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What retro computer activity did you get up to today?

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by adz, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. shane41

    shane41 Member

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    Pulled apart the Dell " buggered " battery here to see how it works.
    Vacuum sealed iirc that is method = tricky not bust up casing.

    Sets of 3x batteries in each group. Cool for recycling or find that dud in there.
     
  2. JackalGuru

    JackalGuru Member

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    I started to use air in a can to clean my old Apple IIGS that I dug out from a cupboard during a clean up. If it powers up I'm going to order a keyboard, mouse and disk emulator for it.

    I need to find the floppy drives and monitor cable for it. I also found an old Toshiba Tecra 510 laptop which might make good Windows 98 gaming system but I need to find the HDD caddey for that system and get a CF adapter and card.
     
  3. dc99

    dc99 Member

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    Original GS keyboards are hard to find but you can use early mac keyboard / mouse with the adb connector.

    PM me if you need any help getting it going as I've repaired a few in the past...
     
  4. JackalGuru

    JackalGuru Member

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    Yeah, I have been hunting for an ADB keyboard and mouse for it. Ive replied to your PM too.
    https://www.bigmessowires.com/floppy-emu/ Is the emulator I am going to buy when I have enough funds set aside.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
  5. callan

    callan Member

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    melbourne
    (sorry, didn't take many photos)

    In my earlier thread I mentioned that I discovered a "scrap" Vic20 in my pile, and I plundered the VIC chip from it to repair the VIC20 sent to me by BadMofo.
    Unlike the one from BadMofo, which had until recently been much beloved by it's owner, this one (Originally from Girton College) was absolutely trashed. The keyboard contact backboard had been violently cracked and an abomination of a repair done to it. The motherboard was filthy, the main power capacitor was DENTED (!!), nasty sticky stuff clogged the cartridge port, and it was as dead as a doornail.

    [​IMG]
    Full size image HERE.


    Well a couple of PAL VIC chips arrived from Germany the other day, so I dropped one of them in the BadMofo board and returned the original VIC into this motherboard with the aim of seeing if I could get this one going, too.

    After a few minutes poking around I determined that no power was making it to the bridge rectifier, leaving the board unpowered. The fuse was OK: I traced the fault down to the main power switch: Sticky, and open circuit.

    First thing was to bypass it. Amazingly the board came up. It was erratic, unstable and with only monochrome output, but this was a promising start.

    Since replacement switch availabity lies somewhere between rocking-horse shit and unicorn spit I set about repairing it.
    I unsoldered it from the board, bent open the holding tangs and split it open.
    Once the sticky shit was mucked out and the contacts cleaned the rocker was lubricated with nylon grease and the switch reassembled. Worked like new!!

    Next I HAD to clean the board. usual PCB board cleaners were not shifting the crap so I had to do something I'd never done before: wash it:shock:.
    I'd never done this before and was apprehensive, but with little to lose I reckoned I'd give it a try.

    Anything that could trap water or be damaged by it was removed. The TO3-cased voltage regulator, all heatsinks, all socketed chips removed and/or unsoldered. (the switch, of course was already removed).
    Image: partially stripped.

    [​IMG]

    Full size image HERE

    Half an hour of cleaning in hot water with dishwashing detergent, then a soaking blast of PCB cleaner (to displace the water), then a long, careful dry with paper towel and cotton buds. All connectors, sockets and components had the water blasted out from under them with canned air. The voltage regulator and heatsink were remounted (with replacement heatsink goop) and re-soldered, the repaired switch soldered back in place and the rectifier heatsink remounted.

    All chips were refitted, the inductor soldered back in. Finally suspect electrolytics were replaced.
    [​IMG]

    Full size image HERE

    Then I turned it on.
    A few trimpot adjustments later:
    [​IMG]

    Full size image HERE.

    I am a happy man. Seems stable now. Comes up every time, colour is solid. I left it idling for a couple of hours and it stayed happy. It ran a cartridge just fine. Plenty more testing required, though.

    There's still much to do. The keyboard is I fear truly fubared. I think the conductive rubber pads have failed and gone sticky (or perhaps the sticky crap in the motherboard and switch is also in the keyboard!), and the the damage to the contact PCB is likely beyond saving - But, Hey! - the board now works - I'll take that as a win!.

    Callan
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
  6. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    May have been a Cely 1.5 tualatin, did have 1.4 P3's but can't remember if I set any record oc's with them. Either way it was a very very long time ago.

    The cpu's were cooled via subzero ln2 and dice. Spewing ripping.org died.
     
  7. Kafoopsy

    Kafoopsy Member

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    They certainly were a bargain! Intel knew it too and the Tualatins were quietly released with no fanfare as Intel didn't want you buying them, they wanted you to buy the you beaut, wallet busting Pentium 4, which may not have even been as fast as a good 1.4 Tualatin Celeron! There are non-server versions of the Pentium III Tualatin, but they are all quite rare.
     
  8. Hater

    Hater Member

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    I swapped my dual Tualton box for a....

    Palamino 2100+ system.

    Sigh.
     
  9. shane41

    shane41 Member

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    Let me know, dual 370 is not my thing. But I can find them :Pirate:
     
  10. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    Amazing stuff; seeing trash lovingly restored to treasure like this warms my heart.

