Original Post

Hello, I am experiencing the infamous horizontal line problem and am going to repair my Virtual Boy this weekend using the oven method. I have zero experience doing things like this but do know the basics on what is to be done. I just ordered the steel 4.5mm bit required for the job, and it is expected to come tomorrow. If anyone has advice or tips on repairing the VB please let me know! It will be much appreciated! Thanks.

7 Replies

Its a very temporary fix, and will probably only function perfectly for weeks before reverting back.

Dreammary is correct.

However, if this is your only option as a novice, inability to solder, temp fix for now until you can afford to get someone else to solder it, or all of the above, I can give the following tips. I’ve already melted one Virtual Boy into oblivion using this method, so the following should only be done if you are absolutely willing to take the risk for the temporary return on investment.

1) Preheat the oven to around 175-200 degrees. Make sure it is fully heated. Also, make sure you have an oven mitt on your hands AT ALL TIMES!

2) Once the oven is fully heated, turn it OFF (very important to turn it OFF before starting the process). If you leave it on, opening the door will inevitably cause the gas or heating element to come back on and create a hot current which will end up melting your LED – This effect is more of a concern on a gas stove as the flames will heat the oven even faster. It’s basically like using a hair dryer to blow the heat around (no bueno) instead of letting the air radiate the heat by itself.

3) Place the screen on a piece of aluminum foil and that on top of a baking sheet LED down (ribbon should be pointing upwards). If you put it directly on the baking sheet, it may once again melt.

4) Put it in the oven and wait about 20-30 seconds, or until the ribbon cable starts to either lay down or curl up. This should happen gradually. The more gradually, the better so the heat can penetrate deeper into the adhesive. Please note if it happens quickly, you will need your oven mitt from step 1 to yank it out of the oven ASAP and wait for it to cool down before starting again.

5) Once you are satisfied with the oven time, remove and place on a hard surface and firmly compress the edge of the ribbon cable where it meets the circuit board – hold for 30 seconds with the legth of your finger to ensure even pressure (It may still be hot, so use a paper towel to protect your skin).

Also, I would only do this to one screen at a time. There are some videos online showing people doing it two at a time, but if you don’t get it right, you’ll have to repeat the process. I didn’t see anyone saying to turn off the heat prior to putting the screens in the oven, but I wouldn’t do it any other way. Like I said, the more gradual the better.

My prayers are with you and your VB. Good Luck 🙂

Excuse me – That’s 175-200 degrees Fahrenheit. I don’t want any of you guys/gals outside the US burning your screens to a crisp! I’ll let you do the unit conversions to Celsius…

Do you think its possible to just use a glue gun to reinforce the glue so I wouldn’t have to risk melting anything?

Yeah, you can use hot glue, but it’s not necessarily going to last any longer. I agree with RunnerPack’s post #138 here: http://www.planetvb.com/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?post_id=19739#forumpost19739

thevirtualboy wrote:
Do you think its possible to just use a glue gun to reinforce the glue so I wouldn’t have to risk melting anything?

The glue is between the cable and the display board, so you can’t really reinforce it with more glue. Unless you warm the glue and press the cable into tighter contact, you won’t fix the problem, even temporarily.

Once you have it working, you can put packing tape over it and wrap it tightly around to try to hold it on better, but it might make it harder to permanently fix later.

If you decide to do it, take Dor-Si’s advice; he seems to know what he’s talking about.

My cheap $48 VB that came with stand, visor, head unit and two games, but didnt work is okay now.(Mario’s Tennis and Galactic Pinball.) I also took apart the battery acid destroyed battery pack and crappy wired up a 9V DC power supply as I did not feel like buying another power adapter or power tap for a VB I paid on $48 for.

Overall, the hand built battery tap and hot glue screens are holding up well, I have a third VB coming in soon and that one will be soldered but my cheap VB I intend to keep low priced and add no more money to it.


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