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Merlin
June 9th, 2009, 06:59 AM
Blimey! we are now at Part 4, the saga continues. This idea has been taken on by the Airstream mobile home community, Lego and Transformer toy restorers, vintage telephone and radio forums, vintage pinball and fruit machine forums, the list goes on and on...

On the computer side of things, Apple, Atari, and Super Nintendo forums have picked up on Retr0bright as well as the wider Amiga community. Thanks to all at VCF for helping to make this as awesome as it has become!!

The condensed history so far can be found at the Wiki, which is located here:-

http://www.retr0bright.wikispaces.com

The Wiki has received over 130,000 hits and I noticed that the hit counter broke again today!!

This should bring you up to speed as to what we are doing and what has been achieved so far. This thread here is for ongoing discussions and experiments around this core project. If you clean any of your own parts using the methods described in the Wiki or can suggest any improvements, please do so here; We will always be looking for "before and after" photos of your work and we can add these to The Gallery, as part of the Wiki.

Part One of this saga is here:
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcfo...ad.php?t=11877

Part Two is here:
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcfo...ad.php?t=12566

Part Three is here:
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?t=14369

I never expected this idea to capture people's imaginations in the way it has; God, how I love the Internet!!

OK, meanwhile, back in Retr0bright land......:)

Merlin
August 17th, 2009, 02:25 AM
Hmm... it seems everyone likes reading 250-post threads; you must all be masochists, that's all I'm going to say!

Please use this thread to continue the discussions.

Thanks

Lorne
August 29th, 2009, 07:54 AM
Here's my latest deyellowing project completed; a calculator that is at least 20 years old.

Before:

1962

Buttons: I hadn't realized how yellowed the buttons were until I took it apart. It's definitely UV that casues the yellowing - the underside of the buttons never saw the light of day, but the tops sure did. What a difference.

1963

After: looks good as new.

1964

olePigeon
August 29th, 2009, 08:55 AM
Seems to me a rubber cement bottle be a good storage bottle for a batch of Retr0bright. Its dark brown bottle (almost opaque) would keep light out, and the lid has a brush built into it. :)

Merlin
August 29th, 2009, 10:33 AM
Nice work, Lorne!!

You would not believe the things that people are using Retr0bright on now; lego, Transformers toys, old telephones, vintage fruit machines, Super Nintendos, Airstream trailer parts, classic car lenses, the list goes on and on.... the Wiki still gets around 500 hits per day and more people are joining the Wiki.

I have loads of new photos to add to the Wiki but I need to get the time to do it. I have a day off next week so I'll probably do it then.

@ olePigeon

Good idea!! I thought about using those plastic 'jars' you can get cocoa and coffee in these days. They are dark coloured, opaque and ideal for this.

Druid6900
August 29th, 2009, 05:57 PM
Just think if you had thought to patent it....LOL

Tupin
August 30th, 2009, 01:56 PM
I can't seem to find 10% hydrogen peroxide around here. Everything else I need is around here, but I can't seem to find 10% hydrogen peroxide.

Lorne
August 30th, 2009, 02:03 PM
I can't seem to find 10% hydrogen peroxide around here. Everything else I need is around here, but I can't seem to find 10% hydrogen peroxide.

And here, would be where?

I, or someone else, may be able to tell you where to get it, but when no one knows where you are because you don't enter it in your profile in the User Control Panel, there's not much help that can be offered.

(Mods: noting your location in your profile should be a requirement)

Tupin
August 30th, 2009, 02:05 PM
Sorry, I just put it in now. St. Louis is where I am.

Lorne
August 30th, 2009, 02:22 PM
Sorry, I just put it in now. St. Louis is where I am.

OK - now I can help.

You can get something of 30-40% strength from a company called Prochem. That's the stuff I use - you can dilute it, if you're not impatient like me.
(BTW: good quick response on getting your location added to the UCP) :)
The stuff is called Urine Rescue (it wouldn't be my choice of names, but...)
Prochem has distributors in MO: http://www.prochem.com/about/us.php?s=MO in Hazelwood and Kansas City - if that's too far for a drive, maybe they could ship it.
It shouldn't be more than about $ 25 for a gallon, which is way cheaper per oz than what others have been paying, when they buy 10 oz at the hair dressers.

Mods: I wish it was this easy getting everyone to add their location.

Tupin
August 30th, 2009, 03:04 PM
Wow, I didn't even know they could sell hydrogen peroxide that strong to civilians...

I just realized there is a Sally's Beauty Supply around here, and they have 12% "Clairoxide" for $4.20. Just need to stop by a Walgreens and I'm set.

Lorne
August 30th, 2009, 03:10 PM
Check the MSDS on it first - it wouldn't surprise me if it's not what you think it is (especially at that price).

Tupin
August 30th, 2009, 03:18 PM
Yep, it's definitely 12%:

http://www.science-house.org/learn/CountertopChem/appendixc.html

Clairoxide is specifically listed as being 12%.

Lorne
August 30th, 2009, 04:17 PM
OK, good stuff - it just looks too cheap for me.
I'm thinkning there might be something in there that you might not want in there.
Merlin?

Tupin
August 30th, 2009, 04:55 PM
I think it's meant to be mixed with other hair supplies, so what's in the bottle is just 12% hydrogen peroxide.

Merlin
August 31st, 2009, 09:57 AM
That looks like exactly the right stuff; hydrogen peroxide, stabilised with a trace of phosphoric acid. It's sold as 'Developer' in white opaque bottles here in the UK.

;)

Tupin
August 31st, 2009, 01:43 PM
Same here out in the American Midwest, and I even got the cheap stuff. Around a $1.50 a bottle. :)

Lorne
August 31st, 2009, 03:47 PM
Same here out in the American Midwest, and I even got the cheap stuff. Around a $1.50 a bottle. :)

That's cheap (maybe).
How big a bottle?

Tupin
August 31st, 2009, 05:30 PM
That's cheap (maybe).
How big a bottle?
I think 376ml. Seems to be the standard for hydrogen peroxide.

Lorne
August 31st, 2009, 07:33 PM
376 ml = 12.7 oz.
At $ 1.50 a bottle that's $ 0.118/oz
With 128 oz in a gal, that's $ 15.10/gal and in small bottles to boot.
That is the cheapest I've seen it.

Don't forget the rubber gloves and eye protection.

falvesjr
September 2nd, 2009, 11:58 AM
Hey guys,

I'd read about Retr0bright a few months ago and thought it was a great idea. Thanks to all involved in developing this!

Anyway, I'm coming to a point that I need to make a batch to de-yellow some C64 cases and some 1541 cases. I have skimmed this whole thread, but am left wondering about a few things...

- Do you find that, in principle, a liquid bath does a better/more even job than the gel?

- If I make a tub of H2O2 + Oxy + Water big enough for the parts I mentioned, how long will it last? Will I be able to do several cases, one after another in the same solution or will it stop working after X amount of plastic has been exposed or some amount of time?

- Should I add more Oxy over time?

- Does it make any difference if I use tap water or should I use distilled water?

- Has anyone found a good ratio of H2O2 (strength?) to Oxy to Water for larger batches?

Thanks for your thoughts and any guidance you can give me!

-F

Lorne
September 2nd, 2009, 12:31 PM
@falvesjr:

Granted reading parts 1, 2 & 3 would be quite a chore, but the answers to your questions are contained in those parts.

- A liquid bath probably does a slightly better job than a paste/gel, but it is prohibitivly expensive, and a little more dangerous (it's tough to spill or splash a gel/paste).
- I've found that the H2O2 & Oxy mix will last about two days, and then it's spent.
- If you add enough Oxy the first time, you shouldn't need to do anything other than stir the stuff once in a while.
- No idea, I never diluted the 30% H2O2 that I was using.

Tupin
September 2nd, 2009, 01:22 PM
Got a mixture going, used corn starch instead of xanthan or guar gum, I used most of the container to get it to a stage where the mixture is behaving like a non-Newtonian fluid, and put some on top of an ADB mouse. It is definitely bubbling, and I have a good feeling about this. :p

Lorne
September 2nd, 2009, 03:15 PM
Got a mixture going, used corn starch instead of xanthan or guar gum, I used most of the container to get it to a stage where the mixture is behaving like a non-Newtonian fluid, and put some on top of an ADB mouse. It is definitely bubbling, and I have a good feeling about this. :p

You are aware that by using the RetroBrite process, you are required to take and post before and after photos, aren't you?

Tupin
September 2nd, 2009, 04:59 PM
Took a before picture, I'll take an after picture if it turns out.

It's like all dried up at this point except for a few parts, I'm trying to keep it from turning rock hard by mixing it around a little.

Lorne
September 2nd, 2009, 05:08 PM
Took a before picture, I'll take an after picture if it turns out.

It's like all dried up at this point except for a few parts, I'm trying to keep it from turning rock hard by mixing it around a little.

The paste or gel will dry out somewhat, and reapplication will be required, if the desired results haven't been achieved yet. That's completely normal.
You can also just grab a paint brush and mix what's already on the parts around a bit (and then maybe add some more). I would think you'll need the stuff on the parts for at least 6 hours using 12% H2O2. And if you're doing this outdoors, it will dry out much quicker. There are no hard and fast rules for this - you get the hang of what to do in what situation, after you've done it a few times.

Tupin
September 3rd, 2009, 04:07 AM
I'm going to have to do this again, it did get something off, but it barely brightened it at all. I probably used too much corn starch, I forgot that it would dry up quickly when it set....

I'll post pictures of it when I get it right.

Merlin
September 3rd, 2009, 10:40 AM
You are doing fine, Tupin; stick with it....kitchen chemistry rocks, doesn't it?

:D

@ falvesjr

1. Tap water is fine.
2. A bath of liquid is ideal, but the gel scores over the liquid for large areas.
3. If you make up 10-15% H2O2, you will be able to treat a few cases and a bath of liquid will last 2-3 days tops.
4. 10 to 15% is the "sweet spot" for the H2O2, where you get the quickest results without causing the white 'bloom' effect.
5. Adding more Oxy won't make that much difference; you may speed things up initially, but the liquid will be spent quicker. Slow is good with this process and let's face it, 2 days to remove 20 years of yellow isn't that long, is it?
6. The yellow colour is only a few microns thick, so the area that can be treated is huge, actually.

Does that answer your questions sufficiently?

tezza
September 3rd, 2009, 11:19 AM
I'm going to have to do this again, it did get something off, but it barely brightened it at all. I probably used too much corn starch, I forgot that it would dry up quickly when it set....

I'll post pictures of it when I get it right.

Are you using the sun or a lamp? UV levels in the sun are much higher (at least where I live) and I've found de-yellowing is much faster than a lamp. You just have to be careful the mixture doesn't dry out.

I used arrowroot for my first units and that tended to dry out quickly too, like your corn starch. Reapplication works, but I've found Xanthan gum doesn't dry out so fast, even though it requires careful mixing initially.

Tez

Merlin
September 3rd, 2009, 12:23 PM
Tezza

The difference is that Xanthan Gum skins over slightly and this slows the drying out down quite a lot. Corn Starch and Arrow Root don't have the same property.

No-one has tried it yet, however I believe that wallpaper paste may have similar properties to Xanthan Gum, but may be easier to disperse.

Tupin
September 3rd, 2009, 07:04 PM
I might have to try this over Labor Day weekend in the sun, I have no practical UV lamp source that I could shine over the item being treated.

Glycerin, I can see why it's a needed part. I made and applied the mixture three hours ago and it still isn't dried out. I just coat the entire thing in the gel, but it was hard to do until it set up a bit.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that the last experiment I tried DID remove several brown splotches that were a product of yellowing, it's just not yellow itself.

Merlin
September 4th, 2009, 05:41 AM
Well, if it's any help, Lorne doesn't need a UV lamp but then again, he does live in Arizona, so lack of UV is not an issue!!

Keep us posted and we will help you until you get the swing of it.

falvesjr
September 4th, 2009, 07:29 AM
Lorne, Merlin,

Thanks for the replies! I guess I'll have to try one of the two methods soon and will let you know how it goes. And yes, I'll try to take pics! :D

-F

Tupin
September 4th, 2009, 04:52 PM
Well, I decided to go back to Retr0bright's early days and just let it soak in 12% peroxide. The mouse is simply just too curved and everything I put on it ran right off. It's not like an Amiga mouse, or even an original ADB mouse.

I'm still thinking I should put some Oxy in the mix, though, as I'm thinking it would take several days to change with just peroxide.

Lorne
September 4th, 2009, 08:59 PM
Well, I decided to go back to Retr0bright's early days and just let it soak in 12% peroxide. The mouse is simply just too curved and everything I put on it ran right off. It's not like an Amiga mouse, or even an original ADB mouse.

I'm still thinking I should put some Oxy in the mix, though, as I'm thinking it would take several days to change with just peroxide.

You need to go back and read parts 1, 2 and 3, and take notes.
The Oxy is what makes it work.
Put some Oxy in there (not too much), and give it a little stir, otherwise you're just wasting H2O2 (good thing you got the stuff cheap).

Tupin
September 4th, 2009, 09:23 PM
Yeah, I figured that out pretty soon, mixed in some oxy, and it's been bubbling for hours.

Merlin
September 5th, 2009, 01:14 PM
Yeah, I figured that out pretty soon, mixed in some oxy, and it's been bubbling for hours.

Good; that means the TAED is breaking down the peroxide. Now all you need is enough UV light to vibrate and break off the oxygen atoms from the bromine atoms in the flame retardant.

Tupin
September 5th, 2009, 01:36 PM
Bad time for that, it's an overcast and rainy day.

Would putting it directly under a normal lightbulb work?

Lorne
September 5th, 2009, 07:07 PM
Would putting it directly under a normal lightbulb work?

You've got to be joking right?
Or maybe you're just pulling our leg?

If not - go read parts 1, 2 & 3.
Seriously.

Tupin
September 5th, 2009, 07:40 PM
Yeah, I was. Still, I'm going to go read those threads.

tezza
September 5th, 2009, 11:43 PM
If you don't want to wade through the threads, the URL http://www.retr0bright.wikispaces.com summarises a lot of knowledge on this process to date.

Tez

Tupin
September 6th, 2009, 09:40 AM
Wow, I must have not been thinking, I just got a UV lightbulb from Home Depot for $5.

Lorne
September 6th, 2009, 06:15 PM
Wow, I must have not been thinking, I just got a UV lightbulb from Home Depot for $5.

Hopefully, you've read parts 1, 2 & 3 by now.
Those parts contain the information that tells you which UV lights seem to work better than others, and I suspect a $ 5 bulb from Home Depot isn't going to cut it.
I'm glad you got that H2O2 real cheap - you're probably going to need to buy more, the way you're going about it.
After your kidding with us, now I'm actually getting a laugh out of this.

Tupin
September 6th, 2009, 06:24 PM
Hey, I'm new at this, okay? :)

I appreciate all of the help, and I'm going to get this to work no matter what.

Merlin
September 7th, 2009, 10:56 AM
Wow, I must have not been thinking, I just got a UV lightbulb from Home Depot for $5.

There's many a true word spoken in jest, so they say..... :crazy:

My guess is that you weren't a science major, were you? Your $5 black light may work; all you are going to lose is the current mix of peroxide.

Keep the bulb about 12 inches from the part, you don't want the heat getting transferred to the part or you will get distortion.

I was one told "Read everything, before doing anything."

It's good advice.... from the guy that wrote the Wiki, in case you hadn't noticed.....

Tupin
September 7th, 2009, 12:13 PM
Yeah, I've found that reading all of those threads and the wiki did help a lot, and I realized that the reason I didn't get a real result on the mouse was because it wasn't completely yellow, it just had some yellowish-brown stains that my failed mixtures managed to remove quite nicely.

Like I said, I won't give up on this, and since I have some severely yellowed equipment, I'll keep trying.

Merlin
September 8th, 2009, 04:10 AM
Well, the looooooooong threads just go to show the amount of development work that has been put into this project, and this is just at VCF; there are similar threads at English Amiga Board, Atari Age, the forum-system.cfg site in France and many other sites all over the World.

As you have realised by now, there are subtle differences between batches of ABS and you have to tinker to a degree for each batch. The 10-12% H2O2 and a small amount of Oxy is the best starting place to begin your experiments. If you add other stuff to the mix, you are out on your own and the results can't be predicted.

One good hint is to put your case parts in a cool dishwasher cycle, if you have one. This will remove dirt and prepares the surface better for Retr0bright treatment.

Good Luck!

Merlin
October 6th, 2009, 01:29 AM
@ Tupin

here are some useful tips that I posted over at EAB; I think these may help you.

1. If you have a dishwasher, put the parts in on a cool cycle first. This will ensure that they are clean and the surface is better prepared.

2. Keep the H2O2 between 10 to 15%, this is the ideal mix that gets the quickets results without attacking the ABS polymer.

3. If you are making the gel version, cover the parts with cling film after applying the gel. This reduces or stops evaporation and the effect that Zetr0 warns about.

4. Check on the parts every couple of hours. I wouldn't go more than 2 hours without checking the parts.

5. Heat is bad. Keep the UV at least 12" away from the parts or you risk heating them up and causing distortion, particularly on long or thin parts.

