Tag Archive: amiga


Amiga

Amiga

Amiga 1200


Being a collector of retro computers and games consoles I’ve always been disappointed to see my older kit slowly turn yellow with age, despite my best efforts to keep them away from too much UV light.

Recently I discovered that the process can be reversed, and that a handful of ingredients, all relatively easily obtained, plus a dose of UV light is the key to doing so.

Details of the process and ingredients, plus the back story of how this all came about can be found here: Retr0Bright

The basic gist is that many manufacturers added bromine to their plastic casings as a fire retardant, and it’s that bromine that causes the yellowing when exposed to UV light.

I’m not going to go into details about mixing up Retr0Bright, save to say make sure you wear eye protection and latex gloves, because one of the ingredients, hydrogen peroxide, can be quite nasty.

What I am going to talk about are my first experiences with the lovely whitening goo!

First off, it really is best to use a blender to mix in the Xantham gum used as a gelling agent, as it has a tendency to clump, and in fact I would suggest that you experiment with the amount you add, and even add in slowly in order to get a nice smooth consistency.

Personally I used the amounts recommended, dropped straight in, but ended up with something really thick and goopy, with some clumps, even when using the blender. I’ll add in a bit at a time next time with blending in between.

I had 3 items to test out the goo on, an Apple adb mouse and keyboard case, and an Atari ST case, and spread the mixture across the parts.

The key to the process is exposure to UV when coated with the goo, so mine were placed out in the sunshine. A point to bear in mind here is that you should wrap/cover the coated parts in cling film to prevent the goo from drying out.

Once the sun went in I popped them under a UV bulb on a timer, as I wanted to give the parts around 8 hours of exposure.

The results so far have been a mixed bag, with a good even change of colour on the Apple parts, but a very dappled result on the Atari, which to be fair was extremely badly discoloured.

To be fair, the Atari needs probably a second or even third go.

Looking at the process as a whole, I’d say that one of the difficulties, and aside from getting the texture of the mix right, is getting the UV distribution right, and sunlight is best for that, but I think if you wanted to do this on a regular basis, it would be worth setting up a permanent work station with multiple UV sources.

I’m going to do this again, and will also add some pictures, but it may be after I get moved to our new house.

Having had a fairly lazy week off work, I’ve managed to cram in quite a few hours of retro computing. I have finally been able to get my Atari ST tested, and aside from the minor glitch of the internal floppy disk cable being partially disconnected, and having to buy a mono VGA cable because my home made one wasn’t working, I’m pretty happy with the results. Mono it may be, but it works fine on modern LCD displays. I now also have the means to write ST disk images to real floppy disks that the ST can read, courtesy of a piece of software called floimg running on an old Dell laptop with Windows 2000.

Lots more successful with the Amiga 1200 though. It has an internal scandoubler, so gives crystal clear images on any modern LCD display, boots up faster than my smartphone courtesy of the OS installed on its internal HDD, and thanks to the PCMCIA network card I just installed, I have Web access (though limited), and can upload and download stuff to it via FTP. The support the Amiga still has is ASTONISHING!

One point though, it has the WIERDEST TCP/IP setup for DNS of any computer I’ve used, but it does at least work.

I get my Amiga kit from amigakit.com, and am using the wired Easynet adapter. Wireless is also available :-), but you must have the OS installed on HDD for either the wired or wireless to work.

Hopefully the Retro scene will continue to flourish for many years to come.

Now, where did I put my Atari 800XL?

🙂