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Upgrading the Rechargeable Battery of the 3D Vision Shutter Glasses

August 6th, 2010 · 22 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision


The Nvidia 3D Vision active shutter glasses use a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that normally should be able to provide you with up to 40 hours of use per single full charge which is nice, but it could’ve been easily even better. The reason for that being that Nvidia is using a 3.7V 50 mAh battery that is located on the right side of the glasses and as you can clearly see from the picture above of the battery, there is quite a lot of free space left around the battery. So there could be a more powerful battery instead of the 50 mAh battery providing some more hours of use per single charge – these is the space and it probably won’t increase the cost much anyway…



But since I’ve had a spare 3.7V 120 mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery lying around that I was not using, I’ve decided to try replacing the standard battery of the glasses with that one. That of course requires a little soldering and desoldering, but the good news is that the 120 mAh battery fits just fine in the free space that is available for the battery. This means that Nvidia could easily use a 100/120 mAh battery instead of the 50 mAh one they’ve decided to go for and doubling the capacity of the battery should pretty much also double the time you get to use the glasses with a single charge.



After replacing and recharging the new battery everything was functioning perfectly fine, I’ve already been using the glasses for a few hours, but I’ll need quite some time in order to check the full time they will provide with a single charge. However theoretically speaking with a 120 mAh capacity the battery should be able to offer increased time of use from the normal 40 hours to around 100 hours which should be much better – charging less often and longer battery life.

And here I’m thinking about the 20 hours expected with a single charge by the 3D Vision Pro glasses, if they are still using the 50 mAh battery then it gets half the working time because of the RF two-way communication. So with a 120 mAh battery the operating time could’ve been increased to lets say 50 hours which should be much better. But we’ll have to wait a bit more in order to be able to confirm that. And here now I’m thinking about all those first generation of active shutter glasses sold for the new 3D HDTVs that come mostly with lithium batteries offering just single use and not being rechargeable, but at the same time not being cheaper than the 3D Vision glasses either. Lets see how brands like Panasonic, Samsung and Sony will deal with offering rechargeable active shutter glasses for their 3D-ready television sets and frankly I hate it when I want to use something and the battery suddenly dies and needs to be replaced, especially if you don’t have a replacement handy.


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22 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Marton // Aug 6, 2010 at 08:47

    Hmm. I like passive polarized glasses because the small weight.
    What if you change the batteries to a heavier one?..

  • 2 Bloody // Aug 6, 2010 at 10:04

    Well, I don’t feel any weight difference although the new battery should be a a 2-3 grams more… it is not like the glasses become twice as heavy or something like that ;)

  • 3 Marton // Aug 6, 2010 at 10:10

    okey :)

  • 4 rallfo // Aug 6, 2010 at 11:58

    Might it be health and safety issues as opposed to the negligible extra cost that caused NVidia to opt for the lower capacity LiPo battery in the first place?

    The prospect of having a high density Li-Ion battery of exploding Dell laptop / iPod fame in contact with your skull isn’t that palatable if you can’t even sue NVidia afterwards since you modified the device!

  • 5 Bloody // Aug 6, 2010 at 12:45

    Well these higher capacity batteries are being used in other devices too, like handsfrees etc, so I doubt that there would be any issues from that. The chance that 120 mAh battery can explode is the same as with 50 mAh, unless of course it is defective or these is some other issue. So if I was afraid that something might explode near my head I wouldn’t be wearing anything with a battery inside :P

  • 6 Russ // Aug 6, 2010 at 13:44

    where did the battery come from?

  • 7 Bloody // Aug 6, 2010 at 14:17

    I bought it some time ago from some Chinese company for a project, don’t remember exactly which one, but Sparkfun currently offer pretty similar battery with a 110 mAh capacity that should do the job – http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=731

  • 8 Tiger76 // Aug 6, 2010 at 14:17

    can u please put a vedio to explain how to remove the Battery cover
    coz i am afraid to do that
    and i am from egypt and if anything went wrong it is not easy to get a new glasses

  • 9 Bloody // Aug 6, 2010 at 14:27

    I would not suggest to do upgrades in a hurry, better wait some time just to be sure that there is actually a point in replacing the battery with a higher capacity one and that there are no issues associated with that. I need some time to test the new battery… ;)

    As for the cover, it is not easy to break, you just need to carefully apply some force to remove it from its place, the best way is from the sides as the plastic cover is held there.

  • 10 Bobby // Aug 7, 2010 at 07:51

    Is this really necessary?

