Developer/Modder SegaSonicFan just released a kit that replaces the Virtual Boy’s original problematic eyepiece flat cable assembly, called: the Virtual Ribbon.
The Virtual Ribbon unassembled kit consists of two right-angle mounted PCBs for each eyepiece, two ribbon cables, and two separate connectors (each must be soldered to the main Virtual Ribbon PCBs). SSF went for this particular design so the ribbon cable can be snuggly seated between the new assembly and the console’s motherboard, eliminating any possibilities of cable-stress/strain.
It might seem like a complicated design for such a small part but it’s definitely a sturdy and permanent solution for the repeatedly occurring flat cable issues.
As a side note, installing the kit involves very fine pin-soldering thus requires advanced modding skills.
The original Virtual Boy FFC, being very brittle, can and in most cases will go bad overtime, causing flickering and interference on the LED eyepieces or sometimes showing no signal at all. Re-flowing the connection points on the cable itself can temporarily restore it back to a working state but the chance of it breaking again is almost imminent.
SegaSonicFan is also responsible for a few other interesting projects like the upcoming Sync Clean Pro (a sync cleaner for arcade PCBs) and the Uni-Gen converter that makes any Genesis controller fully compatible with a slew of retro computers and consoles with 9-pin D-Sub ports on board, and even the PC-Engine using a special adapter.
Virtual Ribbon thread on PlanetVB: https://bit.ly/3juqPu0
Virtual Ribbon thread om Arcade-Projects: https://bit.ly/2ZOMMwa
For further discussion, follow me on Twitter:
EDIT: Here’s the new installation videos as of October 2020:
Previous, Outdated Installation video: