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Retrobrighting with just the sun

retrobright yellowing old console

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#1 sprazzi OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 15, 2019 2:11 AM

Youtuber Perifractic (atariage user: Starglider01) published a video https://www.youtube....h?v=8P1OVj0IcqY on which he tried to retrobright old plastic with just the power of the sun, no other element needed.

I decided to give this method a try, and these are my results, after 2 day of exposure to Italy morning sun (about 6 hours):

 

before

IMG_20190505_135526_337x600.jpg

 

after

IMG_20190507_150801_338x600.jpg

 

before

IMG_20190511_095818_337x600.jpg

 

after

IMG_20190514_141520_337x600.jpg

 

So what do you think? I believere there are some improvement over the initial state, without any effort!



#2 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 15, 2019 4:31 AM

What about a longer exposure time, and mask off the color stuff and text and printings with aluminum foil..?



#3 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 15, 2019 5:14 AM

If just the sun is enough to whiten these things back up and instead of waiting for a nice sunny day, I wonder if a UV lamp would do the trick?

#4 CatPix OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 15, 2019 6:02 AM

If just the sun is enough to whiten these things back up and instead of waiting for a nice sunny day, I wonder if a UV lamp would do the trick?

Most likely, or a greenhouse lamp would probably do too, and mgiht be more easily found.



#5 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 15, 2019 11:12 AM

Many people do use a UV lamp to do it in a closed box, they don't have a choice because they're in a bad weather area or corner of the world tilted away enough the UV never gets concentrated enough like many other places.  Sunny or not, the UV still cuts right through clouds, yet some people feel that's a myth until they get a bad burn reminder on a gray day.



#6 RangerG OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 15, 2019 7:27 PM

I have several times made sudsy water with some Oxyclean and then put items into this in the sun (hot South Georgia summer sun). I didn't mess with wrapping or using a brush, just the sudsy water and the sun. I did flip the items during the day. It worked well and made a big difference.



#7 sprazzi OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 16, 2019 11:11 AM

I have several times made sudsy water with some Oxyclean and then put items into this in the sun (hot South Georgia summer sun). I didn't mess with wrapping or using a brush, just the sudsy water and the sun. I did flip the items during the day. It worked well and made a big difference.

good, but with this method you don't have to open things up!

Edited by sprazzi, Thu May 16, 2019 11:13 AM.


#8 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 16, 2019 11:29 AM

But but but!! 

 

I distinctly remember my old Macintosh gear getting MORE yellow when it was out in my enclosed apartment balcony back in the early 1990s, not less. Parts of the cases that were shielded from the sun kept their "Snow White" color, but the plastic exposed to UV turned almost a butterscotch brown. 

 

Is there a difference between plastic that has been yellowed by the sun vs yellowed by age?


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#9 Zoyous OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 16, 2019 1:34 PM

But but but!! 

 

I distinctly remember my old Macintosh gear getting MORE yellow when it was out in my enclosed apartment balcony back in the early 1990s, not less. Parts of the cases that were shielded from the sun kept their "Snow White" color, but the plastic exposed to UV turned almost a butterscotch brown. 

 

Is there a difference between plastic that has been yellowed by the sun vs yellowed by age?

 

That's what I was wondering. I would guess those are two different chemical reactions; one caused by something breaking down or otherwise changing over the course of many years, and the other, as seen here, being a sort of sunbleaching effect.



#10 Agamon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 16, 2019 1:48 PM

But but but!! 

 

I distinctly remember my old Macintosh gear getting MORE yellow when it was out in my enclosed apartment balcony back in the early 1990s, not less. Parts of the cases that were shielded from the sun kept their "Snow White" color, but the plastic exposed to UV turned almost a butterscotch brown. 

 

Is there a difference between plastic that has been yellowed by the sun vs yellowed by age?

 

Enclosed?  So was the light direct exposure or was there glass in between?  Part of the theory behind this is that windows block the UV but the heat from the sunlight could cause the discoloring...



#11 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 16, 2019 3:05 PM

Yeah I suppose it got hot out there, but as I described, the patterns looked more like suntan lines from UV. If it were just heat, the yellowing would be more uniform, right?

As for SNES, mine never got all funky like that and I don't know why.