    I’ve had great success with washing PCBs – from what I understand Melbourne water is pretty "soft" so we’re lucky there. I use a bit of whatever dishwashing detergent I have on hand and warm water. I soak the item for a couple of hours, then gently work it over with a semi-stiff paint brush, before rinsing it with fresh water and generally just let it air dry for a week or more.

    Aside from the satisfaction of making a motherboard / add-on card shine like new, this process has brought a couple of things back to life for me too.
     
  11. Hater

    Hater Member

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    Isn't soft water full of minerals, and therefore bad? I know I add dishwasher salt to my machine to soften the water and get a better wash of my dishes...
     
  12. shane41

    shane41 Member

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    Not going to matter too much using tap water. Yes minerals & ions in water.
    That dishwashing soap is the buffer for cleaning safely.

    You can of rinse with distilled water or isopropyl alcohol finish it.

    A motherboard I really care about ...... no water will go near it.
    So it's spot on clean to begin with.
    ___________

    Pcb's though are tough with a coating, so they can withstand a soaking
    if dried properly.
     
  13. BuuBox

    BuuBox Member

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    Other way around.

    Either way, hard water probably isn't going to make something caked in decades worth of dust and grime much worse!
     
  14. OP
    OP
    adz

    adz Member

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    Awesome job with the Vic20 board callan :cool:
     
  15. callan

    callan Member

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    The keyboard: that's a miracle yet to come. I determined today that the stickiness was due to crap under the keys, not the contact pads so that's a plus. One lucky break is that the fractured and mutilated backboard is identical with the one I received from Badmofo, even though the keyboard movements are different. This will mean that I can use Badmofo's as a reference when metering out/testing the backboard after repairing the cut vias and cracked traces. Some schoolgirl (Girton COLLEGE was an girl-only) must have seriously lost her shit and bashed it. The keyboard not only cracked but flexed enough to put 2 dents in one of the electrolytics on the board underneath.:shock:

    I cleaned (but have not yet reassembled) the movement. Once that's done I'll start on that poor abused backboard.

    Callan
     
  16. callan

    callan Member

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    In no particular order:
    Found a photo of the Girton Vic motherboard fully stripped for cleaning.
    [​IMG]

    What an unmolested PET VIC20 keyboard backplate SHOULD look like (I took this to meter out and document the via connections)
    [​IMG]

    What the Girton one looks like after the bodgy wires and appalling soldering have been cleaned up.

    [​IMG]
    (Full size HERE)

    Restored keyboard movement.
    [​IMG]

    The spacebar was jamming badly due to wear. I cracked out the dremel, polishing disk and jewellers rouge and buffed the working surfaces back to smooth, and it now works very nicely thankyou :)

    The shift-lock, however will pose a problem (it's where the hole is). I've repaired the mechanism such that it now clicks in/clicks out as it should, but the switch itself is damaged. It's a miniature one-key membrane keyboard, with a kapton cover - and one of the leads has torn away. I'm not sure it's possible to repair. I'll have to put on my watchmaking hat, and see if it's possible. It's not fatal: the keyboard is functional enough without it, but it'd be nice to have it working as well.

    I've undone the bodgy crack repair of the baseplate, and done it properly: the crack lines up on both sides now with no gaps. Using my good working PET key keyboard I reverse-engineered and documented the matrix wiring, so on Monday or so I'll start attempting to UN-DO all the butchering inflicted on it before.

    Callan
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
  17. callan

    callan Member

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    With the crack stabilized I repaired the torn tracks today.
    (for scale those round pads are 4mm in diameter)

    [​IMG]


    Edit: Before:
    [​IMG]
    Callan
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  18. Hater

    Hater Member

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    Started a plan of attack.

    See, i'm not content with having an old PowerBook that just sits in the cupboard, unused. I have my Titanium PB for that.

    This AluBook is to become my everyday driver.

    [​IMG]

    1) Max the RAM (1.25GB)
    2) SSD
    3) Replace the cells in the battery
    4) Source a 1.5Ghz mainboard and get the laptop running
    5) Source a 1.66Ghz mainboard from a 15" and attempt to move the 1.66Ghz CPU + north bridge and memory controller to the current 1.33Ghz board. If that fails (which I am assuming it will), move the 512MB onboard memory to the 1.5Ghz board.

    A bit slower than my current Quad i7 16GB daily driver, but damn the keyboard on the PowerBook is sooooooooo buttery sexual, that it's almost worth it just for that.

    If you've never used the keyboard on an Aluminium PowerBook, do it. Just once.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
  19. Sciby

    Sciby How long have you had these droids?

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    Seriously, even when almost 10 years old, they're still great. I bought an MBP in 2007 (which still runs), and as spares, I've had a few 2008 models given to me for parts. They all still work fairly well, even better with an SSD onboard.
     
  20. Sciby

    Sciby How long have you had these droids?

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    [​IMG]

    I cleaned out a bunch of stuff from a coworkers shed. I came away with a dual P166 server, a dual P3 slot 1 server, a whole bunch of random parts and so on (including about 80 sticks of 72pin DIMMs).. and a lot of dust in the servers.
     

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