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Druid6900
February 6th, 2007, 06:48 AM
Ok, doesn't seem to be any activity in here so I'll offer my services.

I specialize in the repair and restoration of Vintage computers (which, to give you some idea of how long I've been fixing them, were NEW when I started LOL)

Apple, Mac, Tandy, Commodore, Atari, Amiga, Zenith, IBM and, pretty much anything else with a CPU have been sent to me, from all over north America, while I was selling on e-bay because people would buy stuff, get it, wouldn't work, buy another one, wouldn't work, etc.

I just started (and am still populating) an on-line store specializing in Vintage Computers and parts (hence the name www.vintagecomputersnparts.com/catalog ) and you'll see that I have the parts to do the repairs.

As for my experience, well, I'm a certified ISCET technician in digital electronics, spent 10 years as a Tandy/Radio Shack Computer Repair Depot manager in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, owned my own repair facility (Nebula Computer Systems Inc./Nebula CADD Systems Inc.), have semi-retired and work from home now. Home looks a lot like the receiving end of a computer Time Tunnel with racks full of computers waiting for me to repair, test and put on my site for sale. I can't even play pool anymore because the table is covered with early Macs waiting their turn in the queue LOL.

I'll take a look at anything and can do board level repairs (as opposed to the new school of "repair" where if something is broken, they throw it out and replace it, something not really practical when dealing with Vintage equipment). Now, my success rate isn't 100%, but, damn close. I've been doing this for a LONG time. I can even give references.

Although I will fix things for a given cost (depending on time and materials), the way it usually works is that someone has several of an item, none of them working, so they send me the whole lot, wanting one back that works, I fix the one they want and ship it back (shipping is a cost to the customers, both ways), fix however many of the remainder and sell them off.

Even if I don't have the part in question for a particular unit, I have made a lot of connections in the obsolete parts industry and usually don't have a problem getting what is needed to complete the repair. Understand though, sometimes this takes time. Once as long as six months, but, that baby went back working like a charm. I'm pretty good as sourcing peripherals too, if there is something you'd like and I don't have one on hand and you'd like to know that it's going to work when you get it. I test anything I acquire for a client as thoroughly as anything I fix and sell myself at no extra charge. I have period diagnostics for most things so you'll know it's been tested to standards of the time period for your Vintage equipment.

Anyway, if you have stuff that doesn't work, and you'd like it to, get in touch with me. I can't promise that I will be able to fix EVERYTHING, but, I'll give it my best shot and, if not, I'll ship it back at my cost, so you'll only be out shipping in one direction or maybe buy it for parts.

Druid

P.S. I'm editting this because everything seems to have disappeared for the services needed/offered section and replying to them somehow is the only way to make them visible.

Druid6900
February 20th, 2007, 05:51 PM
I'm replying to my own post because it seems the only way to make them visible

chuckcmagee
February 20th, 2007, 11:53 PM
See my message about this forum's default settings. Looks like the "default message display period" was set to 24 hours. If you change the display filter settings, all the threads magically reappear.

Druid6900
February 21st, 2007, 05:45 AM
Yeah, well, that's what happens when you hit the forum as the last act in a long day.
I figured that out AFTER I posted the message and then, as you said, everything magically re-appeared.
I like to think that I'm not THAT stupid, but, sometimes I surprise even myself LMAO.
Thanks anyway Chuck

atari girl
July 21st, 2007, 05:33 AM
Hi could you help me i have an Atari 800xl but my 810 disk drive has broken down so has been up in my loft for about 15years and so badly want to get it running again do you think you could fix it.

Many Thanks

Atari Girl
England

Druid6900
July 21st, 2007, 06:13 AM
Hi could you help me i have an Atari 800xl but my 810 disk drive has broken down so has been up in my loft for about 15years and so badly want to get it running again do you think you could fix it.

Many Thanks

Atari Girl
England

Yes, I probably could, I have the service manuals and most of the custom chips and a North American power supply (should work with a 230V drive) an Atari 400 test unit and even the SIO cable, but, at a little over 3Kg, shipping it from England and back, plus the repair costs, might be a little pricey.

Perhaps, if you post in the "items wanted" section first, someone closer may have a drive they wish to sell.

schotty
July 29th, 2007, 02:00 AM
You know how to fix stuck keys on C128's? Aside from ripping the keyboard module out, and replacing it entirely that is.

I have a 128 that has a few unresponsive or barely responsive keys. Wonder if you have a clue there.

Druid6900
July 29th, 2007, 10:31 AM
Well, it all depends. If something has been spilled in it, especially something with citric acid in it, you can kiss it goodbye.

However, for most other cases (except cracked solder joints on the PCB) a shot of non-lubricating contact and head cleaner will usually fix most keyboard problems, usually one or at most, two treatments.

However, if, one of the matrix chips on the motherboard is gone, it would have to be replaced, of course, but, since you have some keys that are "barely responsive", that's not likely the case.