#12 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 16, 2019 4:27 PM

Ir has a wavelength and can form patterns as well

Doesnt turn into heat until its absorbed

#13 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 17, 2019 7:13 AM

Check out this thread... appears "sunbrighting" is not all it's cracked up to be. Pun intended - ouch! :lol:

http://forum.amiga.o...5.msg843655#new

#14 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 17, 2019 7:40 AM

Check out this thread... appears "sunbrighting" is not all it's cracked up to be. Pun intended - ouch! :lol:

http://forum.amiga.o...5.msg843655#new

 

That's the same kind of plastic as my old Mac Quadra 610 DOS Compatible. These pictures show that they would have been better off leaving it somewhat dingy. The other factor is age. That Quadra 605 is at least 25 years old. 

 

605_lightbright_failure.jpg



#15 juansolo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 17, 2019 9:40 AM

Stuck a mouse outside in the UK for 3 'sunny' (around 20C) days... I suspect it's not gonna work here. Retrobrite would have done the job in a single sitting, two at most.



#16 TheCoolDave OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 17, 2019 11:06 AM

As for SNES, mine never got all funky like that and I don't know why.

 

As I was reading, after a few years Nintendo changed the plastic chemicals they used for the SNES. It was about fire safety. I have 2 SNES machines,

 

As at one point I could not find my original consoles, I picked up one of the nicer looking ones I could find for a good price... It looks flawless like it was brand new. No yellowing at all.

 

My original one that I had in the 80's, It looked perfect when I had it back in the day (I have pictures, it was a release day purchase) then it was bubble wrapped and stored in a sealed box, in my mothers basement for over 20 years.  I pulled it out a few months ago, the top part is completely yellowed but, the bottom is fine.  My bedroom was something I built in the basement with one, VERY small window (it was instead sharing a bedroom with my brother). It never left the house and was never in the sun.  I wonder how UV light got to it when it was used or stored.... 

 

I was thinking of retrobrighting it to try to get it's orginal color back.  I still need to investigate what model is a 1-Chip and what version to decide what model I will be using in my setup...but, working on some other consoles at this point.



#17 CGQuarterly OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 17, 2019 1:57 PM

I'm going to stick to using the peroxide cream from the beauty supply store along with a couple of hours of sun exposure.  Has worked like a charm for me.



#18 Zoyous OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 17, 2019 5:51 PM

A while back, I read an interview with an expert on plastics and they basically recommended painting as the best way to brighten up yellowed plastics.



#19 CatPix OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 18, 2019 8:22 AM

For SNES, Nintendo probably had different manufacturers - but this experience of mien relate to the EuroJap model, the US one might have only one provider and be more consistent.
Just browse eBay for used SuFami and on them yellowing is all over the place; some only get sunfaded on some parts, other turn all yellow.

91016485a.jpg
91016485b.jpg

Reverse pattern :
9000008237676a.jpg

Yellowed all over (even the pads!)
91500106a.jpg
91500106b.jpg

Yellowing on the bottom of the case clearly inducate that yellowing is caused by different things. Certainly, UV and heat will break down the fire retardants faster, but there have been reported cases of NOS, never opened SNES being opened and found yellowed.

If I remember well, Nintendo wanted to focus on the US market so they set up their own making line for it, so they mgiht have relied on only one manufacturer; they picked up the Japanese shells for Europe mostly because the "release peak sales" was past them in Japan. Still they had difficulties to provide both, the SNES sales in Europe were stronger than expected, and getting parts from different manufacturers and mixing them when assembling consoles (there is really only two different parts between a Jap and Euro console : the cart flap on early models (SuFami One says "Insert cassette here" the Euro one says "PAL version") and the front part with the logo)
There is one exception, the French model doesn't have RF out, so Nintendo molded a "hole less" part :

Rear of a French model that suffers from "brittle plastic" even without clear yellowing :
snes-casse-derriere.jpg

Edited by CatPix, Sat May 18, 2019 8:24 AM.


#20 danwinslow OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 18, 2019 10:12 AM

i think the UV will 'bleach' some by snapping apart some of the pigment compounds, but it's also destroying the polymer integrity. UV is pretty active on organic bonds of all sorts.



#21 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 18, 2019 9:12 PM

A while back, I read an interview with an expert on plastics and they basically recommended painting as the best way to brighten up yellowed plastics.

 

I think retrobriting (or some form thereof) works better on some systems than others. Painting is probably the best overall but becomes problematic when systems have decal or silkscreen logos and markings and such.



#22 Bratwurst OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 19, 2019 8:24 AM

Putting your stuff out in the sun is not a winning combination in the long term- danwinslow has hit the nail on the head. It makes the plastic brittle.







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