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Author Topic: One eyed man buys 3d game console.... more at 11.  (Read 982 times)

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Howard_Casto

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One eyed man buys 3d game console.... more at 11.
« on: November 09, 2016, 07:57:09 pm »
So yeah, I bought a slightly broken virtual boy off of ebay.  At 70 bucks with two games I couldn't pass it up, even though one eye isn't working.  From what I've been reading it's a fairly common issue and is pretty easy to fix.  Even if it isn't, there is a guy on eBay that will repair a unit for 30 bucks.  Anyway it should be an adventure to refurbish so I thought I would share when it comes in next week. 

Currently the vision in my left eye is slightly better than crap and the doc says next spring is when it will finish healing enough to know how well it will be.  So I don't exactly see myself using it a lot due to it's tendency to burn retinas.  The thing is, when I was little I really wanted one.... looking through the demo kiosk at Hills dept.  store was a very fond memory for me.  Even if it collects dust I'm fine with it and there are only 14 games to collect. 


Now if I can just get a deal on a slightly broken Vectrex.  ;)

thomas_surles

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Re: One eyed man buys 3d game console.... more at 11.
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2016, 08:47:18 am »
Does it come with the stand?

Howard_Casto

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Re: One eyed man buys 3d game console.... more at 11.
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2016, 10:01:42 am »
No, but I don't really want one.  I'm getting a camera mount so I can use my tripod. 

Howard_Casto

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Re: One eyed man buys 3d game console.... more at 11.
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2016, 11:43:59 pm »
Ok so I got everything today.  The unit is in excellent cosmetic condition, but sure enough, the left eye didn't work and the right eye is glitching a little.  I was going to take it apart and repair it, but my security bit isn't long enough.  In the meantime, I decided to cook it.  By that I mean put it face down while turned on for an hour or two.  Sure enough after a half an hour the left screen showed signs of life and by tonight the left eye was almost perfect.  So it's a ribbon cable issue and once my new screwdriver comes in I can fix it. 

I also intend to make a custom stand out of a lamp arm or something that will make the thing sit at a comfortable height for an adult.  I'll post pics once I get started on that.

ChadTower

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Re: One eyed man buys 3d game console.... more at 11.
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2016, 11:53:44 am »
You don't want the stand anyway.  You can mount the thing on pretty much anything.  I've seen them just on tables, or on counters, or on expanding arms, I saw one on a swiveling lamp mount.  A few years ago I was laid up with a back injury and played through pretty much the whole VB library lying on my back with the system just resting on my face.  It was surprisingly comfortable.


I think pretty much any stand mount is going to lead to neck cramping and such.  Just lie down and play it that way.

Howard_Casto

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Re: One eyed man buys 3d game console.... more at 11.
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2016, 01:00:43 pm »
I might get one eventually, but only for display purposes.  I've already made a bottom for the unit that replaces the black hunk of plastic where the stand normally mounts.  I need to clean it up and make the screw holes and then it'll have a universal camera mount. 

In regards to the led arrays:

https://youtu.be/sFwO6dXeYZs

Ben made a clamp.

Seems like a better solution than trying to solder a ribbon cable that isn't really meant to be soldered.

Howard_Casto

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Re: One eyed man buys 3d game console.... more at 11.
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2016, 10:44:27 pm »
I might have to throw in the towel on this one and send it off for repair.  Now the broken one works and the one that was working doesn't.  It's quite frustrating how fiddly those cables are.  I know you can solder them on, but I figure I have a snowball's chance in hell for soldering those micro traces without ruining the whole thing. 

wp34

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Re: One eyed man buys 3d game console.... more at 11.
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2016, 09:33:52 pm »
Keep us posted on this.  You have me curious.  VB is the only Nintendo console we never bought and I've often thought about picking one up used. 

Howard_Casto

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Re: One eyed man buys 3d game console.... more at 11.
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2016, 02:41:52 pm »
Well I can keep you posted, but it isn't good news.  The cable fell apart on me and I mean that literally.  After a few more attempts to heat the cable (keep in mind I was using a blow dryer on low, so it wasn't exactly melting temps) I noticed the cable looked kind of funny at the connection point so I rub it a little to see what was going on..... and the cable tears off.  Not at the end like the glue was coming loose, but it de-laminated and the copper traces underneath gave way.  They are extremely brittle. 

I might try to coat what is left on the pcb with solder and re-attaching later as I have nothing to lose, but what I've learned so far is that these cables were seriously defective right out of the factory and they've only gotten worse with age.  After examining the cable under a magnifying glass, there are more than a few cracks throughout the length of the cable of the copper traces under the laminate.  My guess is they aren't bad enough to outright kill the connection, but they would make the display unreliable. 

I'm wondering if anyone has attempted to find a replacement ribbon cable or bypass the cable completely and wire directly to the pcbs. 

The good news is "broken" virtual boys are frequently cheap on ebay and I did manage to bring a dead display back to life pretty easy.  I guess you just never know how crunchy the ribbon cables are until you get it in your hands. 

  
 

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