Wednesday, January 6, 2021
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Many vintage (15+ years) electronic boards (PCBs) are at a higher risk of having its non-solid electrolytic capacitors leaking by now. Such leaking occurs regardless of whether the component is actually being used/energized (although storage conditions may further contribute to the component degradation). The leakage happens due to natural aging of the component sealing and/or internal corrosion within the capacitor. The consequence of such leakages can be catastrophic not only for the capacitor itself, but for the electronic board as a whole. Here is why...
The most commonly used capacitor (aka caps) in computer logic boards and power supplies are the non-solid electrolytic capacitors, which use a liquid or gel as electrolyte. The problem is that the electrolyte liquid/gel used in these caps are conductive and corrosive and both these characteristics do not go well if spilled over your PCB. Therefore, when these capacitors leak, they can cause:
1) The PCB to malfunction by creating electric contact (short circuits) between components that were intended to be connected. Depending on the short circuits created by the conductive liquid, it could completely burn components and even create holes in the PCB, potentially damaging the board beyond repair.
2) In addition to shortening components, the corrosive nature of the electrolyte will (with time) corrode the copper traces on the PCB as well as the components terminals to a certain extent. The electrolyte will also cover the solder joints creating a crusty layer that shields the solder joint from heat, requiring you to add more heat to be able to remove components (by desoldering).
|Macintosh IIsi Power Supply with leaky capacitors|
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Hello everyone! I would like to share my experience restoring old computers to its original (or close to) beige/grey colour.
If you are reading this post, chances are that you know what retrobright (or retr0bright) is. In any case, here is a short explanation: ABS plastics were largely used in computers and game consoles in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s. Plastic manufacturers mixed bromine within the ABS formula to give these plastics fire retardant properties. With time, these ABS plastics turn yellow due to a chemical reaction between the bromine and UV light (radiated plenty by the Sun and also fluorescent lights among other sources).
|The state of my vintage Apple keyboard prior to the process|
Sunday, October 4, 2020
I got this Macintosh SE SuperDrive (or FDHD) as part of a complete package, with keyboard, mouse, the original Apple manuals (including the stickers), an Apple StyleWritter II printer, a 1200 bps modem and even some early 90s software.
The seller tried to power it on and sent me this photo of what he got on the screen:
|Strange wavy pattern with a faint checkered board in the back|
I researched for such pattern to get hints on what could be going on and heard it could be:
Sunday, August 30, 2020
The Macintosh SE/30 is considered by many the holy grail of the Classic Macs. It is the fastest and most expandable of the classics 9" B&W form factor Macintoshes. It can accept up to a whopping 128Mb of RAM (!!!), what is impressive for a machine that was released back in Jan/1989.
Sunday, August 9, 2020
As the Clamshell and retro laptops in general get older, it gets harder and harder to find batteries for them. That's understandable as the demand is also negligible and most older laptops end up on a landfill or at a electronics recycling facility unfortunately. Luckily for us, retro computer enthusiasts and collectors alike, it is possible to rebuild some older laptop batteries with standard new cell you can still buy today.
The iBook G3 Clamshell is a classic Apple laptop from the late 90s and early 2000s (it was sold from 1999 to 2001 to exact). It has the now "iconic" colour shell that matched the iMac G3 CRTs of that era. For their unique design and relatively low duration run (it had less than a 2 years run), it is also getting harder to find and thus its price has increased.
More details about the iBook G3: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBook
|An indigo iBook G3 clamshell and it's unique holder|