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


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> ATTENTION!

>

> Please see new thread HERE for ordering screens!

 

It is past time!

 

We need to get together and get a properly sized 16 x 16 LCD (with back-light?) made for this thing that'll be a drop-in replacement. Do any of you smart and well-connected folks have a resource where I can start the process of getting this thing manufactured? Also, I am assuming we will need an example of a screen to replicate for the manufacturer. Mine still works so I do not really want to donate it to the cause. But if someone has a non-working unit, especially if it is a spare, that would be best to send to the potential manufactirer.

 

Please let me know via PM or response to this topic if you have good ideas for completing this.

 

Thanks!

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If I was to do that, I'd rather look for industrial or hobby LCD with the right size, and see how we could adapt it so the 16*16 blocks are displayed on a 32*32 or 64*64 display. It's the most feasible solution I can see. I have no idea of who in the hell migth have used a 16*16 LCD screen BITD, but I'm pretty sure that nobody today use one.

Edited by CatPix
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If I was to do that, I'd rather look for industrial or hobby LCD with the right size, and see how we could adapt it so the 16*16 blocks are displayed on a 32*32 or 64*64 display. It's the most feasible solution I can see. I have no idea of who in the hell migth have used a 16*16 LCD screen BITD, but I'm pretty sure that nobody today use one.

Yeah, if I could find a "close enough" sized LCD I think I could adapt the pixel count pretty easily (just tie them together) and add a backlight. But I still need a donor to perform the surgery on.

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Why stop at LCD? How about LED? I have seen 16x16 LED matrix that comes very close to the size of original LCD. I don't know if there's available supply of these 16x16 LED matrix but if it's still in production or there's huge surplus then maybe try that? The only drawback is it'd draw more power and the battery won't last as long as with backlit LCD and microcontroller to convert old Microvision display signal to modern LCD.

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Why stop at LCD? How about LED? I have seen 16x16 LED matrix that comes very close to the size of original LCD. I don't know if there's available supply of these 16x16 LED matrix but if it's still in production or there's huge surplus then maybe try that? The only drawback is it'd draw more power and the battery won't last as long as with backlit LCD and microcontroller to convert old Microvision display signal to modern LCD.

 

I thought about LED but I'd want the LEDs to be the same shape as the original screen pixels which I am pretty sure was square. I haven't seen anything like that but I've seen standard round LED screens. I also believe some sort of driver circuitry will be required for that. I think someone had actually accomplished this outside of their unit.

 

Some discussion about this took place HERE.

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I have thought about this problem before when I was doing the microvision ROM dumping and reverse engineering stuff a few years ago. Closest thing I could come up with that was cheap would've been LED displays. There's a few that would be workable but they were kind of thick. The idea I had was to just make a new PCB for inside the microvision itself, vs. using the existing one. This would allow replacement of the battery for something more suitable (i.e. 4AA cells or something) and modern boost/buck supplies so that it'd be efficient. Also you could put the conversion circuitry and displays or whatever right on it.

 

Getting a new LCD made these days probably isn't TOO bad; it's a very simple one. A drawing would need to be created of the existing one. I suspect $4-5K might be around the range for a custom LCD like this for tooling and such. Not too expensive but expensive enough that you'd need to sell a lot of them (500 at 10 bucks each or more) to make it a success. The problem with the existing LCDs seems to be air gets in and destroys the liquid crystal. The sealing on those old LCDs was pretty terrible. A modern LCD wouldn't have this problem, and it'd be much much higher contrast, too. It might be advantageous to replace the 40 pin driver with something else, too such as a microcontroller that would drive the LCD. This could be used to increase contrast maybe, or provide a failsafe if the scanning stops so the LCD doesn't get damaged by DC. Though honestly I don't think it'd be a big deal. Modern LCDs are a lot better in this regard too I think vs. the old ones.

