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Device teardown for the Nintendo Virtual Boy, a single player 3D 32 bit gaming console released in 1995.

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Left eye keeps glitching

The only problem I have with my virtual boy is that the left eye keeps glitching out, the right doesn't glitch at all, it's only the left one. Please help!

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Unfortunately, Nintendo cheaped out when it came to the VB. The ribbon cables that connect the motherboard to the display LED board isn't soldered; they're GLUED. So even with old new stock VBs, the glue will degrade and relax the pressure, losing connectivity.

It is possible, though not for the faint of heart, to open the VB, remove the glue, scrape away a bit of the ribbon cable to reveal the metal traces, and solder those traces to the LED board. This is a permanent fix, too - unless you screwed something up, you'll never have to worry about the display glitching again...well, for connectivity issues.

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I have actually undertaken to create a brand-new replacement cable for the Virtual Boy, which I call the VirtualCable. It still requires soldering in place, but has helpful features like castellated pins for the LED board side and 3M tape to adhere and stabilize the cable.

Price is $11/pair before June 1st, $15 a pair afterward. On June 1st I'll shoot the order in with my fab house to start production. If you want to join and get a pair (or ten!), shoot me an private message on PlanetVB.com.

Link to the project here:

https://www.planetvb.com/modules/newbb/v...

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My right eye screen is glitching. The screen has a vertical offset, many distorted pixels, it doesn’t happen on all screens during the startup of a game, I did try out several games). It has only been doing this very recently (2019), so I’m in doubt if it’s really the degradation of the flat cable connection (through glue). In it’s 23 year lifespan, that’s quite sudden/seems late?

A student of mine inserted a cartridge with the cap still on. Luckily I was able to remove the black cap from the slot, but I wonder if it could be one or more of the pins that plug into the cartridge are not fully connecting that will cause the glitch?

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I seem to be having a very similar issue, happened suddenly in 2022. I suspect a cartridge connection issue but can't confirm. I think I'll try compressed air before I go opening it up and checking out the glue situation.

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