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Thread: Microvision?

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    ServBot (Level 11) aaron7's Avatar
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    Default Microvision?

    I didn't know portable gaming was around in the 70s!

    http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions...--5770436.html

    I apologize in advance if someone here was hoping to get that cheap

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    Quote Originally Posted by aaron7 View Post
    I didn't know portable gaming was around in the 70s!

    http://www.shopgoodwill.com/auctions...--5770436.html

    I apologize in advance if someone here was hoping to get that cheap
    Microvision is awesome, affordable, and easy to collect for. And surprisingly some of the games are really good.

    There's no way I would ever buy that one, though. "NOT TESTED!" Ya, how hard is it to put a 9V battery in the thing and turn it on? Not hard. There's no way this unit works.

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    Crono (Level 14) Pantechnicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paet View Post
    There's no way I would ever buy that one, though. "NOT TESTED!" Ya, how hard is it to put a 9V battery in the thing and turn it on? Not hard.
    Harder than you think actually.

    I found a Microvision at Goodwill several years ago for $5. It was missing the battery cover, but inside I saw four sets of battery contacts inside the tray and thus figured it took four AA's. The problem was the AA's were slightly too short to reach the posts, and there were no negative posts. I just assumed there was maybe some sort of plastic riser with the negative posts built in to the bottom of the missing battery cover. So I improvised by shimming the negative side of the four AA's with some aluminum foil. I then powered the Microvision on only to be greeted with a horrible burning smell

    In case you haven't figured it out, I fried the Microvision's innards because I messed with the gravitivity and polarity and all that. The thing doesn't take four AA's, but rather two 9-volt batteries. WTF?! I grew up on 1970's tech and I don't think I've ever seen something that ran on two 9-volts, so when I saw this layout I just assumed 4 AA's were what I needed. Later on I read that the Microvision can actually run on one 9-volt, so the other battery is in there more or less "just because".

    So now I have display-only Microvision in my handheld collection . Every now and then I plug in a single 9-volt battery, hoping the thing may have somehow healed itself. For my sins I am rewarded with no display and an anemic sputtering sound from the speakers which sounds like something along the lines of "....please just let me die...."

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    I've got one or two old Microvisions, but the liquid from the LCD dried up and turned to powder, so neither is usable. I believe that is a common problem, and I haven't seen a functional Microvision since they were still on the shelves at Lionel Playworld back in the '80s.
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    The other problem with them is that even looking at them wrong can create enough of a static shock to fry them.
    "Game programmers are generally lazy individuals. That's right. It's true. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Since the dawn of computer games, game programmers have looked for shortcuts to coolness." Kurt Arnlund - Game programmer for Activision, Accolade...

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) rik1138's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoahsMyBro View Post
    I've got one or two old Microvisions, but the liquid from the LCD dried up and turned to powder, so neither is usable. I believe that is a common problem, and I haven't seen a functional Microvision since they were still on the shelves at Lionel Playworld back in the '80s.
    That's definitely a common problem, but it's easy to find a working one. I have several, from different countries, that still work (and several that don't)... And you can usually tell by looking at the LCD if it has this problem. The one on Goodwill looks good, so it probably works okay. Static can cause other problems (like certain columns/rows of the LCD not working, that's harder to test for), but surprisingly, I don't find too many with this problem. (Although I do vividly remember doing it to mine as a kid. Manual: DO NOT TOUCH THE METAL CONTACTS. Kid: Pokes finger into the metal contacts... Half the LCD columns die... So we took it back to the store and exchanged it. Lesson learned, and I still have that same unit, still working perfectly... )

    Rik

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    Microvision also had a single 9V Battery re-release in the USA. The 2nd battery slot is replaced with a storage compartment for a spare battery.

    I put up a video of me playing Microvision Block Buster on youtube in late 2008. I've got 6 other games boxed as well.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2jHVmZ7HgM

    This kind of game system is hard to do a video of so it's hard to see, but I haven't seen anyone else do a video of them actually playing their system rather than just reviewing it.
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    Yeah, I also really like the Microvision - I always found the console's design a bit clunky though as you have to remove the whole front of the system to play a new game.
    I haven't played mine for at least 14 years... I hope it's still alive...

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