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Thread: I obtained a very sad 5170...

  1. #1
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    Jan 2014
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    Default I obtained a very sad 5170...

    ... it has been in a wet shed for years. The motherboard has lots of green residue which I assume is corroded copper. (See images below)

    It is complete but some parts are not original. The video card and MFM card seem to be newer, and it has a Seagate ST-238R in it.

    May I please have some pointers on what is the best way to remove this?

    Thank you!

    5170.jpg
    5170b.JPG
    5170c.jpg

    Bobby.

  2. #2
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    It depends on how bad the corrosion is. Rather than wet it down with some water-based solution, as I might if it were due to a leaky battery, I'd probably start with some aerosol contact cleaner and a toothbrush. I use this stuff picked up at my local auto supply store:


  3. #3
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    Would you mind documenting your journey on making this sad AT happy again? I'd be interested in seeing if you could restore it/put it to useful work .
    Looking for: Needham's Electronics PB-10 Microcontroller Adapter (yes, still looking after 2 years :P).

  4. #4
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    Default

    I've had worked on a motherboard in similar shape but it was an Apple Lisa. If you use a tooth brush, you could break off the teeth in the slots if they have been weakened by the corrosion so be very careful. I would soak this board in 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water for 24 hours. You could very lightly brush it and see how you make out. If the teeth are weak and break, they would have broken when you inserted an interface card anyway but this will tell you if it is restorable.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys! It's so good to have others with a common interest on here.

    I will use this post to mark my progress - I want to restore it to it's former glory if at all possible.

    Are you sure it's okay to immerse the whole board in the water/vinegar mix? Should I remove any IC's before doing this? Sorry... I just want to make sure.

    I'm going to go to Jaycar today and get some electrical cleaner, I guess after it's had it's bath I'll spray that on and just be as gentle as I can.

    I'll let you know how I go!

    Bobby.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Also - here's a few more pictures

    5170d.jpg

    5170e.jpg

    5170f.jpg

    5170g.jpg

    5170h.jpg

  7. #7
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    Default

    If you're comfortable taking out the socketed chips and knowing where they go back (draw a map and make sure you put them back right side up), I would remove them but also soak them as well. Where there was corrosion, the legs will also have corrosion on them. If the chip legs have weakened, you will lose some of them as you remove them. It really depends on the level of corrosion. In any case, you will have to see if it's worth replacing these. If a lot of chips have broken legs, it might be more economical to find a used/tested replacement motherboard.

    In any case, it's worth a try to see how much damage is done. Good luck!

  8. #8
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    You are far more adventurous than I. I certainly wouldn't put much energy into this computer because of the corrosion and rust. But then again, if it was either really, really cheap, or free, then I guess you can't go wrong. I am in the market for a 5170 too, however, if I had gotten something that bad, I would be looking for a replacement mother board, video and hard disc controller. Then I would look underneath the mother board for any more signs of rust. I had one a few years ago that wasn't nearly as bad off as yours, but the corrosion WAS enough that connections in the card slots were easily broken. Some broke off just by gently rubbing my finger across them.

    I wish you luck and good fortune and hope your time and energy aren't being wasted.
    Wanted: - Complete SERIES ONE TRS-80, IBM 5170 AT, Original authentic IBM 5100 Portable, IBM 5151 Monitor. Also looking for Packard Bell 75Mhz computer, Commodore Pet w. Built-in cassette drive, amber 12 CRT, Mac SE-30 hard disk to replace the bad drive currently installed, TRS-80 Coco series 1 upgrades including memory, IBM PC 5160 compatible CD ROM.

  9. #9
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    Well, if I was determined to save this thing, the last thing I'd want to expose it to would be water. How do you intend to dry this thing thoroughly, especially with acetic acid reacting. At best, I'd make a 50-50 mixture of isopropanol and distilled water and rinse and dry it. Definitely not vinegar if the corrosion isn't due to a leaking battery--there's no point to it--you've got nothing to neutralize.

    If you think toothbrushes are rough, you need a new dentist. The ones that I get from mine are very soft. Use a soft natural-bristle paint brush or an artist's sable brush if you're extremely paranoid.

    Don't get your hopes up too high--you may find that some ICs have legs corroded right off. If the corrosion is from rodent urine, you're probably out of luck.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the feedback guys.

    I did get it cheap. So I don't have much to lose by trying. I don't have the finances to spend a lot on my hobby so I have to make do with what I can afford. It didn't have a battery in the case so I'll assume it's not from battery acid. I bought some isopropyl alcohol and some electronic cleaner today, I'll be very gentle with my toothbrush and see what happens. If something breaks, I'll look at replacing it if the rest of the board looks good enough to save after I've cleaned it.

    Bobby.

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