Original Post

I say this is urgent because I have just paid £70 for this from ebay and need to know if the console is broken so I can try and get my money back.

I got the baseball game today, and I’ve noticed something odd. Sometimes I see double images in the left eyepiece.

Its hard to explain, its like I’m seeing a mirror image of what should be in the left eyepiece, faded, on top of the main left eyepiece image. I never noticed this with Mario Tennis, just with the baseball game.

After a while i noticed that it seemed to dissapear after a few seconds and then only re-appear when I took my head out of the VB for a few seconds and then looked back in. But that was on the title screen and when I continued playing the game the extra images appeared atcertain screens.

I was considering trying new batteries but apart from that have no ideas. I definatley dont wanna keep it if its broken.

Any ideas/opinions?

18 Replies

Sounds strange! Is it a comlete third image? Upside down, or what?

Are you sure that you’ve set the VB correctly?
But it can’t be the VB itself, if it appears only with baseball, I think.

In what condition was the VB? And what exactly did you pay 70£ for? Was it boxed? Certainly baseball was new, was it? So this is improbably, too.

Anyway I think you’ve got an unusual problem. Hard to solve this way…

Edit: I just saw your post and your VB in the marketplace! Have you tested other games? It must be the baseball game! With a VB in that condition… oO
Post Edited (07-06-05 14:56)

I highly doubt its the game, unfortunately. 🙁

I think I’ve heard this exact problem before. Most of the time its just a matter of reseating the display cables (which unfortunately involves opening the console). You can’t use the commercially available Nintendo screwdrivers to reach the deep screws of the console, so you have to make your own.

See the cables on the top left/right of the PCB? Those are the ones that seem to give the most troubles.

NOTE: If you do open your VB, its best to replace the screws with normal ones so you can use a regular screwdriver if anything should need adjusting in future.

Post Edited (07-06-05 16:14)

I have the exact same problem with not one, but THREE Virtual Boys that I owned at one point or another. Is there a step-by-step process in fixing it once you’ve got the VB open?

Kind of makes you wonder, since most people don’t have a clue how to fix them, whether working VBs will become rarer and rarer as more of them get this problem.

So this is an usual problem? I can’t even imagine it! What is the problem exactly? Only if my VB gets th same one some time…

Or I have to get another VB for reserve…
(sorry if my english is bad)

That’s what I’m worried about. If I buy another used VB off of eBay or something, how do I know that it won’t have the same problem as the other three I’ve owned… or eventually just start getting those problems a year or two down the road? It would make me feel a lot better about my longterm VB usage if I knew there was a tutorial or something that told you how to fix this problem yourself.

It would seriously suck if all VBs just stopped working within the next ten years…

I had one VB where they eye was not working properly for a while, and eventually stopped showing anything at all. My new one seems to be working so far, which is good.
It’s really difficult to modify the screwdriver though, I had a go at it with a circular saw, but try as I might it wouldn’t undo the screws. So basically I just wasted a perfectly good screwdriver.

IIRC according to what I’ve read on these forums, screen problems on the older systems is becoming more and more common. I personally just bought a near-mint Jap unit, which unfortunately has lines across one screen.
(Haven’t opened it yet to repair it, so the following may not be entirely correct)

* After you have opened the VB, locate the pinkish cables as pictured at the top left and right on the PCB image above
* Reseat the cables back into their connectors

I can’t remember, but there may be another 2 cables leading to the displays as well. Its probably best to reseat those as well.

Until recently, I thought that this was the only problem. However there have been posts about mechanical failure of the displays themselves. AFAIK these can’t be repaired. 🙁

The biggest problem seems to be getting the VB open in the first place. I’ve read somewhere on this message board that the Gamebit you can buy off of lik-sang or eBay doesn’t fit down the deeper holes on the VB. I’ve tried looking in numerous hardware stores for a tool that would open it, but I’ve had no luck. Modifying a screwdriver seems to be the only option, but lopazthespastic said that it didn’t work for him. Maybe if you tried filing it down? That’s what I’m about to try myself.

I tried filing as well, but it’s really difficult to get the notch just right. Or maybe I just have no skill 🙁

My screwdriver only lasted long enough to open my first VB, which is why I bought normal screws to replace those annoying ones in case something happens in the future.

Lameboyadvance, were you able to fix the misalignment once it was open?

Thing is, the one I opened was perfectly alright (although a bit worn). I recently got a Jap one that has a screen glitch, but haven’t opened it yet.

Well, if you ever open up that Japanese one let us know if you were able to fix the glitch. That would give me hope for the future of old VB systems.

I found out that the screens on a faulty vb works perfectly if you just make sure that the room you’re playing in is pitch black, so no outside light reaches the screens.

And about those game bits that are too thick to fit the vb’s deep holes, I filed the sides down on one of those so now it fits perfectly.

Don’t think that’s true Dan, I used to have a broken VB and would play in total darkness at night, It still didn’t work.

My first VB had the exact same problem as the topic creator.

Reseating the cable did no good. The problem was with the LED array and cable assembly itself, determined by swapping the left and right LED arrays (the double image swapped sides too). When I posted about this very problem earlier this year, I was told that there was a connector for the cable on the LED array itself that should be reseated, but I couldn’t see it (perhaps it’s hidden in the plastic moulding?)

Fortunately for me, the seller sent me a replacement and didn’t want the faulty machine back so at least I’ve got a spare LED array for when one fails again.

I’ve got two VB’s with line problems. I’ve opened up my first one (which I’ve had since launch *sniff*) and determined that the problem lies in the brown ribbon cables that are /glued/ to the circuit board on the displays. My second VB has the same problem which seems to improve over time (maybe a heat issue?), but it still exists.

Anyway, the easiest way to get a VB open requires a 4.5mm Gamebit and a Dremel with a grinder end. I had one like this: http://myst.no-ip.org/jrr/images/virtualboy/gamebit.jpg

All I did was cut off the thick part (so you have a little end and a thicker other bit that is now trash) and then cut a slice into the remainder of the end so that I could use a flat-head screwdriver to open it up. The cutting process created a lot of sparks (so use proper eye protection!) but now that it’s done it’s an easy tool to use. The end result looks like this: http://myst.no-ip.org/jrr/images/virtualboy/gamebit2.jpg

As for the repair to the unit(s)… I am afraid that it may be impossible. But we’ll find out. 🙂


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