6. Above all, have patience; these parts have taken at least 10 years to yellow; a few hours extra to remove it won't hurt. Rkauer is spot on with his comments.

7. Protect yourself; wear rubber gloves and safety glasses. These are dirt cheap from DIY shops and you don't get another pair of eyes. 10% H2O2 will sting like a mofo if it gets into cuts in the skin. If you get a splash on your skin, rinse it under the tap for 10 minutes to ensure it's removed.

8. Blu-Tak or plastercine is ideal for weighting keys down so that they don't float.

9. If you use a jar, DON'T screw the lid on tightly!! This process evolves gas (oxygen) and pressure will build up and possibly burst a jar or bottle. If you need to use a jar, pierce a hole in the lid to allow gas to escape.

10. Once the reaction has finished, the solution can be safely disposed of down the drain, as the H2O2 will ahve decomposed to water; TAED is biodegradable so there's no risk to the environment.

If you clear coat the parts with an acrylic lacquer once they are restored, they won't go yellow again, as oxygen cant get to the surface. What rkauer means is that the case may eventually start to discolour again, but this could take years. A good UV protective car polish like Turtle Wax, Armor-All or Autoglym could also be used to seal the surface.

The gel is only of benefit if you are treating large parts, such as a monitor, printer, etc. where a large bath of solution would be expensive. The gel is also handy if you don't have a large enough container for, say, an A1200 case.

The solution doesn't react with Blu-Tak or plastercine. Tonyyeb proved that very early on in our tests over at EAB.

Also, don't go mad with the quantity of Oxy; TAED isn't soluble above 1.5 grammes per litre and adding a lot of Oxy will create foaming. I would suggest 1/2 teaspoonful per 5 litres of liquid as a start. You can always add more, but if it's foaming all over the place, you can't take it out!!

nathan
October 6th, 2009, 01:06 PM
Just a quick comment on the availability of H2O2...

My sister owns a salon and I asked her about her source. She is able to order me 1L of 12% for $5, no problem. The outfit she deals with delivers, and it should be here either tomorrow or the day after. I figure this should last me awhile considering I'm going the gel route and don't have all that much stuff to de-yellow.

She did mention that people have done bad things with higher-concentration H2O2 and so this sort of stuff is pretty hard for 'civilians' to get ahold of. That said, if you know anyone with a cosmetology license (i.e. hair stylist) -- and most of you probably do -- they may be willing to get it for you presuming that your purposes are peaceful.

Tupin
October 6th, 2009, 01:54 PM
I'll try that dishwasher prep method, that should help it.

Merlin
October 9th, 2009, 01:22 PM
Hi to all the Retr0brighters out there!

In keeping with the best spirits of product development, I think it's about time that we started work on Retr0bright Mk.2. There are probably quite a few ideas that we could add to the basic recipe, and this is where all of you come in.

I've started a discussion topic on the Retr0bright Wiki. Please feel free to add your ideas to this topic and we'll see what is possible - remember, we've already sort of proved the impossible with Retr0bright in the first place, so don't stifle your creativity.

Ultimately, we could end up with a whole range of open-source Retr0bright products.

Thinking caps on, people!!

;)

Lorne
October 17th, 2009, 05:54 PM
Holy cow!
After a long gap of no de-yellowing, I'm getting started again with some more stuff.
With this being part 4, and me not being sure if my final good recipe was in either part 2 or 3, I've wasted enough time to de-yellow a piece, just looking for the recipe.
I've now found it, printed it, and from now on, it will sit right next to the gallon of H2O2.
I wish my memory was what it used to be.
Before photos have been taken - now to get to the de-yellowing of a very yellow Tevevideo 910, and some other stuff.

Lorne
October 19th, 2009, 05:48 PM
This was my best result to date.

A Televideo 910, that was supposed to look like this, but didn't:

2164

The label removed from the back side of the terminal shows what I had to deal with. This amount of yellowing on the backside and top, indicates that this Telvideo probably spent it's life backed up to a window.

2165

This one took 5 batches of the paste/gel solution = 10 applications (washed off between every two applications). The solution was on the parts for about 2 1/2 hours at a time, after which I either reapplied it, or washed it off, and started again with another application. Total time of processing under UV light was approximately a day.

Here's the result:

2166

2167

This one was processed using, and needing patience (in short supply here - but apparently that's what works). I also used the Kelzan Xanthan Gum this time, and it was the first time I'd had the opportunity to use it. It makes a very nice paste/gel, easy to work with (spread around and still sticks to verticals), and I suspect it had something to do with the results.

I am really chuffed with the results on this one.

Tupin
October 24th, 2009, 04:16 PM
Okay, I'm trying this again. I got a blacklight UV bulb and am submerging a few deyellowed items in it, the change this time is the bulb. Last time the bulb I got gave off tons of visible light and practically no heat, but this is the opposite. This is a true UV light, the last one was just a light bulb colored purple, which is odd because it said it was a blacklight.

tezza
October 24th, 2009, 07:45 PM
This was my best result to date.

A Televideo 910, that was supposed to look like this, but didn't:

2164

The label removed from the back side of the terminal shows what I had to deal with. This amount of yellowing on the backside and top, indicates that this Telvideo probably spent it's life backed up to a window.

2165

This one took 5 batches of the paste/gel solution = 10 applications (washed off between every two applications). The solution was on the parts for about 2 1/2 hours at a time, after which I either reapplied it, or washed it off, and started again with another application. Total time of processing under UV light was approximately a day.

Here's the result:

2166

2167

This one was processed using, and needing patience (in short supply here - but apparently that's what works). I also used the Kelzan Xanthan Gum this time, and it was the first time I'd had the opportunity to use it. It makes a very nice paste/gel, easy to work with (spread around and still sticks to verticals), and I suspect it had something to do with the results.

I am really chuffed with the results on this one.

Very nice Lorne,

A great result. I still have a few units to process, but they have been low down on the priority list of spare time activities for a while.

Tez

Tupin
October 30th, 2009, 07:04 PM
Finally, results!

A mismatched TI-99/4a had yellow keys. After a few days in a jar full of 10% peroxide and oxy and a UV light, here's the before and after, I left the space bar untreated to show the difference:

Before:

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x28/TUPPYLUVER95/IMG_2576.jpg

After:

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x28/TUPPYLUVER95/IMG_2605.jpg

Kinda splotchy, but I'm impressed with the results. Thanks, Retr0bright!

Lorne
October 31st, 2009, 09:07 AM
Finally, results!

Kinda splotchy, but I'm impressed with the results. Thanks, Retr0bright!

Can you retake and repost that "after" photo?
It's a little dark and out of focus - it's making it look better in the before photo !

Andretti
October 31st, 2009, 10:40 AM
...It's a little dark and out of focus

lol, I don't think I could take a picture that bad! :o

Tupin
October 31st, 2009, 11:03 AM
Sorry, had my camera on the wrong setting, here are the Before and After photos again:

Before 3 days of submerging the keys in Retr0bright:
http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x28/TUPPYLUVER95/IMG_2576.jpg

After 3 days:
http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x28/TUPPYLUVER95/IMG_2606.jpg

If you notice, there was slight fading on the keys, but I'll take that to get the keys this deyellowed. :)

tezza
November 1st, 2009, 12:40 AM
If you notice, there was slight fading on the keys, but I'll take that to get the keys this deyellowed. :)

Yes, I found this my Atari 130XE. It is a trade off. For a COMPLETE deyellow, some key letter fading can take place.

Tez

Vint
November 1st, 2009, 02:05 PM
I have a Beige unit and the keys are more gray than those that you've given the 3 day bath to in post #59.
I'm wondering if they had 'soaked' maybe too long. Perhaps 1 or 2 days would have left them a bit grayer and saved some of the fading of the letters on the keys.
Just thinking out loud here :)

Tupin
November 1st, 2009, 03:18 PM
Yeah, three days might have been overkill but I had to keep mixing the jar because the keys float when they get oxygen caught under them. The keys would have ended up looking drastically different had I not mixed it.

Still, I am satisfied. I'll try something without lettering on it next.

dangermouse
November 8th, 2009, 03:24 PM
Well here in New Zealand Guar Gum is 1/2 the price of Xanthan Gum so I thought I'd give it a try. Note that the environment I used the Guar Gum in is exactly the same as I use with Xanthan with good results (inside a garage, UV bulb). I use a 35% H2O2 diluted to 17.5% (50/50) with a little Oxy laundry booster.

My results are as follows:

1. The mixture seems to thicken after settling a lot more than the Xanthan mixture. I find it a lot harder to get just the right consistency.
2. The mixture is similar in appearance to the Xanthan mixture.
3. After painting the mixture on the parts (in this case an Amiga 500 top lid) I noticed after a few hours that the bubbling was happening on the mixture that had run into the container and not on the parts themselves. Bubbling on the plastic pieces was minimal and the mixture seemed to be drying out a lot faster.
4. Left overnight (around 10 hours) under a UV bulb and pulled the parts. The 500 lid had suffered a LOT of bleaching as to basically call it a scrap part now. Some areas had dried, some not but the blooming was all over.
5. Tried the same mixture again on another 'test' part with the same results.

So...in essence..I'm keeping away from Guar Gum for the time being. I have had consistent good results with Xanthan so will continue using it. Only problem I had with the Xanthan was using the mixture out in our ozone depleted sunlight..dried way too fast and caused blooming again.

Hope this information is useful as I saw reference to using Guar Gum on the Retr0bright II Wiki

tezza
November 8th, 2009, 03:45 PM
Hi DM,

Good to see another kiwi posting on here.

Thanks for putting this up. The more info on what DIDN'T work that gets out there the better

Tez

Merlin
November 23rd, 2009, 06:06 AM
@ dangermouse

Thanks! I'll add this information to the Wiki.

Cheers

Lorne
November 23rd, 2009, 08:50 AM
You might add this to the Wiki too.

I processed another piece with some black plastic parts. The black plastic was glued on, so I didn't want to try to remove it for fear of breaking it.
I used the same old paste mixture I've been using.
Something definitely happens to the black plastic.
What was once a shiny black, was now a dull grey.
The solution to the problem in this case, was a "magic eraser" (very fine abrasive).
With a little elbow grease and one of the erasers, I managed to get though what must have been the faded black layer of plastic, and got to some nice new black plastic. (I imagine any fine plastic or glass polish would also do the same trick - the eraser was just at hand).
I used the eraser on all but the top row of black, so that I could see the results.

Here's what it looks like now (I just have to do the top portion, and it'll look as good as new):

2264

arfink
November 29th, 2009, 01:57 PM
I did an entire Apple IIc not too long ago using a bath instead of paste. I just did the regular 3% H2O2 (Walmart has a special) and a scoop of oxi-clean and left it in the sun for about 8 hours. Worked like a charm. This was on an overcast, 50 degrees Fahrenheit day in Minnesota, but that didn't seem to affect it badly. I also ran out of the H2O2 before covering the parts, and so I just added water to finish covering the parts. I didn't need to add too much, and it worked out OK. I also agitated the mixture whenever it stopped bubbling.

One other thing I did with the IIc- it has some plastic parts with metal embedded in them. Specifically, the area near the handle and the drive slot cover. I was able to remove the spring-pins near the handle, but for the drive slot cover I squirted hot glue over the exposed metal. It remained protected from the mixture and didn't corrode.

TheLazy1
November 29th, 2009, 02:02 PM
I did an entire Apple IIc not too long ago using a bath instead of paste. I just did the regular 3% H2O2 (Walmart has a special) and a scoop of oxi-clean and left it in the sun for about 8 hours. Worked like a charm. This was on an overcast, 50 degrees Fahrenheit day in Minnesota, but that didn't seem to affect it badly. I also ran out of the H2O2 before covering the parts, and so I just added water to finish covering the parts. I didn't need to add too much, and it worked out OK. I also agitated the mixture whenever it stopped bubbling.

One other thing I did with the IIc- it has some plastic parts with metal embedded in them. Specifically, the area near the handle and the drive slot cover. I was able to remove the spring-pins near the handle, but for the drive slot cover I squirted hot glue over the exposed metal. It remained protected from the mixture and didn't corrode.

Do you have before/after pictures of your //c?
I was thinking of doing this to mine at some point in the future.

Merlin
November 30th, 2009, 06:06 AM
@Thelazy1

Pictures, we want pictures!!!

arfink
December 1st, 2009, 10:32 AM
Arg, I wish I had taken pictures of that one. But I did do a mouse with the same method and it worked good too:

http://8bitcollective.com/images/arfink/Whitening+plastic-+in+progress!/

http://8bitcollective.com/images/arfink/The+final+comarison-+yellow+vs.+NOT!/

I might to my Tandy 102 and Tandy 200 some time here, that I will be sure to take a boatload of pictures for.

carlsson
December 14th, 2009, 03:06 PM
Kilroy-71 at the Swedish forum Vintage Games has posted this article for us Swedish users. He went with the arrowroot recipe but added glycerine to keep it from drying up. He has a few more "after" pictures of different machines he tried to brighten up, but forgot to take "before" shots.

http://www.vintagegames.se/mediawiki/index.php//Retr0brite

Lorne
December 14th, 2009, 03:54 PM
Apparently Kilroy-71 can convert english to swedish quite well.
I wish I could do the reverse.
Nice photos :)

I hope I don't start calling Xanthan Gum, Xanthan Gummi !

Lorne
December 15th, 2009, 03:38 PM
I tried substituting a liquid Oxy product I picked up at the supermarket, thinking the TAED would be already dissolved in the solution.
Forget about that idea.
It didn't work worth a damn.
The parts smelled real nice as they were processing, though.

Mac collector
January 3rd, 2010, 09:34 PM
Sorry in advanced for the stupid question, but could anyone point me toward the "right" UV lamp? (IE one that works and provide a link to buy one if possible) and where one could be bought? I assume UV lamps are Different from Black lights right? (if they aren't different then I'm set as I have a couple black lights already.)

Pavel_
January 4th, 2010, 01:22 PM
How should one use retr0bright on a monitor? should the monitor always be disassembled before putting on the mixture? The thing is i'm trying to restore a Commodore 1084S monitor but that thing looks like it can't be taken apart.. i have no idea where to begin.. and it's sooo yellow..

tezza
January 4th, 2010, 05:50 PM
Sorry in advanced for the stupid question, but could anyone point me toward the "right" UV lamp? (IE one that works and provide a link to buy one if possible) and where one could be bought? I assume UV lamps are Different from Black lights right? (if they aren't different then I'm set as I have a couple black lights already.)

Not sure where one can be bought where you are but DO go for the flourescent tube-type UV lights (some are small and coiled and fit a standard light socket..these are ok). DON't go for the round bulb-types..the ones that are the same shape as a normal lightbulb. Unless otherwise specificed these are probably just standard lightbulbs painted with a purple paint that only lets out UV light and filters the visible light. The UV that escapes is minimal.

Tez

tezza
January 4th, 2010, 05:55 PM
How should one use retr0bright on a monitor? should the monitor always be disassembled before putting on the mixture? The thing is i'm trying to restore a Commodore 1084S monitor but that thing looks like it can't be taken apart.. i have no idea where to begin.. and it's sooo yellow..

Definitely disassemble it if you can. The retrobright mixture painted on things that are NOT "yellowed" white or light-coloured plastic (like black trim, knobs, labels etc.) can have variable effects.

Tez

Lorne
January 4th, 2010, 06:06 PM
Sorry in advanced for the stupid question, but could anyone point me toward the "right" UV lamp? (IE one that works and provide a link to buy one if possible) and where one could be bought? I assume UV lamps are Different from Black lights right? (if they aren't different then I'm set as I have a couple black lights already.)


I got mine at Home Depot. They're an about 18" long tube type fixture. (I think they're also called blacklights).
Just be careful how you open the packaging on those things. They can be very hazardous.

Lorne
January 4th, 2010, 06:12 PM
How should one use retr0bright on a monitor? should the monitor always be disassembled before putting on the mixture? The thing is i'm trying to restore a Commodore 1084S monitor but that thing looks like it can't be taken apart.. i have no idea where to begin.. and it's sooo yellow..

That's about as good as one of my first posts on the subject back in Part 1, when I was asking if you had to disassemble a keyboard before you treated it. You've taken the torch for the goofy question :) Thank you.
The answer as Tezza replied, is yes. You are only treating the plastic.
As with many things on vintage computers, you have to remember that they put them together, so they have to come apart. While it may not look like it after 30 years, they do come apart. Sometimes parts may be glued together, but I've found most times they're not.

Pavel_
January 5th, 2010, 03:35 AM
hehe, i'm glad someone could take the "goofy question" torch off your hands :)
It's just that this monitor looks like a beast! There's no screws, no nothing.. I'm thinking that if i put something over the vents and the screen itself then maybe i don't have to take the whole thing apart..

btw tezza,
I have a new project ongoing and i'm using your recipe... pics are comming as soon as i get this damn monitor apart!

arfink
January 5th, 2010, 08:32 AM
I never have been a fan of the goop based recipes. I prefer just a plain old H2O2 and Oxiclean bath. I literally just use the 3% stuff in 1 liter bottles from Walmart. Now, before you say that's a waste of H2O2, I try and pack the bath pretty full of parts. I find that, with some occasional stirring and turning parts over to get optimum UV exposure, this method proves to be very safe and to produce very even results. Now, I haven't tried this with parts which are extremely yellow, since most of my collection is in pretty decent condition. But an average-yellow mouse took only 7 hours in weak MN autumn sun not very long ago.

