Original Post

A problem often encountered by Virtual Boy users are glitchy displays, leading to horizontal lines, reversed or generally distorted images, or even complete loss of display activity.

All those symptoms are usually caused by the ribbon cables connecting the LEDs to the motherboard becoming loose, or peeling away from the display PCB.

Fixing your Diplay: Oven method

DogP has come up with a way to fix the problem by opening the system up, removing the display, sticking it in the oven to re-melt the adhesive, and reassemble. It’s not a difficult procedure, except that the typical security bit can’t get to the deepest screws on the VB, so you either need a special screwdiver, a modified bit, or a modified screwdriver.

You can find a guide to fix your displays on DogP’s Project:VB.

Fixing your Diplay: Bypass method

Another way has been proposed by DanB. To permanently fix the problem, his idea was to replace the loosening ribbon cables with some better wires, which he soldered to the PCB. This solution requires much more skill, though, and should only be performed by solder experienced people with a steady hand and a huge portion of patience.

The complete guide can be found here.

Fixing your Diplay: New methods (RECOMMENDED)

Some more methods have recently been developed by DogP to permanently fix the cable problem (contrary to the probably non-permanent oven method): Thread.

  • This topic was modified 14 years, 3 months ago by KR155E.
335 Replies

Yup I had a poke about already, also took it apart to see what im dealing with and its as I fared, waaaay to small for me

(that three quid Nintendobit has severed me well in the past year)

The guy in the Netherlands hasn’t logged on in months, would be nice to have it fixed for a gaming night in February, then it might end up going round the UK to various other gaming things at museums

No idea how much it would cost to ship it to the US
That reminds me, I need to pick up a copy of Tetroboxer, seems like the best game to have out at such things

Still here and always log in, no clue why it says I haven’t been logged in for Months. Replied to your PM

well if you cant find any one ill take it on for you.

TheForce81 wrote:
Still here and always log in, no clue why it says I haven’t been logged in for Months. Replied to your PM

Ill probs send it to you
Just the PCBs and ribbon or the whole unit?

DBloke wrote:

TheForce81 wrote:
Still here and always log in, no clue why it says I haven’t been logged in for Months. Replied to your PM

Ill probs send it to you
Just the PCBs and ribbon or the whole unit?

Just the ribbons/displays would be cheapest talking about shipping costs.

Didn’t you get my email?

DBloke wrote:

TheForce81 wrote:
Still here and always log in, no clue why it says I haven’t been logged in for Months. Replied to your PM

Ill probs send it to you
Just the PCBs and ribbon or the whole unit?

You’re from the uk right? It would be cheaper to just send the screens out since I’m in the usa.

If they are the only bits of it that are/prone to be broke,

Its saying up to £5 to post it to either

Depends whos cheaper…………..

Ive already had some interest from some people about using it at a few games expos

anyone here in the usa still do the cable repairs? i dont own any tools to even attempt it

Seam wrote:
anyone here in the usa still do the cable repairs? i dont own any tools to even attempt it

http://www.planetvb.com/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=6885&forum=1

ZeldaFan042 wrote:

Seam wrote:
anyone here in the usa still do the cable repairs? i dont own any tools to even attempt it

http://www.planetvb.com/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=6885&forum=1

thank you, i hadnt stumbled across this thread yet

I just want some clarification… it is normal when this problem occurs for one display to have weaker color output than the other display* in addition to horizontal lines? Or would this possibly be two different problems with my VB at once?

I noticed the horizontal lines years ago, but I decided to power up my VB as a test today and I noticed asymmetric color drive in addition to horizontal lines. My left display seems fine, but the right display seems to be in trouble :(. Might as well repair both. In any case, I want to try to repair myself, can anyone recommend a screwdriver for the deep screws?

* Noticable at the warning screen, for instance, which should have the same color intensity on both displays.

I think when you’re talking about that color drive, it’s kind of where the color just totally does like this pulled out bleed effect through some/much of the space, and this on top of those straight lines right?

That is a classic sign of the cruddy glue going south on the ribbon cable connecting to the board it should have been soldered to in the first place.

I got one within the last months worth of time, and one of the eyes originally was out (left) the first day, and right worked, the next day left would pop on but right was behaving like what you wrote there. I got a solder job done by a friend and it’s bright, poppy, and evenly lit for red on both sides like factory fresh.

IIRC, Virtual Boy can display up to 4 shades of red at the same time from a palette of 256 shades (0 black, 255 full red). I think the VB hardware initializes the 4 shades to 255, 192, 128, and 0 (someone feel free to correct me), but you can change that if you wish. The higher the number, the more intense/bright the red is- the intensity of the red is what I mean by color drive.

Currently on my VB’s right display, what should be the shade of red corresponding to 255 (max brightness), looks more like, say, 192. And 192 looks more like 128, etc. But none of the colors are actually missing on the right display, so I’m guessing the VIP is reading the relevant palette entries just fine.

This would also be a symptom of the glue losing its effect?

I want to say yes to this only because of the way the unit I have now looked before then after the solder fix.

Hey 😀

Not really sure what’s going on, maybe there’s a contact issue with one or multiple CLK* lines ? They’re basically PWM signals generated from the values you gave, and they’re right in the center of the ribbon cable: http://furrtek.free.fr/?a=vbtvout

Never experimented by disconnecting them so I can’t tell if what you’re getting is clearly a sign of contact failure.

They’re shared with both display though, so if the other display has correct shades then you can be sure the signals are generated ok.

 

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