Original Post

Good morning folks,

So after years of wanting one, I finally took the leap and purchased a Virtual Boy off of eBay. It seemed like a good deal at the time as it had all the parts (including a not broken stand), five games, and a carrying case.

The seller claimed it was in good condition, but when I set it up for the first time it had no display at all. It powers up, the sound comes out clearly, and I can tell things are happening (by the sounds it plays) when I push buttons on the controller, but both screens are totally blank. Needless to say, I was heartbroken!

I’ve been reading through the forums a bit and it seems that glitchy or imperfect displays are common, and there are a number of fixes suggested, but what about completely blank displays? Can this be fixed as well or is it a lost cause?

I’ve also seen a lot of references to this page for repair tips but it appears that the website no longer exists:

http://www.virtual-boy.org/projectvb/projects/DisplayFix.htm

Was this info copied to any other location?

I must confess in advance that I’m not terribly tech savvy when it comes to electronics, circuit boards, soldering, etc.

Thanks!
Dante

11 Replies

Greetings.

Here is the link that you are looking for:

http://www.projectvb.com/displayfix.html

It does sound like your displays can be restored to fully working order. Even if you are not tech savvy, the oven method is a very easy method to use to get your displays working for several months to a couple years. Otherwise, there are several people on this site who may be able to offer you soldering services for a fee.

dantebk schrieb:

The seller claimed it was in good condition, but when I set it up for the first time it had no display at all. It powers up, the sound comes out clearly, and I can tell things are happening (by the sounds it plays) when I push buttons on the controller, but both screens are totally blank. Needless to say, I was heartbroken!

Dante

Make a claim thru paypal. This way you get your money back and it´ll teach that fella a lesson.

Ask TheForce81 if he would do another screens repair…he used to do it, but I am not sure. I can recommend it, he did it for me and it they work perfectly again.

This might sound odd..but do you have a game in it ? the vboy will ‘power up’ and the mirrors will make a sound..but no display if no game is in it (or the game is in it wrong).

-Eric

assuming you do have a game in it… i had a seller lie to me as well. the very first time i adjusted the IPD knob i saw issues with the ribbon cable. When i asked for a $20 refund to get it fixed he flat out refused. i escalated it to paypal but because he listed it “as is” in the description they sided with him. live and learn.

Benjamin Stevens wrote:
Here is the link that you are looking for:

http://www.projectvb.com/displayfix.html

It does sound like your displays can be restored to fully working order. Even if you are not tech savvy, the oven method is a very easy method to use to get your displays working for several months to a couple years. Otherwise, there are several people on this site who may be able to offer you soldering services for a fee.

Thanks! Looks achievable, but I’m still a bit nervous I’d mess it up. Maybe I will look into having someone else repair it for me.

WoLfMaN wrote:
Make a claim thru paypal. This way you get your money back and it´ll teach that fella a lesson.

Ask TheForce81 if he would do another screens repair…he used to do it, but I am not sure.

Good ideas. I didn’t even know you could make claims through Paypal…

bigmak wrote:
This might sound odd..but do you have a game in it ? the vboy will ‘power up’ and the mirrors will make a sound..but no display if no game is in it (or the game is in it wrong).

Yeah, I tried it with a few different games. I could hear the game sounds, and they would change when I pushed buttons so I know they work OK.

Lester Knight wrote:
i had a seller lie to me as well. the very first time i adjusted the IPD knob i saw issues with the ribbon cable. When i asked for a $20 refund to get it fixed he flat out refused. i escalated it to paypal but because he listed it “as is” in the description they sided with him.

It hadn’t occurred to me to ask for only a partial refund. That’s a good idea! The listing said it was in “good condition” so maybe I have a case here.

Thanks for the advice everybody!

Dantebk, I for one do not think that the seller should be held responsible for your Virtual Boy system not working properly. Once you learn about the problem and understand how it arises, you should understand that no seller has any control over the functionality of any Virtual Boy system, unless the seller got a system fixed using the soldering method, in which case it is best for the seller to advertise such fact. Even Virtual Boy systems that have been stored in the original system box and never played ever will have the display cables come loose over time, resulting in glitchy or blank displays. The blame must fall on Nintendo of Japan, who decided to use glue to attach the cables to the displays instead of a more permanent means of attachment.

I am highly confident that the seller told the truth in his description. Once it leaves his possession, it then goes through the mail system, where the shipping box with the Virtual Boy system inside is tossed and bumped around, etc. It does not take anything more than that for the display cables, which were never attached properly by Nintendo of Japan in the first place, to come loose and result in glitchy or completely blank displays. Once you learn that the easily explainable problem can then be quickly and simply fixed for a long time using the oven method, which may take you less than 15 minutes even your first time doing it, once you know what all you need to do, you should then realize that there was no need to charge the seller with any wrong doing. Even after you fix your system using the oven method, you will learn that you should not bump your system at all, or the display problem will arise very quickly again. If you treat your system with absolute care, however, then the oven method can keep it working well for a year or more, but it, too, will never result in a permanent fix.

I’d be glad to fix the displays for you: http://www.planetvb.com/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=5152&forum=1 .

I know maybe you technically don’t quite qualify with because you’re a day late… but rules are meant to be broken. 😉

Oh, and Benjamin… I’m not sure that I’d lay the blame wholly on Nintendo of Japan. Nintendo in general (America and Japan) chose to use parts from Sanyo, which is the company who actually made the defective display. I’d say Sanyo is mostly to blame because of their bad engineering.

DogP

DogP wrote:
I’d be glad to fix the displays for you: http://www.planetvb.com/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=5152&forum=1 .

I know maybe you technically don’t quite qualify with because you’re a day late… but rules are meant to be broken. 😉

Thanks! That’s such a kind offer. Of course I had seen your other thread, and thought: “Darn! If only my Virtual Boy had arrived a couple days earlier!” I’ll send you a PM straight away.

Benjamin Stevens wrote:
Dantebk, I for one do not think that the seller should be held responsible for your Virtual Boy system not working properly.

I hear what you’re saying, and I don’t entirely disagree. I’ve already contacted the seller though, and haven’t heard back yet. Given my dealings to date with the seller I’d be surprised if anything comes of it, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask. I’m not trying to get all of my money back or anything, just a portion to cover costs of repair (which may be less than I anticipated thanks to DogP I guess!).

DogP wrote:

Oh, and Benjamin… I’m not sure that I’d lay the blame wholly on Nintendo of Japan. Nintendo in general (America and Japan) chose to use parts from Sanyo, which is the company who actually made the defective display. I’d say Sanyo is mostly to blame because of their bad engineering.

Cool piece of info. Thanks for that. I just always blamed Nintendo of Japan since all Virtual Boy systems were manufactured in Japan.

From now on, I’ll lay the blame on Sanyo. 🙂

I got one listed as fully functional, it arrived and the left ‘screen’ was out. Asked for a $7 refund because the seller was a cool dude and I didnt wanna damage his feedback or anything… he refunded all $32, I was shocked, but being nice with the seller may result in more than you ask for.

I have exactly the same issue with my 2nd Virtual Boy. Sound works great, mirrors move flawlessly but no image at all on both displays.
I assume the links above should forward to this page?
https://www.projectvb.com/vb/displayfix.html
Is it always the ribbon cable or can the LED-array itself be dead?

 

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