Lorne
January 5th, 2010, 09:14 AM
I'm thinking that if i put something over the vents and the screen itself then maybe i don't have to take the whole thing apart..



I've tried various types of masking tape - cheap stuff to real expensive stuff - it all comes off once that paste/solution is applied. Besides you'll have to wash the parts off real well afterward, and whatever you use to cover openings will probably come off during the wash off.
You gotta get it apart - that way you get to clean out the inside too :)

Lorne
January 5th, 2010, 09:18 AM
I never have been a fan of the goop based recipes. I prefer just a plain old H2O2 and Oxiclean bath. I literally just use the 3% stuff in 1 liter bottles from Walmart. Now, before you say that's a waste of H2O2, I try and pack the bath pretty full of parts.

Then you mustn't have tried doing something the size of a Televideo 925 monitor case yet. You'd need gallons and gallons and gallons of liquid.
I agree though that for small parts like a mouse or keyboard key caps, the liquid is the way to go. It just gets prohibitivly expensive trying to process large pieces in liquid.

arfink
January 5th, 2010, 12:47 PM
Yeah. My solution- get a big garbage bag and blow it up with air and stuff it inside of the shell so you don't need as much liquid. Works pretty good.

EDIT: If I actually had a Televideo 925, the cost would be worth it. :) Actually, I tend to use the plain 3% stuff from Walmart, and one time I even added a few liters of plain water to help the solution cover the parts. Still worked just fine.

Mac collector
January 5th, 2010, 05:44 PM
Not sure where one can be bought where you are but DO go for the flourescent tube-type UV lights (some are small and coiled and fit a standard light socket..these are ok). DON't go for the round bulb-types..the ones that are the same shape as a normal lightbulb. Unless otherwise specificed these are probably just standard lightbulbs painted with a purple paint that only lets out UV light and filters the visible light. The UV that escapes is minimal.

Tez

Sweet so yes to these ones http://www.hardwareandtools.com/invt/0307207 and no to ones like this http://www.bulborama.com/store/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=815. Good now I know which Bulb to buy.



I got mine at Home Depot. They're an about 18" long tube type fixture. (I think they're also called blacklights).
Just be careful how you open the packaging on those things. They can be very hazardous.

Good then they will fit in standard tube lights then. That should be good as I have a few extra Tube fixtures that I can use. And thanks for the warning on opening them, I will be sure to be extra careful.


Thanks a bunch for the answers guys

Pavel_
January 6th, 2010, 02:55 AM
So is it also safe to say that this UV light is a "correct" one?
http://www.clasohlson.se/Product/Product.aspx?id=137140573

Yes, it's in swedish but you can see the specs and it looks right doesn't it?

Lorne
January 6th, 2010, 06:38 AM
I don't know about those funny shape bulbs - here's what I use:
http://jascoproducts.com/products/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=638&idcategory=40
They're $ 14.97 at Home Depot.

I have them set up like a mini tanning booth.

2931

Chuck(G)
January 6th, 2010, 08:31 AM
Is very short-wave UV (UVC) more desirable than the UVA that you get from the typical "black light"? The emission peak's around 254 nm and will also erase EPROMs. Lorne, you should know about these--they're used in HVAC air purification systems, particularly for hospitals.

If so, then this would be the cat's meow (http://www.buylighting.com/G30T8-Germicidal-Fluorescent-Lamp-p/g11080.htm). Another alternative would be a mercury-vapor lamp designed for outdoor use. Some of the metal-halide "grow lamps" are also pretty strong in the UVB area and can be gotten in 400 and 1000 watt sizes.

Lorne
January 7th, 2010, 08:33 AM
Is very short-wave UV (UVC) more desirable than the UVA that you get from the typical "black light"? The emission peak's around 254 nm and will also erase EPROMs. Lorne, you should know about these--they're used in HVAC air purification systems, particularly for hospitals.

If so, then this would be the cat's meow (http://www.buylighting.com/G30T8-Germicidal-Fluorescent-Lamp-p/g11080.htm). Another alternative would be a mercury-vapor lamp designed for outdoor use. Some of the metal-halide "grow lamps" are also pretty strong in the UVB area and can be gotten in 400 and 1000 watt sizes.

I'm aware of them - they're used in air handling units for UV sterilization.
I don't much like the "Warning" that comes with those bulbs.
This H202 stuff is already dangerous enough.
I'm not sure I'd want to add another avenue for "skin burn and eye inflammation" to the process.
We can do that just fine with the H202 mixture all by itself :)

Pavel_
January 7th, 2010, 10:53 PM
All,
tonight i will start with my new retr0bright attempt.
An A500 case using the immersing method and 5 litres of 35% H202 also adding 5 litres of water.

I will use a fairly large container as the A500's case is not the smallest in the world...

Should i add the OXY laundry booster to this? i have not used this in my previous attempts and everything worked out great.. What do you think?? isn't the H202 + UV lamp good enough?


(Before and after pics will be taken)

Lorne
January 8th, 2010, 04:21 AM
Should i add the OXY laundry booster to this? i have not used this in my previous attempts and everything worked out great.. What do you think?? isn't the H202 + UV lamp good enough?



You should add the Oxy. That is the key ingredient (the TAED in the Oxy actually).
I think Merlin would agree that the H202 & UV shouldn't do anything by itself, other than get the parts wet.
If you've had good results without using the Oxy, I'm amazed.
Maybe the parts were simply getting cleaned in your previous attempts.
Add the Oxy this time, and you might be amazed.

Take those pics.

Pavel_
January 8th, 2010, 12:38 PM
Okey, i just added the Oxy in the container. So far nothing is happening... the Oxy made the liquid less seethrough almost like.. cloudy.. but no bubbles or anything else (it's only been 10 min though).

I always had result with just H202 and UV. I have used it on A500 keys, A500 mouse, A1200 case.. perfekt result every time. However it does take up to about 4 days.. I hope with the Oxy it will take a lot less..

mikerm
January 8th, 2010, 12:38 PM
I'm new to this site. I'm getting back into the world of old computer collecting (I used to have a massive collection, but that's a long story). I started it up again with an acquisition of a Mac SE/30 off of Craigslist for a whole $10 (and yes, everything works!). Anyway, I stumbled across these threads because of a friend of mine and spent a day reading through every single post of all 4 parts. I want to extend a big thanks to everyone who has worked on this! I'm starting my de-yellowing process with the top of the mouse.

Here are the before pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikerm19/sets/72157623032882679/

My first ever trial piece is "baking" right now. So far so good!

I love the forums, thumbs up

Edit: I just got home!! AWESOME!!!!! It worked beautifully! I updated the flickr set linked to include the results of my test. I'm sold. It's time for the rest of the Mac to get the treatment. Thumbs up to everyone who developed this method, If you ever find yourselves in Albuquerque, NM, dinner is on me.

tezza
January 8th, 2010, 07:23 PM
Edit: I just got home!! AWESOME!!!!! It worked beautifully! I updated the flickr set linked to include the results of my test. I'm sold. It's time for the rest of the Mac to get the treatment. Thumbs up to everyone who developed this method, If you ever find yourselves in Albuquerque, NM, dinner is on me.

Hi,

Glad it worked well for you!

Reading these recent posts make me think I should get into gear and process my remaining stuff. I have a colour genie (+ keys) and a couple of monitors that could do with "the treatment".

These final de-yellowing projects have been on the back burner for some time. Recently, I've found all the "spare" time I can devote to vintage computers has been spent troubleshooting hardware problems! Maintaining a working collection takes quite a bit of time.

Always interesting though, and always something to learn.

Tez

lyonadmiral
January 9th, 2010, 08:34 AM
How do you guys deal with monitors or computers that have tubes built in? I know you can discharge a CRT, but I'm so in-confident I could do it correctly and not blow myself across a room or kill myself in the process.

tezza
January 9th, 2010, 09:52 AM
I've only worked with a few monitors (or computers that have had screens built in), and none of the work was for de-yellowing purposes. I found I could easily remove the cases without discharging just by being careful and having the right tools e.g. long necked screwdrivers so your hand didn't need to go anywhere near the componentry as you undid the screws. However I can appreciate some might be difficult. In fact, I have got a couple of monitor cases that need de-yellowing and I can already see the screens might be tricky to remove.

Where there is a will there is a way though.

I've done some work on a Mac monitor on the past and I certainly made sure I discharged the screen before I did. It wasn't too difficult, and how to do it was easily found on the Net (it's been a while and I can't remember the details now). I'm not enough of a techie to know if this method could be used for other screens though.

Tez

Pavel_
January 11th, 2010, 04:54 AM
I finally took my A500 case out of the bath. The result is pretty much shite.. It has not restored to it's original color and i think i know why - crappy UV light.

All my previous attempts have been successfull, the ingrediense were the same this time around except the UV source wich in my previous attempts was the sun.

Lorne
January 11th, 2010, 07:08 AM
How do you guys deal with monitors or computers that have tubes built in? I know you can discharge a CRT, but I'm so in-confident I could do it correctly and not blow myself across a room or kill myself in the process.

And I'm the same as Tez.
I've done a few monitors, but I've never discharged one yet (I don't know how).
I'm just careful. I did get zapped by the anode a couple times while I was repairing one. It didn't hurt but it did wake me up a bit.
I figure if I don't touch the yoke, I won't get zapped.
When I have had to get close to the yoke, I've used a thick rubber glove on one hand, and put my other hand in my back pocket, and I'm still alive.

Lorne
January 11th, 2010, 07:32 AM
crappy UV light.



You're not alone - others have had crappy results with crappy UV lights too.
The fluorescent tube types that I use seem to work fine, although nothing beats the sun.
But if it's sun only, you won't be doing any deyellowing at night.

There should have been no harm done.
If you process it again, either in the sun or with a better UV light, it should come out fine.

lyonadmiral
January 11th, 2010, 09:05 AM
Question, what if you use an artificial sunlamp, or does that no do what needs to be done?

Lorne
January 11th, 2010, 09:48 AM
Question, what if you use an artificial sunlamp, or does that no do what needs to be done?

I doubt that would work or work as well as a blacklight does.
Don't those things chuck off a lot of heat as well? (that wouldn't be good - warped de-yellowed plastic?)

Chuck(G)
January 11th, 2010, 01:01 PM
Yeah, sunlamps get pretty hot--they're made to do that--they have both a conventional tungsten filament as well as a mercury-vapor style capsule inside. They put out UVA, but also hot things up quite a bit. You can easily burn yourself by touching the bulb.

lyonadmiral
January 12th, 2010, 05:08 AM
Well I'm thinking if you had one or two up on the ceiling and had the tub of "stuff" on the floor or on a table.

Lorne
January 12th, 2010, 06:48 AM
Well I'm thinking if you had one or two up on the ceiling and had the tub of "stuff" on the floor or on a table.

I think they still direct the heat at whatever they're pointed at (like an infra red radiant heater?).
I wouldn't de-yellow my stuff with those lamps, but if you feel like experimenting, you can let us know what happens. :)
Those things use a little more electricity than normal bulbs too, don't they?

lyonadmiral
January 12th, 2010, 07:22 AM
It will be a while before I try this, but when I do, probably not until April, I will let you guys know.

STorrence
January 27th, 2010, 04:16 PM
Here are some results from a recent Macintosh LC II and Mac SE mouse restoration I did. This was my first time ever using retr0brite. I used Merlin's recipe to the letter. Put these out in the sun for about 3-4 hours total. I found that "stirring" the gel on the surface every 30 minutes was about as effective as reapplying it. It did dry out though so I ended up having to reapply completely about once per piece. Used approximately one batch to complete these pieces. If anyone's interested I took detailed notes of my observations that I'd be happy to post.

All three pieces out in the sun

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4053/4307919927_3bbbc0c447.jpg

Before/after shots of the Mac SE mouse
Notice the slight color inconsistency on the After. Will another few hours eliminate this?

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4070/4308658866_372c16e82e.jpghttp://farm3.static.flickr.com/2725/4308658910_e386e21ef2.jpg

Before/after shots of the LC II case
I also noticed some inconsistency here on the areas that started the yellowest.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4009/4308659424_90355bfdda.jpghttp://farm5.static.flickr.com/4050/4308659478_595b761a33.jpg

Detail of the Macintosh LC II text
No fading or degradation. Fantastic!

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4056/4307920285_43b59d103f.jpg

Comparison of treated LC II to untreated LC II
My favorite shot. The difference is astounding.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2694/4307920347_233d7ddcf4.jpg

The rest of the images can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sttorrence/sets/72157623239786154/

Overall I was very satisfied with the results, considering it was my first time. I'd read about it extensively on here and was very eager to try it out. With these results I'm very optimistic about continuing. I have a few ImageWriter II printers, a Mac SE, and some other miscellaneous hardware that I'm going to treat next.

Retr0brite for the win! :cool:

Lorne
January 27th, 2010, 05:18 PM
Notice the slight color inconsistency on the After. Will another few hours eliminate this?

I also noticed some inconsistency here on the areas that started the yellowest.



I don't think more hours will help, but I honestly don't know. I had similar results on a Mac mouse. I've got five blind Mac mice that I'm going to do some experimentation on (better on Mac parts than PC parts :)). I'ts just a hunch, but I think if we can rub the paste on/in real well, maybe that'll solve the problem. Who knows? It's still experimentaion on some things.

Yellowest: again, I think it might be how the stuff is applied. If the coverage isn't consistent on each area, the results won't be consistent. Just my hunch.

I notice you're on the second floor. You didn't wash those bits off on your deck letting the stuff spill down to the neighbors place I hope. :)

STorrence
January 27th, 2010, 06:34 PM
You didn't wash those bits off on your deck letting the stuff spill down to the neighbors place I hope. :)

Haha! Lord no, I washed everything in the tub.

I too suspected that initial application might have something to do with it. This could be why the submerging processes tend to produce more consistent results. However, I also noticed that on the LC II case there tended to be highlights where there was internal structure (ridges, bracing, etc.), which I couldn't really explain. I applied the gel using brushes and tried to spread it as consistently as possible.

Another thing I suspected was inconsistent mixing of the active ingredients. For the next test I might try mixing for a little longer in the blender.

Lorne
February 5th, 2010, 09:00 AM
Someone is Retr0Briting vintage gear for a fee?

From Ebay item: 220548984494
"Note that I recently has my other Lisa treated with RetroBright by Vintage Micros
for a very reasonable sum and it came out looking like completely new."

So, who is Vintage Micros ?

carlsson
February 5th, 2010, 09:35 AM
I would bet it is John Woodall (http://www.computermuseum.li/Testpage/woodall-compcomm-article.htm) who runs a web shop specialized in Apple hardware (http://www.vintagemicros.com/catalog/index.php).

Merlin
February 5th, 2010, 10:02 AM
Hmmm.... I've sent him a snottygram from my e-mail account as below.

Hi,

My name is David; you may know alternatively under my web name which is Merlin, i.e. the person that wrote the Retr0bright Wiki.

I note from eBay sale No. 220548984494 that you are offering a service to treat Apple computers with Retr0bright. Whilst I am glad that people find our creation useful, you should know that Retr0bright is in the public domain as open source and was intended to be free, so that others would not profit from our work.

I am disappointed that you didn’t even think to check with us that it was OK to use Retr0bright for commercial gain, under the terms of the Wikispaces licence.

How much are you charging for this service?

Regards,
David

Well, I'm not impressed, for a start; let's see what he comes back with..... I've also asked the eBay seller what he was charged for the service.... you never know....

Lorne
February 5th, 2010, 10:11 AM
Yeah, I don't know about you or Tezza, but I haven't seen a royalty cheque yet.
Maybe it's in the post. :)

Merlin
February 5th, 2010, 11:52 AM
Whoh!! It appears that I have stepped on someone's tail with my e-mail; I didn't think it was badly worded. here's what I got back in two replies:-

Hi,
I AM NOT offering that service anyhere. I did it as a favor for one person.
Get off my back as I am NOT advertising this to anyone anywhere! SHOW me WHERE I am advertising this service!
John Woodall

I read your note again and I will say that you are a presumptuous AH.
The next time you accuse me of hijacking your pathetic Retrobright crap you better have some legal power behind you.

What a nice guy Mr. Woodall is.... NOT.

I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.......I'm not going to dignify those messages with a reply.

Lorne
February 5th, 2010, 12:47 PM
Whoh!! It appears that I have stepped on someone's tail with my e-mail; I didn't think it was badly worded.

I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.......

I thought the wording was just fine.
Conclusions drawn.

carlsson
February 5th, 2010, 01:39 PM
While I haven't read up on the Wikispaces license, are you saying anything covered by that license may never be charged for? I agree if he was selling a CD-ROM with instructions how to perform the Retr0brite process, it would be a clear breach. In this case someone buys the chemicals, UV lamp and takes the time and risk to not only treat but also handle and ship other people's items.

I know several companies are in the open source industry, offering to install and support open source software. While all the contributions they do to the software will fall into the license, clearly it is not illegal to set up and commercially support this kind of software for a customer who couldn't care less about licenses as long as it works?

