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  1. 10 hours ago, nickle241 said:

    i hadnt realized it was the actual cartridge that got the chip change that made for the model swap, how do you tell which ones you have?

    also, dont these things have a noticeable failure rate, maybe the static discharge issue isnt the only thing plaguing them nowadays and they could be running a bit hot in some cases, just look at what hot running has done to the commodore 64

    That's a good thought. I'm not sure how you notice what chip you have externally. If you use hot air gun over the label it covers the screw.


    Does the commodore 64 have a cooling fan in the case?

  2. 1 minute ago, nickle241 said:

    huh, if it really is only a current issue and not one of voltage then it will probably work fine, as previously mentioned modern batteries are much better than they were thirty years ago so a single battery now might be able to do what took two back then, heck, it might even be damaging to use two now with the larger battery capacity depending on how the system links them and actually draws from them, over amping isnt an issue that happens in a properly designed circuit but who knows how these were engineered back then, the first try at a technology tends to have a few bad design choices

    Good thoughts.   I've used the lower powered TI cartridge games in a dual batt unit and both batts installed with no issues.

  3. 3 hours ago, MaazFench said:


    Why would it run poorly? Clearly this is not my area, but I would think it would be equivalent to how the one-battery model is wired. How would it be different?


    But I agree that this would generally take the same skills as a proper fix, but, in this case, I think there is enough of the metal left that I could attach the two together with alligator clips. Not an elegant solution, but it would hopefully be enough to see if this particular Microvision works at all (or if more was broken in shipping than just the one connector).

    Both units are wired that same as far as I noticed.  I've opened 2 units of each.   The extra battery gave it the current boost it needed for the cartridge games with the 8021 processor.  

  4. 7 hours ago, MaazFench said:

    Slightly off-topic, but following up on the TMS1100/8021 comments, does this mean that, for early Microvisions that have two battery connections, you can run it with only one battery (and connecting the other two terminals together)?


    I am asking because, in one of my Microvisions (a two-battery connection model), one of the battery prongs snapped off, and I was trying to figure out the easiest way to fix it (given my rather limited repair skill set).

    Which battery prong came off.  In the earlier models these were clipped onto the boards.  The single batt units had the clips soldered onto the board.   Do you still have the loose batt clip?  Open it and you'll see how easy it clips back into place.  A super slight squeezing of the area where it clips to the board will keep it secure.   

  5. 7 hours ago, MaazFench said:

    Slightly off-topic, but following up on the TMS1100/8021 comments, does this mean that, for early Microvisions that have two battery connections, you can run it with only one battery (and connecting the other two terminals together)?


    I am asking because, in one of my Microvisions (a two-battery connection model), one of the battery prongs snapped off, and I was trying to figure out the easiest way to fix it (given my rather limited repair skill set).

    That was something I was curious of myself.   You can remove the sticker with a heat gun.   I'm sure a low serial number BB cartridge would have the 8021 chip installed.  I'm curious on what order the game were released??  Then I was going to try it in a single batt unit and check drain.   There is also the issue of today's batteries have a higher MaH rating than long ago.  Maybe you wouldn't notice.  Something to try though.

  6. 2 hours ago, BigO said:

    The cartridges are not just a game rom. Each one has a processor. There were two different processors used so a multicart to play all original games would have to deal with that.


    I built the beginnings of a game using an 8 bit PIC microcontroller so it doesn't take a ton of horsepower. So it may be possible to put is something that can emulate the original processors. Or the games could be ported to a single processor.

    This guy made created a couple of emulators and custom tetris and flappy bird games.   https://habr.com/ru/post/416865/   If you download the github file it includes tetris files for MVEM.  It has a new version of MVEM.exe needed to run the tetris game.   It seems to be back compatible with the existing bin files of the already released MV games. https://www.raphkoster.com/2017/05/07/microvision-emulator-release/


    Here's another take from that post on the 1 9V battery and 2 9V batteries MV units.  UWP


    "The bulk of the cartridges worked on TMS1100, because Signetics, which released the 8021 under Intel license, could not supply MB's required chip supply. Even some games that were already written for the 8021 had to be ported to the TMS1100. This, by the way, made it possible to abandon the dangerous bundle of two batteries, because the consumption of the microcontroller from TI was only 0.1W versus 1W from Intel. I have only one of 6 cartridges with 8021, this is the Connect Four game, it was taken as a basis."


    So, which game cartridges had the 8021 installed.   If you installed that in a MV unit with only 1 battery connections, does the battery drain much faster.   I'm going to heat gun the label off that covers the screw and check.  So, far I've seen the BB cartridge with both.  Maybe plug in the power supply to check current differences.

  7. 36 minutes ago, nickle241 said:

    i mean something that you could load different homebrew games onto, or copies of the original, but thats a side concern, i dont see it being too complicated since the cartridges are the processor anyway so making a small computer that outputs to the microvision screen and powered off the internal voltage is all it would be, maybe a small extra display for rom selection, but thats not really needed, the real trick would be in how to set up the button and screen overlays

    Like this guy did.  Did you see this yet?  https://habr.com/ru/post/416865/

    • Like 1

  8. 1 hour ago, nickle241 said:

    does a flash cart exist for it yet or did the screen problem cripple interest in development on that?  emulators are fine but i always prefer original hardware, the controls are usually better for one thing

    You mean like a cartridge with all of the games?  If so, I haven't seen one as of yet.  There is certainly plenty of talent out there to make it happen though.

