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#1
Screen mirrors misalignment question
Posted on: 2015/3/23 1:14
VB Gamer
Joined 2012/7/26
21 Posts
Long Time User (7 Years)
How do we know if the mirrors are unaligned? I have done the alignment test to check and see if the mirrors are misaligned and the lines are never perfectly like the ones in the manual. They do cross, but never like the example in the manual. When I play games, they seem to play fine. Nothing that jumps out to me and says "hey, we clearly have a problem".

So my question is, is there varying levels of misalignment? Can one virtual boy be slightly misaligned or to get the mirrors misaligned would be to make it an obvious problem.
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#2
Re: Screen mirrors misalignment question
Posted on: 2015/3/23 4:57
PVB Elite
Joined 2003/7/26
USA
1470 Posts
PVBCC EntryCoderContributorSpecial AchievementTop10 PosterHOTY09 EntryLong Time User (15 Years) App Coder20+ Game RatingsPVBCC 2013 Entry
Quote:

pollo20x6 wrote:
When I play games, they seem to play fine. Nothing that jumps out to me and says "hey, we clearly have a problem".

So my question is, is there varying levels of misalignment? Can one virtual boy be slightly misaligned or to get the mirrors misaligned would be to make it an obvious problem.


If you can play the games, and there is no obvious misalignment of the game images, I wouldn't worry about it.

As the mirrors are mounted on metal brackets, it is possible for the alignment to be off by a tiny bit or a great deal. That said, unless you purposely attempt to do so, it is nearly impossible to get them to misalign. The alignment screen is only there to check for factory defects, and I've never heard of one being defective in that way.

I'm interested in what your alignment screen looks like, but there's really no convenient way to get a good picture of it. Can you try to describe how, exactly, it differs from the image in the manual? Have you tried shifting your head around slightly while you look at it? Are you sure you have your IPD set correctly?
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#3
Re: Screen mirrors misalignment question
Posted on: 2015/3/23 18:55
VUE(xpert)
Joined 2005/9/17
USA
312 Posts
Long Time User (14 Years)
One of my VB's has bad alignment from me mucking about inside. I can tell you that it is almost *painful* to look in, as your eyes try to make the image right.

But yeah, if everything plays fine and it doesn't bug you, keep playing! :D
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#4
Re: Screen mirrors misalignment question
Posted on: 2015/3/25 0:59
VB Gamer
Joined 2012/7/26
21 Posts
Long Time User (7 Years)
Quote:

RunnerPack wrote:
Quote:

pollo20x6 wrote:
When I play games, they seem to play fine. Nothing that jumps out to me and says "hey, we clearly have a problem".

So my question is, is there varying levels of misalignment? Can one virtual boy be slightly misaligned or to get the mirrors misaligned would be to make it an obvious problem.


If you can play the games, and there is no obvious misalignment of the game images, I wouldn't worry about it.

As the mirrors are mounted on metal brackets, it is possible for the alignment to be off by a tiny bit or a great deal. That said, unless you purposely attempt to do so, it is nearly impossible to get them to misalign. The alignment screen is only there to check for factory defects, and I've never heard of one being defective in that way.

I'm interested in what your alignment screen looks like, but there's really no convenient way to get a good picture of it. Can you try to describe how, exactly, it differs from the image in the manual? Have you tried shifting your head around slightly while you look at it? Are you sure you have your IPD set correctly?


Yeah, the confusing part is that sometimes I feel like if my eyes are about to start to hurt. Like focusing on certain things feels uncomfortable on the eyes, but then again, it is the Virtual Boy. That's to be expected. It's the massive headaches and eyestrain that come from misalignment. I did not experience those.

I did the alignment test and it's a little off the middle. To get them to cross perfectly, I have to cock my head a teeny tiny bit to the right. Not that much.
But after doing the test, I don't think it's too off.
The lines just don't cross perfectly and my concern is that constant use of the IPD can eventually cause misalignment with the mirrors.
I've heard that people have dropped their VBs before and experienced nothing in terms of damage, so I guess the VB isn't as fragile as I'm thinking it is. I've never dropped it or really slammed it into anything. I just played for 40 minutes and considering I don't feel anything, there can't be that big a problem.

