Jump to content

Photo

Tips/Tricks/Products Used In Restoration


140 replies to this topic

#1 Guitarman OFFLINE  

Guitarman

    Stargunner

  • 1,417 posts
  • Atari Is Golden
  • Location:Carson City, NV

Posted Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:06 PM

Restoring our beloved Atari systems is all the rage!! What I would like to do here is to have 1 thread/location for users to go to to get info from the masters on the tools used in restoring their systems. I would like it to be primarily related to cosmetic restoration as there are many threads on mods, upgrades and mechanical repair/restoration. Things I'd like to see:

Paint types, brands and colors for various systems/peripherals
Tools/solvents used for getting rid of stains/blemishes
Ways of restoring/recreating logos, stickers, nameplates, etc.
Step by steps of the restoration process of any particular system by those who have done it

You get the idea. If creating a step by step, try to do it as a PDF or some sort of attached document if possible. That way the posting stays shorter and someone can download and print the instructions.

Myself, I am excited about getting all my Atari systems looking new again but lack some of the knowledge to do so. Hopefully this thread can help a lot of avid Atari nuts (like myself) get their collections looking great.

I will share the first tip that most may know but could be useful for newbies.

Atari's are dishwasher safe!!!
What???? That's what I thought when I first heard that one, until I tried it the first time. I have found (like many others) that a great first step in prepping a system for cosmetic restoration is to run the plastics through the dishwasher. Of course, anything electronic WILL have to be removed before doing so. Also, if you want to preserve any bottom case labels, you will need to find a way to cover them beforehand (someone want to chime in for that tip??). In my case, I just did the top plastics and used a little hand prep on the bottom. I had a 1040ST I got from someone local. My first thought when seeing it was 'what tornado was this in'. It looked like someone had left it outside in a barnyard for a few years. I had never tried the dishwasher trick before but I figured the outcome couldn't be any worse than it was already. I removed the top case and in the DW it went. I had little hope. What came out, I didn't recognize. The case looked pristine, albeit still discolored from age. With a keyboard replacement and the cleaned plastics, you can't even recognize the system from when I got it. I have since used this method for quite a few systems to get them looking as best as possible without a full repaint. Try it!!! It works!!

Edited by Guitarman, Mon Apr 2, 2007 12:23 PM.


#2 Ross PK OFFLINE  

Ross PK

    River Patroller

  • 2,135 posts
  • Location:UK

Posted Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:08 PM

What I'd love to see are some videos of restoration, that'd be really cool.

I hope some people do make some vids and upload them onto Youtube or whatever.

#3 Tezz OFFLINE  

Tezz

    River Patroller

  • 2,107 posts
  • Location:Manchester, England

Posted Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:28 PM

I've got a bunch of tips to share with you all. I've learnt a lot along the way.. I'll post later tonight when I'm back home ..

Nice paint job btw :D

#4 Guitarman OFFLINE  

Guitarman

    Stargunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 1,417 posts
  • Atari Is Golden
  • Location:Carson City, NV

Posted Sat Mar 31, 2007 6:01 PM

Originally posted by Tezz in another thread


The only thing swapped was the clear panel next to the consol keys because it was cracked at the bottom. Luckily the totally trashed xl i got had a clear panel in one piece. It was badly scratched and scuffed so here's tip #1:

These clear panels can be brought back like new with a cutting compound.. The best thing to use is jewelers rouge which is basically a cutting/polishing paste jewels use to take out scratches on for instance watch faces.. The easiest way is using a polishing disc attachment on a grinder but there is a simple home made alternative which is the way I did it... This is simply T-cut ! yes the car paint cutting compound, it works really well on clear plastic.. The first time i tried it i was amazed just how well it did work. It takes a bit of scrubing depending on how scratched it is but it doesn't take an age either way, it took me about 30 minutes to get it like new... Here's a photo of the finished panel below...

btw the easiest way to get the panel out without breaking it is using an old credit card. Thats something I use a lot with mobile phone covers repairs and laptop casings. It works very well.

