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Ninja Doctor

Retro repair and refurbishment

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Bit of an odd topic to start but hey, why not have a thread we can chat a bit about the Technical side of fixing up ageing hardware. 

 

I picked up a couple of old DualShock PlayStation joypads today and am wondering the best option of replacing the analogue sticks. Time has not been fair and I don’t think the rubber was of the highest quality in the first place. 

 

Would generic Chinese PS4 replacement sticks drop straight in?

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The caps would, but the pots have quite a few legs to solder if you need to replace those. Genuine Alps are the ones to get, but be sure to buy the right versions. I think the PS4 clickswitches have slightly different leg spacing to the older pots.

 

aGlWoAp.jpg

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I find PS2 official pads to be useless, the ribbon cable thing always breaks bwond and you end up with pads where not all of the buttons work, so I always end up throwing them away, I am happy to keep hold of the thumb sticks that are good if anyone wants them for the cost of postage.

Doubt there will be many before the bootsales kick off, but any that come along folks are welcome to, saves a bit of landfill ;)

 

As for general retro refurb and repair, I will try my hand at fixing most things, be it with new spare parts, or, in the case of a Snes I got from eBay before Christmas ( when it arrived and I took it apart, it was full of actual SOIL!! like it had been left outside in the dirt and it then rained), it would power up but there was no picture or sound.

 

I stripped it down, cleaned it with IPA, this did nothing, I pulled out a soldering iron, went over all of the solder joints on the chips with the iron, this brought back the image but still no sound, so I got out the heat gun and heted all the visable chips on the board one at a time, eventually it came back to it's former glory and was saved from the scrap heap, took a couple of hours and was console & Mortal Kombat 2 only, no psu, pad etc, but for £16 delivered it was an interesting project that turned out to work eventually.

 

I am all for trying to get stuff back to a working state, why throw things out that are no longer made and ar still in demand? We need more folks with the skills and knowledge to repair rather than just buy new items.

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I fitted a new power switch into my 1084S-D today, that I got as NOS fron the bay. Common fault, apparently, that the internal clip fails and the switch won't stay in. 

 

A pretty easy job, other than the fact I was shitting myself I was going to get a massive shock :D

 

I think I did a decent job, all told. Even colour-coded the heat shrink! 

 

DSC_0175_1548430457926.jpg.7f2bdde1eeefd670ca82ba3f82f8d82d.jpg

 

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Well, yesterday I finally had a hot air rework station thingy arrive, and I set about removing the mask rom, region CIC chip, another one I have no idea what it does and a resistor from the NTSC/U version of Kirby and the Crystal Shards that I picked up from a bootsale a few years ago with a snapped board, missing roughly half the pins.

 

I started out by whacking the heat right up on the hot air gun, covering the chips in solder paste and proceeded to yes, take them off, but also mostly destroyed the board, it was bubbled, melting and bent, if I was to remove chips from my donor cart and replace them with these ones, I would need to be a LOT more careful.

 

I set the temp a little lower, stripped down a copy of F1 Pole Position 64, and slowly began working at the chips, this time using my soldering iron first, then progressing on to the heat gun, it worked much better, I popped the mask ROM off, put in the resistor, unknown chip and Kirby ROM chip to the board and gave it a try ( seeing if I could make an NTSC/U game PAL by keeping the CIC chip in place ) it didn't work, so I popped out the CIC and replaced it with the correct one.

 

Now, the inside of the cart is not looking pretty, when popping the mask ROM back in, I may not have lined up the pins properly and some of the traces have lifted, I've bodged / soldered them on top of the pins, but, it has actually worked!!

 

On my first attempt, I have taken a shit game, stripped it of parts and used the board to repair a game that I've had in the collection for several years but wa essentially dead, I'm pretty chuffed with my efforts tbh.

 

 

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@MikeBeaver, nice! I've got a hot air gun for some tasks, but not a station for re-flow. Even just having the regular gun is incredibly useful, but I'm sure the station is amazing for stuff like SMDs in particular.

 

I bought a solder sucker station recently, and that was a great purchase. Makes taking chips off a board a giggle rather than a chore!

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44 minutes ago, Treble said:

@MikeBeaver, nice! I've got a hot air gun for some tasks, but not a station for re-flow. Even just having the regular gun is incredibly useful, but I'm sure the station is amazing for stuff like SMDs in particular.

 

I bought a solder sucker station recently, and that was a great purchase. Makes taking chips off a board a giggle rather than a chore!

 

After I mangled the first board, I took to a GBC mainboard and took a random chip off, it was surface mounted and fell off in seconds, and went back on just as easily, had watched a few youtube videos on removals, so knew to have the largest pipe on the heat gun.

 

It's nothing fancy, was just over £30 on eBay, but again, did a little research on the make and model, pro's and con's etc and it will certainly come in handy. Goes up to 450 Degrees so more than warm enough for most of the tasks I will find for it :)

 

Any links to this solder sucking station thingy? That could be next on my list ;) 

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This isn't the one I have, but is the one everyone recommends: click

 

I have this one, but I wouldn't recommend the extra expense for the soldering iron, as you can't use them both at the same time which renders that feature pointless (for me, at least) :)

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I bought that desoldering station last week. It makes replacing caps a doddle.

Did some zx spectrum keyboard connectors last night and it never faltered. Only thing was all the tips had solder in and I had to whack it high up to clean them out.

 

You can buy spares easily enough as well,  i broke the glass cylinder and cpc had them in stock as well as filters

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I've been awkwardly looking through the online guides about how to stop your Spectrum +3 or +2A stop sounding like it's underwater.  Seems a simple soldering job , but I may well be a cack handed idiot when it comes to soldering and I am not sure if there's a good way to practice before I risk ruining my Speccy.

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13 minutes ago, dumpster said:

I've been awkwardly looking through the online guides about how to stop your Spectrum +3 or +2A stop sounding like it's underwater.  Seems a simple soldering job , but I may well be a cack handed idiot when it comes to soldering and I am not sure if there's a good way to practice before I risk ruining my Speccy.

Thankfully Mark at Mark Fixes Stuff done mine for me but he did make a video whilst doing so:

 

https://youtu.be/98_BN5zZZqc

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1 hour ago, dumpster said:

I've been awkwardly looking through the online guides about how to stop your Spectrum +3 or +2A stop sounding like it's underwater.  Seems a simple soldering job , but I may well be a cack handed idiot when it comes to soldering and I am not sure if there's a good way to practice before I risk ruining my Speccy.

 

There are precautions you can take, but practice does indeed make perfect. Also, owning decent kit helps massively. If you aren't in a position to buy/upgrade your soldering clobber, then practice on stuff that's hard to trash (the MD1 is good for this) then I'd recommend using a service like Mutant Caterpillar, recommended in the:

 

"@Swainy's the retro guy who can't even buy the right TV for retro" video* he linked to.

 

 

* ;)

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I wanted something to restore the plastic on the PS Vita I just imported.  With metal or wood you can chuck anything you like at them and you'll eventually get results. Restoring plastic is a bastard. So i went out on a limb and bought some Auto Glym Super Resin Polish

 

It's intended for cars so I was very hesitant, so I tested it on an old Transformer of mine - Tracks - to make sure it wouldn't cause any ructions. Worked well!

 

With the Vita, I gently worked a generous amount onto the machine with a microfibre cloth, being pretty vigorous when it came to scratched areas. This was obviously owned by a little kid before (it had a strong parental lock that I had to discover using a registry editor) and had clearly been used as an improvised shufflepuck on a gravel driveway :-/

 

Leaving it half an hour and buffing it out, and the results were very promising: it was immediately more shiny for a start, and some of the greyish-brown marks driven into the plastic by filthy carelessness had been erased. I've done two more passes since, and it's looking really great. Two deep scratches on the screen have been improved by at least 60% I'd say - they were deep enough to create a distracting moire effect previously, and now it's far less pronounced on one, and gone completely on the other.

