Original Post


Let me first introduce myself. I generally go by the name of DrWho198 on forums and I’m a retro game collector from Belgium. I’m mostly atracted to the Weird, Crappy or Pirated games or game systems. Also the very old ones which I really admire for their technology. Just to make one thing clear, I don’t mean VB is crappy 😉 just a bit weird.

Anyway, after a very long time I just got hold of my very first Virtual boy. Hip hip hooray! I got myself a nice boxed version from Japan and at first sight it seems okay. But then a problem showed up, and that’s why I now ask this question.

I know of the common display problem with the ribbons coming off. However when I start up my unit it works fine. The picture is crisp and no errors at all. but after about a minute (maybe less) the picture starts screwing up in the right eye. It’s like artifacts that build up until almost no picture is visible anymore. The weird thing is that when you play the game, sometimes the display resets and the artifacts are gone for a few seconds.

If you let it build up to an extreme distorted picture and then turn of the unit. Turning it up again right away will fix part, but not all distortion. If you turn it off a bit longer then all distortion is gone.

With my limited knowledge of electronics I would say that this might be related to a capacitor going bad.

Are there any known issues with the same symptoms, or can anyone help me with finding the issue here?

i have yet to open up the unit, but I’m planning to when I have more information. I also wonder if I could swap left and right display to check if it’s a problem with the display or the rest of the unit.

Any help would be appreciated.

An image is attached and a youtube video can be found here:

  • This topic was modified 8 years, 6 months ago by DrWho198.
5 Replies

I feel like I have had units with this problem too, I think it’s related to the usual well-known display issues. The displays aren’t left/right specific, so you can try swapping sides to see if that changes anything.

Is it possible the displays may be loose and the vibrations of the oscillating mirrors cause some faint connection to fade in and out? That’s the only thing I can think of to explain why it happens as the system warms up…because from what I’ve heard, some display issues tend to improve once the system is powered on for a while.

My only other guess is that somebody already opened it but did a bad job with the fix.

I will find out soon if someone already opened it up. About vibrations… well I don’t know… I tried tapping it at that side while playing to see of the distortions would change and they don’t. But swapping left and right displays still seems the best option to find out the problem.

Does RunnerPack still help out people fixing the displays?
I think the displays will have to be repaired at one time anyway.

Well, I have it confirmed. The unit was not tampered with but the problem is likely the ribon cable. Swapping the 2 displays moves the problem from one eye to the other. Right now I see more of the typical horizontal lines. I guess I need to get them fixed some how.

That sounds exactly like what a typical ribbon cable problem does. If you have soldering skills, you can try soldering it yourself… or if you’re in Europe, you could check with user TheForce81 to see if he’s still offering repairs (IIRC he’s in the Netherlands).


Thanks, I already contacted him. It turns out he has a few that are on the way for repair already. I’m considering doing this myself. But is seems to be a weird way to solder… ‘just melting away’ the cable to free up tge copper wires.


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