Trying retr0brite

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IanJeffray
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Trying retr0brite

Post by IanJeffray »

I've heard many stories, good and bad, about retr0brite. It doesn't hugely thrill me, but I have a few bits of kit that are so horribly discoloured that I thought it worth a shot. I bought this small bottle of peroxide and slathered it on some mice, wrapped in cling film and left in the searing Scottish sun for four hours this afternoon. Washed it off. Dried. Reassembled. Good results... the mice which have been retr0brited (before/after photos) are on the left of each pic, next to a nicely-coloured untouched mouse for reference.

On this type 2 mouse, the shell was a disgusting colour, though the buttons were ok...
IMG_5775.JPG
...and now it's indistinguishable from the reference - looks great!
IMG_5778.JPG
On this old type 1 mouse, just the buttons had discoloured...
IMG_5776.JPG
...and now it's pretty close to the original - you wouldn't be able to tell if it wasn't side by side.
IMG_5777.JPG
Shame I had different lighting for the before/after photos, but I think the side-by-sides tell a reasonable story. Happy with the results, for essentially zero effort.
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cheshirenoir
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by cheshirenoir »

I'm inspired by your success. Excellent work!

Now I want to try retr0brite. :-D

I'm thinking of going down the path of a plastic tub, with an impeller to move the water around and a fishtank heater to keep it warm. Surround that with UV LEDs and see how that goes.

(I have a LOT of yellowed computers so I suspect it'll get a lot of use.)

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IanJeffray
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by IanJeffray »

cheshirenoir wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:51 am
I'm thinking of going down the path of a plastic tub, with an impeller to move the water around and a fishtank heater to keep it warm. Surround that with UV LEDs and see how that goes.
A lot of hassle. I just used clingfilm and sunlight. :lol:

Be aware of the issues (weakend plastic, streaky results). I won't be going crazy and attacking everything that's a bit off-colour, but that type 2 mouse really stood out as disgusting.
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by philb »

Good work! Looks nice.
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by waldorfmuppet »

cheshirenoir wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:51 am

I'm thinking of going down the path of a plastic tub, with an impeller to move the water around and a fishtank heater to keep it warm. Surround that with UV LEDs and see how that goes.
Sounds an awful lot like a sous vide machine would do the job - Prime Day is coming up so you should be able to pick up the machine for maybe 40 quid, and with the addition of some plastic bags and a small blow torch you can make some truly epic steak....
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by HughF »

My wife is a hairdresser, I've had great success with a bottle of 12% cream peroxide and just leaving stuff in the sun either in a ziploc bag (for amiga keycaps) or covered in clingfilm. It seems to work really rather well...
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cheshirenoir
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by cheshirenoir »

waldorfmuppet wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:11 am
Sounds an awful lot like a sous vide machine would do the job - Prime Day is coming up so you should be able to pick up the machine for maybe 40 quid, and with the addition of some plastic bags and a small blow torch you can make some truly epic steak....
It's pretty much a sous vide machine :-) I saw RMC use one and thought "I wonder if I can do that without having to worry about peroxide impacting the hardware?"

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IanJeffray
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by IanJeffray »

Today, a type 3 mouse. This is actually a grey RiscPC mouse, but it had gone so yellow you'd think it was a cream A5000 mouse. Before and after shots show a fantastic difference. The mouse is sat on top of a RiscPC for colour comparison in both shots... looks far nicer with the system now.
Type3.jpg
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kppot
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by kppot »

Impressive results, I call that retrobrighting done the very right way =D>
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by steve3000 »

Great results! =D>
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tautology
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by tautology »

I tried this last year using cream peroxide, I had very good success with keys from a Sharp (see below). The Atari ST case I tried had a few smears on it so was less good. I'm considering retrying using 12% liquid peroxide and UV LEDs.
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by IanJeffray »

I've not applied this to any "partially discoloured" surface yet - I suspect there's always likely to be visible tan lines no matter what, and I'm not even trying to return things to "as new" - just making the most disgusting parts look at least halfway decent.

The cream seems easy to work with - slather it on, and it stays put. A couple of hours in clingfilm, even in weak Scottish sun, is working ok for me, as shown. I did buy some halogen spotlights, but haven't tried them yet -- stories I've seen with good results haven't needed to resort to anything as exotic as UV lamps. YMMV and I believe it also very much depends on the type of plastic.