 

Using an existing LCD might work but driving it would be a little tricky depending on how it works. Getting it flat would mean cutting a hole in the PCB so it'd sit flush, but not a huge deal with a new custom PCB. A microcontroller might be good enough to do the translation duty.

 

As for the LED method, there's plenty of LED displays kicking around on ebay. There might be something workable there. If a suitable display isn't found, one could simply be replicated on the PCB replacement with small surface mount LEDs most likely. This would allow exact pitch of the LEDs vs. using a pre-made matrix display. 256 LEDs isn't a huge amount. If square apertures were desired, a suitable piece of transparency plastic with laser printed grid might work.

 

The cost of a replacement PCB with LEDs shouldn't be more than around $20 in manufacturing cost I wouldn't think. Retail of a finished board would be around $50-60 probably.

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I would totally be down for a few of these if this actually comes to fruition. I am not an electronics expert by any means, but I have tried rigging a 16 x 16 LED display with little success. I do know of a local electronics manufacturer (in NJ) that would be more than willing to work on something like this from prototype to production if someone could do the design work. I would also help to chip in some funds to assist in initial costs. I think LED would be the cheap and easy way to go, but a drop-in LCD replacement would obviously be the best for authenticity.

 

Calling all EE's.... Please help make this a reality and bring counless MV units back to life!

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I've got a dead (typical screen rot) system I'd donate if you're serious about this. Lemmieknow.

I have one as well for donation. This is something I really think needs to be made! (And if I was better with electronics I probably would have figured something out already)

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I have one as well for donation. This is something I really think needs to be made! (And if I was better with electronics I probably would have figured something out already)

I've committed to sending mine, will be in the mail to KylJoy in the next couple days-- don't know if more units will help, but thought I'd say so in case KylJoy wants to weigh in/if it changes your personal calculation on this.

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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. Quoting from an industry website:

 

"HTN (High Twisted Nematic) displays are based on a higher molecular twist (usually 110°) than TN (90°) and therefore offer wider viewing angles and improved contrast. In fact, these HTN products offer viewing characteristics close to those of STN technology. As low operating voltage as 2.5V and marginal extra cost over TN means that the products are well suited to hand-held applications."

 

These would be basically a drop in replacement and should require no to minimal changes to the circuitry (namely adjusting the contrast, though the control might have enough range as-is). Replacement elastomers (zebra strips) are available too if those are required, but it should be able to reuse the existing ones.

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At 10$ per screen, for a drop-in replacement (well, it might require soldering? How is the display connected on the motherboard?) I think you can set up a waiting list here or on a website, like the crystal clear cases for Vectrex, or ReneG7400 carts orders. When you reach enough people +20% (to account for the people that will not answer/give up/etc, tho it's 10$, not 70 :P ) then you can launch a grouped command.

Of course the final price will probably be more, as you have to add shipping, and probably reshipping as I doubt the LCD manufacturer will bother shipping to different customers.

But still, it's a small thing, so that shouldn't brign the price over 20/25$. Still a deal.

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I'll be up for two. not for me personnaly, tho, for that price, I can get one now and install it into my Microvision later, but I'm part of a club that frequently display old consoles. And having Microvision fiabilised and with a screen we know we can leave without fearing that kiddons might poke on it (the tactile generation) or leave in a warm and sunny place without fearing it will leak would allow us to offer the Microvision to the public eyes.

Yes, it's not the original thing, but heh, it's the cost of preservation. We do have CRT Tvs, but over time we will ahve to switch to digital TV; modding consoles and computer to have at least A/V or RGB out, etc. Using flashcarts so we do'nt get precious rare games stolen, etc.

Edited by CatPix
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I'd like screens. Bitrot and a near guarantee it won't work has so far prevented me from getting a system, rather than desire or funds.

 

I flirted with getting a Microvision myself, as it was the first game system I had as a child. But bitrot and screen failure kept me away as well. Count me as interested, depending on how hard it is to do the replacement.

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