Also, I've heard about you. You're the guy who fixes Virtual Boys, right?

I had a quick question. I was playing Wario Land a couple months ago and I noticed, during the final boss, when the whole screen would be illuminated red, horizontal lines would appear on the "pad" that you stand on. When the light would go away, so would the lines. It was as if the lines were affected by the screen using a lot more pixels. I then played Mario Tennis and Red alarm and I didn't notice any lines.

Today, I played through Wario Land again and the lines were gone. They didn't appear at any time throughout the game and did not appear where they had consistently appeared during the final boss.
I've read online that sometimes the lines can be caused by the cartridge. Kinda like when an NES game has dirt on it or isn't properly touching the pins and starts glitching up.
Is it possible that this was the cause? I know it's a pretty hard question since I've heard the lines come and go, but I thought I'd ask a professional anyway.
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#5
Re: Screen mirrors misalignment question
Posted on: 2015/3/25 5:15
PVB Elite
Joined 2003/7/26
USA
1470 Posts
PVBCC EntryCoderContributorSpecial AchievementTop10 PosterHOTY09 EntryLong Time User (15 Years) App Coder20+ Game RatingsPVBCC 2013 Entry
Quote:

pollo20x6 wrote:

The lines just don't cross perfectly and my concern is that constant use of the IPD can eventually cause misalignment with the mirrors.


Actually, the IPD mechanism cannot affect the mirrors in any way. The IPD moves a pair of tubes toward and away from the center of the console. The pair of mechanisms that vibrate the mirrors are mounted to these tubes, and the mirrors themselves "float" on a spring-like frame. The only way to affect the mirror alignment is to physically move the mirrors, and it would take quite a bit of force, applied in an obviously incorrect way, to bend their frames enough to permanently misalign them.

The display boards, on the other hand, are mounted in a way designed specifically to allow adjustments. They are keyed to a plastic frame, which is attached to the aforementioned tubes by a pair of torx screws. When the displays were originally aligned at the factory, these screws were tightened by a machine to a specific torque, and then locked in place with a squirt of glue. If you mess with these screws, it would be quite easy to cause the LED arrays to become misaligned, which would ruin the picture until they were realigned and locked back down.

Quote:

Also, I've heard about you. You're the guy who fixes Virtual Boys, right?


I'm one of them, yes.

Quote:

I had a quick question. I was playing Wario Land a couple months ago and I noticed, during the final boss, when the whole screen would be illuminated red, horizontal lines would appear on the "pad" that you stand on. When the light would go away, so would the lines. It was as if the lines were affected by the screen using a lot more pixels. I then played Mario Tennis and Red alarm and I didn't notice any lines.

Today, I played through Wario Land again and the lines were gone. They didn't appear at any time throughout the game and did not appear where they had consistently appeared during the final boss.


Yes, the glitchiness comes and goes, and is also affected by what is being shown on the screen. The two displays can also affect each other, as I said recently in another post.

Once the displays are soldered, all of this goes away, since there is then a permanent, electrically perfect path for all signals. Any glitches that occur after this would have to be caused by a software malfunction, or strong electromagnetic interference.

Quote:

I've read online that sometimes the lines can be caused by the cartridge. Kinda like when an NES game has dirt on it or isn't properly touching the pins and starts glitching up.
Is it possible that this was the cause? I know it's a pretty hard question since I've heard the lines come and go, but I thought I'd ask a professional anyway.


No, dirt on the cartridge pins cannot directly affect the picture like it can on the NES. If there is a problem reading the cart, it will most likely either prevent the VB from booting up at all, or cause it to hang after booting.
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#6
Re: Screen mirrors misalignment question
Posted on: 2015/3/25 7:09
VB Gamer
Joined 2012/7/26
21 Posts
Long Time User (7 Years)
Quote:

RunnerPack wrote:
I'm one of them, yes.


Yes, the glitchiness comes and goes, and is also affected by what is being shown on the screen. The two displays can also affect each other, as I said recently in another post.

Once the displays are soldered, all of this goes away, since there is then a permanent, electrically perfect path for all signals. Any glitches that occur after this would have to be caused by a software malfunction, or strong electromagnetic interference.

