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How to remove yellowing from an old Atari case

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Thanks, but this one needs the single layer Mitsumi Mylar Duddie said he was going to produce. There's apparently a hack enabling the use of the double-layer Mylar in the Mitsumi keyboard, and the machine's owner is going to try that. Edited by flashjazzcat

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For those who have retrobrighted an XL machine, I was curious how to deal with the clear plastic bezel. I'm leery about trying to remove it for fear of breaking it, but also scared of getting the mixture and/or water under the bezel.

 

Any tips would be appreciated! :-D

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You can remove it safely with a guitar pick or plastic spudger. Gently insert the tool in the narrow gap either side of the perspex panel and the lugs will release.

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You can remove it safely with a guitar pick or plastic spudger. Gently insert the tool in the narrow gap either side of the perspex panel and the lugs will release.

 

Hi flashjazzcat--

 

Thanks for the tip, though I guess I should have clarified that I was trying to remove the clear panel from the 1200XL.

 

I used a plastic spudger and tried to gently lift the bezel thinking that a lug would eventually release, only to have the end of the panel crack and break off! :_( Thinking it was a fluke I tried the same procedure from the other side, but the bezel starting cracking there as well.

 

Luckily it was my "practice" on the unit that I fried last year. Still it was painful to inflict the damage on this 38-year old survivor. :(

 

I tried your tip on an 800XL and the panel came right off, so I was a little mystified. However, upon closer inspection I saw that the 1200XL panel was an inlay with no apparent way to remove without damaging the panel or surrounding case.

 

After studying it for a while, I finally was able to snap off the entire brown plastic portion of the shell from the rest of the top cover, and the clear panel popped right out. :-D The clear bezel is wedged between the two components.

 

Hopefully this will help others avoid the same pain and suffering. ;)

Edited by Kavik
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Sorry for the misunderstanding. I could have told you straight away that the 1200XL's perspex panel is held in place by the brown plastic section. :)

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Sorry for the misunderstanding. I could have told you straight away that the 1200XL's perspex panel is held in place by the brown plastic section. :)

 

No worries. It was a fortuitous mistake since I learned how to disassemble the top case so I can retrobrite just the beige portion.

 

My only question left before I give this a try is how to best protect the label on the bottom of the machine.

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I'd mask off the recessed part with electrician's tape and a bit of plastic bag. It means the area immediately surrounding the label will stay yellow, but other than permanently covering the label with transparent adhesive film, there's not much else you can do. The label on my first 1200XL was badly damaged and held together with sticky-tape to begin with, so I eventually took it off, scanned it, and made a replacement which I haven't yet affixed. :)

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When I retr0brighted my Ugly Duckling 1200XL last summer, I masked off the brown parts and the clear Lexan/Perspex clear plastic with blue painters tape. Since I was just coating with Clairol hair peroxide gel and not immersing the whole thing in a tub of solution, this worked very well.

 

For what it’s worth, I’ve still never managed to separate the brown and white plastic bits from the top of an XL case before losing my nerve about breaking something and backing out. :P

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I've just got my first 600XL in 36 or so years... and offcourse it has yellowed. I've been reading up to the retrobright process, but i wonder if it also restores the black casing and keys of the XL's? If i look at them closely, they are dark brownish. Will applying the retrobright not only brings back the white, but does it also restore the black plastics?

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I've just got my first 600XL in 36 or so years... and offcourse it has yellowed. I've been reading up to the retrobright process, but i wonder if it also restores the black casing and keys of the XL's? If i look at them closely, they are dark brownish. Will applying the retrobright not only brings back the white, but does it also restore the black plastics?

It doesn’t affect the dark parts but I would not submerge them or put the solution on it as it can dry out or fade the label. I just brush on the tan pieces with a brush and leave out in the sun, re apply every 15 min and in a few hours it’s creme white again!

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I've just got my first 600XL in 36 or so years... and offcourse it has yellowed. I've been reading up to the retrobright process, but i wonder if it also restores the black casing and keys of the XL's? If i look at them closely, they are dark brownish. Will applying the retrobright not only brings back the white, but does it also restore the black plastics?

all the retrobrite in all the world will NEVER restore your XL to BLACK

why?

because the keys and keyboard surround are BROWN - because they were made BROWN in the first place.

 

i don't know why people think XLs were ever BLACK...they weren't.

Edited by brenski
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Ah ok, i was under the impression they were black, like the black surrounding on the case (i'm pretty sure that is not brown?)

Edited by jowi

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no they are brown, dark almost matching brown... if you see black maybe some one painted it.... the white is a very light creme color (egg shell, off white etc.)

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If i take a closeup picture of the keys with flash, you can clearly see they're brown, i'll try to do the same with the casing. I'm sure you are all right, it's just in my mind the thing was black & white back in the day ;)

I think once the casing has been brightened up a bit and is no longer yellow, the increased contrast between the light (almost) white casing and the darker surrounding keyboard casing makes you think it is black.

Edited by jowi

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Ah ok, i was under the impression they were black, like the black surrounding on the case (i'm pretty sure that is not brown?)

the XL range: 600xl, 800xl and 1200xl and 1010 (program recorder) and 1050 (disk drive) as well as the 1027 and 1029 printers and 1030 modem all have the same colour scheme.

 

this is essentially brown and off-white (cream).

 

it's easy to tell that the BROWN is BROWN and intended to be BROWN.

how?

take a look at the peripheral devices like the 1050 disk drive - same matching colour scheme but these also have a distinctly black centre part to the drive facia plate.

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hey it could be a lighting issue, plenty of LED and compact fluorescent light bulbs today make for terrible a terrible CRI. These new lighting methods are terrible for your eyesight and health..

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Ok, another question, why retrobright with all the risks and the Return Of The Yellowing a few years later, if you can just simply spraypaint the (off)white parts e.g. with an airbrush? I'm sure that won't yellow again...

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1. You can't paint XE keyboards without obscuring the lettering and the paint would chip and rub off anyway.

2. With cases, painting sometimes works well but the risk of nasty-looking paint chipping remains. It's hard to get an original looking result with paint as well, even if one is skilled enough to apply the paint without obscuring the texture of the plastic.

Edited by flashjazzcat
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this^

 

you can do the keys in a small clear container of warm water and Oxy (Vanish) - just add sunlight

 

I've had mixed results with paint. but it can turn out quite nice. trickiest part is the case vents.

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I retrobrighted a *very* badly yellowed 1200XL about 16 months ago (see up-thread for photos). No noticeable change since. Of course, the unit is inside, out of direct sunlight and away from UV-containing fluorescent light like you might find in an office. This is also a non-smoking house. In my years of cleaning up old computers and game consoles, the ones from smoking environments have been the worst - most discolored, dirtiest, etc. Nicotine stains like nobody's business, and cigarette smoke makes dust and crud adhere to surfaces and hastens the staining.

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I've bought a 400W UV light with an E40 fitting (needs a special ballast unit but i got one of those) and some 12% hairdresserperoxide-goo.

Any idea on how long a moderately yellowed case needs under UV light like this? It's a pretty powerfull lamp i guess... i'm reading about 24-48 hours sunlight in some cases... this lamp should take a few hours i guess? Any ideas?

 

https://www.thomann.de/gb/sylvania_hsw_400_e40_blacklight.htm

Edited by jowi

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