The biggest problem with the xl's I always found was the waring of the silver consol keys. The xl's i got were badly treated and badly stored (stacked up by the look of it) so the silver trim on the xl's case was also scratched .. tip #2

I removed the trim and consol keys carefully from the xl. the trim is thin aluminium glued in place so you have to be carefull not to bend and warp it taking it off. I used a surgical scalpul to ease it off flat... the trim has a brush metal finish to it which makes the restoration job pretty simple... I use a sanding sponge to rebrush the surface taking out the scratches and ware marks and reglued the trim back in place. The transformation is great icon_smile.gif

The xl's case was taken totally apart, the cartridge flaps were removed and kept to one side. The dark brown and beige sections of the top case are two parts that snap together so these can be cleaned properly when taken apart. I soaked them both in hot water and bleech. The casing of the xl is pretty hard waring so usually stands up to more abuse than others

more later
;)


800xl_clear_panel.jpg

#5 re-atari OFFLINE  

re-atari

    Moonsweeper

  • 286 posts

Posted Mon Apr 2, 2007 5:49 AM

Maybe the moderator could turn this thread into a sticky, so that it's always presented at the top of the threadlist. Makes searching a bit easier...

re-atari

#6 Guitarman OFFLINE  

Guitarman

    Stargunner

  • Topic Starter
  • 1,417 posts
  • Atari Is Golden
  • Location:Carson City, NV

Posted Mon Apr 2, 2007 12:18 PM

Here is a great repair procedure I found on the internet a while back. I had 2 1200XL's with none working keys and only wanted to buy new boards as a last resort. This procedure worked great. It also works on the Mitsumi made keyboards in many Atari 800's. Be very careful not to tear (too much) the silicone rubber gasket on the mylar. Take it slow and you will have the equivalent of a new keyboard when you're done.

1200XL Keyboard Tune-up. 6/3/2002
By Bob Woolley


After a while, the keys on your 1200XL will start to "miss" and turn "cranky", usually in groups. This is due to a poor connection from the mylar to the printed circuit board inside your keyboard. The only solution is to take the board apart and fix it. This will be mostly a visual explanation given in a series of photographs.

(click to enlarge)
keyboard1.jpg
Figure 1.

Figure 1 is a shot of the required tools and chemicals. This shows a properly sized screwdriver, some Q-Tips, a can of Goof-Off, and the conductive paint in a pen applicator. The tough item is the paint. It is a silver bearing liquid that needs to be applied carefully to specific surfaces. Using a brush is OK as long as it works. You will see that it need not be so beautiful as long as it stays in its own yard. The Goof-Off is a powerful solvent that worked well for me but is probably not the only solution. Just be very careful not to dissolve the carbon plating on the mylar! The screwdriver is from Sears; the Q-Tips were stolen from work..... :)

(click to enlarge)
keyboard2.jpg
Figure 2.

So, pull the cover off of your 1200XL and flip it over. See all the little screws on the bottom of the keyboard? Take them all out. There is one screw almost buried under the flat cable - don't forget it. When all the screws are out, the brown circuit board will come free from the key mechanism. Turn the board over and you will see the mylar key matrix (Figure 2.) You need to very carefully pull the mylar, along with the silicone rubber gasket, away from the circuit board. The silicone gasket will tend to stick severely where it was compressed by the mounting screws - take it easy! Try pulling from a different direction if it is really stuck. A firm, steady pressure will normally work. If you do rip the silicone, just place it back in its proper position on the mylar. The silicone will not deform permanently so re-positioning it will work just fine. The edge fingers that connect to the circuit board have an interleave tape on them so expect that adhesive to stick somewhere.

(click to enlarge)
keyboard3.jpg
Figure 3.

