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Thread: Ugly yellow ][e cases

  1. #1

    Default Ugly yellow ][e cases

    Greetings all

    Going through some of my Apple ][e computers I've had in storage and found the cases have yellowed.
    Seems the later models with the lighter cases without the white lettering keycaps are the culprits.
    I noticed the earlier ][e's were painted and molded of a heavier material and the newer ones what I believe to be ABS.
    I may be way off base here, but I was wondering if painting these newer, yellowed cases might be a good solution to
    the ugly yellow case issue. It is hard to say on a computer display, but pantone 454 seems exceedingly close.
    My point is, if Apple used a paint to paint the original case of the ][, ][+ and first of the ][e cases, we should be able
    to do the same. So, with that in mind, does anyone have suggestions as to finding the correct shade and sheen? And of
    course availability?

  2. #2

    Default

    could aways try retrobrite

  3. #3

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    I'm not sure about the //e but the original II/II+ was painted. I have a bottle of official Apple beige touch up paint that Apple supplied to dealer for minor scuff repairs.

  4. #4

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    The painted ones were steel. The later ones were ABS polymer plastic, which weren't painted, as far as I know.

    It's your property, paint it if you like. I used to not be bothered by the yellowing, but as things turn orange and brown, it's starting to bother me. I may or may not get to the point of painting some things. What scares me about paint on these things is the paint coming off with use.

    I'm still interested to know what causes it. Why do most of the things stored and used in my house yellow much slower than some things I've bought from other people? Why do some things yellow only where people were touching them? I have a digitiser puck that's a prime example of this. It only yellowed where the users' fingers were. Why do some things yellow where they were exposed to light, and other things only yellow where they weren't?

    You could always paint the outside of a //e with Aquadag to match the inside.
    Last edited by KC9UDX; March 27th, 2016 at 04:55 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    South Wales, United Kingdom
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    Default

    I believe it's the flame retardant chemicals they add to the mixture before moulding..
    This oxidises with time and turns yellow.


  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCorfiot View Post
    I believe it's the flame retardant chemicals they add to the mixture before moulding..
    This oxidises with time and turns yellow.

    Sure, but why sometimes and not other times? Most of the things I've owned for long periods of time haven't yellowed. Identical things that other people have are orange or brown by now.

    An example is an A2000 keyboard I just bought. It's exactly the same as the one I bought second hand in 1996, except that one is the exact same cream colour as an AT brand one I bought new in 2004. The one I recently got is orange.

    I've seen things that were exposed to sunlight that clearly only yellowed where they were exposed to the sun. I've seen other things that clearly only yellowed where they were masked from sun exposure.

    I've seen things that only yellowed under clear Scotch tape. I've seen other things that yellowed everywhere except where there was Scotch tape.

    I've seen things yellowed where someone was touching them; and other things where they yellowed everywhere except there.

    I've seen some things that only yellowed in long-term storage, and other similar things that showed no yellowing under the same conditions.

    If something took twenty years to yellow the first time, it may only take twenty months the second time of it's been Retr0brited.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Marietta, GA
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    Default Title!

    Because most other people store their old stuff in hot attics or sheds. And during the life of the item other people likely used them in well sun-lit rooms.

    Heat is the main factor in yellowing, but UV light will also accelerate it. In the case of tape, some chemicals may also react with it. The precise chemical mixtures can make a big difference - that is why keyboards often turn up with keys that are randomly yellowed more than other keys.

  8. #8

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    I've certainly stored things in hot dry, hot humid, cold dry, and cold humid places. And most of the things I have have been used in front of South-facing windows. In fact, for many years, I had (and have) a blacklight bulb shining on a good amount of my computer stuff most of the time.

    Some of the things I have that did yellow a lot were stored in a cool, damp basement, with no light whatsoever.

    It could be chance that I got mostly things with a chemical mixture just right for not yellowing, but that seems unlikely.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Marietta, GA
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    There is an interesting writeup here about yellowing: http://www.vintagecomputing.com/index.php/archives/189

    But it still doesn't get to the exact bottom of things.

    I'd expect a household UV bulb would not put off enough UV at a distance to be noticeably damaging (otherwise you might damage your eyesight and get skin cancer).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Augusta, Georgia, USA
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    763

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UDX View Post
    The painted ones were steel. The later ones were ABS polymer plastic, which weren't painted, as far as I know.
    There are no steel-cased Apple II computers. They are all plastic...

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