Jump to content
KylJoy

MicroVision Replacement Screen - Let's get SERIOUS about it!

Recommended Posts

Well looks like I was way off. I did some poking around, and it looks like getting a replacement LCD glass made isn't as expensive as I thought. Looks like $10 per LCD would cover it if 200-300 people bought one. I have a contact that can get this done. These would be modern LCDs with HTN material.

 

Kev, is this something you would like to pursue, or would you prefer someone else, like me, to get these made (and sold at very reasonable price)?

 

I've worked on a microcontroller-based replacement for the whole main board (still a few bugs, I think related to voltage translation), but that would be an expensive luxury item that few would be interested in. The replacement method would be much cheaper, and would be fairly easy for anyone to buy and install themselves.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would be in for at least one as well. And I don't even have a Microvision.

Yet.

(Thanks a lot, fellas. :P)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would be in for at least one as well. And I don't even have a Microvision.

 

Yet.

 

(Thanks a lot, fellas. :P)

 

I think I have at least a dozen, so there's hope. ;)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have only 2. In the 7 years or so that I've owned them, one of the displays has died, and the other has lost a lot of visibility.

 

I'd love for thing screen replacement to lead to something. Some day I'd like to make a homebrew for this system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't have a microvision, but might consider buying one if someone started selling refurbished units with new screens

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If someone is serious about board revisions for the new screens (if necessary) I would like to make a suggestion. Make a power switch. I believe the reason these things can zap games is that their technically "always on" I think having a power switch could save carts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would be in for at least one as well. And I don't even have a Microvision.

 

Yet.

 

(Thanks a lot, fellas. :P)

 

 

 

I think I have at least a dozen, so there's hope. ;)

I should add that I do actually have a couple of games for it, just no system. Randomly found them at a Value Village years back. Star Trek and Sea Duel, IIRC.

 

The system always seemed interesting but the alleged failure rate unfortunately put it into "not worth the hassle" territory for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sign me up for at least 1 replacement for my otherwise boxed complete one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The bad screen is why I haven't bothered to get another microvision after my original childhood one broke within a year after I got it for Christmas. I had Block Breaker, Bowling, and Baseball.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Kev, is this something you would like to pursue, or would you prefer someone else, like me, to get these made (and sold at very reasonable price)?

 

I've worked on a microcontroller-based replacement for the whole main board (still a few bugs, I think related to voltage translation), but that would be an expensive luxury item that few would be interested in. The replacement method would be much cheaper, and would be fairly easy for anyone to buy and install themselves.

 

BTW, the layout would change a bit - right now the two pieces of similarly-sized rectangular glass are at 90 degrees from each other, meaning that one end of the connections needs a "cable" to get access to aim toward the PCB. This would be changed so that the top glass is larger in both dimensions - still need to check for fit... .

 

Is this something that is likely to happen?? Kickstart? or something?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is likely that I will contact one or more manufacturers and try to start the process. No promises yet but this is definitely doable.

 

I hope to have a modern LCD produced as described by Kevtris and I am going to see if we can get a version with back-light, too. BUT... the back-light option is just gravy... The core task is delivering a modern, long-lasting, high-contrast LCD screen replacement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Is this something that is likely to happen?? Kickstart? or something?

 

I'm waiting on Kevtris to see if this is something he wants to pursue. He's very busy right now I hear, so I'll give him a chance to reply, or I'll send him a PM at some point.

 

It sounds like the upfront costs aren't too high. I'd most likely be able to cover that myself. After that, I'd figure out quantity to order based on interest (plus some extras). Price for initial orders would be just enough to cover actual costs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Question : how is the LCD connected on the board? My own Microvision have a "healthy" LCD and I don't wanna mess with it to see how it's wired and ruin the whole thing before any replacement materialize :D

Edited by CatPix

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent.

This new LCD might push people to make new games for it.

As the CPU is into the carts, that mean that the only limit will be the display. Which is very limiting I guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Kev, is this something you would like to pursue, or would you prefer someone else, like me, to get these made (and sold at very reasonable price)?

 

I've worked on a microcontroller-based replacement for the whole main board (still a few bugs, I think related to voltage translation), but that would be an expensive luxury item that few would be interested in. The replacement method would be much cheaper, and would be fairly easy for anyone to buy and install themselves.

