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johndias

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About johndias

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  1. You don't need a lot, @eightbit. I did about a 50/50 mix of water and Salon 40. Just be sure to wash your hands after you touch the solution - at first you won't notice anything but it will start to burn your skin. Gloves would be ideal when handling. You can always add more if you think you aren't getting results but if you get little bubbles on the plastics after about an hour or so, it's doing the job. Just my limited experience, of course.
  2. My VIC-20 was the first retr0brite I tried. Turned out fine but we will see if it sticks. I used liquid just like @Arnuphis in a tub, left it in the sun for a few hours. Now, my attempt at doing a retr0brite on the keys, THAT was a disaster. I used cream and the outcome was discoloration of the brown. So, lesson learned on that. Currently working on a retr0brite of a calculator body for my brother. He asked me to give it a try, even after I explained the possible issues. WRT brittleness. I, in my very limited experience, have not found the plastics to be brittle - at least for the age. My guess is that the plastics that are yellowed also suffered structurally from the same environmental stress, and the assumption is that the process made them brittle, when in reality they were already brittle. Looks great (except for the above mentioned key botch) and runs great. I recapped it, but I'm toying with the idea of doing the S-Video mod. Not 100% sure I want to go that route yet. I did get the Penultimate+ cart, love that thing! Oh and the spring I lost on the keyboard; got a replacement in and I'm whole again!
  3. I did it, turned out great. Time will tell if I made the right choice.
  4. Not a fan, but to each their own. But, I would be interested in a paint job that matched the original plastic coloring (versus doing a retrobrite). I'm sure it wouldn't look 100% the same but close enough to make me happy. Actually getting my TRS-80 repainted (via @Texas Tandy restorations ) which is a nice alternative to dealing with the yellowing.
  5. Found replacement springs here - http://retroleum.co.uk/ At a very reasonable price!
  6. I've had to match springs before, it's challenging. There are online places that sell springs. That's my last resort, I'm hoping to find a kind soul with a spare VIC-20.
  7. IPA and a paper towel. I think the problem before is that I was using a non-cotton fiber swab like the ones here and it wasn't doing much scrubbing. They're great for general grime and cleaning tape and disk heads, though.
  8. Oh man, rookie mistake! Short story, while I thought the contacts were clean I put them under my microscope and realized there was corrosion on most of them. So, with extra diligence I cleaned them all up and for kicks tested the resistance on all of the plungers (they were all around 100 ohm which I guess is good?) and tested - all the keys work! Well, except for the Commodore key, for which I lost the spring. Anyone know where I can buy one?
  9. Hmm, I have some graphite powder and was attempting to make conductive paint for an electroplating project - I might play around with that and see if I can re-surface those plungers.
  10. There's no pattern, that I can determine. The working ones are scattered about.
  11. I pulled the keyboard PCB out and cleaned it with IPA. Then I plugged it back in and used a wire to jump the contacts to see if that would respond. The keys did (I didn't do a complete test but enough to convince me that I had a mechanical problem). Then I took a plunger (the commodore key) and used it to connect each of the contacts. No bueno, the key presses did not show up. So, I think my plungers are bad, what to do? These are NOT the rubber dome ones but rather like this one
  12. Hi all, my new power supply from Ray arrived today so I got a chance to boot up for the first time. System comes up, no problem, but the keyboard ... probably 80% of the keys don't work. I had pulled them and cleaned them while I was retrobriting the case (and lost one spring - anyone got a spare?). I saw another thread @carlsson recommended swapping the 6522 chips, which I will do. What else can I check?
  13. OK, so if I do the mod, just null pin 1 and 5 based on carlsson's advice? Also, looks like I should get the Pi1541 - sold!
  14. Well, I may just proceed with the RF converter repair for now until I get more familiar with the machine, plus I don't know what else may be wrong with it. I have a spare Gotek, which I assume could be used with the VIC-20?
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