Suggestions needed for cleaning an old keyboard

dovenyi

22 Sep 2019, 23:38

Hi! This is my first post here, please bear with me.
I have built some keyboards earlier, but I know nothing about vintage ones. A few days ago I have acquired a bunch of old keyboards but even CLEANING them properly proved to be more difficult than I thought. :oops:

This is the board I have started to clean:
DNT_9840s.JPG
DNT_9840s.JPG (315 KiB) Viewed 676 times
This is the result so far:
DNT_9973.JPG
DNT_9973.JPG (273.9 KiB) Viewed 676 times
I'm fairly happy with how the cable responded to the treatment...
DNT_9960.JPG
DNT_9960.JPG (83.36 KiB) Viewed 676 times
...but the same method (warm water + liquid soap, alcohol, toothbrush) doesn't work on the case. There are some scratches, but most of the stains seem to be the result of the dirty cable being wrapped around the board.

Any suggestions?

Findecanor

22 Sep 2019, 23:47

Welcome to the forum!

Those kinds of marks tend to be from the plasticiser in the cable eating into the plastic of the case. There's nothing you can do, I'm afraid.

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zrrion

22 Sep 2019, 23:51

This is a nice looking board and you are doing a great job cleaning it so far. What switches does it have BTW?

dovenyi

22 Sep 2019, 23:55

Thanks! I'm not really familiar with these kind of old switches, but here is a pic:
DNT_9935.JPG
DNT_9935.JPG (136.04 KiB) Viewed 654 times

dovenyi

22 Sep 2019, 23:58

Findecanor wrote:
22 Sep 2019, 23:47
There's nothing you can do, I'm afraid.
Damn...

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wobbled

23 Sep 2019, 00:21

How deep are the marks? You could potentially light sand it with a magic eraser sponge. I've done that to remove deep scratches from Model M cases.

dovenyi

23 Sep 2019, 07:56

There are some deep scratches exposing the yellow plastic behind the paint (?) - I could live with that, and there are not visible from the front. But I thought there is a solution to get rid of the stains on the top. (Lot of them on the back too.)

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Muirium
µ

23 Sep 2019, 09:17

Some old cables can be very nasty indeed. My IBM Model F AT had a cable that had turned sticky, which I was happy to remove. I’ve seen them leave permanent indentations and marks on other keyboards. It just comes down to chemistry. A lot of evil reactions can go on, in years of storage.

The switches look like Alps vintage T. The same as on the 1984 Macintosh keyboard. Linear, loud, and a bit stiff; but with vintage charm.

dovenyi

23 Sep 2019, 10:35

I cannot comment on the switches, but if it helps to identify them, the sticker states this was produced in 1973. Linear, but I wouldn't describe it as stiff. It feels like free-fall without any resistance and hitting hard on the bottom. But it comes back beautifully.
The sound is indeed loud, like hitting the walls of a cave with a moderately thick bamboo rod. Actually, I can hear the echo. I'm considering buying a decent microphone just to capture the long bong experience.

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mr_a500

23 Sep 2019, 12:52

The keyboard was definitely not made in 1973. It looks more like 1983. The switches are Alps SKCC, which didn't exist in 1973.

Edit: Yes, I found it. It's from a Tatung TVT6600A terminal from late 1983/ early 1984.

Image

dovenyi

23 Sep 2019, 13:18

Yep, that's it. As already said, I'm new to this topic, but there are two stickers inside. One is handwritten and one is printed or stamped. Strange, but both have the 1973 date on them. I will post some pics if I get back home.

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Howard81

23 Sep 2019, 13:50

I chuck the keycaps and cable in a hot bowl of water that has had a dishwasher tablet dissolved in it. Leave for 30-45 minutes with the occasional mixing and the dirt will lift right off!

For the cases I use Cif/Jif cream cleaner and a sponge.

kmnov2017

23 Sep 2019, 13:57

dovenyi wrote:
23 Sep 2019, 13:18
Yep, that's it. As already said, I'm new to this topic, but there are two stickers inside. One is handwritten and one is printed or stamped. Strange, but both have the 1973 date on them. I will post some pics if I get back home.
The date label here is using the Taiwanese date system, which is why it seems so strange. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_ ... a_calendar

1973 translates to 1984

dovenyi

23 Sep 2019, 15:45

kmnov2017 wrote:
23 Sep 2019, 13:57
The date label here is using the Taiwanese date system
Wow, brilliant! Thank you.

dovenyi

23 Sep 2019, 15:48

Howard81 wrote:
23 Sep 2019, 13:50
For the cases I use Cif/Jif cream cleaner and a sponge.
Thanks, I've tried something similar, but give Cif a chance.

dovenyi

23 Sep 2019, 17:10

DNT_9908.JPG
This one is from the upper part of the case.
DNT_9908.JPG (102.1 KiB) Viewed 388 times
DNT_9911.JPG
And this one from the lower part.
DNT_9911.JPG (107.13 KiB) Viewed 388 times
Now I know this means 1984. Never thought of that, thank you!

cr0ft

09 Oct 2019, 09:37

If it's painted plastic, you can go from cleaning mode to actually restoring these.

As in, dismantle the keyboard and remove the cover, wetsand it down and then spray paint it. Might be tricky to save the logo sticker but should be doable.

If it's not painted, at least in theory you should be able to wetsand it with 3000 grit or something, assuming the plastic is the same color throughout the piece, and refresh it that way.

If you're interested in doing that much work. Of course I can also be wrong and these suggestions may wind up destroying the whole thing, so your mileage may vary... :D

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XMIT
[ XMIT ]

09 Oct 2019, 18:58

For basic cleaning I've had luck with a melamine foam pad, e.g. "Mr. Clean Magic Eraser" in the US. It's a strong, but brittle, abrasive. I would try this both wet and dry on an inconspicuous region of the board to see what it does. In combination with various cleaners (such as "Simple Green", https://cdn.simplegreen.com/downloads/S ... leaner.pdf) it can pull dirt off pretty well.

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digital_matthew

11 Oct 2019, 02:37

Hey there,

You may want to also try a citrus based price tag gunk remover like Goo Gone. I've used it on keyboards and cables with varying degrees of success. I've seen it dissolve some synthetic rubber though, so always test before use.

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