When finished, turn over the mylar and you'll see Figure 3, the bottom of the mylar and the surface of the circuit board. The mylar has a carbon trace contact array that matches the gold contact surfaces on the board. These two work just fine together. The edge connector also has carbon surfaces that meet the gold contacts on the board, but these do not work well at all. I have tried just adding pressure to these contacts, which works for a while, but the only good fix is to add a better contact material, in this case, silver paint. To do this, we need to first remove the interleave tape - just pull it off and throw it away. Then we need to clean off the glue left from the tape (on both the board and mylar). The board is no problem at all - just spread Goof-Off on it, count to $14 in hex, and wipe off all the glue with a rag. It comes right off. Nothing else comes off with it. The mylar is not so easy. Goof-Off will eat off the carbon if you get too aggressive here, so be careful. Wet the glue with Goof-Off. Count to $A. Carefully wipe the glue off gently with a Q-Tip. Do not scrape off the carbon fingers. Once clean, it is time to paint or draw new contact fingers on the mylar. This is not easy, so don't expect perfection here.

(click to enlarge)
keyboard4.jpg
Figure 4.

Look at Figure 4. This is all the better this step needs to be. Be sure not to short between two fingers. If you make a mistake, clean off all the paint with Goof-Off. Don't try to clean off ALL the paint, just enough to fix the problem. See the little blob of paint at the bottom of each finger? I do these by drawing top down, in one smooth stroke. Where I stop, a little blob of paint is left. It does not look so even, but this will work just fine. You don't have to cover the whole contact from side to side, just top to bottom. Make sure there are no shorts between the contacts!! Let it dry. Wipe off the gold contacts on the circuit board (and the rest of the board - NOT the mylar) with alcohol. EDIT: Bob states not to wipe down the mylar with alcohol. I have found in the keyboards I have done, taking a Q-Tip dipped in alcohol and rubbing on each one of the circular carbon contacts makes for a better contact when the process is completed. The contacts will look black from oxidation. After cleaning them with the Q-Tip, they will look a gun-metal gray. Now, you put it all back together. Align the mylar on the circuit board. Place it back on the key assembly (there are two alignment pins). Screw it down carefully. A tip: when you start a screw in plastic, back it up first - until it drops into the start of the threads (it usually makes a little "click" noise). Then turn it in. This keeps you from making new threads in the plastic. Put your 1200XL back together and run the keyboard test in the OS. All the keys should make contact with just the lightest touch.
Good Job!!

Edited by Guitarman, Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:10 AM.


#7 re-atari OFFLINE  

re-atari

    Moonsweeper

  • 286 posts

Posted Tue Apr 3, 2007 6:50 AM

Wow, it looks like I actually had a good idea for a change, suggesting that this thread be turned into a sticky. Thanks, moderator!

I'll return the favour by adding a bit of text dealing with replacing an XE's keyboard foil. I have already posted this about a year or so back, but as there appear to be quite a few new members since then, chances are they have missed this story.

I'll give you a detailed insight in a method I used around 1987 to succesfully get the XE's of 2 of my friends running again. Symptoms with both were that certain keys or groups of keys didn't function anymore. As you may have read, XE's aren't built to last. Electronic parts like the DRAM's can and will fail, and the way the XE's keyboard is constructed is particularly inherent to its demise. The keyboard consists of a metal bottomplate containing a foilsheet with conductive tracks on the upperside. On top of this is the actual light grey plastic keyboard, containing keycaps that have a conductive pad. Sadly Atari made both the bottomplate and the keyboard out of a relatively soft material, that deforms easily under strain (i.e. when pressing keys). The effect is that the keyboard can slide about on the bottomplate, and in doing so cut or scrape through some of the conductive tracks on the foil. Those of you who have actually taken the effort of dismantling a keyboard will know what I mean. I have tried several times to fix it with silverpaint, but this just wouldn't hold for very long.

So I thought out a more definitive repairmethod, and asked a company to make me a copy of the foilsheet out of PCB-material. First they made a contactfilm of the original foilsheet and fixed the damaged tracks with a fine feltpad. This film was then was used to make the actual PCB out of 0.2mm thick pertinax. The tracks were tinned, which was standard procedure for them.

