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Microvision replacement screen project - pre-order & purchase here

Microvision MV Replacement Screen LCD Screen Rot Repair AA-Starter

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#1 5-11under OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:57 AM

Current status (04-June-2018):

Pre-order stage. Reply to post with quantity you're seriously interested in buying. Pre-order stage open at least until production run has started.

Current pre-order count: 203.

 

Received the 5 prototypes. Installed one. Works great, except need to contact supplier to see if they can get the contrast in the correct range. Screenshot here. Inside of Microvision shown here.

 

Initial Post (10-Feb-2018):

As many of you are aware, the Microvision by Milton Bradley is notorious for something people have called "screen rot", where the LCD screen becomes dark and unusable. Unfortunately, this effect is all too common. A fix for these would hopefully bring back to life these interesting and (I think) fun handheld systems.

It took a few months or so, but I was finally able to get a couple of quotes for replacement LCD screens for the Microvision (unfortunately, minimum order quantities for small LCDs are typically in the thousands). These are intended to be drop-in replacements for existing screens. These would also include the reflecting and polarizing layers, but would not include the rubber "Zebra" connectors that connect the LCD screen to the board (will need to be re-used).

Here are the steps in the project:
1. Find out if enough people want these (starts now!)
2. Order prototypes (6 week delay; I pay for that up-front to supplier)
3. Order production run (6 week delay; payment required up-front to supplier)
3. Payment for units (to me)
4. Ship units to you

Yes, there are two #3s listed above. The order of these two will depend on how much money I have on hand at the moment. I'm not a big fan of receiving payment prior to items being ready to ship (because life and shit happens, and I don't really want to have your money if I'm not able to ship these out for any reason). If needed at the time, maybe a down-payment or voluntary early payment system could be used. That's all well ahead of us, though... the first step is finding out who all wants one or more of these, so let's concentrate on that...

There's a number of costs related to this project. Some are known, such as engineering cost and production cost, and some are unknown, such as customs and duty, and shipping parts to me. Therefore, I've come up with some maximum prices in US dollars (shipping not included):

  • Quantity 1: $22.00 maximum
  • Quantity 2+: $20.50 each, maximum
  • Quantity 4+: $19.00 each, maximum
  • Quantity 8+: $17.50 each, maximum

I want to stress that the goal of this initial offering is not to make money, but to get this project going. As an estimate, if about 70 are pre-ordered, which is about the lowest I can go, I'll need to put a fair bit of my own money into the project (but will hopefully be able to sell the extras on an ongoing basis later on, maybe for $25 each, and eventually break even). If about 130 are pre-ordered, that is the break-even point for the prices listed above. If more than about 130 are pre-ordered, then the price will go down accordingly. If I recall correctly from my spreadsheet, if 170 are pre-ordered, your price goes down by about $5 for each unit (at least the lower quantity orders - the higher quantity orders might go down a bit less). The main reason for this is the fixed engineering cost, which would get spread out thinner over a higher quantity of units. If the quantities reach high enough (like 130+), I'll keep you updated with the current maximum price. At some point this pre-order stage will end... I will give at least 2 weeks advance notice for that (open ended for now, until the numbers go up).

I should mention that once you've bought and received your replacement screens, they're yours to do whatever you want with them... resell them at any price you see fit, put them in systems and sell those at any price you see fit, keep them on your shelf to look at, etc.

 

So, the first step is to find out if enough people want these. If you do want one or more of these, please reply to this thread with the quantity you're seriously interested in purchasing. That's the simplest for me to keep track of. There may be reasons you don't want to publish the quantity you want - in that case, send me a PM. Either way, I'll post the total number requested here in this thread, to keep everyone updated. Also, reply ideally, or send a PM, if you have any questions.

Finally, thanks for everyone who pre-orders. I want this to happen as I have about 10 Microvisions, including only about 1 that works well. As incentive, the plan is that the pre-order price will be the lowest price to get these. Also, any help in spreading the word is appreciated (feel free to post with links, if applicable).

 

Links:

 

1. Shorter version of initial post at DigitPress: https://forum.digitp...p-purchase-here

2. Much shorter version of initial post at CGCC: http://cgcc.ca/forum...php?f=4&t=31048

3. Dan's post at Hand Held Museum: http://www.handheldm...opic.php?t=2275

 

FAQ:

 

1. Will the new screens be susceptible to screen rot? They shouldn't be. These will be brand new displays, built to high standards. We're used to the Microvision display being very poor, but most or nearly all other small LCD displays work well for many, many years.

 

2. What is the operating and storage temperature of the display. Operating Range: 0C to +50C. Storage Range: -10C to +60C.

 

3. Are the Zebra connectors (that connect the LCD screen to the board) reusable? Yes.They tend to stick a bit when they've been connected for a long time, but they seem to be robust in their ability to connect well with repeated use.

