Thursday, 16 January 2014

Cleaning Time #2

Last week I acquired a Commodore SX-64. This was the first portable home computer with a colour screen. It only weighs about 10 kilos so good luck with that. :) I was always intrigued by this machine so when the opportunity came up to buy one, I jumped at it and now it's mine. Finally.

The SX-64 was dirty and the keyboard was unresponsive, so some work was needed. First, the case was cleaned.

This worked out really well. I really got lucky with the overall state of the case, and the colour of the logos is perfect.

The keyboard also had the familiar yellow space bar. I decided to brighten that one up to more acceptable levels.

The overall condition of the keyboard was just fine, though.

First, I took the keyboard apart.

 Then, I carefully released all the keys.

 I really carefully took off the black plastic matrix cover and then cleaned the underlying contact points you see at the top of the following picture. The back of the plastic cover was also cleaned with alcohol. Hopefully this would fix the unresponsiveness of the keyboard.

I put all the keys on a pile and cleaned them with an alcohol drenched rag.

Put it all back again, except for the space bar. This was lying in a chemical bath :)

Testing the keyboard after putting the space bar back in. It worked perfectly!! As you can see the space bar is blending in with the rest of the keyboard, instead of being a dirty yellow outsider! After this test I put the top cover back on.

'Testing' Ms. Pac-Man. Still a great version of Pac-Man and the C64 version is a great port!  This also allowed me to test the cartridge port, audio and joystick ports. Perfect!

So there you have it: a piece of history saved and now a member of my collection. It's a novel bit of hardware and I am very happy to finally own one.

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