Putting the parts back together was quite straightforward, but it was a tedious and time consuming job to connect this new keyboard PCB to the 24-pin connector on the mainboard. The original foilsheet has a 'contactflap' of foil with 24 tracks for this. I constructed this 'flap' out of flatcable and an excess piece of pertinax. As it goes, the company had made a PCB of the entire foil, including the flap. So I first completely assembled the keyboard, and then cut off the extruding flap making sure there was enough room to solder the flatcable to the PCB. I then used a piece of the remainder of the cut off flap to construct a kind of cardedge connector to go in the 24-pin connector. A piece of 2,5cm in length provided plenty of room to solder the flatcable to. As it is a single sided connector, take care not to solder the cardedge piece the other way around. I guarantee you the keyboard will not work at all then (although nothing will be damaged either). icon_wink.gif

As I said: I have successfully repaired 2 XEs this way. The cost of the necessary material was about $ 20 a piece (back in 1987). Not exactly cheap, but IMHO well worth the money. Positive side effect (according to these friends of mine, I have never owned an XE) was that they found typing now felt better and more accurate.

Note: although the majority of the XLs has a foilsheet keyboard as well, this one is of a completely different construction, and it can not be repaired using the above method. They should not fail as easily, as the casings of the XLs are constructed of a less flexible kind of plastic than the XEs. I mean, you can easily twist an XEs casing without breaking, try doing that with an XL (without wrecking it, that is)!

There are (a few) XLs around that have an ALPS keyboard, with true keys soldered to a PCB. I speak from experience, that typing on these is way, way, way better than any XL or XE foilsheet keyboard. Count yourself lucky if you have an XL with an ALPS keyboard! Ive been told that 600XLs were always fitted with such a keyboard, but I havent been able to verify this.

re-atari

#8 re-atari OFFLINE  

re-atari

    Moonsweeper

  • 286 posts

Posted Thu Apr 5, 2007 8:25 AM

Since restoring is bound to involve soldering/desoldering at any given point, it's good to know the do's and the don'ts in this respect. A good page about the subject, with photo's can be found at:

http://www.xbox-scen.../soldering2.php

It deals with installing modchips on XBOX's, but the general rule of thumb is no different than repairing electronics components on an 8-bit. The 8-bit is much better to handle, and the size of these components makes 'em stand a lot more physical strain (I speak from experience, having tinkered with my PlayStation 2's mainboard).

re-atari

#9 Tezz OFFLINE  

Tezz

    River Patroller

  • 2,107 posts
  • Location:Manchester, England

Posted Fri Apr 6, 2007 4:05 PM

Since restoring is bound to involve soldering/desoldering at any given point, it's good to know the do's and the don'ts in this respect. A good page about the subject, with photo's can be found at:

http://www.xbox-scen.../soldering2.php

It deals with installing modchips on XBOX's, but the general rule of thumb is no different than repairing electronics components on an 8-bit. The 8-bit is much better to handle, and the size of these components makes 'em stand a lot more physical strain (I speak from experience, having tinkered with my PlayStation 2's mainboard).

re-atari

lol well, I modded my xbox about 18 months ago with the final ultimate xecutor mod. I found the soldering there to be a doddle to do.. desoldering the ic's on the xe recently was a whole new ball game though... I've actually done a lot of modding and customising in the past so I guess it just goes to show how experience in one area doesn't always give you the confidence in others... (although maybe that's just me :P ) It's deffinately a good idea to read up on all aspects of soldering

#10 puppetmark OFFLINE  

puppetmark

    Dragonstomper

  • 695 posts

Posted Fri Apr 20, 2007 2:32 PM

Has anyone tried this plastic reconditoner? I have a friend that ordered some for pin ball work. I am willing to try and see how it works on atari plastic but I was wondering if anyone has any experience with it already.

http://www.noscratch.com/novus/

#11 Tezz OFFLINE  

Tezz

    River Patroller

  • 2,107 posts
  • Location:Manchester, England

Posted Fri Apr 20, 2007 2:48 PM

Has anyone tried this plastic reconditoner? I have a friend that ordered some for pin ball work. I am willing to try and see how it works on atari plastic but I was wondering if anyone has any experience with it already.

http://www.noscratch.com/novus/

I'd be very interested to see if that product had any effect. As the plastic surface goes through a chemical change over time exposed to direct light, I would doubt that any product would be able to reverse that as the surface has permanently changed. If it somehow eats into the surface layer to restore it's original colour, that would be usefull on casings but not on keys without losing the print I would think.