 

Whichever polymer is filling in the gaps is quite impressive, as it buffs out to be totally transparent.

 

I'll have to see long-term what the results are like, but early impressions are that it's a great solution for (at least partway) restoring scuffed plastic. I bought a litre but that's enough to last until Doomsday if you're not using it on a car (!) so if you want to give it a go, 500ml should be more than enough for consumer devices!

 

Hope this info is of some use to someone. I took a picture, but it's more for flavour than for seeing the results - camera phones can't pick out that level of detail (yet...)

 

DSC_0341_1554891839538.thumb.jpg.5b7c44e132c8d2ed7794a79aa3786043.jpg

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On 10/04/2019 at 12:39, Treble said:

I wanted something to restore the plastic on the PS Vita I just imported.  With metal or wood you can chuck anything you like at them and you'll eventually get results. Restoring plastic is a bastard. So i went out on a limb and bought some Auto Glym Super Resin Polish

 

It's intended for cars so I was very hesitant, so I tested it on an old Transformer of mine - Tracks - to make sure it wouldn't cause any ructions. Worked well!

 

With the Vita, I gently worked a generous amount onto the machine with a microfibre cloth, being pretty vigorous when it came to scratched areas. This was obviously owned by a little kid before (it had a strong parental lock that I had to discover using a registry editor) and had clearly been used as an improvised shufflepuck on a gravel driveway :-/

 

Leaving it half an hour and buffing it out, and the results were very promising: it was immediately more shiny for a start, and some of the greyish-brown marks driven into the plastic by filthy carelessness had been erased. I've done two more passes since, and it's looking really great. Two deep scratches on the screen have been improved by at least 60% I'd say - they were deep enough to create a distracting moire effect previously, and now it's far less pronounced on one, and gone completely on the other.

 

Whichever polymer is filling in the gaps is quite impressive, as it buffs out to be totally transparent.

 

I'll have to see long-term what the results are like, but early impressions are that it's a great solution for (at least partway) restoring scuffed plastic. I bought a litre but that's enough to last until Doomsday if you're not using it on a car (!) so if you want to give it a go, 500ml should be more than enough for consumer devices!

 

Hope this info is of some use to someone. I took a picture, but it's more for flavour than for seeing the results - camera phones can't pick out that level of detail (yet...)

 

DSC_0341_1554891839538.thumb.jpg.5b7c44e132c8d2ed7794a79aa3786043.jpg

In future, you can get the parental lick off through a system restore.

goid work on gettingbit looking better though, will give it a go on a PSP Go! I’ve got that needs attention.

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8 minutes ago, MikeBeaver said:

In future, you can get the parental lick off through a system restore.

 

Sadly not. When I tried to do a system restore, it told me I couldn't. Because of the parental lock :D

 

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Didn't try that, no. Never seen any instructions for that in any guides.

 

As for the machine itself, I took it apart to do a full internal refurb. An immediate word of caution: this ain't for beginners! You need a steady hand and the right tools; nothing uncommon, but tweezers and a good screwdriver that won't strip the outer tiny screws (which are cheap and mushy) are a must.  The internal screws are of much higher quality, and there aren't many to remove.

 

The whole machine is a patchwork of separate tech, linked with delicate ribbon cables. There are four main 'units': the two stick/button assemblies, the main screen assembly, and the rear touchpad assembly.

 

This last is the first thing to deal with after popping-off the case. It has a delicate ribbon connecting it to the main body, so be very careful unclipping it. The stick assemblies have two screws each and no less than SIX ribbons - each has one for the shoulder button, one for the pad/face buttons/anaogue stick, and a final one for either the PS button or Start/Select. Some of these are miniscule! I suspect I hadn't reseated some of these fully, as 'Down' didn't work, then X didn't work on successive delvings! I can't overstate how assiduous you have to be with putting all this stuff together.

