Questions tagged [maintenance]

For questions about methods, techniques and tools for the care and upkeep of retro machinery. For questions about repairing non-functioning machines, please use the "repair" tag.

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3answers
186 views

How can I clean the RF-Out jack of the SNES

I have got a Snes which is in pretty good shape. My problem is that the RF jack is very dirty and corroted. I haven't tried cleaning it because I think I could accidentally break it. (The jack is ...
3
votes
2answers
383 views

Replacing cord for IBM model M keyboard

I bought a model m keyboard for use at work. The keyboard functions fine, but the cord is in bad shape. Functionally, the cord does not cause any shorts, but the plastic is very brittle and large ...
3
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1answer
114 views

Sam Coupé power supply heat

I have a Sam Coupé and the last time I turn it on, i noticed a smell of components overheating. After opening the power supply I came to the conclusion that is the resistance R1 (50ºc with IR ...
5
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3answers
428 views

What is the optimal way to store retro computing paraphernalia (games, consoles, accessories, books) on display at home?

When collecting retro computing related items you'll undoubtedly end up with a variety of different items, made from different materials and in a range of conditions. Here is a recent snap of my ...
2
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2answers
222 views

How to clean (or prep) Atari 800 or any old computer

I recently got my hands on a couple of Atari 800's and peripherals (disk drives, printer, cartridges, floppy disks). Before I start using this equipment, can someone point me in the right direction as ...
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2answers
245 views

CRT contrast issue: light grey on dark grey

This is on an IBM 5154. Dark grey next to light grey produces a white line between the two. This is noticeable on a color bar test, but is even worse in SimCity (making the text impossible to read). ...
9
votes
1answer
538 views

How to tell if glue or electrolyte leak from old capacitors?

I recently acquired an IBM 5154 EGA monitor that works pretty well. The only minor problem is that the screen is slightly off-center. I decided to take it apart to adjust it, but discovered that many ...
1
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2answers
198 views

Lead Free Solder in Pre-2006 Electronics

In 2006, the European Union passed the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) which pretty much restricted the use of traditional lead-tin solder. Is it the case that all consumer ...
5
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1answer
165 views

How to diagnose a failed capacitor on the mainboard?

My Fox II 286 mainboard just blew a capacitor. I haven't yet powered it on, so maybe the cap was bad. How can I diagnose this problem, and eliminate other bad caps?
1
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2answers
140 views

How to replace battery for old AT mainboard?

On my 286 board, the CMOS battery is missing -- as with most boards of that age. I see no other battery connector on the board. However I would love to fit a battery in there, so I do not have to ...
6
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5answers
2k views

How long will SFC/SNES consoles and cartridges last?

I am thinking of collecting Super Famicon/SNES games but one thing holding me back is the integrity of the cartridges. I am aware of the issue of batteries running out of charge and not being able to ...
8
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3answers
385 views

How safe are modern motherboard-cleaning techniques for this 1987 Soviet portable computer?

I recently bought this portable Soviet Mikrolab KR580IK80. The chips are by design exposed, as it was a training computer, and although it is housed in a carrying case, it is extremely dusty as can be ...
9
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1answer
606 views

How do you remove an LCD bubble on an unmodified Game Boy?

On an unmodified Game Boy Pocket, a small round ~0.5mm diameter bubble appeared on the center-left side of the screen eight months after I had last used it (there was no indication of it previously). ...
11
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4answers
759 views

What, if any, routine maintenance does an old computer need?

Assuming an 80's-era computer that is in good condition and used regularly, what, if any, routine maintenance is needed? For example, do I need to do anything to keep the floppy disk drive(s) in good ...
7
votes
1answer
252 views

Are there any communities who maintain software for the Osborne 1?