I've tried various plastic restorers made for cars internal trims but they really just bring the plastic "out" and looking better but don't actually effect the discolourisation unfortunately.

#12 puppetmark OFFLINE  

puppetmark

    Dragonstomper

  • 695 posts

Posted Fri Apr 20, 2007 2:53 PM


Has anyone tried this plastic reconditoner? I have a friend that ordered some for pin ball work. I am willing to try and see how it works on atari plastic but I was wondering if anyone has any experience with it already.

http://www.noscratch.com/novus/

I'd be very interested to see if that product had any effect. As the plastic surface goes through a chemical change over time exposed to direct light, I would doubt that any product would be able to reverse that as the surface has permanently changed. If it somehow eats into the surface layer to restore it's original colour, that would be usefull on casings but not on keys without losing the print I would think.

I've tried various plastic restorers made for cars internal trims but they really just bring the plastic "out" and looking better but don't actually effect the discolourisation unfortunately.


The kit comes with a polishing compound that has an abrasive to it. It might be able to remove a skim layer of plastic and reveal the underneith layers. My concern is if it can deal with the "texture" of the case plasitic atari used. Stay tuned, I will see what I can figure out.

Edited by puppetmark, Fri Apr 20, 2007 2:53 PM.


#13 mimo OFFLINE  

mimo

    Preppie!

  • 6,778 posts
  • It's easy living in a bubble

Posted Thu May 10, 2007 5:42 PM

I have put a 400 top case and a complete 1050 case in the Dishwasher.
Still yellow, but really clean :cool:
Clean and yellow is the new black!
just to let you know, I left the lable on the 1050, as it is fairly well used anyway :roll: , and to my surprise there seams to be very little deterioration :cool:

Edited by mimo, Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:58 PM.


#14 mos6507 OFFLINE  

mos6507

    River Patroller

  • 4,873 posts

Posted Mon May 28, 2007 1:54 AM

When my Atari cases first started getting dirty I managed to lighten them with bleach, but that was back in the late 80s when they were probably more dirty than yellowed. Has anyone tried that with yellowed cases?

#15 mimo OFFLINE  

mimo

    Preppie!

  • 6,778 posts
  • It's easy living in a bubble

Posted Thu May 31, 2007 5:48 AM

When my Atari cases first started getting dirty I managed to lighten them with bleach, but that was back in the late 80s when they were probably more dirty than yellowed. Has anyone tried that with yellowed cases?

yes. It doesn't work,

#16 kheller2 OFFLINE  

kheller2

    Dragonstomper

  • 587 posts
  • Location:PA, USA

Posted Sun Jun 3, 2007 1:58 PM

For those doing the dishwasher trick of cleaning, I suggest removing the plastic protective cover off of the brushed metal parts. I decided to keep the cover on, thinking it would protect the metal from my hard water. Well, after washing it and peeling the cover off, it took the "I 1050" off my label, the paint just flaked off.

#17 KrazyKaiju OFFLINE  

KrazyKaiju

    Dragonstomper

  • 855 posts
  • Not dead yet.
  • Location:Springfield, MO

Posted Sun Jun 3, 2007 3:16 PM

What's the best type of glue to use when reattaching the aluminum trim on an XL? I didn't want to try something that would eat into the plastic.

#18 re-atari OFFLINE  

re-atari

    Moonsweeper

  • 286 posts

Posted Sun Jul 1, 2007 7:45 AM

Here is a great repair procedure I found on the internet a while back. I had 2 1200XL's with none working keys and only wanted to buy new boards as a last resort. This procedure worked great. It also works on the Mitsumi made keyboards in many Atari 800's. Be very careful not to tear (too much) the silicone rubber gasket on the mylar. Take it slow and you will have the equivalent of a new keyboard when you're done.

I posted the attached image in thread http://www.atariage....howtopic=108484 , but decided it might just belong here as well. Here is a (badly scanned) partial schematic that shows how the keyboard matrix and CD4051's are wired to POKEY.

