PDA

View Full Version : Tandy 1000 RLX hard drive



Zoey
March 27th, 2006, 08:11 AM
Hi. I was wondering if anyone here could help me with a problem I'm having. I have this old Tandy my brother bought when he was a kid. He gave it to me when he moved out. I just love this old computer. I also love to write, so from then on I used the Tandy and to this day I still use it to type my personal stories and poems. The reason I use this old Tandy instead of my 3 year old Dell is because it's secluded and private. No one uses it except me. I know I was taking a risk keeping things I consider important to me on such an old computer, but it's been so reliable for so long, I never really thought of it having any problems, and it never really did. Until last Friday when it suddenly started having keyboard errors. First the up and page up keys stopped working. I unplugged the keyboard and tried to clean those keys. When I plugged it back in, more keys had stopped working, or they were messed up like the right arrow would go down, stuff like that. I plugged it out once more and again messed around with it, which was stupid since I only made things even worse. They whole keyboard stopped working, and the computer would beep when I booted it. It only does that if a key is stuck, or I hold a key down for too long. I called our local computer repair, and the guy said he thought it was the system, that something had shortened out in the computer. The weekend passed, and this morning I went back to the repair shop where I brought the keyboard in, hoping they could clean it. Another guy there said he thought it was the keyboard, and borrowed me one they had to test it. He said it had the same connector in the back, so it should work. It didn't. Even though it fit into the keyboard connector, the computer didn't work with it at all. Could this be because of the system having something wrong with it, or that Tandy is only compatible with a Tandy keyboard? The one I have is a Tandy Enhanced keyboard, and they're impossible to find these days, as for most vintage computer parts. If they can't fix this keyboard, and/or if it's the system, there's really nothing I can do. This is a major thing for me because I have so much on that computer that I don't want to lose. The people at the repair shop think I'm crazy for putting in so much effort for this ancient machine, but it's extremely important to me. I don't know what to do anymore, and I really hope someone here could give me some suggestions other than junking it.

Terry Yager
March 27th, 2006, 10:04 AM
I have an RLX in storage (no keyboard tho). It's yours for shipping cost, if ya think it'll help. (I'm in Michigan, BTW).

--T

Zoey
March 27th, 2006, 11:00 AM
Thanks for the offer. :) Right now I'm still awaiting the call from the repair shop. If the system is the problem and not the keyboard, I'll take you up on it. It'll be nice to have another RLX around just for parts.

DimensionDude
March 27th, 2006, 06:20 PM
I'm not 100% sure, but I think that the older Tandy computers used a proprietary keyboard. I seem to remember trying a standard AT keyboard on a Tandy 1000TX with no luck.

Your keyboard may be repairable, though, with a bit of effort. What type of mechanism do the keys use? Metal springs and contacts? Foam cylinder with foil on the end? Black rubber (silicone, actually) like in tv remotes? Two layers of plastic with printed circuits, separated by a plastic sheet with a hole for each contact set? I think that pretty much covers the majority of keyboard mechanisms. Let us know what type it is and perhaps someone here can help with a repair.

Kent

Terry Yager
March 27th, 2006, 06:44 PM
AFAIR, the RLX, (being just about the last of the T1K line) used a 'standard' PS/2-type keyboard.

--T

DimensionDude
March 27th, 2006, 10:10 PM
I have a Tandy Enhanced Keyboard, don't know if it works. It definitely doesn't work on a standard AT class computer. I don't have a Tandy of any flavor to try it on.

Kent

Zoey
March 28th, 2006, 06:47 AM
I'm not exactly sure, I've never really seen the inside of any keyboard, but from what the repair guy told me yesterday, it sounds like the "two layers of plastic with printed circuits, separated by a plastic sheet with a hole for each contact set" is the closest. But it seems that the keyboard isn't the problem after all. I brought it there last Friday, and they finally started working on it yesterday, and the guy was saying that it was working on his computer, not sure what kind of computer he was using to test it on, but it worked on it. So it must be the system after all. I should get the keyboard back today, hopefully, and then I can say for sure. I'll have to bring the system and keyboard in later, and they'll try to find out what the problem is, why the Tandy won't read the keyboard anymore. It has the same number of pins and the same port as standard keyboards that can be used on most computers, yet it won't respond at all to it. It responds to the Tandy keyboard, but it'll only beep when I plug it in, as if the keys were being held down. Whatever the problem is, I really hope it's repairable. The people at the repair shop are very reluctant to work on this old machine, so I don't know how much more I can ask of them.

Zoey
March 28th, 2006, 12:31 PM
The problem is now solved. :cool: I was wrong, it was the keyboard. It was just so odd how the Tandy reacted to different kinds of keyboards. Like these ones with the same connector port still wouldn't work with it, but an older model of those same keyboards did. The Tandy keyboard had been in bad shape already. I spilled juice on it when I was a kid. It took about 15 years for it to start messing with the keys. One repair guy at the shop knew what he was doing since he had experience with Tandy computers. He tried this one keyboard, and it worked. But a newer model of that keyboard didn't work. I guess the Tandy is just really fickle when it comes to keyboards. I'm just so completely relieved it wasn't the system. Now I can get back to writing. :D

DimensionDude
March 28th, 2006, 03:02 PM
Glad to hear that your problem is resolved. If you're feeling adventurous, perhaps you could try disassembling your old keyboard and cleaning it. If it is indeed the type with printed circuits on a plastic sheet, and the circuits have been eaten away by the spilled juice, it probably can still be repaired if the damage isn't too extensive. A bottle of circuit repair paint is not very expensive, about $10 for the nickel based paint (much more for the silver based). Just paint the bad parts back on and it should work again.

Kent

Zoey
March 28th, 2006, 05:16 PM
I saw the inside, and it is the one with the plastic sheets. I didn't know you could fix it that way. That's good to know in case this happens again. Unfortunately there's nothing I can do with that Tandy keyboard anymore since the repair guy recycled it. It would have taken him a while to put the thing back together anyway since it was all in pieces, and I was so happy that this other keyboard worked with the Tandy, I didn't really think of keeping the old one. But now I wish I did since they're so hard to come by, and just as a keepsake. Thanks for your replies. One thing I really got from this hassle with my Tandy is a new appreciation for these old computers. :D

Terry Yager
March 29th, 2006, 01:24 AM
Hey, the offer still stands for my RLX, if you want to grab it up for a spare, in case yours ever dies (not bloody likely).

--T

Zoey
March 29th, 2006, 08:04 AM
Thank you very much, but I think I'll have to pass on that for the time being after all. But if I should change my mind, or if I do need the parts sometime in the future, may I still ask you for it then? I mean, if you still have it then.

Terry Yager
March 29th, 2006, 09:04 AM
Yeah, sure. It's not going anywhere.

--T

Zoey
March 29th, 2006, 09:35 AM
Thanks. :)