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Some things were not meant to be retrobrighted

ti-99/4a retrobright retr0bright

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#1 chue OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:19 AM

I recently purchased some beige TIs off of craigslist.  I cleaned them up and they still had a bit of yellowing so I had this great idea to retrobright them.  It was a big mistake.

 

The retrobrighting process turned them white, and the process also left the coloring marbleized.  For reference, I did not retrobright the keys; also in the photos, the TI sits on top of a white freezer.  I did die a little inside after I saw the results :(

 

It is entirely possible that I did something wrong, but I just thought I would share my experience in case someone else has the same great idea.  It might give you a little pause before you do it.

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Edited by chue, Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:20 AM.


#2 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

--- Ω ---

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:31 AM

Man, that is sad. Thanks for posting that.
Do you think you"ll try a spray paint for plastic to cover it up

#3 chue OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:40 AM

Not sure if I'll do anything further to it at this point.  I might just leave it as a reminder of what can go wrong...



#4 RevEng OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:49 AM

Beige vinyl dye might save it. Case modders use the stuff all the time to change the colors of plastic cases, bezels, and buttons. It doesn't chip like paint does, and doesn't add thickness in the same way that paint does.

#5 Airshack OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:19 AM

You've created opportunity. Paint those splotchy beige boxes to add some personality.


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#6 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:04 AM

Just sayin'...

Attached File  JusSayin.jpg   43.87KB   3 downloads



#7 chue OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:25 AM

LOL Sinphaltimus, too funny!



#8 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:14 AM

Beige vinyl dye might save it. Case modders use the stuff all the time to change the colors of plastic cases, bezels, and buttons. It doesn't chip like paint does, and doesn't add thickness in the same way that paint does.

 

I dunno, 8 Bit Guy did some tests with it and it just looked like paint to me. (He said the same.) You can just rub it off with alcohol. It may not be as thick as paint but it did add a little bit of thickness that you could see after he rubbed it off.

 

Those beige TI machines are so cheap that honestly, I would just chuck that one and get another. If you want to have some fun with this one, you could keep it around and try some other methods to get it back. In the same video I mentioned above, 8 Bit Guy tried a bunch of other methods to brighten things as well: 

 

 

IIRC, he had the most success with a full peroxide bath heated up to like 180 degrees. Being immersed in the peroxide gives even coverage, which is the problem when you use the cream.

 

Whenever I've done it, I use plastic bags and it gets hot enough in there to melt the cream, which turns to a sticky liquid that evens out on its own. So I've never had this problem. But 8 Bit Guy had it happen on one of his machines too. I think it must happen when you use plastic wrap and the cream doesn't melt (was it a cool day when you did this?).



#9 chue OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:29 AM

 

I dunno, 8 Bit Guy did some tests with it and it just looked like paint to me. (He said the same.) You can just rub it off with alcohol. It may not be as thick as paint but it did add a little bit of thickness that you could see after he rubbed it off.

 

Those beige TI machines are so cheap that honestly, I would just chuck that one and get another. If you want to have some fun with this one, you could keep it around and try some other methods to get it back. In the same video I mentioned above, 8 Bit Guy tried a bunch of other methods to brighten things as well: 

 

 

IIRC, he had the most success with a full peroxide bath heated up to like 180 degrees. Being immersed in the peroxide gives even coverage, which is the problem when you use the cream.

 

Whenever I've done it, I use plastic bags and it gets hot enough in there to melt the cream, which turns to a sticky liquid that evens out on its own. So I've never had this problem. But 8 Bit Guy had it happen on one of his machines too. I think it must happen when you use plastic wrap and the cream doesn't melt (was it a cool day when you did this?).

 

You are right those machines are cheap... That is why I am not sweating it too much.

 

I did see that episode by the 8-bit guy.  I didn't have the clear liquid peroxide (or a tub large enough), so I didn't go that route.

 

It was a late August day, probably between 70 - 80 degrees out.  I could never get the retrobright to stay on evenly, and I am sure that is part of the problem.

 

One thing I didn't show in the photos above is the 2nd TI.  On that one I did retrobright the keys using the same mixture - the keys came out perfect.  So I think it is also related to the type of plastic.


Edited by chue, Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:32 AM.


#10 PeBo OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:44 AM

Maybe I'm weird, but I kida like the accidental effect of the mottled white over the stock beige. and would be very tempted to paint them with a desert-camo pattern...or even apply some vinyl-wrap flames or game motifs as you see on overclocker's modded cases.

