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My Retro Gaming Center Setup and Refurbishing

I've been refurbishing old consoles and building a new retro gaming center for myself, this year.  I figured I would dump the photos here from the past few months so I don't lose them.  It all started when I found this really nice old Sylvania flatsceen TV that is still old enough to not be widesreen ($7 Goodwill).  After that, it was a matter of cleaning dust and grime off the old consoles, which had been sitting dormant on bookcase shelves, and diagnosing which controllers worked, and which were defective.  At this point, my Atari controllers were stuttering or intermittently unresponsive.  The Atari was still dusty, and lots of cartridges really needed to be jiggered around to get them to work.  Without any cleaning for this, the problem resolved on its own after some use swapping cartridges on the console over a few weeks.  The Intellivision II functioned, but still needs serious jiggering to get cartridges to load, but none of them were found to be dead.  The playstation 2 works beautifully, but none of my memory cards were recognized.  Some of the controllers turned out to be broken, especially the "clear red plastic" one seen plugged in here.  I found a nice woodgrain cabinet for a stand at goodwill for 5 bucks, and used an old xetec Amiga hard drive casing for the stand to raise the TV up a bit.
Next, I took apart the 2 sets of Atari paddles, which suffered from "Jitter," and cleaned them.  Reassembled after cleaning the residue and grease with alcohol and swabs, they worked perfectly.
The next challenge was to open up both joysticks, remove the clear adhesive over the boards, clean them, and reassemble with packing tape over the boards.  
Both of them worked very well, aside from an issue with one of them: The cable plastic seemed pretty stiff, and would lose control if it was not held in a certain position - ultimately a small tug downwards of the connector end plugged into the back of the console got whatever connections were loose to connect.  But, this one went into my "museum" for non-use, ultimately.
Next, I took apart the console and cleaned the case.  I found three areas on the RF cable where the plasic cord exterior had torn, but it seems that the cable is still working perfectly, so a little electrical tape was wrapped around the frayed parts to protect them.  Ultimately, I want to replace the cord and fix the connectors in the B&W switch, and get a second Atari joystick, but this is good enough for now.  After the next photo was taken, I popped the caps off the paddles and cleaned them some more.
Next, I identified two playstation controllers that still functioned, though only one PS2 dualshock controlled worked, so a PS1 controller was borrowed from the old console which is in my "museum."  I added a VCR to the mix, running the PS2 through that.  Finally, I set up a spare tablet to be able to quicky hit a website with atari manuals on it, for reference if needed, and bought myself a Harmony Cartridge for the Atari for loading games from my organized rom library on SD card, which I continue to explore and learn about.  My Atari Keyboard Controllers needed no maintenance - so they will be nice to have for Star Raiders. :)
Finally, the Commodore 128 (64) computer and accompanying Commodore 1571 (Disk Drive) were set up as part of my functioning retro gaming center. It's still going to need some refurbishing to get it all cleaned up and "retro-brighted", with the 128 boot not functioning, lots of keys lacking spring or being loose, and the old RF video cable lacking proper RF shielding to prevent interference. But, it functions and I have access to all my old files and games. This was my primary computer literally from like 1985-1998. I'm making good on my "perpertual student" label for myself. Pacing myself, but aside from some repairs on this and the Atari, I still have two Commdore 64's and an Amiga 500 that will need to come back to life. The Amiga will need cleaning and retrobrighting, keyboard fixes, proper video cable, and a boot disk. The 64's with need to have their problem diagnosed. I have a Timex Sinclair 2068 with no cables, and an Atari 5200 that has a rusted end to it's RF (Power?? WTF) cable, which sparks when turned on.  My playstation 1 is probably fine, but with the PS2, there's no rush on that.  I'm definitely going to need a proper belkin surge protector instead of these two cheapo power strips.  Projects for much later.

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Posted (edited)

You removed the lubricant. Now it needs to be replaced. Take them apart again and use a contact cleaner/lubricant like Deoxit F5 or fader lube. Regular alcohol and water evaporate and leaves the metal wiper arm to grind against the carbon/graphite resistive material.


Love the packing tape idea. It needs to be more prevalent!

Edited by Keatah

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