• PS4 Hacks , 27.11.2013

    xn0 from neogaf decided to test the effects of the LEDs in the new Dualshock 4 Controller. After disabling the 6 extremely bright LEDs in one of his controllers he did some testing and shared the results online:
     

    So the test is going to go like this… I have taken apart one of my DS4 controllers and realized that I cannot desolder the LEDs without breaking the board (ie heat gun did not work and I’m fond of my DS4 even with the annoying light). There is a simple ribbon cable (circled below) that joins the microUSB port and the LEDs to the main board, and if I remove this cable the controller still works and functions normally. I have both controllers charging currently. I am going to wait until they are both fully charged then I am going to turn both of them on and see which one runs out of batteries first. I won’t be touching the controllers they will just be on all night and I’m guessing the one with the LEDs attached will drain faster, how much faster is the real question.

    I’ll report back my findings and maybe a non junior member could start a thread on it.

    So what I discovered when taking apart my DS4 is that these are some serious LED’s in this controller. The LED’s are actually so bright they sit behind a defuser and 2 shields (with 1 of those shields being completely opaque) the 4 LED’s in the 360 controller are less bright by a significant amount. There appear to be 6 extremely bright LEDs inside of the array, and my experience with both LED light bars on ATV’s and LED strobes on guns I can definitely say LED’s do consume a measurable amount of power. If I had to guess what is eating up batteries in the DS4 it would be Rumble motors

    I think it will be a short time before this is a configureable option. Until then I just discovered that PIN 14 is the power to the LED for anyone who cares to disable the LED without tape/paint/etc, I’m doing it now.

    So far there is no data on the test. I am just using the battery indicator light on the OS, both are still at full bars and they have been going for about 3.5 hours. I now doubt the light has a significant impact but tomorrow morning I’ll check it again and use a voltmeter on both batteries and post back on this thread.

    So I’m not a patient man…. I just took a multimeter to both batteries…

    Data:

    DS4 w/ LED enabled: 3.66V
    DS4 w/ LED disabled: 3.88V

    Verdict so far… Well this means nothing unfortunately since I did not measure each battery fully charged with the multimeter. However based on this data I don’t see any way the DS4 with the LED disabled is going to drain more battery than the DS4 with the LED enabled. Continuing this test might be pointless I’m afraid, as the outcome is going to be exactly as I expected, the DS4 w/ LED is draining batteries quicker.

    That said the LED’s likely have little impact on the battery when compared to the 2 rumble motors and the capacitive touchpad.

    UPDATE: As of 1:40am the DS4 with the LED on hit 2/3 bars, the DS4 with the LED disabled is still at 3/3 bars. That is approximately 4.5 hours to discharge 1 bar on DS4 with just the LED.

    UPDATE:

    So I just tested again and the DS4 with the LED on is at 1 bar, however the DS4 with the LED off is still at 3 full bars. The reading is 3.67V on the DS4 without the LED controller which is more than the DS4 was with the LED on was last night after a few hours. The battery draw isn’t huge for the LED’s but its still there and noticeable. I think I can safely assume that the DS4 with LED on isn’t going to last 24 hours of being on and idle whereas the DS4 with LED off will probably be scratching at 2 bars.

    I did start with the controllers fully charged but I only used the OS to give me that data that the controllers were full an no longer charging. I did not however think of hooking both batteries up to a multimeter and taking a reading before the test started to make sure both were equally charged. Only after a few hours did I think of doing that.

    This test is really easy to preform, I’m definitely going to preform it again with more measurements, and I’m hoping more people will do the same given its extremely easy to conduct, and add some weight to the findings.

    For more information and updates, visit the source:
    NeoGaf

    Discuss in Forums (9)


  • 9 Comments

    1. lionsfan420
      11-27-2013
      06:17 AM
      1

      You can also shut your led's off on your car also to save your battery life.

    2. jp_cfc09
      11-27-2013
      08:44 AM
      2

      lol car batteries charge while you use it so wouldnt save much at all. I reckon this is good to know but honestly I dont care so much as long as the controller lasts a decent amount of time from full charge. would be more interested in disableing them if you only got a couple of hours gameplay from full charge. anybody know roughly how long one lasts from full charge while playing untill drianed, how many hours per say?

    3. DebugBrain
      11-27-2013
      08:57 AM
      3

      You can also, keep off the PS4 completely, the energy savings will be even greater, as soon as I find the time I will make a little tutorial xD

    4. PsxPwn
      11-27-2013
      11:56 AM
      4

      Why would you do this? The leds in the DS4 controllers have the same purpose as the the light in the move controller. They can be bright if needed so that the ps camera can sense your DS4, disabling the light bar is the same as removing an important function. Atm not many games support this feature yet but future titles will need this. the gamesroom app supports this and there is a demo on how the light bar works. I'd think twice about hacking up a nicely designed controller bc you think it'll save power. In fact leds hardly take up any power. Maybe you should disable your vibration first and see if there is a difference

    5. juice777
      11-27-2013
      12:19 PM
      5

      I think this test contains too much uncertainty. You could get a good idea about the percentage difference in battery life by measuring the current drain with LEDs and then without LEDs. Both measurements can be done on the same controller and there isn't a need to fully charge/discharge the battery.

    6. Kalberto
      11-27-2013
      08:59 PM
      6

      did the LED always turn on ????

    7. DjKlown
      11-27-2013
      09:45 PM
      7

      I didn't look but I bet the difference is minimal. Leds don't take much to run

    8. manster
      11-28-2013
      01:25 PM
      8

      Originally Posted by PsxPwn
      Why would you do this? The leds in the DS4 controllers have the same purpose as the the light in the move controller. They can be bright if needed so that the ps camera can sense your DS4, disabling the light bar is the same as removing an important function. Atm not many games support this feature yet but future titles will need this. the gamesroom app supports this and there is a demo on how the light bar works. I'd think twice about hacking up a nicely designed controller bc you think it'll save power. In fact leds hardly take up any power. Maybe you should disable your vibration first and see if there is a difference
      Originally Posted by DjKlown
      I didn't look but I bet the difference is minimal. Leds don't take much to run
      Here's an update from xn0

      Steel you can also update the OP that the LED disabled controller died sometime last night. It was at 1 bar at just past midnight last night, and when I checked on it at 10am it was dead. So the LED disabled controller lasted somewhere between 26 and 36 hours of idle operation. I must admit though yesterday I setup my xbox one and it powered off my PS4 and also the controller. Therefore I had to restart the system and relink the controller for the test. My test is not scientific in anyway but the controller was off for a maximum of 1 minute after I discovered I had accidentally pulled the power for the PS4.


      The actual time that the LED enabed DS4 lasted was between 13 and 15 hours. It was down to one bar, I left for 2 hours came back to check on it and it was dead.
      With LED on .08A (stable)
      With LED off . 03A to .04A (variable)

      The DS4 has a 1000mAh Li-ion battery therefore the idle battery life would be calculated as:

      LED enabled: (1000/80) = 12.5 hours
      LED disabled: (1000/35) to (1000/30) = 28.6 hours

    9. DjKlown
      11-28-2013
      08:15 PM
      9

      ^ holy ****.. no ****ing way.. I need more