  9. 1 hour ago, tg517 said:

    I remember clearing the blockbuster screen maybe three or four times back in the day. (not an easy task)


    If I recall correctly, if you hit the last block as the ball is coming down, it bounces up as the new wall appears,

    so the ball goes bananas until it breaks itself out from the top. Man, that's as good as 1979 got if you could pull it off.


    Wow!  I have to try that.  Even with 9 balls served.   I already noticed the earlier BB game cartridges run a little slower.  The ball speed is not as fast.  Not sure why,  maybe the different processors used??

  10. 14 minutes ago, MaazFench said:

    Just received a dead (but supposedly working) Microvision yesterday, which prompted me to do a Google search, which brought me to this thread. Reading through this thread has been quite the roller coaster, but I am quite excited that things seem to be looking up! I am definitely interested (either backlit or not)--if it is not too late, put me down for 4.  Thank you for all of your efforts on this!

    You can check you MV electronics with a good battery and the game.  Start pushing the go button until you hears faint beeps from the piezo.   You can test that at least.

  11. The Microvision LCD Project is back on track!  👍


    Get this!!  Apparently,  when the 2 MV's arrived at the supplier, the entire eng team was OOT on another big project.   So, the project management group went ahead and tried to get the project started.  They tried "many many many times" to get the units powered on.  The said the LCD's were "rainbowed".  They were not working for them so they were about to give up.   For over a week, many disparaging messages went back and forth and the project seemed doomed.  With one final message from the project manager " it is too old lcd for us. "   😔


    Then, the eng team got back.  They took over.  Powered everything up fine.  Pulled the LCD's.  Tested the only working LCD unit and the specs were known.  TN type. 🤩 The second LCD unit was toast.  It faded into oblivion. Which was expected.  It was fading before shipment.  What an unbelievable turn of events! 🥳


    So, sample money has been dropped 🤑, the LCD spec has been created,  drawings made, 2 sample types are being build.   They will drop the sample LCD's into the 2 working MV's electronics for testing.  Then, send some videos.  If everything is acceptable,  samples will be shipped for further testing.


    Stay tuned for another exciting episode of...  Are those Microvision LCD's done yet?


    Microvision LCD test.jpg

    • Like 3

  12. 17 hours ago, Rik1138 said:

    Yeah, I've shipped a working one from the US to Germany and US to France with no problems, and I've imported them from every country where they were made with different languages on the packaging (UK, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and I think Poland).  I've never received one non-working that was shown to be working before it was shipped...  Although I have received some that were known to be bad that looked a little worse by the time I got them (but that applies even to domestic shipping...).


    But I could see that one bad trip in a hot (or humid) truck could do it...  Maybe where I live that 'opportunity' doesn't come up...

    Ok, well that tells me more that these LCD units are not so fragile and should have survived.


    I've had good luck with cleaning up the contacts around the LCD and the zebra connectors to get a faded line of blocks working better.  That could be worth a try on some of the bad units.   Semichrome polish diluted with isopropyl  alcohol works very well on the thin zinc coating on the contacts to the LCD and the cartridge connector.  That connector reminds me of the nintendo 8bit connector that was famous for going bad.   Remember having to blow on the cartridge before inserting.



  13. 9 hours ago, Rik1138 said:

    Maybe just to get them working first time...  But yeah, 5-11 had new LCDs manufactured without ever sending a Microvision.  They didn't work perfectly (wrong contrast range), so he was going to send them a unit for testing.  But they were able to make them first...


    I've had many Microvisions shipped overseas, and of those many, a fair number of them worked.  It's hard to say exactly what makes these things fail, especially quickly like that...

    But they could at least start the glass manufacturing.  I assume (although I don't fully understand what makes an LCD work in different contrast ranges) that the change would have to be the chemical makeup of the LCD liquid...


    This is probably also the simplest LCD every.  It's literally one glass design, then you rotate a second piece 90 degrees and stick them together.  And it's just 16 straight lines... 

    So you have shipped MV's overseas with no issues.  Puzzling why both were so temp damaged?   Maybe they sat in a hot truck or shipping container??

  14. 3 hours ago, BigO said:



    I wonder if a suitable pressure vessel could be made from PVC pipe and fittings, and maybe a schrader valve designed to be fit into an alloy wheel. Though, it might not even require much, if any additional pressurization beyond the captured atmosphere. 4"(?) PVC could surely withstand an atmosphere of differential air pressure. Just a thought.

    Sounds like it might work.   I'm not sure what happened.   Just both LCDs leaked out.

  15. There's been a huge setback. 😡 The 2 units sent to the supplier were "rainbowed" on arrival. 🌈  One unit was barely working when it left and the other unit had a very clear LCD with no sign of leaks.  Both were DOA upon opening.


    They can't replicate the LCD unless they have a working unit to test.   I've confirmed that with 3 different suppliers, unless you can completely spec it out for them to build.  They all require at least 2 samples and the device if possible.


    The next step is to send the last working LCD by itself somehow protected from not only temperature but pressure changes.  Cargo holds have extremes of both.   I'll talk with a DHL rep to see if they have packing suggestions. 👍 🍻

    • Sad 1

  16. On 9/17/2020 at 3:15 AM, dantist said:

    Do you already have a rough idea of how much a replacement screen might cost and how easy/complicated it will be to install it? I would definitely take two, depending on the price maybe three, all backlit if the brightness can be controlled and turned off completely.

    The screen will install exactly the same way the original one did. The costs are still up in the air until they actually make one test it out.  Then create a batch of samples to further test in the 2 units provided.  Then they will quote exact pricing.

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