The next part I want to try is the 'nose' from an A420/1. It's a shocker compared to its siblings:
IMG_1768.jpg
The real hassle here is the FDD - will have to take it apart too and hope it tones down to a similar degree to the nose.
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by steve3000 »

Treating the nose should make a huge difference, however I don’t think there’s any way to “retrobrite” the sticker though… which is a shame… although I wonder is it actually the sticker which is discoloured or the surface underneath?
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IanJeffray
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by IanJeffray »

steve3000 wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:46 pm
...I don’t think there’s any way to “retrobrite” the sticker though… which is a shame… although I wonder is it actually the sticker which is discoloured or the surface underneath?
I believe piemmm retr0'd his Axxx nose and sticker... and the sticker was destroyed. I've already ponied-up for a replacement sticker from CJE though :) I may try experimenting with restoring the sticker ... I believe it's reverse-printed, so the discolouration could actually be the plastic layer above the printing.
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by Dave C »

Have a look at 'The 8 Bit Guy' on YouTube. He does a lot of retro-brighting and has made various containers and UV set-ups.
BBC Master 512, Music 5000, Gotek Drive.
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IanJeffray
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by IanJeffray »

Allegedly we may get sun next week, so prepping the A420/1... the new sticker next to the old shows the dramatic difference.
IMG_6286.jpg
And having removed the sticker, we see that difference directly in the nose plastic. Check out the tan lines around the upper edge too.
IMG_6291.jpg
I'm nervous about this, but it's just SO bad that I think it's worth trying. [-o<
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IanJeffray
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by IanJeffray »

Well, it was fairly sunny here today. Not blisteringly so, but clear skies all day at least....
IMG_6332.jpg
IMG_6331.jpg
It's still the middle machine in the stack...
IMG_6333.jpg
The front of the nose isn't completely evenly coloured - showing definite signs of "shading" from the clingfilm. I think if I ever do more, I'd possibly try getting the clingfilm tight on the surface. The floppy drive worked very well, as did the cream section of the nose. On the whole, I'm pleased enough with the result - no longer does the machine stand out as being odd, but nor is it retr0brite'd past its age - there are still tanlines visible, and that's fine by me.
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by kilowatt »

That looks great, nice job =D>
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by AndyMc1280 »

Very nice =D> Did my A3010 get any ?
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IanJeffray
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by IanJeffray »

AndyMc1280 wrote:
Wed Jun 30, 2021 7:02 pm
Very nice =D> Did my A3010 get any ?
It didn't. And I'm actually glad it didn't, because of the slightly mottled results now learned. I wish I'd had it out today though because it's been a great sunny afternoon. Tomorrow's not looking quite so good, but Friday may be, so I'll prep it.

I can't decide whether to do this whole A3000. Look at the colour of that begger compared to its friend... but if I touch the case, the keyboard will stand out ... hohum.
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by AndyMc1280 »

IanJeffray wrote:
Wed Jun 30, 2021 7:21 pm
I can't decide whether to do this whole A3000. Look at the colour of that begger compared to its friend... but if I touch the case, the keyboard will stand out ... hohum.
Do what I did - get a "Clean" Keyboard :lol: solves the issue. Unless you want to do each key #-o
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by RobC »

I'd do the keys as well - put them in a bath of hydrogen peroxide solution and leave them out in the sun for a bit.

Just be careful to check them regularly as they don't take long at this time of year. If you can warm the solution at the start, they'll change colour sooner.
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by IanJeffray »

It's been a decent day today, so slathered the peroxide on and wrapped Andy's A3010 base tightly in clingfilm (which I didn't find to be as easy as I expected!) and bunged it on the garden table for 4 hours:
IMG_6363.JPG
Then after a wash and blow-dry, miss bleach-blonde A3010 is now ready for her night out.

Before and after shots:
IMG_6360.jpg
Now the new top and original bottom matches fairly nicely :)
IMG_E6368.JPG
There's some very slight mottling on the side that needed the most attention, but I'd call it a decent win.
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Re: Trying retr0brite

Post by AndyMc1280 »

That's a huge improvement :shock:

Very nice. =D> Thanks Ian.
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