Try the contact cleaner (radio shack/the source sells a good, if pricey, brand). Turn the computer off and remove the key caps on the problem keys, one at a time, give the key a good shot and then replace the key cap and tap the key 5 or 10 times and move on to the next key until all the non- and barely-responsive keys are done.

Leave it for 24 hours and run through the keys noting any that require a second treatment.

evildragon
July 29th, 2007, 10:34 AM
how do you reccomend to clean the piano contacts on old ISA cards? I got a 512KB VGA card I want to use, but the contacts are like blackened in some spots, and the computer won't use it.. I tried using a pink eraser, and it got me nowhere but loosing my erasers...

would cola work for something like this? (as I was told)

Druid6900
July 29th, 2007, 10:37 AM
I usually just clean them with a brass bristle "toothbrush" that you can usually pick up at any dollar store or such.

evildragon
July 29th, 2007, 10:41 AM
i'll give that a shot, thanks..

PixelatedAI486
July 18th, 2017, 02:14 PM
Hello there! I know this is an old thread but I was wondering if you are still active. I have an IBM PS/1 Model 2133-G53 on my hands that is having some issues. I've checked just about everything and it all seems intact, so I was just wondering if perhaps you could give me some help.

Druid6900
July 19th, 2017, 08:43 AM
Yup, I'm still alive, kicking and fixing.

PM me with an overview of what the issue is and what you've tried and I'll see what I can do.

PixelatedAI486
July 19th, 2017, 06:22 PM
Oh thank God! OK, so I bought an IBM PS/1 off of eBay for about $85. I saw it as a good deal at the time considering the only visible issues with it were a dead CMOS battery and missing OS. When I finally received it, it had more issues than the seller had listed. The hard drive wouldn't work about 80% of the time and the floppy drive wouldn't read any boot disks. Recently, it randomly quit working. It no longer gives a video signal, nor does it give any BIOS beeps. To sum it up:

LISTED ISSUES
***************
No OS
Dead CMOS Battery

CURRENT ISSUES
***************
Dead hard disk (Removed)
Floppy drive doesn't seem to work (Works fine on every other computer I've tested it with)
No video signal or beep codes

THINGS I'VE TRIED
****************
Reset CMOS (Did it before and it worked, didn't work this time around)
Check for loose connections (None)
Check for moved jumpers (All are the same as when I got the unit)
Checked for scratches on the board (Found 3 that don't appear to be going through any traces)
Disassembled the unit to check for grounding issues (Didn't work)

PixelatedAI486
July 19th, 2017, 07:42 PM
A couple more sketchy things popped up while I dissembled the unit to check for ground issues. First of all, the hard drive LED plug's wires were pulled from the connector. Second, the power button isn't locking anymore which means I have to hold it to keep the power on. Lastly, a few of the chassis screws were missing. Thought I'd just put that out there.

Druid6900
July 20th, 2017, 07:37 AM
OK, so, it's effectively dead?

PSU fan spins, but, nothing else happens?

I'd start by checking the output voltages on the power supply since things, other than the CMOS problem, seem to indicate a border-line voltage problem.

PixelatedAI486
July 20th, 2017, 11:00 AM
I'll make sure to that. Thank you for the tip!

PixelatedAI486
August 1st, 2017, 04:19 PM
I finally got a chance to have the power supply tested; no voltage issues, just some dust on the connectors. Now I'm almost certain its the board having issues. Here's a picture of the scratches I mentioned:4010840109

Druid6900
August 2nd, 2017, 06:47 AM
I finally got a chance to have the power supply tested; no voltage issues, just some dust on the connectors. Now I'm almost certain its the board having issues. Here's a picture of the scratches I mentioned:4010840109

Yes, they don't look too serious.

The only thing that I can suggest is sending it to us and letting us have a look at it.

If, for some reason, we can't repair it, there would be no charge. We charge for succeeding, not trying.

The most you would be out would be shipping of the MB in both directions.

PixelatedAI486
August 2nd, 2017, 09:18 AM
Sounds good to me! I'll let you know when its ready to ship, I just need some good packaging, which I'll make sure to get as soon as possible. Also, would you like the riser card along with the MB?

Druid6900
August 3rd, 2017, 06:02 AM
Yes, that might be handy to send as well.

PM me when you're ready to ship and I'll tell you where to ship it.

PixelatedAI486
August 6th, 2017, 07:46 PM
Completely off topic, but I was considering purchasing this Packard Bell Legend 845 as a secondary 486 PC. The seller mentioned floppy drive failure and the removal of the CMOS battery socket. While both seem easily repaired, I was troubled by this photo of some greenish-blue corrosion near the where the CMOS battery socket was and was wondering if that could be easily fixed. 40191 I was also wondering if this could have something to do with the floppy drive issues, because if so, I'll most likely reconsider buying it.