Pokey_Keyboardscan.gif

Sadly the individual keys are not marked here, hope it helps anyway.

re-atari

#19 Urchlay OFFLINE  

Urchlay

    Stargunner

  • 1,131 posts

Posted Sun Jul 1, 2007 10:36 PM

Atari's are dishwasher safe!!!


Old post I'm replying to here, but... I did wash both halves of an 800XL case in the dishwasher the other day. Covered the bottom label in clear packing tape (didn't stick the tape to the label itself: it's slightly recessed). Results are good, the bottom label stayed on (though the packing tape didn't!)... but I forgot to cover the silver Atari 800XL badge on the top of the case, and part of the letters ATA came off! A small bit of packing tape would have avoided this maybe.

Actually, the top half of the case had been mostly covered in contact paper, like you line kitchen shelves with. A girl I knew 15 years ago thought it'd look cute with Mickey Mouse contact paper, and I thought she was cute, so... Before I ran it through the dishwasher I soaked it in the bathtub in soapy water for a couple hours, then scrubbed with q-tips and goo gone (and then alcohol) to get the sticker gunk off. Interestingly, the contact paper kept the plastic from yellowing as much as it did on the uncovered part. I would have thought it wouldn't block UV light at all...

One tip for people who try this: if your dishwasher has a "heated dry" setting, you should probably turn it off. It's possible that the heat could warp the plastic (it happens with tupperware in my dishwasher).

Another tip: if you cover the paper label with tape, and the tape falls off in the dishwasher, make sure you find it and get it out of the dishwasher before using again (it could clog the drain).

#20 Allas OFFLINE  

Allas

    Stargunner

  • 1,101 posts
  • Location:Lima - Per

Posted Mon Jul 9, 2007 11:44 PM

I have a lot of Ataris and few of them are being yellow. I've read this interesting article about how to fight again the yellow plastic and possible solutions.

Why plastic take yellow color

#21 Abaracus OFFLINE  

Abaracus

    Combat Commando

  • 1 posts

Posted Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:51 PM

I have a lot of Ataris and few of them are being yellow. I've read this interesting article about how to fight again the yellow plastic and possible solutions.

Why plastic take yellow color


Hello,
I have tried using oven cleaner (the dollar store stuff, did not try easy off) on yellowing PC plastics, it worked on two case fronts, lightened em up. Donno if the different plastic types would matter.

#22 yorgle OFFLINE  

yorgle

    Dragonstomper

  • 531 posts

Posted Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:18 PM

I've had very good results using a product called "Bar Keeper's Friend" sold in the cleaning products section of most grocery stores. While it won't fix yellowed plastic, it takes off all nearly every conceivable kind of mark and stain. Just go easy because it is slightly abrasive and could smooth out the texture of the plastic if you scrub too hard. I just used it on a 1200xl that had a big "W" written on the top (perhaps meaning "works"). It appeared to have been written in blue magic marker. Water alone didn't affect it. The Bar Keeper's Friend made it entirely disappear.

#23 eeun OFFLINE  

eeun

    Chopper Commander

  • 134 posts

Posted Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:16 AM

I haven't tried this myself, but one of the Apple II guys I know used hydrogen peroxide to clear up some case yellowing.

#24 yorgle OFFLINE  

yorgle

    Dragonstomper

  • 531 posts

Posted Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:08 PM

I haven't tried this myself, but one of the Apple II guys I know used hydrogen peroxide to clear up some case yellowing.


You'll have to wait a generation or two to find out exactly what "DNA damage" you've suffered if you don't wear gloves... :D

#25 tjlazer OFFLINE  

tjlazer

    Stargunner

  • 1,441 posts
  • Retro Atari Addict
  • Location:Historic South Tacoma, WA USA

Posted Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:43 PM

I haven't tried this myself, but one of the Apple II guys I know used hydrogen peroxide to clear up some case yellowing.


You'll have to wait a generation or two to find out exactly what "DNA damage" you've suffered if you don't wear gloves... :D


WTF is a cheese cloth? LOL

I wonder if you can just dab the top case with it and repeat, what does the cloth do?? I doubt this will work on the XE/ST's as the gray will not fad too well.

Edited by tjlazer, Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:47 PM.





0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users