Resto: Symbolics 364000 "dug up from ground"

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snuci
Vintage computer guy

28 Aug 2020, 18:22

Well, I was the one who acquired the Symbolics 364000 (3600) from eBay recently. I thought it would make a good restoration project but let's see where I can get to this. To say these key switches are "scratchy" is an understatement as they are covered in sand. I am not even sure if these switches can be opened or properly cleaned. Any advise is appreciated.

They are Micro Switch SD series switches with most being of type 4B3E.

This will take me a while so these are the "before" pictures:
Symbolics 3600 keyboard top
Symbolics 3600 keyboard top
Symbolics3600before-top.jpg (451.95 KiB) Viewed 558 times
Keyboard rear
Keyboard rear
Symbolics3600before-rear.jpg (548.64 KiB) Viewed 558 times
Keyboard mechanism top
Keyboard mechanism top
Symbolics3600before-mechanism.jpg (545.88 KiB) Viewed 558 times
Keyboard mechanism PCB
Keyboard mechanism PCB
Symbolics3600before-pcb.jpg (710.61 KiB) Viewed 558 times
Keyboard condition
Keyboard condition
Symbolics3600before-key switches.jpg (603.03 KiB) Viewed 558 times
Micro Switch SD Series switch
Micro Switch SD Series switch
Symbolics3600before-SDseries.jpg (475.65 KiB) Viewed 558 times
Update: After desoldering all switches from the PCB. Ya, a little bit dusty there...
Mud under switches.
Mud under switches.
Symbolics3600before-mud under switches.jpg (810.63 KiB) Viewed 504 times
Last edited by snuci on 28 Aug 2020, 20:00, edited 1 time in total.

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snuci
Vintage computer guy

28 Aug 2020, 18:22

The restoration continues.

The switch plate:
Symbolics3600After-switch plate.jpg
Symbolics3600After-switch plate.jpg (301.57 KiB) Viewed 423 times
First round of switches washed that are drying. They are a hell of a lot smoother as the odd one didn't even return when depressed before. I'll have to do this a couple more times. First round was water in an ultrasonic cleaner followed by a 99% alcohol bath to remove the water.
Symbolics3600After-switches drying1.jpg
Symbolics3600After-switches drying1.jpg (1.06 MiB) Viewed 423 times
Last edited by snuci on 29 Aug 2020, 00:35, edited 2 times in total.

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JP!

28 Aug 2020, 19:04

Ah so you got the one that was buried in the ground and left to rot. :lol: I think it might be easier to find a donor Micro Switch board and replace all the switches in this one.

Edit: If you can feasibly go through replacing switches just be mindful of using too much heat which could damage these switch sensors but shouldn't be too big of an issue with proper tools and technique.
Last edited by JP! on 28 Aug 2020, 19:10, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Weezer

28 Aug 2020, 19:09

All things considered, it looks better than I expected.

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snuci
Vintage computer guy

28 Aug 2020, 22:28

Weezer wrote:
28 Aug 2020, 19:09
All things considered, it looks better than I expected.
Yes. While the switch plate looked rusty, it was actually red dirt/dust. The key switch mounting plate actually came out almost like new. The switches themselves will be a whole other matter.
After switch plate
After switch plate
Symbolics3600After-switch plate.jpg (301.57 KiB) Viewed 460 times

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PlacaFromHell

29 Aug 2020, 00:04

Oh man, that's such a nice keyboard, glad to see it in the correct hands. Would you mind take some pics from the side when you have it done?

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snuci
Vintage computer guy

29 Aug 2020, 00:41

PlacaFromHell wrote:
29 Aug 2020, 00:04
Oh man, that's such a nice keyboard, glad to see it in the correct hands. Would you mind take some pics from the side when you have it done?
Will do. No problem.

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snuci
Vintage computer guy

31 Aug 2020, 00:26

Done.

Looks and feels great considering what it looked like when I got it. I just wish I had the missing "ESCAPE" key but otherwise, I will try to convert it at some point but make sure it is reversible in case I find a Symbolics 3600 series computer to go with this. If anyone has the original keyboard cable they are not using, I'd love to buy it from you.

I took a picture of it next to an Apple M0110 Macintosh 128k keyboard as I always thought they might be sort of similar sizes but you can see the Symbolics keyboard is actually much bigger comparatively. The case is made out of a painted composite wood material, I think, which adds some weight to it as well. It's a well built keyboard.
Symbolics3600After-internal1.jpg
Symbolics3600After-internal1.jpg (928.07 KiB) Viewed 314 times
Symbolics3600After-internal.jpg
Symbolics3600After-internal.jpg (803.57 KiB) Viewed 314 times
Symbolics3600After-internal2.jpg
Symbolics3600After-internal2.jpg (782.06 KiB) Viewed 314 times
Symbolics3600After-internal4.jpg
Symbolics3600After-internal4.jpg (818.83 KiB) Viewed 314 times
Symbolics3600After-external0.jpg
Symbolics3600After-external0.jpg (735.7 KiB) Viewed 314 times
Symbolics3600After-external5.jpg
Symbolics3600After-external5.jpg (982.46 KiB) Viewed 314 times
Symbolics3600After-external6.jpg
Symbolics3600After-external6.jpg (974.55 KiB) Viewed 314 times
Symbolics3600After-external3.jpg
Symbolics3600After-external3.jpg (618.34 KiB) Viewed 314 times
Symbolics3600After-external1.jpg
Symbolics3600After-external1.jpg (711.65 KiB) Viewed 314 times

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PlacaFromHell

31 Aug 2020, 00:37

Impressive! I didn't expected such a fast work, also it came out very clean. Thanks for the side picture, that curve is unique.

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zrrion

31 Aug 2020, 00:40

That is looking a lot better in such short order! glad this thing went to someone who is loving it

User avatar
snuci
Vintage computer guy

31 Aug 2020, 00:50

PlacaFromHell wrote:
31 Aug 2020, 00:37
Impressive! I didn't expected such a fast work, also it came out very clean. Thanks for the side picture, that curve is unique.
Thanks. There were quite a few steps but I wanted to get this out of the way as I have a few other projects to get to. Thankfully I have a Hakko desoldering gun to remove the switches or it would have taken me forever AND I would have likely done damage. Worth every penny (picture attached for when I was restoring an Apple Lisa).

Spoiler:
Hakko Desoldering tool
Hakko Desoldering tool
Hakko desolder gun.jpg (659.91 KiB) Viewed 291 times
It also took me a bit of time to wax cleaner for the oxidization and then put a finishing wax on the individual key caps. I also used the wax cleaner/wax on the exterior case.

zzxx53

31 Aug 2020, 16:40

Congrats on fixing such a rare find!

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JP!

31 Aug 2020, 17:44

Wow, now that's the way to do it. 8-)

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