Druid6900
August 7th, 2017, 07:05 AM
Completely off topic, but I was considering purchasing this Packard Bell Legend 845 as a secondary 486 PC. The seller mentioned floppy drive failure and the removal of the CMOS battery socket. While both seem easily repaired, I was troubled by this photo of some greenish-blue corrosion near the where the CMOS battery socket was and was wondering if that could be easily fixed. I was also wondering if this could have something to do with the floppy drive issues, because if so, I'll most likely reconsider buying it.

It seems to have spread beyond just the battery area to, at least, the chip adjacent to it.

If I were faced with repairing this board, I would use a firm toothbrush and some vinegar to neutralize and remove the corrosion from any of the areas around there, re-tin the battery connection vias and any other surface areas it contacted, remove that IC clean the holes, again, with vinegar and fill them with solder.

Then I'd remove the solder and replace the chip.

As for it affecting the floppy drive control, without knowing what the chip is, It's difficult to determine if it might be part of the FDC section if it even has an on-board FDC.

404TimeNotFound
September 27th, 2017, 12:51 PM
Good afternoon! I have a pair of PS/2 floppy drives which both have bad caps (a Mitsubishi MF355Q-99M3 and an Alps DFP723D15B) that I'm looking into getting repaired. I had attempted to recap the Mitsu drive however I unfortunately pulled four solder pads off whilst removing the old caps and am not very confident in the job I did attaching the others. I do need both of these drives as unfortunately both systems I pulled them from (Model 80 and P70) both need to have the setup program ran on them and I have been unsuccessful in finding replacements. What would be a rough estimate to having these drives serviced and repaired?

Druid6900
September 27th, 2017, 01:10 PM
Good afternoon! I have a pair of PS/2 floppy drives which both have bad caps (a Mitsubishi MF355Q-99M3 and an Alps DFP723D15B) that I'm looking into getting repaired. I had attempted to recap the Mitsu drive however I unfortunately pulled four solder pads off whilst removing the old caps and am not very confident in the job I did attaching the others. I do need both of these drives as unfortunately both systems I pulled them from (Model 80 and P70) both need to have the setup program ran on them and I have been unsuccessful in finding replacements. What would be a rough estimate to having these drives serviced and repaired?

Yes, so I read.

It's always difficult to tell without seeing the drives first, especially if there is damage. Are they dirty? Are they stuck? Has the drive been shorted? Does it need alignment beyond that?

PS/2 drives are a funny lot. Some can be fixed between sips of coffee and others are an all day thing. Or a never thing.

IF they can be repaired (see above) I would say that, probably, it would top out in the $50 USD range, but may be less.

With our company, if we CAN'T fix it, you pay nothing but the shipping here and back (if you even want them back).

We don't charge for TRYING to fix something, we charge for succeeding.

404TimeNotFound
September 27th, 2017, 02:41 PM
First off thank you for the quick reply! Honestly $50-$60 doesn't seem that bad for having a drive refurbished, even better to know I won't have to worry about paying much if a drive is a lost cause.

To give you a more in depth description of both drives (aside from needing re-capped), the Alps drive doesn't want to take disks a lot of the time and you almost have to force a disk in, and even then it won't read or write to one.

The Mitsu drive, to put it simply, is a mess. Aside from the solder pads that came off the top board when I had tried to fix it, it looks like someone at some point used a flat-head screwdriver to pry the tray up and remove a stuck disk as it's bent and looks mis-aligned. It's also finicky about taking disks or bringing the tray down and engaging the mechanism (likely from being forced up).

The drives themselves are very clean, as are the systems I pulled them from and none appear to be shorted out.

I hope this helps give you a better idea of both drives, and if you don't want to deal with the Mitsu drive I would completely understand, it definitely would be a handful.

Edit: I just saw you had replied to my thread in the wanted section, not sure how I missed that. To answer your question the IBM part number is 90X6766 and the manufacturer part number (Mitsubishi) is MF355W-99M3. However the same drive was also made by Sony and Alps (the Sony's P/N MP-F77W, I'm not sure of the P/N for the Alps drive).

Druid6900
September 28th, 2017, 08:40 AM
Well, neither of them sound like a good repair candidate, but, I've worked on worse....

The first thing to do is to wait and see if I or anyone else on here can supply FRU 90X6766 replacement drives. I have a lot of stuff that isn't actually on the site (yet).

When something is bent, it is usually fairly difficult to get it straight again and it turns into an exercise in Blacksmithery. I'm also concerned that the other one requires that you have to apply excessive force to get the disk in. That may be rust between the sliding parts or it may be bent too.

I like a challenge, but, I'm not big on lost causes because we still have to do just as much work on something we charge for as something we don't charge for.

It sounds like a replacement set would be the way to go, if reasonably priced, and then you'd know that they probably won't jam up somewhere in the future.

Let's see what comes up.....