Original Post

rechargable batteries with the Virtual Boy?
Anyone? At all? I want to know if the Virtual Boy will work without regular batteries; because I don’t really want to fork out much money for a power adaptor that isn’t made for the UK to begin with.

I know that the manuals ask you to avoid using rechargeable batteries, but is it a genuine weakness of the Virtual Boy? The Virtual Boy was partnered with Duracell (remember those duracell vouchers you get in the box?) so maybe it does work with rechargeable ones; and they just don’t want you to know. πŸ˜‰

16 Replies

IIRC there have been a few threads on this in the past and people say they work… I personally have tested the VB w/ rechargables with no problem, although I’d guess they won’t last very long (I almost never play w/ batteries at all).

I think the VB will start to drop out around 6V, and probably report that the batteries are low a little above that. Typical AAs are 1.5V each, but rechargables are 1.2V, which means that 6 rechargables will only be 7.2V rather than 9V of regular batteries. So basically fully charged rechargables will be fine, but as they start to discharge, they’ll fall below the VB’s working threshold quicker than regular batteries.

DogP

Like DogP says re-charables do work, I use them myself sometimes, but thier life is not as good as a decent set of duracells.
What you need is a PowerBoyDC, its an adaptor pad that a standard multivoltage DC adaptor plugs into this then slides down the back of the controller and powers your VB forever.
Where can you get one? Unfortunatly no-where currently, I am in the process of getting a batch of 10 made up and will inform the site when ready, could take a while as I have a load of work commitments to get shifted., but do have the parts and material bought ready for production.
I have a photo of the one I made for my VB, in my collection, and also a couple of renders of how it should look once I got a batch made.
Hope this helps πŸ™‚

That sounds interesting… care to share some details? It’s not often that we get new projects popping up. What does it do that an adapter tap doesn’t?

DogP

it has a standard size connector, so any multi ac adapter can be used. sounds very useful for us europeans. no more stepdown converters. πŸ™‚

KR155E wrote:
it has a standard size connector, so any multi ac adapter can be used. sounds very useful for us europeans. no more stepdown converters. πŸ™‚

It needs a DC adaptor to work, I have not tried using an AC type, I just went for the DC as thats how batteries output the power.
I am gonna get a batch made but if you would like to post the dimensioned drawing I have of the first design I’ll send over a pdf copy, then if anyone wants to have a go you need access to a mill and some type of innert material to make it from.

*HT*

Standard size connector as in… not that funky US SNES (gray plug) connector? Have you looked into the Japanese AC tap? IIRC that has a more standard connector (not the same as the US one).

Sounds cool though.

DogP

oooh. Thanks for the responses. I am enlightened.

Personnally I use rechargeable batteries on the VB regularily (when I don’t feel like using the Adapter tap, yes it happens sometimes) and it works just fine, but as mentioned above, it has a slight difference with regular batteries, it usually drains energy a bit faster (like 20 minutes less I think, maybe) but as long as it is rechargeable, you don’t have to buy new ones every time… A good solution when you don’t already own an adapter.

KR155E wrote:
it has a standard size connector, so any multi ac adapter can be used. sounds very useful for us europeans. no more stepdown converters. πŸ™‚

Actually, I’m European and I use the official Nintendo adapter tap with a 9V DC adapter from a ZX Spectrum. It works flawlessly.

Are you using a Japanese tap or a US tap? I’m just curious, because I know they have different connectors, and IIRC the US ones have a weird connector, but the JP ones are pretty standard.

DogP

I have a Japanese tap with a standard 9V UK adaptor. I had no idea the US tap was different.

BTW, I just saw something last night that I can’t believe I’ve never seen (or don’t remember seeing)… on the bottom of the VB, it says RATING: DC6V-DC13V. So, that probably is why the rechargable batteries aren’t suggested, since it’ll drop below 6V much quicker than Alkalines.

That’s also nice to know that we can use a 6V-13V DC power supply. Heh, I guess I really don’t read the fine print πŸ˜‰ . I also run the VB by just powering the 5V line with regulated 5V quite often and have never had any problems. I’ve only slightly investigated whether it’d be okay long term though (i.e. won’t damage internal regulator), so I can’t say I recommend it though.

DogP

I’ve just noticed the 9V 500mA AC adaptor I’ve been using for the last 18 months is labeled AC – AC, so it’s outputting 9V AC, which is bad, right?

  • This reply was modified 11 years, 10 months ago by dasi.

I think if you have an official adaptor they are AC anyway, like the power supplies for NES etc.
The VB takes DC from the battery box but i think, and I’m sure someone with more knowledge can confirm this, that the AC adaptor converts AC to DC then goes into the VB.
I run mine with my powerboy, a made up adaptor plate that enables DC input from a standard mulit-volt transformer.
So i think you are fine with the Japanese AC adaptor and your AC poer supply, I guess if it runs and you can play then sit back relax and enjoy.
I did accidentally plug mine in with the polarity switched wrong and also at 12v, it didn’t start but seems to have caused no damage as when i realised, 15 seconds later, i turned all off, swapped to correct voltage and polarity and there was that red screen of joy spraying on my eyes once more.
Hope this rambling helps,
πŸ˜€

dasi wrote:
I’ve just noticed the 9V 500mA AC adaptor I’ve been using for the last 18 months is labeled AC – AC, so it’s outputting 9V AC, which is bad, right?

I wouldn’t have expected 9V AC to work, but that’s cool that it does. There’s a power regulator on the motherboard, but it’s supposed to be a DC to DC regulator. As HT said, he didn’t fry his by hooking power up backwards, so it must have protection for reverse polarity (probably to prevent incorrectly installed batteries from frying it), and low voltage won’t hurt anything (like dead battery). But with 9VAC, you’re only getting power about 1/4 of the time, so the large caps on the motherboard must smooth that out well enough.

DogP

Yeah, it’s been working fine, hopefully it’s okay.

  • This reply was modified 11 years, 10 months ago by dasi.

 

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