Or perhaps the Wikispaces license involves anyone who would like to set up this process and service other people without the means, needs to buy a commercial license from you or a representative for the Retr0brite community? You may want to clarify this pretty soon, as I expect more people might consider this approach in small scale.

Lorne
February 5th, 2010, 02:26 PM
"was intended to be free, so that others would not profit from our work.

I am disappointed that you didnít even think to check with us that it was OK to use Retr0bright for commercial gain, under the terms of the Wikispaces licence."

Re-read the piece above again.
I think Merlin chose his words very carefully, and I don't think he is suggesting no one can make a commercial enterprise of it.

The word "intended" was a carefully chosen word, as were "check with us that it was OK to use Retr0bright for commercial gain".

Nowhere did Merlin say it couldn't be used for commercial gain.
I myself would prefer no one makes a commercial gain from it - the process wasn't developed for that purpose. In any case, no one will get rich de-yellowing old plastics.
It would be nice if someone is going to charge for de-yellowing pieces on a large scale, that maybe they check with the person who wrote the Wiki, to make sure that it is okay, and there are no royalties to be paid.

I think John Woodall probably didn't read properly or didn't understand the words in Merlin's email, and just flew off the handle with no thought. It's no big deal - it's just rude.

mikerm
February 5th, 2010, 06:27 PM
I think, and hope that he just charged for labor, and didn't sell any product, at least it seems like to me. Honestly though, I personally would of asked him what the deal was exactly first.

tezza
February 6th, 2010, 01:30 AM
Here's my thinking on this. The Retrobrite recipe is in the public domain. I applaud that, and I applaud the way Dave has lead this project in the vintage computing community.

It's a bit of work to apply the treatment. Some people may want to get their cases de-yellowed but do not want the hassel of doing it themselves. They may be happy to pay for others to do that for them. If the charge is just for labour and materials, well, I guess that's fair enough. As Anders says, it's a bit like someone charging to setup open source software and tweak it on a person's machine. The charge is for the labour, not the software.

However, I wouldn't worry about the ideas being exploited by a big commerical enterprise. I don't think a commecial service will ever be a viable business. In order to make a profit, the cost of de-yellowing a case would need to cover

1. Labour (for washing, pasting, mixing, checking)
2. Materials (chemicals etc)
3. Shipping cases

Vintage computers don't go for much anyway and if we are talking about a local market (e.g. people drop a case in to the de-yellower) then the market is very small. How many people within driving distance are vintage computer nuts wanting their cases deyellowed AND are prepared to pay someone to do it? I would suggest very few. There is a larger market beyond the local driving zone BUT if things need to be shipped both ways, then up goes the cost...it goes WAY up.

The odd person may do some deyellowing for payment of labour and materials but I can't see it being common. Only a few will be prepared to pay what a commercial enterprise would need to charge. Not enough clients to sustain it as a business.

Tez

Merlin
February 6th, 2010, 03:06 AM
It gets better.....I got this message this morning....

Furthermore, if you post slanderous comments about me on the internet such that my name or my business are damaged, I will take legal action against you. I will not tolerate that kind of behavior.
John Woodall
VintageMicros

I really do wonder if he responds to every question he gets asked in this way..... and as for slanderous comments, I wouldn't dream of it.....

The thrust of my question was along the lines of this; I (and the guys who helped develop retr0bright) don't mind the average Joe treating his case, but when businesses start offering it as a service, that's another story to me. I have already come across one case in the UK of this and I thought that this was another one - it appears that in this case, I was wrong.

He really has over-reacted badly to my question though...... meh.

MikeS
February 6th, 2010, 09:01 AM
I'd say his own comments do more to create a negative impression than anything you (Merlin) said; not sure I'd want to do business with someone who'd react like that if I had a question or a problem, not to mention his belittling the efforts (which he benefitted from) that you and many others put into developing and refining this process with his "your pathetic Retrobright crap" remark.

Definitely uncalled for.

tezza
February 6th, 2010, 09:47 AM
Yes, I agree. I would hardly call Merlin's comments slanderous, and a reply along the lines of "No, I'm not offering it as a service but I did treat a case for a friend" would have stopped the matter dead. Presumably the de-yellowing worked and the friend was happy. The "your pathetic Retrobright crap" comment is not only petulant but wrong. The process was a breakthrough now enjoyed by many.

Lorne
February 6th, 2010, 11:52 AM
I accidentally started something with a previous post, and I now need to stop it.
We don't need this thread getting edited, posts deleted, or even worse the thread locked, which if it turns into another of the rant type threads (and it could easily head that way) may very well happen.

Suffice to say, If I ever do something for one of you "as a favor", and then charge you "a reasonable sum", I don't think you should consider me a friend.
(PS: I'm keeping my avatar, with one person in mind).


Now, to change the subject, and hopefully get us back on topic with this thread (and what this thread is all about), have a look at this:

3088

It's a TeleVideo 950 terminal.
Probably the most yellowed piece I've ever had.

And here's what I was dealing with up close:

3087

I'm processing this one in sections, and it shows the difference very well.

3089

I'm getting good results, and it may be due to something that I'm doing differently.
It's a little more time consuming, but I've been checking the piece every hour to make sure the paste hasn't dried out or started filming. As soon as it has, I brush it again, and add more paste as necessary. I'm also brushing in a North South direction one time, and an East West direction next time. I'm getting none of the "bloom", and I think that may be due to the overlapping N-S, E-W brush strokes. Then again, it could also be due to the type/mix of the plastic used to make the piece. I'll know better once I or someone else gives it a try on a different computer's plastic.

Merlin
February 6th, 2010, 12:12 PM
It's quite simple... if someone treats a case as a 'favour' and things head South with their pride and joy, I just know where the support questions will get asked, that's all..

Like Lorne said, leave it; it's tomorrow's chip wrappers now as far as I'm concerned.....

tezza
February 6th, 2010, 01:26 PM
I'm getting none of the "bloom", and I think that may be due to the overlapping N-S, E-W brush strokes. Then again, it could also be due to the type/mix of the plastic used to make the piece. I'll know better once I or someone else gives it a try on a different computer's plastic.

Yes, althought the symptom is not common, it would good to sort this coloured-cases "bloom" issue out. There could be a combination of reasons...type of plastic, drying out to quickly with the paste etc. Perhaps it's a combination of those things. It really needs some replicated experimentation/trials to see if factors can be isolated.

It would make a good research project for a postgraduate chemistry student.

Tez

Lorne
February 6th, 2010, 02:04 PM
It would make a good research project for a postgraduate chemistry student.

Tez

Or, maybe you or me.
I concentrated on physics in high school. Never bothered with chemistry or biology. I'm getting my chemistry lessons (via Merlin) now.
However, now I would have preferred to have concentrated on electronics, but of course with a mimeograph machine in the school office, there wasn't a lot of opportunity for electronics instruction.

I'm going to try some Apple plastics with the N-S, E-W stuff next (IMO de-yellowing Apple stuff is a waste of H202 :) but, for the cause...)

Merlin
February 6th, 2010, 02:08 PM
I can field this one. The most plausible explanation I can come up with is that ABS can have free butadiene C=C bonds present even after masterbatching and moulding. These can oxidise and become the peroxide of ABS, either quickly via the oxygen free radicals liberated during the catalysing of H2O2 by the TAED, or more slowly by atmospheric oxygen over time. The dead give away is that the areas of highest discolouration are also the areas that are most likely to 'bloom'. Take a look at tezza's RX-8800 case photos in the Wiki, to the right of the large circular mark - that's exactly what I'm talking about.

So, the most likely conditions that will cause 'bloom' are a badly yellowed case being treated with a high concentration of H2O2 in the Retr0bright mixture. Does this sound like a plausible scientific explanation to you?

carlsson
February 6th, 2010, 02:39 PM
de-yellowing Apple stuff is a waste of H202 :)
Perhaps not if it is a cheesy Lisa? I suppose some of the 8-bits could be worthy too.

Lorne
February 6th, 2010, 02:55 PM
Perhaps not if it is a cheesy Lisa? I suppose some of the 8-bits could be worthy too.

Some people (carlsson) just can't leave well enough alone. :)

Lorne
February 6th, 2010, 03:35 PM
I can field this one. The most plausible explanation I can come up with is that ABS can have free butadiene C=C bonds present even after masterbatching and moulding. These can oxidise and become the peroxide of ABS, either quickly via the oxygen free radicals liberated during the catalysing of H2O2 by the TAED, or more slowly by atmospheric oxygen over time. The dead give away is that the areas of highest discolouration are also the areas that are most likely to 'bloom'. Take a look at tezza's RX-8800 case photos in the Wiki, to the right of the large circular mark - that's exactly what I'm talking about.

So, the most likely conditions that will cause 'bloom' are a badly yellowed case being treated with a high concentration of H2O2 in the Retr0bright mixture. Does this sound like a plausible scientific explanation to you?

God, I hope you don't talk like that while you're having a pint with the boys.

So, what if all the areas are completely discolored?
I'm a bit touchy on this one because I've always used the high (30%) concentration of H202, and have had mostly good results (except with Apple crap).
I suppose I could thin it down a bit, but that goes against my experience/instincts.

Or, are you saying that some plastics, like the Apple plastic, should have a lower concentration than the other plastics?

I can do some tests (and probably will now).

arfink
February 6th, 2010, 07:37 PM
EDIT: arg... my bad.

EDIT2: and to keep this on track... I have found that some Apple plastics seem to be more sensitive to high H2O2 concentrations, but this might just be because my most heavily yellowed case plastics were Apple.

Merlin
February 7th, 2010, 04:44 AM
God, I hope you don't talk like that while you're having a pint with the boys.

So, what if all the areas are completely discolored?
I'm a bit touchy on this one because I've always used the high (30%) concentration of H202, and have had mostly good results (except with Apple crap).
I suppose I could thin it down a bit, but that goes against my experience/instincts.

Or, are you saying that some plastics, like the Apple plastic, should have a lower concentration than the other plastics?

I can do some tests (and probably will now).

LMAO!! No, I do manage to get out a bit, you know.....;)

What I am suggesting is that parts that are as badly discoloured as Tezza's RX-8800 case should be treated more gently with a lower concentration of H2O2, so that the risk of blooming is minimised. Simply put, what we are trying to do is camouflage it as we lighten the case colour, as once it's oxidised, there isn't a lot you can do because carbon will bond more strongly to oxygen than bromine does. It's happened, we can't reverse it, so the best thing that we can do is not make it worse.

tezza
February 7th, 2010, 12:36 PM
Or, maybe you or me.

LOL. Yes, I'd love to do more experimentation but with a full time job and interests OTHER than vintage computing which all compete for my spare(?) time it's not possible to dabble right now. What with having to repair a vintage computer everytime I switch it on (!), working out how to use and EPROM programmer and website/blog maintenance, the VC weekly time allocation is fully booked!

I'm sure I can rely on you to forge ahead in the name of scientific endeavour Lorne :)

Tez

glitch
February 7th, 2010, 02:35 PM
Well, I've got the shell from an Apple 800K floppy drive sitting in a batch made from 12% H2O2, original Oxy Clean, and arrowroot, since I couldn't find Xanthan gum in town. I'd had it out in the sunlight, but it's very cold here at the time, and the solution started to get a skim of ice later in the day, so it's currently on the kitchen table with a small blacklight tube over the glass dish it's in...before and after pictures to follow!

mikerm
February 7th, 2010, 08:08 PM
Someone earlier posted about Apple plastics being more sensitive to the H2O2 concentration, I would recommend just sticking with the lower concentration with a longer "soak" time in the solution with the UV.

A few people including myself have had much success with the plain ol Wal-Mart 99cent 3% concentration bottle with mostly water solution. I'm not sure the higher solution is really needed except maybe extreme situations or lack of patience, which seem to have undesired effects.

glitch
February 7th, 2010, 08:30 PM
I'd noticed the complaints about Apple plastics as well. That's why I'm starting with the 800K drive -- it's very yellow, and it's got the name of the school it was used in engraved permanently in the top. If it works well, I'm going to treat the case of my Mac Classic II, its mouse and keyboard, and the front of my Leading Edge Model D's case.

Since I got the jumbo container of Oxy-Clean, I'll pick up a bottle of 3% H2O2 at the store. I've got plenty of yellowed hardware, and it doesn't take much time to apply the solution. It'd be great if I could use the cheaper 3% stuff...doesn't matter if it takes longer, if it costs 1/5 the price!

Merlin
February 8th, 2010, 12:16 AM
When we were developing this method, members used concentrations of H2O2 from 3% to 30%. The optimum range is between 10 to 15% for an effective treatment, whilst minimising the risk of blooming and getting the task completed relatively quickly.

There's nothing wrong in a 'low and slow' approach, it just takes longer that's all. It took 20+ years to get that colour, a few extra hours or days won't hurt.

The main problem is that some people expect instant results from this; I suppose that's the legacy of the 'Playstation Generation', in that if gratification isn't instant, it doesn't work and they get bored....I must be getting old....

pavelitbay
March 1st, 2010, 02:21 AM
............
i guess it would be helpfull too.. :)............

Lorne
March 18th, 2010, 09:19 AM
I've been doing a little de-yellowing lately, and something really weird is occurring, that has never happened before.

I mix the paste version as I always have, I apply it to the piece, it starts its usual foaming, and everything is as it always has been.
After a couple hours, I reapply it (without washing the original paste off), again as I have always done, and it's still fine.
A couple hours later, the paste turns to liquid and just runs off the part.
No more foaming, no nothing.
Subsequent re-applications don't foam either - they just turn into liquid as well.
I've tried this outside in the sun, and inside under the UV lights - the same thing happens no matter where I do it.
I'm thinking my H2O2 could be spent, although I don't know why it would work fine for the first couple hours though. I've had this H2O2 for about three months, but that's never been a problem before.
I'm also thinking maybe the shelf life of the Oxy powder is up. I've had that since we started this stuff (two years?). But again, why does it work for the first couple hours?
I'm going to get some new Oxy power, and some new H2O2, and see if that gets rid of the problem.

Meanwhile, has anyone else had this problem?
Does the Oxy powder or H2O2 have a shelf life that would reduce its working life after an initial period of time?
Any ideas?

carlsson
March 18th, 2010, 10:30 AM
Have you stored the Oxy in a cool, dry place? I just had a look at my can of Vanish. I bought it late last summer, and it has a date stamp 05 04 09 which I believe means it was packaged either on April 5 or May 4 last year. There is no obvious best before-dates on the can, and upon checking the manufacturer's homepage, I couldn't find any such information neither. Possibly a little of the air humidity escapes into the can everytime you open it and starts a very small chemical process to exhaust the powder, but Merlin would be better suited to comment on that.

Lorne
March 18th, 2010, 03:58 PM
It has been stored (indoors at 72 F, in a dark cupboard) in its original plastic tub which looks like it seals OK.
I've picked up the new Oxy and H2O2, so I'll see what happens.
Another thought that's been running through my mind is that maybe there's something on the plastic parts, that's stopping the process.
I've never run into that before though.
My money's on bad H2O2 or bad Oxy.

tezza
March 18th, 2010, 04:41 PM
Lorne and others,

Someone (Romsey) left a comment on my Vic-20 deyellowing blog post (http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/2008-12-30-de-yellowing-old-cases.htm)which says...

Hi Tezza,

I have the same 1983 issue VIC20 as yourself and it too has yellowed very badly, seems this last production run of the VIC20 with the cutdown interal PCB used a lower quality plastic than the original early runs and suffered from this problem even if the VIC20 was stored away in darkness. I found that simply using Oxi-Magic on it's own will do the job, in fact I've also tested the process using the no-name brand equivalents and they work well too, so long as they contain 34% sodium precarbonate ( releases hydrogen peroxide when wet ). I used a plastic tub that is just larger than the VIC20's case and mix a whole Kg of the power with just enough water to cover the VIC20 case and left it for two days. No need to use UV and no risk of melting the case or damaging lables. 1Kg of the generic brand powder from the supermarkets here is only $1.99 so cheap process and safe, don't even need gloves or goggles. The key I found is to concentrate the powder in as little water as possible to surround the case.
Interesting! Has anyone else tried this?

Tezza

Lorne
March 19th, 2010, 02:30 PM
I haven't, but maybe I'll try it one day.

Then again, the process doesn't work in the dark - how can he be doing this with no UV?
Maybe his VIC20 was just dirty, and needed a good bath?

I think I'd still use goggles too - if it releases H2O2, then it should still be present in the liquid.

The whole idea doesn't sound right though.
I guess one of us will have to try it, and prove it either does, or doesn't work.

Chuck(G)
March 19th, 2010, 02:58 PM
I think the original poster meant "Sodium Percarbonate" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_percarbonate). The basis for colorsafe oxygen bleach detergents, OxiClean (but no Billy Mays) and a whole host of other cleaners, including a whitening toothpaste for pets. From the MSDS, OxiClean appears to be cut about 40% with plain old washing soda (Sodium Carbonate), so it may not be the best choice. You can get sodium percarbonate in its pure form from any vendor of commercial laundry supplies for about a buck a pound. You'll also find it in some deck cleaners.

I've wondered about the addition of the hydrogen peroxide to the brew, since sodium percarbonate liberates H2O2 when wet and is generally considered to be equal to 35% aqueous H2O2.