I might like to do it sometime, but if someone wants to beat me to it, that's fine too :-) I am going to be bogged down for a long time, so don't wait up on my account. I just checked to see if it was feasible or not basically through some suppliers.

 

If someone is serious about board revisions for the new screens (if necessary) I would like to make a suggestion. Make a power switch. I believe the reason these things can zap games is that their technically "always on" I think having a power switch could save carts.

 

The system has a power switch.

 

It is likely that I will contact one or more manufacturers and try to start the process. No promises yet but this is definitely doable.

 

I hope to have a modern LCD produced as described by Kevtris and I am going to see if we can get a version with back-light, too. BUT... the back-light option is just gravy... The core task is delivering a modern, long-lasting, high-contrast LCD screen replacement.

a backlight might be kinda tricky, but probably doable now that there are plenty of really thin ones out there.

 

 

I'm waiting on Kevtris to see if this is something he wants to pursue. He's very busy right now I hear, so I'll give him a chance to reply, or I'll send him a PM at some point.

 

It sounds like the upfront costs aren't too high. I'd most likely be able to cover that myself. After that, I'd figure out quantity to order based on interest (plus some extras). Price for initial orders would be just enough to cover actual costs.

 

Go for it, don't wait on me. If someone else wants to supply that would be great!

Question : how is the LCD connected on the board? My own Microvision have a "healthy" LCD and I don't wanna mess with it to see how it's wired and ruin the whole thing before any replacement materialize :D

 

It uses elastomers (aka zebra strips) to connect. This is pressure based. The LCD fits into that clear plastic doodad which clamps it to the PCB, and in the process it puts pressure on some zebra strips which is how it makes contact. These things are really cool and are so-called zebra strips since it's a repeating pattern of nonconductive rubber followed by conductive rubber over and over. It looks like this:

 

1.1-printed-circuit-board-design_03.png

 

It conducts electricity from the PCB pads to the clear conductors on the LCD (indium tin oxide) which run to the segments. The basic idea is you replicate the LCD connections on your PCB, then the zebra strip connects them. There's enough gap between pads that the zebra strip won't short out adjacent pads if one of the conductive parts happens to be between two pads. Usually at least 2-3 or more of the conductive parts of the strip will connect each LCD signal to the pCB. It isn't too critical since LCDs use so little power that a fly fart will turn it on. These strips usually have a fairly high resistance anyways in the 100's of ohms to 1-2K ohm range, but LCDs are mainly capacitive so it doesn't matter.

 

It would be a "no solder" replacement job basically. It might be required to supply new zebra strips but these are easy to get and cheap so it wouldn't be a big deal.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. I know those pads, had seen them in "Brick games". I didn't know they were so old. That's good news for everyone, as it means it's indeed a solderless job, and a braindead easy one.

This is really really good!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. I know those pads, had seen them in "Brick games". I didn't know they were so old. That's good news for everyone, as it means it's indeed a solderless job, and a braindead easy one.

This is really really good!

 

Oh good- change my answer from 'in with someone to do the swap' to 'in with a photo guide'. (Because I'm paranoid like that.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:D I didn't mean that in that way. Yeah, It would definitively require a photo guide. (and a good one). I love when I get a photo guide with 15 pics to remove one screw, and then when you get to the important bit, you have close -ups so you can't see where to solder, then a dezoomed pic with a mess and the guy says "ignore all the red wires, they are from another mod" but still no clue of what part of the board I'm looking at.

 

It's been a long time since I opened a Microvision (I opened one to resolder the crappy postal card speaker) but if I remember it looked straightforward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Count me in for at least 3 of these. I've got a big Microvision collection... several with bad screen rot and others slowly advancing towards the grave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Considering the technology and power requirements of the Microvision, instead of a backlit LCD panel you should consider a digital paper display. Current digital paper is monochromatic only, has a more than fast enough refresh rate for the Microvision, and uses almost no power at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only drawback with eInk display is it won't clear the screen when you turn it off. But they are cheap and partially passive (doesn't need refresh to maintain display like LCD) and very low power.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...