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Posted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:49 am
by 3DO Experience
So I'm digging through the game room and pull out a loose Virtual Boy, I hook it up and the left screen doesn't work. I fiddle with it and now it works on half the games but it really glitchy. So I dig out my CIB Virtual Boy and WTF!?! this one is going too!!!!!

Does anyone know anything about Virtual Boys dieing with age?
What have I done to anger the gaming gods?

Posted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:56 am
by Trev
How were you storing it? The things are quite fragile. Is it possible one of the mirrors got knocked in the gameroom clutter?

I don't get how it works w/some games and not others but, just for the heck of it, what games are running okay?

Posted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:59 am
by Vance
It seems like it was really easy to knock one lense out of alignment on those things. I found that a quick disassembling and reassembling did the trick. I cleaned it out and fiddled with it, sure, but I'm sure none of that meant anything. I think it was just a bit loose, wire slipped, etc.

Posted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:55 am
by Austin
It's most likely an issue with the ribbon cables going to the board on one of the screens. Whatever compound Nintendo used on these things weakens over time and the ribbons start losing connection to the boards. They need to be reconnected in a more efficient manner. There are some tutorials out there on how to do it, but you will need a modified Nintendo security bit to even get to the screws on the system.

Posted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:24 am
by Vance
You can easily find those online for five or six bucks.

Posted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:25 am
by 3DO Experience
Wow I actually got some good feedback on this. Nothing would have been knocked out of place as one was pretty much left alone and the other was stored in 100% original packaging. The ribbon cable makes the most sense as the graphics are rather glitchy and they are both doing it.

I have the security bit, but I'll have to cut a slot into it so I can drop it in and turn with a long handled screwdriver as the bit I have will never reach all of the screws.

Austin, I take it the connectors were soldered to the board and need to be redone?

Trev, I have a bunch of them but Vertical force seems to be the best functioning game, almost 100% other than a few dots that shouldn't show up. others have lines missing/added, left screen will go blank creeping distortion coming up from the bottom.

Posted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:58 am
by BryWI
Is it at least trippy looking? We need support for this in the emulator(s). lol.

Posted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:49 pm
by 3DO Experience
It kinda looks like red matrix code going up instead of down.

Posted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:27 am
by Austin
Here is the video I saw last year regarding fixing the ribbon cable problem. I'd say it's a bit more involved than simply resoldering the cables, but watch for more details:

Posted: Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:57 pm
by 3DO Experience
That looks like it'll probably do the trick. I'm a little nervous about putting parts in the oven but I'll mod my bit during the week if I can.

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:19 am
by Austin
Yeah, I'd be hesitant too, but supposedly it's standard operating procedure for fixing these things. I wouldn't worry about it too much.

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:42 am
by 3DO Experience
Well, like the guy in the vid, I have two of them. I'll try fixing the loose system first.

Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:35 am
by 3DO Experience
So far so good. I took down the edges of the bit and cut a slot into the end. I am able to take out the deep screws with it.... I guess this weekend we'll see if I can fix it.

Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:22 am
by 3DO Experience
Ok so today I took them both apart, I don't see anything wrong with the ribbons except on one but I did some part swapping and I have one that almost looks right. So tomorrow I'll try the oven technique. :roll:

Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:46 am
by Austin
Hm, interesting.. Regardless, looking forward to hearing the results!

Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:26 pm
by Mobius
This happens to EVERY Virtual Boy. Like, ever. I have two and they do the same thing. For some reason, Nintendo thought it would be a good idea to attach the ribbon cable to the LED screen with glue. WTF?

I've done the oven trick a few times, and it definitely works. The problem comes back before too long and you have to go through the whole thing again, though. Using a bit of tape to keep everything tightly in places helps, though.

There are people that do a permanent solder fix, but I don't have the skills for that.

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:50 pm
by Trev
Bumping this old post because my VB just started acting up. :cry: I've read aricles and watched vids on repairs, but most of it seems like a temporary fix. Does anyone a source that repairs these w/a more long term solution?

Posted: Fri May 11, 2012 11:03 pm
by 3DO Experience
I keep forgetting to post that I tried the oven trick. It got a 75% working VB up to 99.9%. There are a few weak lines in one screen but they still display. My other VB has nicer screens than that one had so I hope to make it a 100%.

Word to the wise, don't press down directly with fingers, I used an OveGlove, as I almost burnt my fingers the first time.