    I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love what you’re doing (wouldn’t check the blog daily)… But upgrading a battery on a USB powered device, that you use exclusively next to a USB port?

    Seems like too much work for not enough reward to me.

    Keep up the good work tho bro. =)

  • 11 Bobby // Aug 7, 2010 at 07:58

    To add to my other comment…

    The reason stronger (larger capacity) Li-Ion batteries aren’t used is because of safety… not really defects… but worries, about the technology, and having the questionable battery technology to your head isn’t vastly advised.

    Li-Ion is the most commonly used form of rechargeable battery on the planet at present, mainly thanks to the mobile phone industry… Next time you’re at a petrol station, you’ll probably notice there’s a sign advising you not to use mobile phones on the fore court… This is because Li-Ion batteries have been known to ignite (obviously very rarely), and cause fires.

    Therefore the least excessive store of potentially volatile chemical energy, the better really.

    Electronic manufacturers have responsibilities to keep the risk of harm that can occur from using their product to a minimum, and therefore a smaller battery, as standard, is installed.

    You don’t want a battery to burst into flames stuck to the side of your head… And I’m sure nvidia don’t want the resulting lawsuit, lol.

  • 12 Bloody // Aug 7, 2010 at 12:04

    Well, with that said you can consider the safety concerns as the reason for not getting a higher capacity battery inside the shutter glasses…

    But I’m seeing anyone actually going to wear the shutter glasses when going to a petrol station either… :P

  • 13 EGYPTIAN // Aug 9, 2010 at 17:11

    to Tiger76:
    can you tell me where to buy the nvidia vision kit and the 3d ready lcd in Egypt

  • 14 Doug // Jan 19, 2011 at 19:19

    My glasses stopped working a month ago and refused to recharge. They are over a year old. When I press the power button I get a short red light and then a longer green light and then it goes dark. This happens whether its plugged into USB or not.

    I tried replacing the battery with the 3.7v/110mAh one from Sparkfun but the same thing happens. They don’t power on a sync with the IR Emitter. Does anybody know what I have to do to get these glasses working with the new battery? Thanks!

  • 15 Bloody // Jan 19, 2011 at 19:47

    Then the issue might not be with the battery, but in the charging circuitry…

  • 16 Doug // Jan 19, 2011 at 20:53

    Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. It couldn’t be that two batteries both went into a fatal deep discharge, especially if one was brand new.

    Sounds like I have to buy a new pair of glasses. That stinks of Nvidia to not support these with all the problems people are having. I have to find a pair cheap somewhere online.

  • 17 Jason // Jan 21, 2011 at 12:17

    Doug I have the same issue. Thank you for posting your findings about replacing the battery. I was going to try this eventually but now I am not even going to bother. Right now I am using a 37 inch HDTV (non 3d). as my monitor and could not be happier. I am going to keep my IR emitter in case a larger monitor is released that supports 3d. I dont want to spend 1000 dollars on a 3d tv.

    But thanks again.

  • 18 Bruno // Mar 15, 2011 at 22:26

    How did you open your glasses??

  • 19 Max // Nov 22, 2011 at 00:31

    I can not believe that Nvidia wants me to buy a new pair of glasses instead of selling me a new battery. That is crazy to trash a perfectly good pair of glasses because of a battery. I can tell Nvidia is real environmentally friendly.

  • 20 Roger // Jul 1, 2012 at 07:21

    I looked up this article because I was concerned about whether it is possible to replace the battery in Nvidia 3D glasses. No battery (rechargeable or not) lasts forever, and if I buy some, I would like to know I may still be able to use them in three years time.
    I note that a NiCad battery (if one is available of suitable dimensions) might be suitable for this application. NiCads are best suited to low current drain, trickle charge uses, such as this one. I assume the major disadvantage of a NiCad would be lower energy capacity and hence shorter time between recharges.

  • 21 bharani chakravarthy // Jan 1, 2013 at 22:22

    unfortunately my nvidia 3d glasses slipped from my hand,one of the lcd of my glasses got broken.can i get a replacement for it.if i get any replacement for it i can easily manage rather than purchasing a new one.i am from india he i cannot find any nvidia service center.

  • 22 Bloody // Jan 2, 2013 at 12:38

    The way the lenses are soldered doesn’t make it easy to replace just one of them at all, furthermore you will have trouble finding a replacement one, unless you find a pair of glasses with another problem to use as spare parts. So you should think about getting a new pair of 3D glasses instead…

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