces that hold the top and bottom together as shown below.
Just slowly work around the battery pack as shown below and it will open up. You may need to work around the whole battery several times before it opens. Also at some points it may seem like you are prying too hard but you're not, the plastic case is strong enough to take some light prying.
Step Two: Remove the Tin Strips
Now that the case has been opened we need to remove the tin strips that hold the batteries together. Make sure you don't try to rip the batteries out right away, they are attached with a temperature sensor and power wires to the case.
Please keep in mind that these tin strips are very thin and are somewhat easy to break. We will be reusing these tin strips to attach the new batteries so please be careful. It is easy to remove these two tin strips, grab the small flat head screwdriver that was used to remove the case to loosen the tin strips. As shown below all you need to do is to place the screwdriver under the tin strip and twist. Once the tin strip is loosened use a pair of Needle-Nose Pliers to completely remove the tin strip.
Some Warnings: Don't pull on the pliers too hard or it will break the strip in half, use the pliers just to help you remove the strip. Also while you are removing these strips, try not to pull the wires too hard that are connected to the PCB (Printed Circuit Board), if the 6 contacts are separated from the PCB you will need to re-solder the 6 connectors.
It is best to remove the two strips on the top of the batteries so you can separate the batteries from the case. Once you remove all three tin strips from the both ends of the battery we can look into replacing them.
Don't worry, if you damage the tin strips beyond repair you can replace them with wire.
Step Two Opps: I Broke the Connector
In the last step I stated "try not to pull the wires too hard that are connected to the PCB (Printed Circuit Board), if the 6 contacts are separated from the PCB you will need to re-solder the 6 connectors". Well I wanted to see how hard it was to break them apart and how hard it was to re-solder them, so I broke it off the PCB. It took some effort so you should have no problems but if you did man handle it and it did break off see below for the placement. I had no issues re-soldering it but they are very small and some people may have issues, so take your time and enjoy!
Step Three: Replacing the Batteries
Sanyo stated that they no longer manufacture the battery that is inside of the older rechargeable battery packs and have replaced them with their new line of products called the Sanyo Eneloop. These batteries have a longer storage life and you get more re-charges per battery. To replace the batteries I have purchased the Sanyo Eneloop batteries model HR-3UTGA 1.2V for 2 bucks a piece but any AA rechargeable battery will do. For more information on the batteries check this link out: Informational on the Xbox 360 Controller Battery Pack
Now it is time to reconnect the tin strips. If the tin strips got bent when they were removed, go ahead and straighten them with the needle-nose pliers. There are two ways you can get the tin strips back on the new batteries. You can either super glue or solder. I HIGHLY recommend soldering because it will last longer and will make a better contact for the batteries. If you want to you can tape the two batteries together so they are easier to work with. The below picture shows the placement of the batteries.
Step Four: A Warning
Before going any further I need to point out a nice tip. Please keep in mind there is VERY limited room inside the battery case. So you don't need to put a ton of tape, glue, or soldering on the batteries. Too much of anything will lead to not enough room to fully close the case or make it so tight your top release button will not work correctly.
Remember, just enough to hold it together. It is so tight in the battery case it almost can hold the tin strips by themselves. Please note I said almost, you still need to make sure they are being held by the solder or glue.
Step Five Alpha: Glue
If you decide to super glue, ensure you only glue the edges, try to avoid getting glue between the tin strip and the battery this will give you the best possible contact. Glue one edge and wait for it to dry before gluing the other end. I recommend starting with the bottom end. Again use as LITTLE glue as possible... If you use to much then you will have to rip everything apart again, sand down the battery/tin strips, and then re-glue everything over again.
This was my first glue attempt in which I failed. This was too much glue, it got in-between the tin strip and the battery which blocked the contact... and you wonder why I like soldering better! There is also another mistake I did in this photo, see the tin strip? It must be flat in order to fit into the battery case. So I guess that is a double fail?
Step Five Bravo: Soldering
Soldering is a good choice and if you made that good choice you will be rewarded with fame (or something like that). You will first want to use sandpaper on both ends of the battery and the tin strips to give your solder something to hold on to.
I suggest starting at the bottom and please remember to use just enough solder to hold the tin strips, I used 0.015 solder. The battery may get hot while you are soldering but don't worry too much about it unless it gets too hot to handle.
Solder everything together and move on...
Step Six: Testing
Before putting the battery case together the battery pack should be tested, don't want to have to break back into the case!
You should test it with a multimeter (or volt meter) but you also can attempt to put it into a controller and try to turn it on. If testing with a multimeter, check the image below for the pin layout.
On a charged battery you should be reading 2.8 volts or less (depending on how charged the battery is). My batteries came pre-charged from the manufacture and therefore were not fully charged and I was getting a reading of 2.651 volts.
If your test worked then you can move forward. If you are getting negative readings or your multimeter is reading way too low then something is wrong. Check your solder points and make sure nothing broke off. If you used glue ensure you did not get any between the battery and the tin strip. Keep on working with it until you get a good test.
Step Seven: The Case
Time to put the case back on and super glue it. Go ahead and put the front of the case, the button, and the spring together as shown below.
Now place the two parts of the case together and hold together tightly, test the release button on the top. If it is hard to move or does not move at all then it is rubbing against something and you need to fix it. If it works good then go ahead and use some super glue around the edges. Once done place two clamps or something heavy on it so it can dry.
Step Eight: Wrap Up
After the battery pack's glue has dried you can enjoy it for a few more years before you have to rip it apart again!
I hope you enjoyed this guide. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments please drop me a comment below and I will get back with you soon.
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