For the love of the game.. Cleaning up old machines.

If you love Apple II's, Atari 400/800's, BBC Micros, Commodore 64's, IBM PC jr's, Kaypros, ZX Spectrum 48's, let's talk about them here! Let us know what you're doing with any vintage machines you still own/use.

For the love of the game.. Cleaning up old machines.

Postby Corneleous » Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:36 pm

Anyone else do stuff like this? Fix up an old computer, just for fun?

I just spent a few hours today, cleaning up a recently acquired Commodore 64C. I had a breadbin model growing up, that I stupidly threw away (what on earth was I thinking!)
Years later, I always wanted another C64, but couldn't find the right one. I recently came across a super clean looking one- a C64C, but with one of the more desirable to me motherboards (..425 - Has all socketed main chips, has the 6581 SID chip, not the 8580), has metal shielding inside. At first I was thinking I'd buy one of those repro-enclosures that were made from the original molds.. But, after cleaning this and retrobriting it (my first time doing that too!) this machine looks brand new!

I had to follow up with removing all the keys, retrobriting them, cleaning the keyboard frame, etc. And, I'm rebuilding the power supply from a new design, that will fit inside the original "brick", so there will be no chance of the dreaded overvolt.
It's so nice now, I halfway am afraid to use it for getting it dirty again! (Just kidding! I am gonna have fun with this machine!)
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Jason Putnam
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Re: For the love of the game.. Cleaning up old machines.

Postby GregC » Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:51 pm

I recently pulled out my old breadbin C64 computer from storage. Unused for probably a good 20 years or so, due to busy work / life commitments.

First attempt to power-up the C64 sadly gave nothing. The fault was a little tricky to trace. After starting with the usual power / clock checks etc, I finally traced the issue to a corroded PCB trace hidden underneath an electrolytic capacitor.

After verifying the C64 was then fully operational again, I went ahead and fully cleaned up the internals, and replaced all of the electrolytic's on the PCB. I now have some confidence the C64 has a good chance for a renewed extended life!

I haven't tried the retrobrite approach just yet. After attempting this on an old Commodore 386SX slimline front panel, and ending up with blotches, I'm actually thinking that the old yellowed? brown / beige C64 breadbin case is appropriately representative of it's Retro status. But, I can see that if I had one of the later cream coloured C64C cases, I'd definitely want the yellowing reversed.

For now though, I have plenty more old computers, and home-brew electronics (from the days before my work career took over my life), to clean-up and bring back to life! :-)
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