 

Just because the TI's originally only came in beige or brushed stainless/black, doesn't mean they should stay that way, and am actually surprised that there is not more custom console modding taking place. There's just so much that could be done because of the unusual shape of the TI console compared to let's say the Atari XL series or the C-64!

 

Heck even a translucent wrap over one of the silver/black models to make it a different colour metal (cobalt blue, heck ya!!!) would be outstanding.



#11 chue OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:14 PM

Maybe I'm weird, but I kida like the accidental effect of the mottled white over the stock beige. 

 

Heck even a translucent wrap over one of the silver/black models to make it a different colour metal (cobalt blue, heck ya!!!) would be outstanding.

 

In thinking about it, it isn't the white that bothers me so much but the "mottled" part.

 

I was also thinking blue for the fix on the plastic case, but I think I would go for the same blue that is in the logo on the top of the case.  (Sample in the attached image, but it's a little faded because of the retrobrighting.)

Attached Files


Edited by chue, Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:16 PM.


#12 Jeremy Popp OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:38 PM

I recently purchased some beige TIs off of craigslist.  I cleaned them up and they still had a bit of yellowing so I had this great idea to retrobright them.  It was a big mistake.

 

The retrobrighting process turned them white, and the process also left the coloring marbleized.  For reference, I did not retrobright the keys; also in the photos, the TI sits on top of a white freezer.  I did die a little inside after I saw the results :(

 

It is entirely possible that I did something wrong, but I just thought I would share my experience in case someone else has the same great idea.  It might give you a little pause before you do it.

 

I've actually had a similar situation on a SNES I did earlier this year.  Did you cover it with saran wrap?  My diagnosis was the saran wrap didn't cling to some areas as well as others and the retro bright dried out in the sun.  Therefore, some areas continued to brighten, while others dried up.  I need to get a UV light because the sun and wind are not the most consistently reliable sources.



#13 chue OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:59 PM

 

I've actually had a similar situation on a SNES I did earlier this year.  Did you cover it with saran wrap?  My diagnosis was the saran wrap didn't cling to some areas as well as others and the retro bright dried out in the sun.  Therefore, some areas continued to brighten, while others dried up.  I need to get a UV light because the sun and wind are not the most consistently reliable sources.

 

Yes, I did use saran wrap.  I think that you are right that the results would be better with a UV light.



#14 helocast OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:14 PM

It is entirely possible that I did something wrong, but I just thought I would share my experience in case someone else has the same great idea.  It might give you a little pause before you do it.

Can't link to my original post with my pictures of results, but I continue to swear by OxiClean's results - literally like new!

 

I disassemble top/bottom halves removing all screws and the stuff they hold (GROM door, et al.) and soak plastic parts in a sink - hot water (just enough to cover console half, maybe 1.5 gallons?), add a cup of OxiClean, and let the parts soak for 30 minutes depending on staining level. Then I rinse with warm water and rub dry with one of those non-scratch, microfiber towels out of a car care kit. If I'm not satisfied (heavier staining) it goes back in the sink for 30 more minutes. Doesn't take much elbow grease at all either way. Towel dry with a cotton cloth/towel.

 

That's for the beige ones. Process works equally well on black ones if you take a little care bending the release tangs from the brushed aluminum trim to detach them before soaking.Attached File  OC.JPG   337.34KB   0 downloads



#15 RevEng OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:06 PM

I dunno, 8 Bit Guy did some tests with it and it just looked like paint to me. (He said the same.) You can just rub it off with alcohol. It may not be as thick as paint but it did add a little bit of thickness that you could see after he rubbed it off.

He probably should have followed the instructions on the can. You're supposed to go light and do multiple coats, but in the video 8 Bit Guy blobbed it on and tried to coat it in one go. You can't do that with any spray based solution. That said, if you do a poor job with coverage, vinyl dye will actually even out over the course of a day or two.

It doesn't come off with alcohol normally unless it hasn't cured yet, which may take a while, if you blob it on.

I've used the stuff on mating parts on handheld camcorders. After a 3 fine coats, the parts looked perfect and still mated, a slight bit tighter than before, but not a problem.

#16 chue OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:21 PM

Can't link to my original post with my pictures of results, but I continue to swear by OxiClean's results - literally like new!

 

 

Thanks! I'll keep that in mind for next time.



#17 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:24 AM

I'd kind of like to see if you can clear up the mottling and go pure white. That would look interesting. ;)



#18 chue OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:23 PM

I'd kind of like to see if you can clear up the mottling and go pure white. That would look interesting. ;)

 

Yes I'd like to see if I can get rid of the splotches... I'll have to go pick up some hydrogen peroxide and a tub large enough for the TI.







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