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Thread: Seeking Osborne 1 keyboard latch

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    155

    Default Seeking Osborne 1 keyboard latch

    Hi everyone! I recently picked up a bunch of computers in rural Oregon and one of them was a very nice Osborne 1. It's in really great shape with only minimal yellowing.

    Pics: https://imgur.com/a/e1Bfuix

    I haven't even cleaned the machine yet -- but have been checking it out. It works well (For the most part) other than I notice the A-L and Z-M keys don't work. The rest all work... need to investigate what's going on here. The machine doesn't appear to have the double density board (I haven't opened it yet) as it can't boot a double density Osborne 1 disk I made. Single density boot disk and diagnostic disk works fine. The machine appears totally stock.

    The only real cosmetic issue is one keyboard latch is broken. I notice it looks identical to the Kaypro II latches (that I also got with the same bunch of machines.) Made by Southco in Lester, PA. Does anyone know if these can still be sourced? I am going to steal one off the Kaypro II until I can find a replacement...

    Thanks!
    -- Adrian

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, USA
    Posts
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    Ok I may have answered my question about the latch. I was doing some googling around for people talking about the Kaypro latches -- and someone called it a "draw latch" so that led me to this on Southco's site:

    https://www.southco.com/en-us/07/07-10-201-12

    And then on Amazon:

    https://www.amazon.com/Southco-07-10.../dp/B076XY864P

    Do you guys think this is the one? It sure looks like it to me. Neat!

    Now, just need to figure out what the keyboard is not working correctly. (And I know I need to swap out that X2 filter cap which will certainly blow.)
    -- Adrian

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, USA
    Posts
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    Ah ok I see the keyboard matrix here:
    http://old.pinouts.ru/Inputs/osborne...d_pinout.shtml

    Looks like address line A3 and A4 aren't working/connected. I hope it's not the keyboard connector as that looks annoying to try to fix.... Hopefully it's something else. Need to open up the keyboard could just be a bad connection. I see the address lines go through buffer chips (looking at the schematics) and 3 and 4 go through UE14. Hopefully this should be a quick fix.
    -- Adrian

  4. #4

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    Good to see a possible source for those latches. I successfully retrobrighted my OCC-1A, but the process weakened / degraded the latch plastic.

    Pretty machine! Have fun. I’m surprised it is full stock without the DD upgrade. What’s the S/N?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    155

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    Latches came in and yep, identical:
    https://imgur.com/a/10nx3nr

    The last pic is on the Osborne looking up as I was trying to see how they were attached. They are attached with rivets -- now that's annoying. Hopefully I can use a tapered screw and low profile nuts and it won't interfere with the front bezel.

    So with regard to your retrobrite, how did that go? 8bitGuy had terrible marbling on his ... my unit is only slightly yellowed and I'm trying to decide whether it is worth the risk.
    -- Adrian

  6. #6

    Default

    Mine was pretty yellow. My retrobrighting worked fine and without marbling. I am skeptical of retrobrighting in the sun, although others report fine results. I suspect that heating and the resulting poor temperature control, which should affect the reaction kinetics significantly, makes the process more difficult to keep consistent.

    I used Sally Beauty Creme 40 hydrogen peroxide gel. After cleaning the case with soap and water, I spread the creme on the surface and covered it with saran wrap to prevent drying. The parts were placed under two black lights for 36 hours and rinsed. Other than a slight degradation of the straps, I had no problems.

    Before and after pics:

    IMG_4761.jpgIMG_4790.jpg

    eric

    P.S. Super excited about the replacement latches. Thanks for posting that info and follow up images!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, USA
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    Interesting!! I see you were still left with some yellowing after the 36 hours. Do you think it would have keep working if you left it longer? My unit is not very yellow -- with all the yellowing being on the top, sides and front edge of keyboard. The underside of the computer, keyboard and back aren't yellowed at all. Very nice very light gray. It was probably up against a wall for a very long time keeping the back and underside free from UV.

    Could you elaborate on the black lights? Just T8 bulbs or what kind of fixtures did you use?

    I've done lots of retrobrite in my backyard under hot sun and yeah it can be dangerous. I did the submersion method in the sun for my Atari STE as those are very prone to marbling, splotches. (From what I read.) I lucked out with only the F keys looking bad (they were extremely yellow) and a couple spots on the vents where it looks a little white. My issues in Portland, there is no possibility of using the sun in the winter, so a good indoor method would be very nice.

    I need to take more pics of the Osborne to show the other angles, but I'm so pleased with how it turned out:

    https://imgur.com/a/sKslteO

    So I replaced my latch. Worked out very nicely. Took a while to find two screws long enough to work but I did (even if mismatched.) Drives are lubricated and cleaned. Keyboard connector replaced. I would say this unit has a low number of house of actual use as the CRT unit is super clean with no black anywhere to be seen and the keyboard has no wear on any key.... The keyboard is a crappy membrane + spring + slider mechanism though ..... my least favorite.
    -- Adrian

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
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    Ave on YT reports using a "Creme developer" to do the whitening job. Looks a lot simpler:

  9. #9

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    Here's the lamp details (just 48" tubes in a shop light, picked up at Lowe's)

    Two 40-Watt 0K Black Fluorescent Tube Light Bulbs (Common: 48-in; Actual: 48-in)
    Item #:147959 Model #: 64246

    One Fluorescent Shop Light Common: 4-ft; Actual: 3.992-ft)
    Item #:420866 Model #: MXL-102

    The lamps are held about 1-2 feet from the parts by a rigged-up frame. The exposure could be improved by using foil or other reflectors to get edges. The slight remaining yellow were on sides that had a lower view factor. A second treatment would probably do the trick on the remaining yellow.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    155

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    Ave on YT reports using a "Creme developer" to do the whitening job. Looks a lot simpler:
    That's the stuff everyone uses -- yeah comes in creme which you can paint on or the clear which is good for submersion method. He put it in the sun which is what most people do but if you watch 8bitguy's video, he used the creme + sun and it ruined his Osborne 1. Really horribly marbled. @ef1j91's used the creme but put it under black lights so no high heat from the sun. I've used the creme in the sun with success on Apple stuff ... and sometimes the clear + sun submerged in water. I think part of it depends on how sun damaged the plastics are as to if it gets ruined... but there seems to be no magic bullet yet to avoid marbling/damage. Maybe the slow and steady under a light is the best way.
    -- Adrian

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