FWIW I've gotten decent results using oxalic acid (another powder).

Merlin
March 20th, 2010, 04:43 AM
Sodium Percarbonate (and Sodium Perborate for that matter) are indeed the basis of the Oxiclean type laundry boosters. The reason they work is that they are peroxide donors. We aren't using Oxiclean for the peroxide content, we are using it for the TAED content, which is our catalyst for the Retr0bright reaction.

From the TAED Wikipedia article:-

TAED is an important component of detergents and bleaches. Its is an activator for "active oxygen" bleaching agents. Such active oxygen bleaching agents release hydrogen peroxide during the wash cycle. Such agents include sodium perborate, sodium percarbonate, sodium perphosphate, sodium persulfate, and urea peroxide. The released hydrogen peroxide is an inefficient bleach below 40 įC, except in the presence of activators such as TAED.

The activation process entails a reaction of the hydrogen peroxide with TAED to release peracetic acid, which is a fast-acting bleaching agent.

(CH3C(O))2NCH2CH2N(C(O)CH3)2 + H2O2 → (CH3C(O))2NCH2CH2NH(C(O)CH3) + CH3CO3H

Now, all we are doing is using hydrogen peroxide directly, to cut out some of the chemical "middle men" and speed up the reaction.

I didn't put this into the Retr0bright Wiki as it would have probably scared most non-science people off!! I did refer to it under the 'Further Reading' section of the Wiki though.

Remember, through a lot of the development of this method, I was trying to impart scientific knowledge to people that had probably never done much serious science, hence the Wiki is a watered-down, easy to follow version for non-scientists.

Any questions......??

:)

Chuck(G)
March 20th, 2010, 08:26 AM
Any questions......??:)

I do have a question--if you're doing this for the PAA content, why not just use that? It's available as a medical disinfectant. At the rate you're producing it with the little TAED content, a gallon should do a boxcar-load of yellow stuff.

The gun freaks use a 50-50 mix of supermarket vinegar and peroxide to clean lead deposits from barrels. It's also used in the (cheap Chinese) musical instrument business to clean lead solder stains from brass instruments (the usual way is to scrape and buff the solder off).

There's quite a bit of literature about sanitizing food prep areas using two spray bottles--one filled with H2O2 and the other with vinegar.

Lorne
March 20th, 2010, 12:50 PM
It's a pet peeve of mine, but I think Americans use far too many acronyms.

A web search for PAA gets me:

Pennsylvania Automotive Association
Paa is a 2009 Indian movie
Professional Anglers Association
Population Association of America

I trust Chuck, that you weren't referring to any of those, so exactly what is the PAA that were you referring to? :)

carlsson
March 20th, 2010, 01:56 PM
How about PAA = peroxyacetic acid (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peracetic_acid)? It is what Merlin mentioned above, but using a different spelling.

Merlin
March 20th, 2010, 02:56 PM
The point is that TAED is a catalyst in the reaction and it gets regenerated, once the peracetic acid has been released to do it's work; just using peracetic acid on it's own might work, however it's not a catalyst in it's own right, so I'm not sure what it brings to the party, in the chemical sense.

What we are after is a slow release of hydrogen ions from the breakdown of the hydrogen peroxide by slow generation of peracetic acid; just lumping the acid in on it's own is likely to accelerate the reaction too much and cause attacking of the polymer, creating the 'blooming' that is seen if you overdo it.

All I can suggest is try it and report back; we are open to new ideas and fresh experimenters are always welcome!!

Chuck(G)
March 20th, 2010, 03:26 PM
It's a pet peeve of mine, but I think Americans use far too many acronyms.

Peracetic Acid or Peroxyacetic Acid. PAA is a common trade acronym.

But you're right, Lorne. From now on it will be Micro Soft Disk Operating System and Gates William Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. None of this "MSDOS" or "GWBASIC" garbage. :)

I'm got an old Amstrad Joyce here that will make a good guinea pig for yellowing experiments. When we get the next really sunny day (in Oregon?), I'll section the top off with some plumber's putty try various witches' brews. Should be a good ABCD type of comparison.

Merlin
March 21st, 2010, 06:13 AM
^^^

Sounds Cool! I look forward to seeing the results of this........... :)

Merlin
March 21st, 2010, 06:14 AM
It's a pet peeve of mine, but I think Americans use far too many acronyms.



Know your TLAs, eh?

LOL

Lorne
March 21st, 2010, 01:43 PM
It has been stored (indoors at 72 F, in a dark cupboard) in its original plastic tub which looks like it seals OK.
I've picked up the new Oxy and H2O2, so I'll see what happens.
Another thought that's been running through my mind is that maybe there's something on the plastic parts, that's stopping the process.
I've never run into that before though.
My money's on bad H2O2 or bad Oxy.

It must have been bad ingredients.
I got the new stuff, and I could see the difference even when I was just mixing the gel.
It foamed more, and worked like it had before.
There's nothing like using fresh ingredients for ANY recipe.

And here's another example of what can be done with the process.
It's a Televideo 925 - sitting on some white bond paper.
The bottom has obviously been processed, and it was as yellow as the top.

3349

Merlin
March 24th, 2010, 11:05 AM
@ Lorne

Now you're just showing off....... ;)

tezza
July 12th, 2010, 03:53 AM
Haven't done retr0brighting for some time but the drought has broken.

3921

The article pertaining to this latest effort is detailed here (http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/2010-07-11-s80-case-fix.htm).

One interesting thing. At first I had the case under a small UV bulb for 24 hours. Results were quite disappointing. There was a fade in the yellowing but not that much. The next day I re-applied the mixture and put it out in full sunlight. What a difference! In a matter of hours, the case was noticably lighter.

I think this is a reflection of two things. First, the UV output even in winter sunlight (especially very clean-air NZ sunlight) is much stronger than a small bulb above the case. Also, temperature probably had a lot to do with it. Being winter here, in the unheated garage under the UV lamp temperatures, although not freezing, were quite cool. Out in full sunlight, there was warmth also. This would have assisted the reaction.

Tez

nige the hippy
July 12th, 2010, 12:55 PM
It would be interesting to compare "hard" & "soft" UV light. UV bulbs for "discos" are quite long wavelength ( = low power photons) it saves blistering the punters, but probably doesn't knock so many bromine atoms off their stalks.

Agent Orange
July 12th, 2010, 01:26 PM
LOL - Well Nige, just how many of those bromine atoms can we afford to give up?

tezza
July 12th, 2010, 04:55 PM
It would be interesting to compare "hard" & "soft" UV light. UV bulbs for "discos" are quite long wavelength ( = low power photons) it saves blistering the punters, but probably doesn't knock so many bromine atoms off their stalks.

Yes, that would be interesting. Based on my System 80 experience I think I'll use the sun where I can rather than seek a more powerful blub. I've only got a haldful of items left I need to process. Problem is here in NZ with our changeable maritime climate you can't always order up a sunny, windless day over a weekend. It needs to be a weekend so I can lay them out, keep them pasted, alter their position relative to the source (i.e. sun) now and again and stop pets walking on them. :)

Tez

nige the hippy
July 13th, 2010, 02:21 AM
They sell (afaik) hard uv tubes for pond sterilizers, got to be used in a light proof enclosure though (a sterilizers function being to kill cells!). I'm not sure about the ballast required, but at first glance it looks like a standard flourescent.

MikeS
July 30th, 2010, 06:45 AM
A lot of negative discussion on several lists lately about retrObrite and the harm it will supposedly cause, growing out of a post on cbm-hackers by William Levak, a "chemist [with] some experience testing resins":

http://www.softwolves.com/arkiv/cbm-hackers/14/14545.html
http://www.classiccmp.org/pipermail/cctalk/2010-July/289287.html
(>30 posts)

Anybody want to respond? Merlin? Lorne? Tez?

tezza
July 30th, 2010, 11:26 AM
Interesting.

It’s always good to have different opinions on these kinds of things, especially from people that are trained in the field.

My thoughts. Well, the poster is right. No aging tests have been done (that I know of) and there is no harm pointing that out. We use it at our own risk and the more informed opinion there is about those risks the better. There could be long-term damage but who knows? Certainly bloom is permanent. If there is though, is it worse than cheese-yellow? Most cases that need de-yellowing already show brittleness…from prolonged exposure to UV light.

RetroBright is a community “project” not a tested commercial product and “use entirely at your own risk” applies. It’s a matter of known and theorized risks vrs benefits. Folk must use it on that basis. I’ve found it great for cream to while cases, where the bloom effect doesn’t seem to show up as the case is a very light color anyway. However, I’m a lot more cautious with coloured cases (grey for example) where it certainly can with overcooking.

Testing the effects of Retro0bright would make a great post-graduate project for a chemistry student. I should mention that to the chemistry staff at my University.

Coincidentally I’m writing this at 7am in the morning on a beautiful sunny NZ winter’s day. It’s Saturday and I’m about to get up and prepare some retr0bright for a System 80, Atari 800XL and a Video Genie case. My final batch!

Tez

MikeS
July 30th, 2010, 12:07 PM
Well, I agree that we use it at our own risk and I'm certainly not going to guarantee that there is no risk, but I think the tone is a little too pessimistic; there is some real science behind this and I think it does Merlin a disservice when folks say, "good to hear from a real chemist who knows what he's talking about," and I'm not sure that the proposed argument that if x amount causes damage (blooming) then 1/2 x will cause 1/2 as much damage is necessarily very sound.

But hey, it's out there for those who think the esthetic improvement is worth the slight risk of a permanent blemish, and those who don't are welcome to keep their cases a nice yellow ;-)

As to aging tests, it's been out there for close to a year; anybody's cases crumbling to dust yet?

m

nige the hippy
July 30th, 2010, 02:46 PM
Looks to me like Merlin is a mere amateur, and therefore his contribution is obviously too flawed to be considered legitimate by the vintage computer elite.

Big Wink!

& regarding blooming, surely if you remove the active ingredients & the energy source, then no further reaction will take place. it certainly looks like those casting aspersions haven't followed the threads & don't really understand the process.

tezza
July 31st, 2010, 04:52 AM
Yep, I've retr0btighted a lot of cases now and have been pretty happy with the result. The three I did today came up really well.

Tez

Lorne
July 31st, 2010, 07:04 AM
This is kind of funny.

The "chemist”, with “some experience testing resins” mentions that he's read all the information in the Wiki, but doesn't mention that he's actually tried the process.
I could give his comments a little more credence if he had done so.

He mentions "white bloom", and even for those of us that have used the process, the "bloom" is tough to describe, so not having tried the process, I don't how he can say what it is, let alone say that it is damage to the plastic. It doesn't happen in all circumstances (rarely actually), so is it only damaging sometimes?
I consider it more like patchy or blotchy, and on the pieces that I've processed, I found that it's more like an uneven result. The blotchy areas seem to be more yellowed (or unwhitened) than the other areas, which I think is because they haven't been processed enough. With repeat processing (like 5 times) on yellowed Televideo cases, I've found that the blotches disappear, and the whole piece eventually gets back to the original white.
How anyone can comment on "damage" to plastics based on the word "bloom" (which is a poor description only due to lack of a better one) without having physically seen or tried the process is beyond me.

One of my first pieces (the Osborne 1) still looks like it did when the processing was complete, and the plastic isn't falling to bits. If it falls to bits in 20 more years, so be it. Myself, and all the other Osbornes will probably have fallen to bits by then too.

We did all this experimentation for our own use and enjoyment. Someone else's lack of experience and ignorance in the process will not sway my feelings about what we've accomplished, and I don't think it'll sway Merlin's or Tezza's either. There's a load of people out there who have actually done it, who are using it, and are loving the results.

There's no substitute for actual experience when you want to comment on something someone else has done. Too bad this "chemist" didn't have any.

tezza
July 31st, 2010, 01:02 PM
Regarding Retr0bright terminology there is "bloom" and there is "streaking". Streaking is what you've described Lorne, where a very yellowed white or cream case de-yellows unevenly leaving yellowish streaks. I've never persisted long enough (or found H2O2 strong enough) to get all of these out but I could well believe it could be eliminated by a lengthy treatment.

Bloom appears on coloured cases (grey C64s or grey Ataris) where after a lengthy treatment by someone trying to get the final vestiages of brown/grey out of the case. It's a kind of whitish spotting. I think there are a few photos on the wiki from memory.

I've only seen bloom once and that was with a deliberately overcooked C64 case I was using to ascertain the difference between xanthum gum and arrowroot as a thickener.

Nevertheless it's important people know about it. Again, it's about risks and benefits.

Now I read the post by our resin chemist again, I agree with Mike. The guy is being over-cautious and pessimistic. Retr0bright is not a new technique now. It's been over a year since most of my cases were treated and the plastic seems fine. Bloom, label damage, key label fade and the discolouration of black/blue areas are well known and but avoidable with care.

In my opinion cases look far better closer to their original colour that an ugly yellow, green or brown. The risk/benefit equation is heavily in favour of a careful de-yellowing.

Merlin has done a great service to vintage computing with this technique. My Colour Genie case processed yesterday looks way better than it did but has some streaking. It will take a lot of NZ sunlight to get that out. The Atari 800Xl looks great and the System 80 is perfect. I'm particularly pleased with the latter as the case was REALLY yellow and it's taken it back to it's original colour with no streaks in evidence at all.

Tez

A4000Bear
December 29th, 2010, 06:48 PM
Lorne and others,

Someone (Romsey) left a comment on my Vic-20 deyellowing blog post (http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/2008-12-30-de-yellowing-old-cases.htm)which says...

Hi Tezza,

I have the same 1983 issue VIC20 as yourself and it too has yellowed very badly, seems this last production run of the VIC20 with the cutdown interal PCB used a lower quality plastic than the original early runs and suffered from this problem even if the VIC20 was stored away in darkness. I found that simply using Oxi-Magic on it's own will do the job, in fact I've also tested the process using the no-name brand equivalents and they work well too, so long as they contain 34% sodium precarbonate ( releases hydrogen peroxide when wet ). I used a plastic tub that is just larger than the VIC20's case and mix a whole Kg of the power with just enough water to cover the VIC20 case and left it for two days. No need to use UV and no risk of melting the case or damaging lables. 1Kg of the generic brand powder from the supermarkets here is only $1.99 so cheap process and safe, don't even need gloves or goggles. The key I found is to concentrate the powder in as little water as possible to surround the case.
Interesting! Has anyone else tried this?

Tezza



I have.

Here are my results on a VIC-20 case. I did the bottom and left the top as a comparison.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8675347@N02/5304883383/

I used 500g of 'Nappi-San' dissolved in 5 litres of warm water. The solution does get a bit sudsy, but it did not seem to harm the process.
The plastic case was then submerged in the solution and put out in the strong Aussie midday sun. I checked progress every 30 minutes and gave the mixture a gentle stir. The mixture is a milky white, however I think this may help to distribute the UV light more evenly, as even the areas in shadow were also losing the yellow colouration.

After about an hour, the discolouration was already reduced by about 50%. Unfortunately, the clouds then rolled in and progress became slower. However, by the end of the day, it was essentially complete. The remaining yellowing is so slight that it is only noticed if one already knows it is there.

Nappi-San contains 25% of sodium percarbonate. Other brands contain more. For example 'White King 5 in 1 oxy-lift booster' has 34.6% sodium percarbonate. These are all readily available in Australian supermarkets in the laundry supplies section.

tezza
December 30th, 2010, 01:29 AM
Interesting! Was the bottom yellowed to the same degree as the top?

I'll try this myself next time. I've just de-yellowed a whole lot of stuff in the NZ sun today (a Lisa case, a System 80 and two system 80 expansion units). I used the traditional H2O2/Xanthan gum paint-it-on method with really good results. However, if you can soak parts in a shallow tray of dissolved nappi-san (or Oxy, or any sodium percarbonate laundry whitener) in the sun, it would be so much easier.

Tez

MV75
December 30th, 2010, 03:15 AM
Wow, agreed Tezza, would be so much easier than retr0brite, which I've put off because I'm no really sure where to get stuff like xanthum gum from. And tubs, pfft, look in the junk shops / crazy clarks for cheap tubs. :)

I'm going to look at detergents in coles / bigW tomorrow for sure.

I might try some old screws as well because it's said that retr0brite eats metal, same as clear plastic is supposed to cloud too.

A4000Bear
December 30th, 2010, 11:59 AM
Tezza, yes, the bottom was just as yellow as the top.

It would be nice to be able to find out how well this works for other people. Also work out the best brands to use, whether or not this works well with UV light, if its possible to make this into a paste for really big items etc...

tezza
December 30th, 2010, 03:11 PM
One of my Lisa Keyboards still needs treating. In the next few days I might give this a go and report.

Tez

MV75
December 31st, 2010, 08:54 PM
Oh yea, I put in a case blank off my at desktop case yesterday, I started off with some old nappysan containing 25% SP, but I didn't put it in the sun to see what would happen. Not much. I then changed it out to some homebrand that I bought at coles for like $2.xx that contains ~34% SP and put it in the sun in the afternoon, it seemed to have a bit of an effect, comparing it to the rest of the case just now, it appears a little lighter in colour. I'll have a go again when we get another sunny day, will be a while though as we only had the last two days of sun, and now it's back to rain again here.