As my Osborne 1 ages, various of my disks have had to be retired with errors, and I'm concerned it may not survive much longer so am looking for ways to extend its life. Are there any communities who ...
14
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4answers
1k views

Original Mac capacitor inspection

Which capacitors should be inspected and, if necessary, replaced before attempting to power up an original Mac (purchased January 1984, but "upgraded" to a 512Ke) that has been sitting unused for a ...
45
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4answers
3k views

What precautions to take when powering on old computer for the first time in years

I have a Commodore 128D that hasn't been powered in about 15 years. I want to begin using it again. It has been stored in cool dry places like attached garages, in a cardboard box. I hope this ...
19
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4answers
713 views

When or should we expect our 8-bit motherboards to fail due to the capacitors?

I would assume that most people who have been trying to keep these old micros working are well aware of the finite life of components, which is the idea that age will eventually cause things to fail. ...
9
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3answers
884 views

To wash or not to wash a Mac SE/30

I have a Macintosh SE/30 that I'm trying to bring back to life. When I power it on, I get the dreaded horizontal stripes. Or, zebra stripes. Also called Simasimac. I have re-seated all of the ...
16
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2answers
1k views

Power cycling old hardware

For those of us that use an old computer daily, is it safer for the hardware if the machines are turned off every night, or should they be left on? I assume that powering up is more stressful for the ...
7
votes
1answer
251 views

How many cards can safely be put in a IIgs?

The Apple IIgs can have the usual seven cards an Apple II can have plus RAM which has an additional slot. Other devices can end up inside the IIgs such as an adapter for the Game I/O socket or the ...
12
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2answers
540 views

How do I replace a ZX Spectrum 48k keyboard membrane?

I have a ZX Spectrum 48k on which the keyboard membrane has cracked over the years and, while the Speccy itself is operational, has rendered the computer unusable. I am now in possession of a ...
10
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3answers
506 views

How to clean an old computer ball-mouse

I have an old mouse from a old HP computer which I am using with one of those PS2-to-USB converter cables. The problem is that the mouse has changed its color a bit over the years and is now a bit ...
11
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2answers
203 views

Rubber restoration or replacement?

I recently found an old Satellite 4015cds laptop that I wanted to play around with. I have cleaned all the plastic and it looks really good except for two places. The rubber touchpads and the rubber ...
26
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4answers
774 views

How to get rid of yellowing in plastics?

I have some old electronics with white plastic that's starting to turn yellow. I know it's caused by flame retardants, UV rays, and so on. How can I restore my electronics to their former color?
8
votes
1answer
285 views

Cleaning membrane keyboards

I have a 3003b CoCo 1 (the white one) with the melty keyboard. A few of the keys do not work. On a few of them, there appears to be a slimy substance that I've cleaned from the surface. The badge on ...
47
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4answers
3k views

Why do older computer cases turn yellow?

Why do plastic cases of old computers turn yellow? Is this yellowing a problem that has been solved in modern plastics?
10
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3answers
640 views

How should I clean the plastic exterior of my computers and parts?

What is the most effective way to clean cases, keyboards, old calculators, etc. without harming or discoloring plastic finishes or printing/paint?
12
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2answers
887 views

How can I rejuvenate Game Boy contacts? [duplicate]

I've got an old Nintendo Game Boy, with a number of games for it. The problem is that most of these games don't load any more, and I suspect that's an issue with the contacts either in the unit, or in ...
22
votes
2answers
2k views

Cleaning 5¼" floppy drives

Going to the store is treacherous for me. So I prefer doing stuff at home, including cleaning up 5¼" floppy disks with only home supplies. Unfortunately, I do not know how or which materials/chemicals ...
10
votes
1answer
163 views

What to replace the belt in the cassette drive of an Epson HX-20 with?

I am the owner of an Epson HX-20 laptop computer. It runs well except for the builtin cassette drive which doesn't seem to work reliably. After carefully disassembling it I found that the belt seems ...
33
votes
3answers
3k views

Reconditioning and cleaning old Nintendo (and other) game cartridges

I used to blow the dust out of the cartridges but I heard that can actually damage the cartridge or the system itself. I am looking for the proper way to clean old Nintendo game cartridges (such as ...