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Thread: What goes wrong the most on vintage computers? (Aside from capacitors)

  1. #31
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    There may have been residual moisture. Maybe they weren't sealed properly. I have stored cast iron lathes the same way. I don't recall there being any corrosion at all - if memory serves me. Maybe I'll try it out this winter. If it's outdoors or in a very damp environment, it needs to be twist tied in a tight knot, which means you have to use.the biggest bags you can find. Zip.ties could be hazardous, as they could possibly tare the plastic, or not provide enough of a seal.

    Now mind you I didn't put the cream of the crop outside. I was just overloaded with stuff one year. I'd put a monitor outside before a cpu. And I think I had a bunch

  2. #32

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    *Much* better than hot air is a simple desiccant. You can get desiccant bags fairly cheaply. Otherwise just when you get them with new products, just put them in a small sealed bag until you need them.

  3. #33
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    That's a good idea now that you mention it. But especially when storing away cast iron, drying it all up with hot air seems necessary. Do both.

    I have a cheapo heat gun from Harbor Freight. Less then 10$, hasn't failed me yet (ymmv). The thing gets hot! That metal nozzle thing gets omg hot. I had a makeshift cardboard shelter I put out for a stray cat last year that got soaked by rain. I set the heat gun by the opening, the plastic casing only leaning against the cardboard. In 10 minutes that whole box was bone dry.

    Some might think hot air would create a static hazard. As long as you don't go nuts it shouldn't be an issue.

    As a bean bag sized bag of dessicant is what I would use for something the size of a computer or monitor.
    Last edited by tipc; August 15th, 2019 at 11:44 AM.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UDX View Post
    *Much* better than hot air is a simple desiccant. You can get desiccant bags fairly cheaply. Otherwise just when you get them with new products, just put them in a small sealed bag until you need them.
    Its true that is a great item to use. I collect them all the time; they come in equipment containers, medication bottles, new furniture boxes, etc. I throw a bunch in my gun safe, weekend car, anything I seal. I have a brown paper lung bag full to the brim with them on my industrial rack. Cant really use them with computers unless I put them in some container.

  5. #35

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    Here's mine. I've broken it into two categories as the faults are dependant on the circumstances.

    When dealing with a vintage 'find' which hasn't been powered up in a while:

    1 - Battery related damage (damage to PCB/IC's due to leakage).
    2 - Rodents urinating on IC's / boards. Corrodes better than battery leakage.
    3 - RAM faults, although these are usually easily fixed by replacement.
    4 - Line filter caps popping; just had one go last week.
    5 - HDD's / FDD's failed; although the FDD's can usually be fixed by cleaning.

    In terms of a known 'maintained' machine that gets used semi regularly:

    1 - PSU related failures; especially in old macs due to bad caps.
    2 - FDD's fail; usually because of dirty disks. Easily fixed by cleaning.
    3 - HDD's fail; although this is usually limited to a subset of drives which were known to be bad back in the day.
    4 - Fans get noisy; usually limited to the mid 90's rubbish quality fans in the 486/586/686 era.
    5 - Random 'reseating' of cards required; especially VLB ones.

    I find the following is exceedingly rare in my experience:

    1 - RAM faults with machines that are cared for / used semi regularly.
    2 - Tantalum caps 'popping'; although this is probably more just luck on my part. I've had a couple; but beyond that never had issues.
    3 - ROM failures; only had one fail in an Apple IIE.
    System 80 Expansion Interface located! Thanks to all who helped out and the good people in the NZ vintage computer forums!

  6. #36
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    On of the most common issues is I find is rechargeable battery failure/leakage.

    Old hard drives fail in all sorts of ways. Head Crash,Capacitor failure, dried up lubrication....
    Dave
    G4UGM

    Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

  7. #37
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    Augusta, Georgia, USA
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    They get thrown in the landfill by owners that don't value them?

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