Oh yes, I used a chinese food container with one lid worth of the stuff. I did try with a screw in it too, but I forgot it was in and it went down the sink when I emptied the tub.

MV75
January 2nd, 2011, 02:28 PM
Had huge success yesterday with the above, plus another blank from another case. The other blank came out perfect, the one as above that I gave a rouind 2 to, came out not completly cured, but a helluva lot more "biege" than before.

This time around I used two capfulls of stuff and left it out from about 9am to 6pm.

This is definitly a go.

tezza
January 2nd, 2011, 03:55 PM
I'm going to try this soon. Did you use the recommended amount per litre as per the packet (for bleaching nappies) or did you add more?

Tez

MV75
January 2nd, 2011, 04:47 PM
MUCH more.

The tub says a lid to like 7 litres of water. I had two lids to about 1/2 a litre.

A4000Bear
January 2nd, 2011, 06:02 PM
MV75, did you try it with cold or warm water?

I used warm water, it was probably about 40C. Partly to help the Nappi-San to dissolve, and partly to see if it sped up the effect, which I think it did. I got about a 50% reduction in yellowing after an hour of strong midday sun. Although it was a cool day, the sun did help keep the water tepid.

I think the important thing is to use a lot more Nappi-san than recommended for clothes. I chose 500g, because I had half a 1kg container of it. I don't know if it is overkill or if it could be improved by using more.

MV75
January 2nd, 2011, 07:11 PM
I started with full hot water to dissolve the powder, (which it still didn't fully no matter how much I stirred it), then I added some cold so as to not put too much heat into the plastic.

The only thing that really happened during was that the extra undissolved powder formed a layer on the plastic, but was very easily scraped off, and at the end, it washed off perfectly under cold water. Seriously, at the end, it's a very easy clean, it just all washes off so easily from the parts with just cold water.

But yea, go cheaper, get home brand, like half the cost and has about 10% more sodium percarbonate in it.

But yea, the thing now is finding out how much to actually use. :)

RickNel
January 2nd, 2011, 10:55 PM
The Nappi-san solution sounds great (ah... the memories of smelly babies...).

I'm still weighing up whether to give the RetroBright treatment to my DEC VT100 case + keyboard. Originally it was a sort of file-cabinet grey, still is inside.

A bit puzzled about the yellowing process and ultraviolet. This cabinet has never in its life seen daylight, so if yellowing is from ultraviolet then it must be from fluoro tubes.

Second, I recently peeled off a service label that was applied just before the thing was put away for 20yrs dark storage. Under the label was much less yellowed than the surrounding surface, so the yellowing had to be continuing during dark storage. Unless the difference is due to the cabinet being in sight of occasional
fluoro light in my workshop over the past 18 months - average less than 1 hour per week.

Having just got it running again, I decided to give the cabinet a clean-up. I grabbed a spray-bottle of "SARD Oxyplus citrus degreaser" from my wife's laundry stock, and just sprayed, scrubbed and rinsed the case sections in the laundry sink. No soaking, no sun-baking. Sure there was some accumulated grime to come off, but I swear that there was also some noticeable reduction in the yellowing. I didn't take "before" photos because I wasn't expecting this. There is a single fluoro tube over the laundry sink. I looked at the ingredients on the web, but couldn't make head or tail of it. Could this be traces of the "Nappi-San" effect?

Rick

MV75
January 3rd, 2011, 01:34 AM
Not just uv, heat is also a contributer to yellowed plastics. The uv given off by fluoro lights is very insignificant.

It may appear to be "whiter" because it's now clean. It's brighter, which gives an illusion of whiter. :)

A4000Bear
January 5th, 2011, 04:46 PM
The Nappi-san solution sounds great (ah... the memories of smelly babies...).

I'm still weighing up whether to give the RetroBright treatment to my DEC VT100 case + keyboard. Originally it was a sort of file-cabinet grey, still is inside.

A bit puzzled about the yellowing process and ultraviolet. This cabinet has never in its life seen daylight, so if yellowing is from ultraviolet then it must be from fluoro tubes.

Second, I recently peeled off a service label that was applied just before the thing was put away for 20yrs dark storage. Under the label was much less yellowed than the surrounding surface, so the yellowing had to be continuing during dark storage. Unless the difference is due to the cabinet being in sight of occasional
fluoro light in my workshop over the past 18 months - average less than 1 hour per week.

Having just got it running again, I decided to give the cabinet a clean-up. I grabbed a spray-bottle of "SARD Oxyplus citrus degreaser" from my wife's laundry stock, and just sprayed, scrubbed and rinsed the case sections in the laundry sink. No soaking, no sun-baking. Sure there was some accumulated grime to come off, but I swear that there was also some noticeable reduction in the yellowing. I didn't take "before" photos because I wasn't expecting this. There is a single fluoro tube over the laundry sink. I looked at the ingredients on the web, but couldn't make head or tail of it. Could this be traces of the "Nappi-San" effect?

Rick

I think the 'oxyplus' would indicate it uses oxygen as part of its cleaning/bleaching effect. The same as in Nappi-San, or in any of the other 'oxy boosted' cleaners that contain sodium percarbonate as the main active ingredient. (The oxygen comes from the hydrogen peroxide that is liberated when water is added to sodium percarbonate). Therefore it would be logical to have had some effect in whitening your item, albeit only minor, given the the minimal exposure to UV and the short time involved.

As for being puzzled the VT100 was yellowed despite minimal exposure to UV, bear in mind UV merely accelerates the process. 20 years is still plenty of time for some yellowing to happen in near darkness. Just imagine how brown your case would be with 20 years of direct sunight. Likewise, soaking your case in hydrogen peroxide without UV would still remove the yellowing, only it will take far longer.

Tupin
January 5th, 2011, 05:22 PM
Haven't tried this in a while, but I just realized I had questions if I were to do it again. Are you guys using the "Nappisan" only in that in a big bucket of water? I thought you needed peroxide.

I managed to clean some keys a while ago with it with extra strong peroxide and oxy cleaner. Discolored the letters, but the keys were good.

A4000Bear
January 7th, 2011, 05:20 PM
Haven't tried this in a while, but I just realized I had questions if I were to do it again. Are you guys using the "Nappisan" only in that in a big bucket of water? I thought you needed peroxide.

I managed to clean some keys a while ago with it with extra strong peroxide and oxy cleaner. Discolored the letters, but the keys were good.


That is correct. Just simply add water. These 'oxy cleaners' of which Nappi-San is one particular brand, contain sodium percarbonate, which releases hydrogen peroxide when mixed with water.

I just purchased some generic 'oxy cleaner' from the supermarket. About $2.50 for a 1kg container. This one is stronger than 'Nappi-San' as it has 34.6% sodium percarbonate. The label also states 'equivalent to 4% W/W available oxygen' I would guess that it would equate to a 4% hydrogen peroxide solution when made up as directed (1 capfil in 7 litres water). Next time I will be trying 3 capfuls in 5 litres water and see how effective it is.

tezza
January 9th, 2011, 11:47 PM
Ok, here is an experience with "Oxy-Magic" only (no H2O2). Oxy-magic is a laundry whitener that contains 35% sodium percarbonate.

I mixed 500g Oxy-Magic with 5 litres of warm water until most was dissolved then made up the volume to an estimated 15-20 litres with cold water (in a small plastic wheelbarrow). I then placed a Lisa Keyboard top panel into this mixture. The keyboard was weighed down with lots of blu-tack underneath so it stayed under the water.

There was a lot of foam after mixing. I skimmed most of this off so that light could get through to the keyboard under the water. I couldn't remove all of it though so a thin layer of foam on the surface remained

I then put the wheelbarrow and it's contents outside for about 8 hours. The day was partly cloudy so all up I reckon only about 4 hours full sunlight.

The results weren't too bad. Here are some before and after photos (no labelling required).

http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/images/2011-01-10-lisa-keyboard-deyellow-before.jpg

http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/images/2011-01-10-lisa-keyboard-deyellow-after.jpg

Considering that 500g of Oxy-Magic is about $NZ 4.50 (compared to $NZ 15 for 500 mls for H2O2) and there is no messy mixing or reapplying, it's a recipe I might use again!

Tez

A4000Bear
January 10th, 2011, 02:07 PM
Glad you got some pretty good results there, Tezza.

I was hoping to experiment some more with this too, but its been very grey and wet here the last few days.

Next time I have the top half of the VIC-20 case to try and a case from a 1970s digital clock, both badly yellowed.
I also have a slightly yellowed Amiga 4000 keyboard, to see how effective this is on less badly affected items.

I'll be using 250g of Oxy-cleaner in 5 litres of warm water, which is half as strong as my previous experiment. I'm also aiming for a bright sunny day with no clouds for a more consistent experiment.

Incidentally I did try half of the VIC-20 top in the strong mixture before, so I'll be able to compare for any other side effects on the plastic between strong and weak mixtures.

A4000Bear
January 16th, 2011, 12:51 AM
The sun has finally come out in flood-bound Australia, so its time to do some more experimentation.

The victims:

The top half of the VIC-20 case I had tried earlier:
5088

The case from a 1970s digital clock:
5089

This time I used some generic laundry soaker, "Coles $mart buy napicare plus", which contains 34.6% sodium percarbonate.

I used 500g, or half the container, and dissolved it into 3L of hot water. Once dissolved it was added to 7L of cold water for a total of 10 litres. This is half as strong as my previous experiment. I made 10 litres because I was also doing two Amiga A4000 keyboards as well. I did not take pics of these as they were not badly yellowed. The 10 litres was split into two containers and put out in the bright summer sunshine at 11:30 AM. The foam on top was skimmed off. I did not remove it all as it does not seem to harm the process.

The VIC was put out first, Within 10 minutes, the yellowing had faded noticeably. After an hour it was about 75% gone. By the end of two hours it was almost all gone. At the end of the third hour it was removed and rinsed.

5090

The clock was also put out at the same time. This had been the subject of a few previous experiments that were not entirely successful. Like the VIC, all traces of yellowing had gone by 3 hours.

5091

Next was the bottom of the VIC-20 case which was put out at 3:00 PM. I decided to give it another go as I had not completely removed the yellowing in the previous experiment. I also wanted it to have undergone a longer treatment than the top, to confirm a theory I have regarding 'blooming'. It was removed at 6:00 PM, and all remaining traces of yellowing had gone.

Blooming:

There was a fair amount of blooming on the VIC-20 top case and on the digital clock case. There was no blooming on the VIC-20 bottom case, or any of the Amiga keyboard items, which had been soaked in the same solution for the same time under the same sun.

In addition, the VIC-20 top case had a label on it which I removed before treatment. The plastic under the label had not yellowed at all. After treatment, there was no blooming where the label was.

5092

Contrast has been enhanced to make it easier to see the difference between where the label was and the lighter (bloomed) remainder of the case.

My theory on blooming is that it is a result of damage caused to the surface of the plastic by many years of exposure to sunlight. The quality of the plastic may have something to do with it too. The VIC-20 bottom was exactly the same as the top except it (obviously) did not get exposure to direct sunlight, and it didn't bloom. People experimenting with Retr0brite had noticed it also occurred when too strong a mixture was used. Given that my results were so rapid, its quite likely that my mixture is too strong too.

Some people may have noticed some marks on the clock case near the rectangular flap. This was caused by a previous experiment where I tried dunking the case in the same solution used here in an ultrasonic cleaner. I ran it for 30 minutes. There was some reduction in yellowing, but no more than I got with a UV light for the same period of time. The blemishes were caused by the case rubbing against the bottom of the ultrasonic cleaner tank, and also where I scratched it with a fingernail, showing that the 'blooming' is porous and chalky.

There is no doubt that bright sunshine is the way to go for the best and fastest results. I had tried the clock with a UV light for 6 hours and the yellowing was only halved.

tezza
January 21st, 2011, 10:20 AM
I was so impressed with the Lisa keyboards de-yellowing results using laundry whitener only, I wrote a blog entry on it. For those interested see:
http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/2011-01-21-deyellowing-with-oxy-only.htm

If anyone can work out how much H2O2 is released into solution from a gram of sodium percarbonate it would be very useful for comparison with the published retr0bright recipies. I'm sure I could do this years ago, but I've kinda forgotton the mathematics involved. The reaction is shown here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_percarbonate).

Tez

A4000Bear
January 21st, 2011, 03:35 PM
A few further thoughts on my experiment the other day.

The items that suffered from blooming showed faster results than the items that were not bloomed. Considering my theory that these items already have damaged surfaces from the sunlight that caused the yellowing, I suspect the damage is in the form of microscopic pits, cracks etc, which allows the solution to penetrate into these, causing a faster reaction....and a chalky finish.

The clock had a very matte surface before treatment. In fact the yellowing looked even darker if the plastic was wet.

In order to maximise UV light, I had used a shallow white plastic container, which helps reflect light through the solution better. The liquid level was also no more than 1cm above the surface of the item.

I believe the solution becomes spent after a period of time. In an earlier experiment using a UV light and a small container, I had de-yellowed an A4000 spacebar after about 4 or 5 hours. I then placed the clock case (mentioned in my post above) in this solution, but got very poor results after 3 hours. Replacing the solution then gave me about a 50% reduction of yellowing after 3 hours of UV light.

In my next experiments, once I get hold of some more severely yellowed plastic, I'm going to try masking off areas with a protective lacquer to see if it can be used to protect labels etc. I'm thinking of trying "Servisol protective circuit board lacquer" Jaycar Cat no. NA-1002. This can be removed after use with "Servisol Circuit board cleaner" Jaycar Cat no. NA1008.

I'll also be trying a weaker mixture, hopefully with plastic that may be prone to blooming, to see if blooming can be prevented.

pearce_jj
January 24th, 2011, 04:51 AM
Very interested in this stuff for yellowing white-vinegar won't budge. So just to add my thanks in advance to the OP really :)

A4000Bear
February 24th, 2011, 11:49 PM
I have just been to the supermarket, and was about to buy a jumbo container of a generic oxy-soaker which was on special, when something new caught my eye.

White King Oxy-Lift liquid gel, in a 1.1L bottle. Price $8.50.

I have never seen this before, so I bought a bottle. Upon investigation, the bottle contains a clear, colourless, thick gel. According to the label, it contains hydrogen peroxide, 59grams per litre. My rough estimate would be that it is equivalent to about 6%. Unlike the dry laundry soakers mentioned here previously that contain sodium percarbonate, this gel contains actual hydrogen peroxide. This is because sodium percarbonate can only exist in a dry form. When wet it becomes hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate. This product is so new, I failed to find it at all on the web, even on the manufacturer's website. However, it seems that there is also a gel version of Nappisan. http://www.vanishstains.com.au/product.php?id=4

I don't know if this gel contains TAED. If it does I would have guessed the shelf-life would have been non-existent. (according to my bottle, it expires in June 2012).

Tomorrow, I'll give it a try, using it just like the Retr0brite gel.

carlsson
February 25th, 2011, 01:26 AM
It sounds unusual to find a product for sale so new the manufacturer's web department yet haven't catched up unless they have a purposedly neglected website of course. Good luck in using the gel, and the rest of us across the world could start looking for similar products.

nige the hippy
February 25th, 2011, 06:45 AM
I wonder if you could just stir in some TAED?

modem7
February 25th, 2011, 02:06 PM
I've done some de-yellowing over the past couple of months.

Using the Retr0bright gel on a microwave oven door, I eventually saw what has been described as 'blooming' appear (just like the photo at the Retr0bright web site). I just continued with the process and that 'blooming' disappeared.

I tried the "generic oxy cleaner from a supermarket" on many items. It works. A badly yellowed Microsoft mouse is now as good as the day it was bought. I found it to be significantly slower than using Retr0bright gel, but it does work.

I also saw 'blooming' on some items that I processed in a bath of generic oxy cleaner. Continuing the process fixed/reduced that.

At one point, I left a CD-ROM case and keyboard keys sitting in a bath of generic oxy cleaner for too long. Both items now have a slightly damaged surface although it is only apparent when light reflects off the plastic at certain angles. After the items had been thoroughly rinsed then left to dry, a white powder formed in small quantities on some parts of the plastic (on both case and keys).

A4000Bear
February 25th, 2011, 07:53 PM
Here are my results from trying the new 'White King Oxy-Lift liquid gel'

I had four items under test:
2x computer drive bay covers, both identically yellowed.
1x A1060 Sidecar front panel, very slightly yellowed.
1x VIC-20 top panel, moderately yellowed.

As I was unsure if the new gel contained TAED, I decided to use the two identical covers as a comparision of the gel with and without TAED.

One panel was treated with the gel straight from the bottle. For the other panel, and all other items, I mixed 1 teaspoon of laundry whitener powder in 1 teaspoon of water in an old teacup. Then I added the gel until the cup was half full. I used two separate paint brushes to apply the gel to the items to avoid mixing. Incidentally, the gel is a clear light blue colour. Apart from the colour, it looks and feels very much like a 'personal lubricant' <ahem>

The items were all put out at 11:00 AM on a hot, sunny day. Temperature was 31C. Due to the hot, dry conditions, I found I had to reapply the gel every 5-10 minutes to avoid it drying out. I must confess it was a bit of a chore.
At 1:00PM the items looked ready, so I brought them in. By then the temperature was 33C. The items were rinsed and cleaned, and the masking tape I used to blank off areas for comparison was removed.