 

So I did a few things:

  • General cleaning
  • Cleaned some parts with isopropanol
  • Silicon grease spray on some moving parts
  • Contact cleaner on some of the ribbon connectors
  • Abraded the rubber button contacts

 Probably a couple of other little bits I'm forgetting. It's in a much more pleasant state than before, and likely to last a lot longer. Not sure of any of this is interesting to people, but thought i'd document what I did. Any questions, let me know :)

 

DSC_0343_1555068956263.thumb.jpg.d7bc3bafcfba7b53277771fb33222bba.jpg

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Great idea for a thread :) 

 

So, I’m taking apart an Amiga that I’m attempting to make ‘good’ again. 

 

This may take a while .....

 

 

ACCE45D0-D20E-4D70-B1F3-884268497453.jpeg

329B143F-A641-4DBB-99D6-B5A7C74F4A70.jpeg

528E4DFB-B9A9-42C7-B35F-614BF3DE0377.jpeg

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 The Amiga itself actually powers on but the keyboard appears knackered. Caps lock key is flashing which google tells me isn’t a good thing.

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My venture into Amiga restoration didn't go well, so I wish you luck. 

 

I got so fed up of cleaning dust off of stuff, or having to buy expensive air cans, I invested in an air duster. Can't recommend it highly enough if you often refurb old gear, or even just own computer equipment!

 

Does an amazing job on desktop cases and all types of keyboard :)

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01G1Z0RF0/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_GwTSCbBA5YG1J

 

Screenshot_20190414-074344_1555224263124.jpg.0d5c4af4d14aa85bd746e6da552d0a2f.jpg

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Bloody typical, after wanting to grab that hot air station for ages, and finally getting it a couple of weeks back, what do I find at the bootsale today? Yup, a hot air rework station, it's missing the soldering iron plug in thing, the air gun has some plastic missing and the holder for it is also missing, but, for £3, I couldn't leave it behind, it's been tested and works fine, now it will live on the shelf till the other one dies.

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It really is. 

 

Back to the Vita, I can't get the face buttons sorted at the moment. I have a suspicion the contact pads have something under them that the machine doesn't like, possibly silicon lubricant that some moron sprayed haphazardly into the works :blush:

 

I'm going to try a 'hard' refurb with lots of scrubbing and isopropanol, and if it's still gack i'll pick up a replacement from here.

 

Then the official story will be it arrived in that condition and I heroically restored it with replacement parts. Shhhh... 

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21 minutes ago, Treble said:

It really is. 

 

Back to the Vita, I can't get the face buttons sorted at the moment. I have a suspicion the contact pads have something under them that the machine doesn't like, possibly silicon lubricant that some moron sprayed haphazardly into the works :blush:

 

I'm going to try a 'hard' refurb with lots of scrubbing and isopropanol, and if it's still gack i'll pick up a replacement from here.

 

Then the official story will be it arrived in that condition and I heroically restored it with replacement parts. Shhhh... 

Check Aliexpress if you're not in a hurry, those boards are cheaper there ;)

And also, 4.something % cashback va topcashback on aliexpress :)

 

£3

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Just now, Treble said:

I never think to look on there, thanks for that. Much cheaper! Ordered :)

It's my go to source, most of the parts you'll find in the UK are from there in the first place, thanks for the Auto Glym tip, I'll be trying it on the spare on my desk some time this week.

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Gonna be a nice day so time to retrobrite this baby. The actual Amiga as stated above isn’t fully working so probably wasting my time but you know, gotta be done. 

 

I know the Amiga isn’t ‘paper white’ but hoping to do a before and after. 

9ABB693E-85A7-4DF0-ACBB-DFB872497305.jpeg

A894B04B-BEAE-43D5-A794-D7826EC970E7.jpeg

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