No, dirt on the cartridge pins cannot directly affect the picture like it can on the NES. If there is a problem reading the cart, it will most likely either prevent the VB from booting up at all, or cause it to hang after booting.


Well, from what I've heard, you're like the best. Everywhere I look, I always see recommendations. I even saw this video that compared your display soldering work to someone else's and your's blew the other one away by a mile.


Hm...Well that sucks. I've had my Virtual Boy since like 2013, and haven't had any problems. I was really hoping that perhaps the person who sold it to me on eBay had soldered it when they owned it, but guess not. Thank you for the answers! It makes a lot more sense now.
:D
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#7
Re: Screen mirrors misalignment question
Posted on: 2015/3/26 2:48
PVB Elite
Joined 2003/7/26
USA
1470 Posts
PVBCC EntryCoderContributorSpecial AchievementTop10 PosterHOTY09 EntryLong Time User (15 Years) App Coder20+ Game RatingsPVBCC 2013 Entry
Quote:

pollo20x6 wrote:
Well, from what I've heard, you're like the best. Everywhere I look, I always see recommendations. I even saw this video that compared your display soldering work to someone else's and your's blew the other one away by a mile.


Hmm... I don't think I've seen that one. Got a link?

Quote:

Hm...Well that sucks. I've had my Virtual Boy since like 2013, and haven't had any problems. I was really hoping that perhaps the person who sold it to me on eBay had soldered it when they owned it, but guess not. Thank you for the answers! It makes a lot more sense now.
:D


Well, if you open the unit, it's pretty easy to tell if it's been soldered, and maybe even if it was me. I know at least one I did was going to be put up for sale, but I don't record serial numbers, so that's the only way you'll be able to check.
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#8
Re: Screen mirrors misalignment question
Posted on: 2015/3/26 2:54
VB Gamer
Joined 2012/7/26
21 Posts
Long Time User (7 Years)
Quote:

RunnerPack wrote:

Hmm... I don't think I've seen that one. Got a link?

Well, if you open the unit, it's pretty easy to tell if it's been soldered, and maybe even if it was me. I know at least one I did was going to be put up for sale, but I don't record serial numbers, so that's the only way you'll be able to check.

Here's the vid
https://youtube.com/watch?v=N7CmNjc2E4w

And I have no way of opening it up. You need a long and star shaped screwdriver, right?
Even if I could open it, idk if I have the confidence to navigate the insides. I've seen videos on how to fix virtual boys as a "just in case" for if I ever experienced lines, but even then I was like, only as a last measure, since I feel like I'll cause more damage. I'm awful at fixing electronics.
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#9
Re: Screen mirrors misalignment question
Posted on: 2015/3/26 5:13
PVB Elite
Joined 2011/3/10
USA
930 Posts
Top10 PosterLong Time User (9 Years) 30+ Game Ratings
you can use a gamebit or buy a screw driver with a bit on the end. but you can also use a plastic pen (BIC brand) or cut out the center part of a flat head screwdriver. the plastic pen idea may not work as the security screws can be tight and you might not be able to get the leverage you would need.

check this link: http://www.engadget.com/2006/11/18/mi ... intendos-security-screws/

once it is open it is really easy to get out the cables. as long as you don't force anything and you take your time you should not have any issues.
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#10
Re: Screen mirrors misalignment question
Posted on: 2015/3/26 17:45
PVB Elite
Joined 2003/7/26
USA
1470 Posts
PVBCC EntryCoderContributorSpecial AchievementTop10 PosterHOTY09 EntryLong Time User (15 Years) App Coder20+ Game RatingsPVBCC 2013 Entry
Ah, yeah, I'd seen that, but I didn't remember Roli comparing my work to someone else's.

As for the screwdriver, there's a high-quality, relatively inexpensive one made by Silverhill Tools that is almost a perfect fit for the VB (it could stand to be a few mms longer, but it works as-is). You can get it from eBay, or, if you also want one for opening cartridges, you can buy a set of two from Amazon.

I'm not affiliated with either of those sellers or Silverhill themselves, I'm just a satisfied customer

Feel free to look around using those search terms, and if you find a cheaper source, let us know.
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