The results:

The computer blanking plates:
5254

Unfortunately the masking tape did not do its job very well, but the comparison of treated and untreated areas can still be easily seen. Its interesting to note that the gel appears to work just as well without the added laundry booster, so either the gel already contains TAED, or, the Aussie sun is so strong it works just as well without.

The VIC-20 case:
5255

For comparison purposes, this was treated on the right hand side only. The plastic appears to be the same as in the other VIC case I tried last time, except that the yellowing was not as bad. Nearly all the yellowing was gone after the 2 hour treatment. There were no signs of 'blooming'. One interesting thing I noted was that this VIC case was slightly yellowed underneath, something I did not notice until I rinsed it afterwards, and noticed that some of the gel had run inside. Even though there was little sunlight there, the gel still removed this slight yellowing. See below:

5256

I did not take pics of the A1060 Sidecar front as it was very slightly yellowed and the comparison would have been hard to see. What yellowing that was there was removed, and there was no blooming.

From the results here, I consider the gel to be successful, and an ideal substitute for the brush-on version of Retr0brite.

My personal preference is still for submerging the item in a bath of dissolved laundry whitener, due mainly to the nuisance of having to reapply so often during a hot Aussie day. However, it is a good method for large items, or on a cooler day.


Oh...and I almost forgot. The old teacup, which was heavily stained with tea residue, and was almost impossible to clean, is now sparkling clean!

Lorne
March 9th, 2011, 10:38 AM
Just de-yellowed a few bits (front & battery cover) on my first ever Apple product - a Mac 512K.

It's actually the first time I've ever had anything to do with a Mac. Now if only someone could tell me how to get the disk out (there's no eject button - is there supposed to be?).

I managed to get it back to the original color as can be seen when looking at the battery cover, and the two areas to the left that were under the metal Apple & 512K plates.

53305331

I used the original liquid formula but reduced the H2O2 from 30% to about 15%.
This took a total of three hours, which I thought was pretty good seeing as it was very yellowed.
There was no "blooming" or blotchiness, which is what I was afraid of when I started, seeing as beige had previously been tough to de-yellow properly. This one was no problem at all.

carlsson
March 9th, 2011, 01:54 PM
As far as I know, the Mac only has software eject. That is you drag the disk icon to the trashcan, and out the floppy disk comes. Probably a talented programmer could make an overlay that will eject the disk whenever a key on the keyboard is pushed too, but no mechanical button. The same goes for some CD-ROM drives by the way.

tezza
March 9th, 2011, 02:19 PM
As far as I know, the Mac only has software eject. That is you drag the disk icon to the trashcan, and out the floppy disk comes. Probably a talented programmer could make an overlay that will eject the disk whenever a key on the keyboard is pushed too, but no mechanical button. The same goes for some CD-ROM drives by the way.

If it's very much like the Lisa 400k drives I've been playing around with (and I think it is), once the drive is out of the case, you can push on the front right hand side of the eject assembly and it should pop up (and the disk out).

The Mac itself should spit it out if it can't boot from it. It it doesn't, it's likely the eject assembly is gummed up (a very common problem with these drives). It just needs some disassembly and cleaning off of the hardened gunk from the various movable bits.

There is a website or two on this fix, but I don't have the URL on me right now.

Tez

Neon_WA
March 9th, 2011, 04:36 PM
Now if only someone could tell me how to get the disk out (there's no eject button - is there supposed to be?).

see if there is a small hole on the right side of the disk opening.
if so straighten part of a 2" (50mm) paper clip and push into the hole. This may take a bit of force (why you need large paper clip as normal size is too weak)
From memory.. the push pad is only 10mm in.. so if paper clip goes further than that, then you have missed it

tezza
March 9th, 2011, 05:18 PM
see if there is a small hole on the right side of the disk opening.
if so straighten part of a 2" (50mm) paper clip and push into the hole. This may take a bit of force (why you need large paper clip as normal size is too weak)
From memory.. the push pad is only 10mm in.. so if paper clip goes further than that, then you have missed it

I'm not sure about the early Mac, but these holes don't exist in the 400K 3.5 inch Lisa drives. Are you sure they weren't a feature only of the later 800k drives and 1.44 MB ones?

Tez

Neon_WA
March 9th, 2011, 05:48 PM
I'm not sure about the early Mac, but these holes don't exist in the 400K 3.5 inch Lisa drives. Are you sure they weren't a feature only of the later 800k drives and 1.44 MB ones?

Tez

Looking at my MAC 512 (model M0001 WP 512K) now.. it has the eject hole

tezza
March 10th, 2011, 01:33 AM
Interesting.

The Lisa drive has no such hole and there is no hole in the plastic casing either. Mind you it is a piece of cake to pop the front off a Lisa. The same cannot be said for a baby Mac!

Tez

Lorne
March 10th, 2011, 07:39 AM
The eject mechanism was pretty gummed up, so I took it apart and lubed it.
The paper clip and the software eject both work fine now.

Tezza: the Lisa link you sent me seems to show an eject button on the Lisa drive, which the 512K Mac doesn't have. The eject lever is hidden behind the case, and is only accessible though the hole.

tezza
March 10th, 2011, 08:32 AM
Tezza: the Lisa link you sent me seems to show an eject button on the Lisa drive, which the 512K Mac doesn't have. The eject lever is hidden behind the case, and is only accessible though the hole.
Right. I knew there were some differences. This is obviously one of them. Actually the eject lever is also hidden behind the Lisa case, and there is no was of accessing it unless you pop the front off (very easy to do).

s8n
March 26th, 2011, 10:22 AM
hiya Lorne / Merlin and Retr0bright scene.......


I am gearing up slowly and may try Retr0bright on my Dreamcasts and Sega Saturns , i have a query though


Here is the factor im dealing with..........


Its nearing the end of summer here in Oz , i dont want to wait about 10 months to try this out on. Can you suggest a UV Bulb that i will get great results with ?........ie Watts and anything else important to recommend


I have 11 Dreamcasts and 3 White Sega Saturns atm and plan on buying more SS's , so a UV Bulb would be more conveinient



hope to hear from you both

s8n

Lorne
March 26th, 2011, 12:05 PM
It doesn't have to be summer to do de-yellowing.
The temperature doesn't matter - you just need a little sunshine.
Unless it's going be constantly cloudy for the next 10 months, you'd be fine doing it outdoors.

Tezza (from NZ) would be a better one to comment on the weather, and the results he's had in the Southern hemisphere.

I've used the UV bulbs, but I'm now finding that I prefer the sunshine.
When I've used the UV bulbs, it's inside in the garage.
I find I can monitor the actual progress much better in natural light rather than turning on the fluorescent in the garage. Having said that, it works both ways - it's just a preference.

I used 18" long fluorescent tube type bulbs/fixtures that I got at a local Home Depot (big chain hardware store).
If you go to page 9 of this Part 4 thread, you'll see a link to what I use.
Be careful opening the packages - I still have the scar from the 10 stitches I got when I opened my packages. :)

White Sega Saturn? Not sure what they are or what they look like, but I've had great results using the Xanthum Gum mixture on white TeleVideo stuff. Came back to pure white with ease.
Beige stuff I've had problems with - I prefer the liquid solution for beige - just did two Mac 512Ks and they came out real nice in the liquid. Don't know why, but I've never had that good a result using the Gum on beige plastic.
One thing I have learnt, is don't let the XG mixture dry out. Keep moving it around - it's not like the liquid, in that there may be higher concentrations of Oxy or H2O2 in certain areas, so if it sits in one place too long (more than an hour) you may get uneven results. For safety's sake, I'd grab a paintbrush and move it around/add some more every 45 mins.

Good luck, and don't forget the before and after photos !
(take them in the same light or at the same time of day for the best before/after comparison).

s8n
March 26th, 2011, 01:47 PM
hiya Lorne its great to hear from you........



here is a pic of a JPN White Model 2 Sega Saturn


http://i445.photobucket.com/albums/qq176/WERY_The_Duce_A/Gamers/saturn_japan_white.jpg


this is a photo i just took with the Flash on with my Camera


http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/523/ss3ss.jpg


as you can see a Saturn at its peak is kind of White my Saturn is roughly grayish also Saturns i will buy in the future will be grayish or yellowing according to where i get them from.



The weather has been terrible this year , not many sunny days at all and its almost the end of summer as well.



Be careful opening the packages - I still have the scar from the 10 stitches I got when I opened my packages.


roger that i will be careful , it sounds you've taken a beating for this project !



but I've had great results using the Xanthum Gum mixture on white TeleVideo stuff. Came back to pure white with ease.
Beige stuff I've had problems with - I prefer the liquid solution for beige - just did two Mac 512Ks and they came out real nice in the liquid. Don't know why, but I've never had that good a result using the Gum on beige plastic.
One thing I have learnt, is don't let the XG mixture dry out. Keep moving it around - it's not like the liquid, in that there may be higher concentrations of Oxy or H2O2 in certain areas, so if it sits in one place too long (more than an hour) you may get uneven results. For safety's sake, I'd grab a paintbrush and move it around/add some more every 45 mins.

Good luck, and don't forget the before and after photos !
(take them in the same light or at the same time of day for the best before/after comparison).


some great knowledge and tips there thanks for that , and yes i will take some photos before / after to show my progress.



thanks again for your reply and response to my queries

s8n

Lorne
March 27th, 2011, 07:27 AM
If that Sega Saturn logo is painted onto the plastic, it "might" disappear in the de-yellowing process.
There's no way to know for sure - you'll know after you do the first one.

s8n
March 27th, 2011, 01:35 PM
hi Lorne , roger that ...........another great tip from you thanks for the extra info


s8n

tezza
March 27th, 2011, 01:54 PM
I've found the sun, even the WINTER sun to have more than enough UV in it for deyellowing here in New Zealand. I'm sure the same applies in OZ.

I do have a flourescent UV bulb. It's not a tube and I've only got one. Result were pretty pathetic, even with the bulb up close the parts.

I use the sun then, for all of my work now. It does have it's frustrations. Here in New Zealand you just can't dial up a good day. At the moment I have all the keys off a Lisa keyboard just waiting for a deyellowing opportunity. The weekend had awful weather. Today (Monday) it's bright and sunny but I'm at work! Everything is ready to go but I have to get a weekend which has at least one bright and sunny day, and I'm not away somewhere else.

I could be waiting a while. :)

Tez

tezza
March 27th, 2011, 01:57 PM
P.S. Lorne is right about labels. If it's a stuck-on label, remove it if you can, or paint around it if it's hard to remove. The deyellowing process will fog lables.

Edit: The Saturn one MIGHT be ok as it's printed into the plastic. There is no way of telling though. Overcooking the deyellowing process may well fade it a bit.

Tez

s8n
March 29th, 2011, 02:44 PM
hi from Oz tezza thanks for your input its much appreciated.......


roger that on all points notes taken



P.S. Lorne is right about labels. If it's a stuck-on label, remove it if you can, or paint around it if it's hard to remove. The deyellowing process will fog lables.

Edit: The Saturn one MIGHT be ok as it's printed into the plastic. There is no way of telling though. Overcooking the deyellowing process may well fade it a bit.


yeah the Sega Saturn logo is printed onto the plastic , with the Dreamcast the logo it can be removed with a small screwdriver its sort of a really thick sticker. I will paint around the printed Sega Saturn logo to be sure it doesnt fade in the de-yellowing process.


s8n

TheLazy1
April 3rd, 2011, 02:19 PM
Sorry if I missed something, but I can try a bath in oxy-clean and get similar results to the original process?
My brain is a bit fuzzed. :)

What about contaminants from being left outside like dirt, leaves, ect getting into the mix?

Lorne
April 3rd, 2011, 06:09 PM
Sorry if I missed something, but I can try a bath in oxy-clean and get similar results to the original process?
My brain is a bit fuzzed. :)

What about contaminants from being left outside like dirt, leaves, ect getting into the mix?


Geezze, I'm not sure how to answer, because I'm not sure if it's a question you're asking or a statement you're making (the education system in Canada sure wasn't like that when I went to school there).

"but I can try a bath..."
or do you mean,
"can I try a bath....."

If you mean can I try a bath, I don't think the Oxy by itself will provide the same results, but you are welcome to give it a try. It may work but it could take a very long time.

Dirt, leaves, "ect" (ie: etc) shouldn't be a problem, as the parts probably shouldn't sit unattended for more than a couple (that's two) hours at most.
Please make sure you read the other thread parts 1, 2 & 3 - there's some very important safety points you should be aware of before trying the process.

bjones
April 3rd, 2011, 06:48 PM
I started using a 2 part mix lately. I half teaspoon of oxyclean added to 4 ounces of HCL 40% cream from the beauty store. Just mix the oxy in with the hcl gel right before use smear it on the part and let sitin the sun.. I get really great results in about 2 hours.

TheLazy1
April 3rd, 2011, 06:55 PM
Geezze, I'm not sure how to answer, because I'm not sure if it's a question you're asking or a statement you're making (the education system in Canada sure wasn't like that when I went to school there).

"but I can try a bath..."
or do you mean,
"can I try a bath....."

If you mean can I try a bath, I don't think the Oxy by itself will provide the same results, but you are welcome to give it a try. It may work but it could take a very long time.


Well, I do have reading and writing issues especially with ordering and omission...
It's not an education issue, just my faulty brain thingy.

A4000Bear
April 6th, 2011, 04:24 AM
Sorry if I missed something, but I can try a bath in oxy-clean and get similar results to the original process?
My brain is a bit fuzzed. :)

What about contaminants from being left outside like dirt, leaves, ect getting into the mix?

You can read about my experiences using oxy-clean only in the last few pages. But basically, I found it worked very well under the very strong Aussie summer sun. I do strongly suspect that it will still work well in weak sunshine, but I have to wait until winter comes here before I can try it.

I never had problems with dirt/leaves. Its a good idea to stir the mixture every 20 or 30 minutes, so any foreign material found at these times could be removed anyway.

TheLazy1
April 6th, 2011, 05:13 AM
Thanks!
I'll try something small and replaceable when we finally get some sun up here.

A4000Bear
April 10th, 2011, 12:25 AM
Now that winter is fast approaching in Australia, I was able to try out the 'Nappi-San' method in low UV light today.
Weather was cool (13C), about 90% cloud cover and occasional showers. The sun, when it appeared is now much lower in the sky.

I made up 10 litres of Nappi-San solution, the same as my previous experiment a few months ago. This time I worked on an Amiga A1000 case and keyboard which was moderately yellowed.
The items were put out about 10:00AM, and I noted progress was much slower compared to before.

Just before 2:00PM, disaster struck, when I attempted to move the plastic container from its location that was now in shadow. As I lifted the container, it broke in half, covering me with NappiSan, and halting the process.

I estimate that the yellowing was reduced by about 75%. I expect that if I was able to continue for another hour or two, I might have achieved about 90%.

The process still works well, even on a cool, dull day. And I must make a point of avoiding those flimsy plastic containers that are not designed to be filled with water.

tezza
April 10th, 2011, 01:23 AM
Something for the knowledge base (and also rather embarrasing).

I damaged a Lisa keyboard when trying Retr0Brighting with laundry activator only.
Read about it here (http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/2011-04-11-lisa-keys-retrobrighting-misstep.html).

Hopefully this post will help others to take care.

Tez

Lorne
April 10th, 2011, 06:15 AM
I damaged a Lisa keyboard when trying Retr0Brighting with laundry activator only.
Read about it here (http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/2011-04-11-lisa-keys-retrobrighting-misstep.html).



Tez

I avoid that problem by not sticking the keys down with anything.
I put them all in a piece of clear plastic cookware, and them put the container on a glass topped patio table.
Most of them float upside down, so I don't have to worry about the air bubbles filling up in the bottom, and the sunlight gets around them from all sides.
It also makes it easier to pull one out, and check on the progress if they're not stuck down.

I make sure that I stir the solution every fifteen minutes or so as well, as I also add some Oxy once in a while.

Keyboard keys definitely have a tendancy to de-yellow more than desired though.
You've got to keep an eye on them.
Maybe it's because the plastic is thinner than on other parts?

A4000Bear
April 11th, 2011, 05:02 AM
Something for the knowledge base (and also rather embarrasing).

I damaged a Lisa keyboard when trying Retr0Brighting with laundry activator only.
Read about it here (http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/2011-04-11-lisa-keys-retrobrighting-misstep.html).

Hopefully this post will help others to take care.

Tez

That spacebar sure is a mess.

Incidentally that A1000 keyboard I did the other day had a yellowed spacebar, even though the other keys were OK. I de-yellowed it also, and there was no blooming.

Tezza, did you stir the mixture during the process at all?
I have tended to not worry about positioning things for maximum UV exposure, and instead I would stir everything every 15 mins or so. I would also inspect the items I am de-yellowing by removing them from the mixture and having a close look.

I only ever had two items bloom, the digital clock case and a VIC-20 case (you can read about my theory on blooming in the post I made a few pages ago) Basically I think the most important factor is the plastic. If its poor quality or damaged or weathered by years of exposure to light and heat, I would expect it will be mose susceptible to blooming. I think the granules of Nappi-San settling on the surface would not help either.