 

4. Are there installation instructions? Is it easy to install? Note that I'm still working with the supplier to fix the contrast range, so ignoring any potential work that may require, here are some pictures of disassembly of a Microvision (re-assembly is basically the reverse, although the front polarizer is not required). It's fairly easy, although sometimes the wires and other parts like to move around a bit, so plan on 20 minutes for a full upgrade.


Edited by 5-11under, Mon Jun 4, 2018 3:41 PM.


#2 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:39 AM

I'd take one, just in case I decide to get a Microvision some day. :)



#3 cvga OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:59 AM

I will purchase two of them.



#4 retrogmr OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:45 PM

Count me in for 3.



#5 akator OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:46 PM

4 for me.



#6 Darrin9999 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:50 PM

1 for me!



#7 imstarryeyed OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:04 PM

I will take 2, one for the unit I have and one for a future unit..

 

Thank you for going to this great effort, its really appreciated!


Edited by imstarryeyed, Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:10 PM.


#8 SpotAnime OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:06 PM

This is awesome,but I just have a couple of questions before I say yes:

1. When you say "drop in",just how easy are these to replace? Is there any soldering iron involved to get these new screens installed?

2. Would these LCDs have a longer life than the originals? Are they made with the same materials or something that would have a longer lifespan? I'm asking because I'd need to know if I'm buying a replacement for the replacement as well, or if it's even worthwhile to get a spare if it would be the same lifespan.

Also, awesome that you are doing this. I've been living with a microvision emulator since my screen died.

#9 Tarzilla OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:12 PM

Count me in for 2



#10 5-11under OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:13 PM

1. When you say "drop in",just how easy are these to replace? Is there any soldering iron involved to get these new screens installed?

2. Would these LCDs have a longer life than the originals? Are they made with the same materials or something that would have a longer lifespan? I'm asking because I'd need to know if I'm buying a replacement for the replacement as well, or if it's even worthwhile to get a spare if it would be the same lifespan.

 

1. Going from memory, remove about 10 screws, place the LCD in position, including the reflector and polarizer, and put everything back together. It can sometimes be a bit tricky to put everything back together in the correct spot, but it's not too bad. When I get a chance, I'll post some pictures of what would need to be done.

 

2. The LCDs will be new. They should last much longer than the originals... as long as any other LCD you have that isn't in a Microvision.



#11 Turbo-Torch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:14 PM

I'd be in for one!

 

My only question is, how durable are the zebra strips?  I've had little luck reusing them in other devices?



#12 5-11under OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:15 PM

My only question is, how durable are the zebra strips?  I've had little luck reusing them in other devices?

 

I'll make a note to test that again.



#13 robbievgb OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:24 PM

+1 for me please

Edited by robbievgb, Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:24 PM.


#14 RevEng OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:44 PM

I'm in for 2. Thanks for taking this on!

#15 -^CrožBow^- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:06 PM

I'm in for 2 easily. One to replace the dead screen in the one I have now, and another to have on hand just in case.



#16 ianoid OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:36 PM

I'm thinking 4 or 5 depending on the price break.

 

How difficult is it to switch out? Will it have a longer lifespan and heat tolerance than the original?



#17 BigO OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:59 PM

1, maybe 2.

 

Removing and reinstalling the LCD is pretty easy. 



#18 5-11under OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:07 PM

I'm thinking 4 or 5 depending on the price break.

 

How difficult is it to switch out? Will it have a longer lifespan and heat tolerance than the original?

 

The maximum prices are shown. Shall I put you down for 4, or something else? Please let me know. You can always adjust that number later on if the price ends up going down based on overall quantity pre-ordered.

 

I'll get more info on the switch out. I'll look into temperature specs, too... I've put these on my to-do list.

Lifespan should be the same as other LCDs (besides the original Microvisone ones, of course).



#19 5-11under OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:07 PM

1, maybe 2.

 

Removing and reinstalling the LCD is pretty easy. 

 

I'll mark you down for 1, then. Feel free to adjust later.



#20 ArcadeJunkie OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:28 PM

2 minimum for me at this point... I'm sure I will want more at a later date!

Let me know if you want some help with paying for prototypes. I am a big fan of this project and behind this 100%

#21 mckafka99 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:06 PM

2 for me please!



#22 krslam OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:20 PM

I'll take 2!



#23 ianoid OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:28 PM

 

The maximum prices are shown. Shall I put you down for 4, or something else? Please let me know. You can always adjust that number later on if the price ends up going down based on overall quantity pre-ordered.

 

I'll get more info on the switch out. I'll look into temperature specs, too... I've put these on my to-do list.

Lifespan should be the same as other LCDs (besides the original Microvisone ones, of course).

 

You can put me down for 4. If there was another technology that was going to last longer, even if it looked different, I would be interested. 

 

I'm super excited you are doing this, providing the upgrade is feasible. 



#24 swlovinist OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:47 PM

Sign me up for 2 of them.  Thanks!



#25 SpotAnime OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:55 PM

Alright, put me down for two. Thanks again!







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Microvision, MV, Replacement, Screen, LCD, Screen Rot, Repair, AA-Starter

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