Anyone remember the original MicroVision™? (Not the FX.)

I'm trying to determine how many of these were actually used/manufactured/sold.  Launched in 1990, it wasn't on the market long before being replaced by the FX.

I've created a little "tribute" page here.  I'd be interested in hearing stories from other users.

[edited by: derekleffew at 11:52 PM (GMT -6) on Thu, Jan 31 2008]
  • Derek;

    I talked to Fred this morning and the best recollection is we produced somewhere between 300 and 500 Visions. I can dig through the archives if you need an exact number, but it might take me a week or so.

    Love the tribute page! I also love the Source 4 lamp on your site. I think I might build my own the weekend.

    I have a cool piece of Micro-vision swag I would love to send you. Please email me off list with your address.

    Saw you link to Modern Follow-spot Monthly. I am long time subscriber myself.

    Have you joined the Balyhoomatic Preservation Society?



  • I lit a show on the MicroVision once - thanks to the clicky-clackiness of the keys, I could hear that the "programmer" was changing my cues during dress! (Ruining my brilliant design, naturally.)
  • VGA monitor with Microvision

    Wow- I had no idea so few were sold!

    This year a friend wanted to sell me an old MV (1990), but we couldn't find a CGA to VGA blackbox that did a good job.  With the adapter we tried ( $100), the display looked pretty bad and it was hard to read the channel numbers and such.

    Has anyone found a surefire way to adapt these relics to VGA?



  • Other than ebay and your local Goodwill and pawn shops, any antique computer stores nearby?, I have heard the device below will convert CGA into VGA.  Expensive, but worth it if you can’t live with just the monochrome output.

    The following is excerpted from a discussion on
    "It's a small computer board powered by 12vDC that converts the CGA output of the Microvision into standard VGA output for regular computer monitors and even LCD Panels. My boss found them on EBay, they are actually originally designed for the old arcade video games. The old arcade games used CGA but when the old CGA monitors burned out they couldn't get new ones so they developed this board so they could replace the old monitors with modern ones., item#150294277947. 

    Arcade RGB CGA to VGA Converter, Cherry Marster Jamma

    It has a VGA Pass Through and you have to get a 9-pin Male RGB connector and solder it on the included leads. You also have to supply your own 12vDC powersupply.

    It works great so far, crystal clear on a 17" LCD Panel!"

    Having never seen it, I can make no claims for or against this product.  If you go this route, let us know how it works.

    [edited by: derekleffew at 9:43 AM (GMT -6) on Fri, Sep 19 2008]
  • There's also a company that offers to install such a converter in Microvision and Expression 1 consoles.  If you go to and click on the "links" button in the upper right corner, you'll find more information.  I haven't seen the results of their work, so I have no way of knowing what it ends up looking like.  It may very well just be the board Derek mentioned plus an installation charge.

    There is a cheaper way to change what the console outputs to a signal that's compatible with VGA monitors, but it requires some understanding of electronics, good soldering & desoldering skills, and it's not officially published or supported by ETC.  It also follows somewhat of an older standard so--while it works with all of the CRT's I've tested--many LCD's may not be able to support it.  It does end up looking just as good as the original CGA monitor (or better, since most of the VGA monitors I tried it on were much nicer than the CGA monitors I've used).

    If you're interested in doing the conversion, send me an email and I'll get back to you with more information.  Obviously there's some risk of damaging the console if you don't know what you're doing.  Also, this is only an option for Microvision/Microvision FX consoles.  The Expression 1's used a different video circuit that's not easily modified.

  • derekleffew:

    I can vouch for this product! I use it on my Microvision FX. I had to buy a plastic box, mount the board to it, and cut out a place for the monitor input, output and power input, but other than that it works great!!! You also will need a 9 pin serial cable (straight) to go between the console and the box. My CGA monitor died, and I needed a good solution, and monocrome was not acceptable. I found this about 2 years ago, and it has been working great ever since.

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    Hi Mark,

    I know I am answering a very old post, but I have only recently acquired a Microvision FX, and would be very interested in this mod. I have over thirty years experience in electronics, so the technical aspects will not be too difficult for me. I would also be interested in any other technical information you may have, such as circuits.

    I was trained on the Express 125, so could easily get the Microvision up and running with little difficulty. I have run one show recently, and was very impressed with the ease of operation. At the moment, I use it with a television set, running the video from the BNC connector. I tried a couple of external CGA to VGA converters, but don't think from some other posts that I had the right one. My preference, however, would be to have the video circuit inside the chassis, so this mod is very attractive.

    Looking forward to hearing from you soon.