I need to look for an old, unwanted yellowed PC keyboard and try experimenting with it, trying several keys in different concentrations of Nappi-San, with or without stirring, and with a layer of Nappi-San sprinkled on them while in the solution.

It would be nice to be able to look at an item and tell from its condition and type of plastic if extra care is needed to avoid blooming before starting, but I suspect that is something that would come from individual experience.

mikerm
June 25th, 2011, 08:09 PM
Looks like it's in the limelight again! http://www.tested.com/news/why-your-old-super-nintendo-looks-super-yellow/2505/

Securix
June 25th, 2011, 09:46 PM
I've actually started retr0brightening one of my AT&T 3B1's just as a trial. I've since ordered 17.5% food grade hydrogen peroxide (on its way) but I first tried it with the regular 99 cent stuff from the drug store.

Xanthan gum at my supermarket is $11 a bag and $13 a bag at whole foods, while arrowroot in Tezza's recipe is only $7 a bag, so I opted for that and works quite well at making a nice gel-like consistency.

I did about three applications last week and left the parts out in few hours of NJ sun and the main body of the case is practically the original color (comparing to the inside of the case that is still the original color) and almost compeltely consistent. The CRT cover is the most obvious. I did the frame first and there's a clear difference between the frame and rest of the CRT cover now.

It was hot last week so I took some peroxide and put it in a small spray bottle and occasionally re-wet the surfaces so the drying mixture would moisten again with peroxide. That actually seemed to work and stopped it from completely drying out (as long as it was done consistently).

I'm waiting for the 17.5% solution to arrive, then I'll do the rest of the machine and post some pix. Good stuff so far.

twolazy
June 26th, 2011, 08:09 AM
I found instead of using most thickeners which then make the retrobrite liquid white and opaque, I've been experimenting with clear cascade dish-washing gel instead! Having good results, and much easier to apply... Side effect is you have to rinse off the item afterward...

Securix
July 13th, 2011, 09:42 PM
Here's the 3B1 I did over the past few days or so. About four to six applications over several days.

http://home.prog.fm/3b1-brite2.jpg


Result....

Prior to processing the color was about the same as the one on the left. Very good results. Now I just need to re-assemble it :)

http://home.prog.fm/3b1-brite.jpg

krispkicks
December 26th, 2011, 03:43 PM
First Post in this website! I am wondering what advice you can give for an indoor set up? What lights should I purchase? I have been giving strong consideration to Black lights, but I really don't have a lot of $ to spend on lights that aren't going to be effective. Can anyone help me out? I would really appreciate it! I am new to this idea and really want to do it right :)

mikerm
December 26th, 2011, 08:59 PM
Only fluorescent black lights work. I have done a mouse and a keyboard with the liquid and fluorescent black lights, but it's a very, very, very slow process (with two lights). It took about 3 days around the clock to get them nice and white. Honestly, if you can do it outdoor in any way, then I would. Even on cloudy days, the suns rays help out a lot. If you live in an apartment, try to see if you can get a friend in a house or something to help you out. It's a lot cheaper in electricity usage too (as in none).

I buy all of my supplied at Wal-Mart, it's the cheapest, and the cashiers don't seem to care what you buy. Good luck!

Ole Juul
December 26th, 2011, 09:32 PM
Only fluorescent black lights work. I have done a mouse and a keyboard with the liquid and fluorescent black lights, but it's a very, very, very slow process (with two lights). It took about 3 days around the clock to get them nice and white. Honestly, if you can do it outdoor in any way, then I would. Even on cloudy days, the suns rays help out a lot. If you live in an apartment, try to see if you can get a friend in a house or something to help you out. It's a lot cheaper in electricity usage too (as in none).

I buy all of my supplied at Wal-Mart, it's the cheapest, and the cashiers don't seem to care what you buy. Good luck!

Fluorescent black lights have low output because they are for human visual use. There are fluorescent tubes which are made for high output UV. I've gotten them for sterilization which is their intended use. You can't look at them when they're on - not that you'd see anything at the time, but you might not see anything later either. :) They are easy to identify because they are completely clear. Anything which is not clear will have a phosphor and consequently low output. The clear ones are broadband, so I know they will work - but perhaps something else is better.

Tanning lamps perhaps? They will probably have high output, but I don't know about the suitability of the wavelength. In any case, I would think you will have more shadow areas than with sunlight. That means you will have to do it from several sides or get multiple lamps.

krispkicks
December 29th, 2011, 12:57 PM
Fluorescent black lights have low output because they are for human visual use. There are fluorescent tubes which are made for high output UV. I've gotten them for sterilization which is their intended use. You can't look at them when they're on - not that you'd see anything at the time, but you might not see anything later either. :) They are easy to identify because they are completely clear. Anything which is not clear will have a phosphor and consequently low output. The clear ones are broadband, so I know they will work - but perhaps something else is better.

Tanning lamps perhaps? They will probably have high output, but I don't know about the suitability of the wavelength. In any case, I would think you will have more shadow areas than with sunlight. That means you will have to do it from several sides or get multiple lamps.

Thanks for the input guys! I know that outdoor is clearly the best, but not only do I live in Seattle WA, but I also live in an apt., add in a few other reasons and that is why an Indoor set up is my only chance.

So are you guys saying that even if I use fluorescent black lights, i won't be able to find any with a high UV output? If this is the case, any suggestions as to where I could pick up some sterilization lights? or what kind of lamp they would need to be in?

The tanning bed lights seems like a good idea as well, but don't they get hot? and aren't they very expensive??

Thanks again guys! I think with the collective knowledge here, I can pinpoint the perfect UV source :) (besides the sun!)

krispkicks
December 29th, 2011, 12:59 PM
Only fluorescent black lights work. I have done a mouse and a keyboard with the liquid and fluorescent black lights, but it's a very, very, very slow process (with two lights). It took about 3 days around the clock to get them nice and white. Honestly, if you can do it outdoor in any way, then I would. Even on cloudy days, the suns rays help out a lot. If you live in an apartment, try to see if you can get a friend in a house or something to help you out. It's a lot cheaper in electricity usage too (as in none).

I buy all of my supplied at Wal-Mart, it's the cheapest, and the cashiers don't seem to care what you buy. Good luck!

So your saying that the black lights you bought, you got them at walmart? and that they worked, but very slowly? sorry, just want to explicitly understand, this is new and exciting for me !

tezza
December 29th, 2011, 05:19 PM
So your saying that the black lights you bought, you got them at walmart? and that they worked, but very slowly? sorry, just want to explicitly understand, this is new and exciting for me !

It's good you are getting input from the guys here. Yes, this is the same thing I found as I said in a private message. The UV (non-sterlizing) bulb did do SOMETHING but is was very very slow...so slow that I gave up on it after about 2 days. There was SOME de-yellowing but the bulb took two days what the sun took about 20 minutes to accomplish. I had the bulb very close to the machine too.

Tez

Ole Juul
December 29th, 2011, 07:38 PM
The sterilizing lamp that I've used for accelerated curing of paint is the G15T8 and I see a cheap one here: http://www.bulbtown.com/G15T8_p/g15t8.htm
These fit in standard fixtures so are easy to employ. The very important thing to remember though is that you cannot look at them or anything which might reflect the UV output either. Note that you cannot see the output but it will still hurt your eyes, so this is not a lamp to be trifled with.

I have not used these for the purpose at hand and they may well have low output compared to sunlight. It just seemed like a good idea and one that is not too expensive. For apartment use, I would try two of them to avoid shadows and cover the whole setup with a large cardboard box.

There is a site which discusses UV lamps here: http://donklipstein.com/uvbulb.html

PS: I just noticed that the above source of G15T8 is out of stock, but there's a picture there for you to see anyway. I'm sure they're not hard to find.

Lorne
December 30th, 2011, 05:49 AM
See page 9 of this Part #4 thread - post # 87 for the black lights I used.

They didn't de-yellow as fast as sunlight, but they're a good substitute for someone stuck living in the Pacific Northwest.

Trixter
December 31st, 2011, 10:52 AM
I hate to be a lump at the end of a 24-page thread, but for the past hour I've been reading the original retr0brite wiki, and most of these posts, and I can't find a single recipe+procedure that is appropriate for my situation:

I live in the northern midwest of America.
I have a back yard with ample sunlight.
I have access to Walmart and local mom'n'pop drug stores.
I am wary and uncertain of special-ordering and using industrial chemicals as I have no experience in this area.
Is there a specific recipe someone can suggest for me to follow? Something for an American who nearly flunked high-school chemistry? I found the following video that seems to be understandable to a lunkhead like me, hopefully this is correct? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ewI7nMgrB8

Also: Is it possible to apply this procedure during the winter, or is there not enough sunlight? (I am guessing that there is enough sunlight, but having the mixture freeze or exposing the plastic to extreme temperatures is probably not a good idea, but would like confirmation if possible.)

Caluser2000
December 31st, 2011, 11:07 AM
There's a link for various recipes to the left on the wiki page- http://retr0bright.wikispaces.com/Retr0Bright+Gel

Lorne
December 31st, 2011, 03:07 PM
Also: Is it possible to apply this procedure during the winter, or is there not enough sunlight? (I am guessing that there is enough sunlight, but having the mixture freeze or exposing the plastic to extreme temperatures is probably not a good idea, but would like confirmation if possible.)

Winter would be fine if there is sunlight - it'll even work on slightly cloudy days (although full sunlight is better/faster).
I don't know for sure about doing it in freezing temps as I've never tried it, and rarely see freezing temps where I am, but I wouldn't expect it to provide good results.
You need to apply, and then re-apply once in a while, to make sure the coverage is even after some evaporation has occured, and that'd be a tad difficult if the stuff has frozen.

Trixter
December 31st, 2011, 03:45 PM
There's a link for various recipes to the left on the wiki page- http://retr0bright.wikispaces.com/Retr0Bright+Gel

I know; it used to list ingredients not native to the USA. But now that I check it again, I just realized in Tezza's recipe the exact "oxy" product does not matter as long as it advertises "oxy". If that's the case, then it looks like Tezza's recipe will work for me, as it also includes hydrogen peroxide that is easily obtainable.

tezza
December 31st, 2011, 10:39 PM
I know; it used to list ingredients not native to the USA. But now that I check it again, I just realized in Tezza's recipe the exact "oxy" product does not matter as long as it advertises "oxy". If that's the case, then it looks like Tezza's recipe will work for me, as it also includes hydrogen peroxide that is easily obtainable.

Hi Trixter,

Oxy is a brand name. What you are looking for is a laundry whitener that contains sodium percarbonate (20-30%). This seems to be the active ingrediant in those "oxy" products.

Cheers

Tez

krispkicks
January 7th, 2012, 07:27 AM
See page 9 of this Part #4 thread - post # 87 for the black lights I used.

They didn't de-yellow as fast as sunlight, but they're a good substitute for someone stuck living in the Pacific Northwest.

will do. thanks for that.

Chromedome45
January 15th, 2012, 08:18 AM
I have a better idea instead of messing with chemicals. Paint it! I repainted the top of my XT and looks great and matches the factory color exactly. Also found an exact match for the Apple "platinum" color scheme used on latter Mac and Apple II's. Ok maybe for a couple of items but IMO it's a lot safer. Just my 2 cents worth.

Lorne
January 16th, 2012, 06:52 AM
I have a better idea instead of messing with chemicals. Paint it! I repainted the top of my XT and looks great and matches the factory color exactly. Also found an exact match for the Apple "platinum" color scheme used on latter Mac and Apple II's. Ok maybe for a couple of items but IMO it's a lot safer. Just my 2 cents worth.

As long as you are wearing gloves and goggles (both just in case something goes wrong) it's safe.

Besides, after 20 years in sunlight or under fluorescent lighting, even paint will fade/change color.

helion
February 16th, 2012, 05:14 PM
I made a solution of Vanish (another of those Oxy type of products) : about 120g in 8 litres of water. It is active even in the night, letting off bubbles and all. Its packaging did not make any mention of the concentration of the sodium percarbonate.

Lorne
February 16th, 2012, 05:24 PM
I made a solution of Vanish (another of those Oxy type of products) : about 120g in 8 litres of water. It is active even in the night, letting off bubbles and all. Its packaging did not make any mention of the concentration of the sodium percarbonate.

Trust me: it isn't doing any de-yellowing at night (without UV lights).
It may be bubbling (which is probably caused by the Vanish itself), but there will be no de-yellowing - UV is needed to make the process work.
All it's doing at night is getting wet - it might make it look cleaner in the morning, but that's probably just old nicotine/tar being washed off by the bubbling.

helion
February 17th, 2012, 08:12 PM
The Vanish solution did not yield any good results apart from a very light effect on the letters of the keyboard, but there was a good and visible effect towards the sun facing side when 6%H2O2 + a pinch of Vanish in equal amount of water was used. A gel made of clothing starch yielded patchy results.

On that note, was egg white tried as a gel base for the retr0bright formula?

tezza
February 17th, 2012, 09:23 PM
The Vanish solution did not yield any good results apart from a very light effect on the letters of the keyboard, but there was a good and visible effect towards the sun facing side when 6%H2O2 + a pinch of Vanish in equal amount of water was used. A gel made of clothing starch yielded patchy results.

On that note, was egg white tried as a gel base for the retr0bright formula?

Thanks for reporting those results.

I haven't tried egg white myself.

Tez

ziloo
May 4th, 2012, 04:11 AM
Although the question came up once and our present method here
was not applicable, nevertheless......is there any known or similar
method out there for reviving transparent plastic like car's light lenses.

ziloo

ChrisCwmbran
May 4th, 2012, 04:16 AM
Although the question came up once and our present method here
was not applicable, nevertheless......is there any known or similar
method out there for reviving transparent plastic like car's light lenses.

ziloo

Here in the UK people buy kits that use very fine wet n dry paper and a slightly abrasive polish to remove the clouding that occurs on polycarbonate car headlights. Had to do it to my 2003 VW Passat.

ziloo
May 4th, 2012, 09:47 AM
Thank you Chris for your response. In this case, the plastic has
yellowed and although I haven't tested it thoroughly, I think the
yellowing is all the way to the core. The UV can penetrate through the
transparency and affect the whole media and not just the surface.

ziloo

twolazy
May 4th, 2012, 12:41 PM
Here in the UK people buy kits that use very fine wet n dry paper and a slightly abrasive polish to remove the clouding that occurs on polycarbonate car headlights. Had to do it to my 2003 VW Passat.

Ugh don't remind me. Time for me to do it to my PT cruiser yet again! >.< Stuff only lasts a few years sadly...

Now egg whites seems interesting! I might have to try that! I don't use retrobrite much, but I do have an apple IIc that is uber yellow/brown/70s gold I am itching to try this out with!

albyhf
May 14th, 2012, 02:12 AM
Hello everybody

I'm Alberto from Italy and I want to restore my Commodore 64C (very yellow)

I read a lot of things about Retrobright (also that there are a lot of guys using not the original formula)

I want to use the orginal formula but I've a problem...here we don't use as measure units "tablespoon", "teaspoon", "cups" etc but only milliliter, grams, etc....and so I don't know what is exactly a tablespoon or a 1/4 teaspoon measure!

I asked to "vecchi computer" (a italian site which talks about RetroBright) but the autor told me to be "generic" and that if I use more or less xanthan or glycerine or Vanish there aren't problems.

Instead my Retrobright was very very very dense, difficult to spread on components, no visible effects adding vanish oxi and also no visible (or very low) effects on the plastic after a day out :(

(I'm tring on a 2001 Pc keyboard with yellow keys to test the product...not on the C64, but anyway very low good effects but also no bad one)

SO!

Please! Could anyone convert for me in grams (or oz. is the same!):

2 heaped tablespoonfuls of Xanthan Gum
1 level teaspoonful of Glycerine
1/4 teaspoonful of "Oxy" laundry booster


thank you!!:D

nige the hippy
May 14th, 2012, 03:03 AM
in the UK for cooking I use a Heaped tablespoon for flour etc. as 1 oz (or 25g)
a level tablespoon (of liquid) is about 20g
there are 4 uk teaspoons to the tablespoon so 5g (same as a 5ml medicine spoon!)

so...
40g - 50g Xanthan Gum
5g Glycerine
about 1 or 2 g "Oxy"

albyhf
May 14th, 2012, 04:56 AM
in the UK for cooking I use a Heaped tablespoon for flour etc. as 1 oz (or 25g)
a level tablespoon (of liquid) is about 20g
there are 4 uk teaspoons to the tablespoon so 5g (same as a 5ml medicine spoon!)

so...
40g - 50g Xanthan Gum
5g Glycerine
about 1 or 2 g "Oxy"

Thank you very much! :D

Other questions...

I think that the follows are simple questions and so I tried to search the answers in the threads...but without luck.

2g of Oxy is a very little bit quantity in 500ml peroxide.

1-Are there any problems using too much Oxi ?
I mean: I know that using too strong peroxide can cause problems, is it the same with the oxi dose? Are there any contraindications?

2-Do I have to note a reaction (foam for or bubbles for example) adding oxi to the gel or it has to remain "stable"?

3-At the end, with the original formula, is RetroBright more similar to a gel or to a foam?