Cleaning up zrrion's Wyse PCE

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snacksthecat
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06 Feb 2019, 05:24

I snagged this Wyse board that zrrion was giving away. Since the conditions of the deal were that the recipient must make a post to document the cleanup, and that's all I seem to ever be doing anyways; it seemed like a perfect fit.

I just took it out of the box right now and snapped some photos:

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Lbibass

06 Feb 2019, 16:38

This is horrifying and I hate you for posting photos of it.

I can't wait to see it be cleaned up!

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TheInverseKey

06 Feb 2019, 16:40

What keycaps did it come with? Thin or the nice thick doubleshots?

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zrrion

06 Feb 2019, 17:21

The caps are thin and the switches feel as bad as the board looks, the restoration should be cool to see unfold. Glad the board arrived in the same (horrible) condition it shipped in.

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ZedTheMan

06 Feb 2019, 17:31

I look forward to seeing how this cleans up, snacks!

(And sorry to take away any focus from the thread, but I have my plans for that Datadesk Ergo keyboard that zrrion was selling also! It may or may not have to do with a certain group buy going on)

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JP!

06 Feb 2019, 20:25

zrrion wrote:
06 Feb 2019, 17:21
The caps are thin and the switches feel as bad as the board looks, the restoration should be cool to see unfold. Glad the board arrived in the same (horrible) condition it shipped in.
:lol: Yeah I hate it whenever a keyboard arrives in better than expected condition.

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Muirium
µ

06 Feb 2019, 20:55

The amount Her Gracious Majesty’s Thieving Customs and Excise charges us to rummage through our imports, you’d expect them to tidy up for you a bit. Sadly they do not.

andrewjoy

07 Feb 2019, 12:40

Clean it before you post! ( and show us a before and after)

You dirty dirty boy!

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lucar

07 Feb 2019, 23:07

Hi!

I arrived late on that classified, check my restore video of a Bull Questar (Wyse pce) , those are great keyboards!
Luca

TicTocTom

09 Feb 2019, 05:07

Very nice!

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Tomatt

09 Feb 2019, 14:35

JP! wrote:
06 Feb 2019, 20:25
:lol: Yeah I hate it whenever a keyboard arrives in better than expected condition.
It's entirely possible with something like this. If the keyboard was shaken around a lot during shipping, some of the dirt might have fallen off!

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JP!

10 Feb 2019, 03:25

Tomatt wrote:
09 Feb 2019, 14:35
JP! wrote:
06 Feb 2019, 20:25
:lol: Yeah I hate it whenever a keyboard arrives in better than expected condition.
It's entirely possible with something like this. If the keyboard was shaken around a lot during shipping, some of the dirt might have fallen off!
Touché ;)

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snacksthecat
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06 Jul 2019, 02:13

Well a heck of a lot of time has elapsed since I started this little project.

zrrion reminded me the other day that I hadn't updated this thread for quite a while. I was just coming back to life after having pneumonia and working on something like this sounded like a good task to get me moving again. I didn't have a ton of energy but I did get a little bit done.

A few more "before" photos:
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Under the keycaps was extremely dirty. All sorts of dust, hair, dirt, etc.

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I used a datavac air blower thing to knock most of it out.

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This gave me at least something I could work with without creating a huge mess.

The next thing I did was desolder the switches

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That was about all I had energy to do. I have a ton of free time this weekend so hopefully I'll keep up the momentum.

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ZedTheMan

06 Jul 2019, 05:09

Hey snacks, what desoldering gun are you using in that timelapse? It makes it look easy!

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snacksthecat
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06 Jul 2019, 19:31

ZedTheMan wrote:
06 Jul 2019, 05:09
Hey snacks, what desoldering gun are you using in that timelapse? It makes it look easy!
It's a Hakko FR301. It was pretty pricey but I'd been using one of these bulb desoldering irons for way too long and it was causing me temperature problems.
Spoiler:
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The bulb thing is great for the money but a proper desoldering pump blows it out of the water. They remove the solder very cleanly and you can do a whole board so much faster. The nozzles on this Hakko pump seem to last way longer than the cheap ones I was buying for the old iron as well (though they're much more expensive).

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snacksthecat
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07 Jul 2019, 00:42

As you could expect, the switches are very very scratchy. I decided I definitely want to clean them, maybe lube them as well. I don't really have any experience lubing MX switches.

I used two pairs of very pointed tweezers to open each switch. After playing around with a few different methods, this was the one that I liked the best.

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Then I ran them through my little ultrasonic jewelry cleaner (which I'd like to upgrade at some point).
They came out really nicely. Definitely worth the time to give them a proper cleaning.

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snacksthecat
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07 Jul 2019, 02:03

First I gave the PCB and plate a good scrub down.

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The plate had a little bit of rust so I did my best to remove it with naval jelly.

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I plan to retrobrite the case so I wanted to give it a once-over as well.

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It actually cleaned up very nicely. You can really see how bad the yellowing is now that all the dirt is gone. Hopefully the next step takes care of that.

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zrrion

07 Jul 2019, 03:06

This is looking fantastic so far! IDK what could have happened to the board to make MX switches feel like that so hopefully they feel okay after being cleaned.

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snacksthecat
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08 Jul 2019, 00:14

I kicked off the retrobriting. The method I use is pretty slow so I expect it will take a while.

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Then came the incredibly tedious task of lubing and reassembling each switch.
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The stabs had some rust and gunk on them so those got treated as well.

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Everything assembled, before soldering.

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snacksthecat
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08 Jul 2019, 02:32

For the caps, I just used some denture tabs and a little agitation. These are going to join the case under the retrobrite lamp.

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I got the board all soldered up. So the next thing I turned my attention to was getting it working.

I borrowed a 4p4c cable from the box of them that I've been hording.

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And lucky for me, there was one right on top of the pile.

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I did my best guess at the pinout using a multimeter. Vcc and Gnd were clear but I just guessed for clock and data.

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Got it hooked up to a teensy to test it and it worked perfectly on the first try. Awesome!

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whiffysole

11 Jul 2019, 02:51

I can't wait to see more of this. I always love a good restoration project. :mrgreen:

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JP!

11 Jul 2019, 02:57

That is quite the labor of love. Can't wait to see this fully brought back to life.

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snacksthecat
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13 Jul 2019, 20:25

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The retrobriting is actually giving me some trouble. My usual method is a little bit too gentle for this degree of yellow.

I don't do this often but when I do, I use 3% peroxide applied to the plastic with a spray bottle. Then I put whatever I'm trying to whiten under a 20W UV lamp.

That's typically enough to restore the original look.

I like this method because it's easy and clean (though it does take a long time). I think I'm going to try to pick up some 12% peroxide today to see if that speeds up the process.

Here's what it looks like right now.

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You can see the contrast between the parts that still have their original color and the parts that were/are yellow. Much better than before the retrobriting but I think I've taken it as far as it will go with 3%.

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snacksthecat
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Yesterday, 00:11

Well I can't find anything higher than 3% in a brick and mortar store near me. But I guess disolving oxyclean results in hydrogen peroxide. I'm not sure if this is going to make any difference.

What I'm trying is spraying down the plastic with peroxide then sprinkling some oxyclean on top. I drilled some holes in the top of a jar so I can dust it on easily.

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This is what it looks like under the lamp (obviously I have to move the lamp around to get the whole thing).

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And the tools:

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We'll see if this makes any bit of difference in the results I've been seeing so far.

It's a shame too because it's a sunny 90 degree (F) day here in Chicago. I just have no place where I can set this up in the sun's path.

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