In about 2006, Atari sold some key chain games that connected to your TV via RCA jacks. I am a huge lover of retro games due to the hardware challenges of the time and what clever people were able to build. For a while now, I’ve wanted to get a tiny CRT screen from an old video camera viewfinder and pair it with these super tiny games. Finally, I decided to do it (check out the video below!!!).
I went on ebay and grabbed a VF-129 display module board. This is the Black and white display from an old Sony Handicam. I looked up the repair manual for that camcorder to see what info I could find out about the module. They have everything described from adjusting the alignment of the screen to the full-on schematic and PCB art.
The B&W displays connect with 4 wires: Power (4.7 volts) Ground, Composite video input (Y) and there’s a line to turn on an LED to show that the board is turned on. I got mine for $20-ish on ebay, but you can find them other places likely cheaper. The color viewfinder screens actually take composite video input (RGB inputs) from what I’ve read so those might be cool for other projects.
I opened up the battery pack and soldered half of a USE cable to the outputs. I used a USB cable because it had 4 wires. I am using 3 (power, ground and composite video) for the screen and one more for the audio. The battery pack looks funny because I had previously added a vacuum-formed topper and added screws and a switch to make it look like a real Atari game console years ago. It was on an old blahrg of mine somewhere, but I’ll never remember which one, even if I can it is likely down. Here are a few pics of the build of that if you are interested.
I ripped a tiny speaker from a greeting card and attached it to the CRT with foam tape and wired it to share the ground of the PCB. I put it on the bottom because those tiny speakers are meant to vibrate some object to help the noise be louder. In a greeting card, the paper works, but I like just sitting it on the table (especially those cheap $7 Ikea tables which are basically hollow paper mache’). Being on the bottom allows for full contact with the surface. Not to mention, this is the best place I could find to put it such that the tiny magnet doesn’t interfere with the CRT image much.
Enough talk, Just watch the video.