Author Topic: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.  (Read 3143 times)

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Offline ||C|-|E||

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Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« on: 17:57, 05 March 17 »
Last time I went to Spain I was digging in my old bedroom, that is basically a time capsule that takes you back to the 80s/90s, and I found my original CPC 6128 hidden in a closet along with the color monitor that came with it. There was also an old PC PSU I was using to power the computer, a 3.5" drive, a few home made cables... It seems that I put everything there when I was given a bunch of Pluses for free in 1997. After that, I was mainly using a 6128 Plus. The poor guy was pretty battered: very yellow keyboard that is probably not original (those keys look like coming from a Plus); a crappy ABBA switch hanging from a pair of cables; lots of scratches here and there...

However, despite its condition, this Amstrad is still very important for me. I spent my childhood with the machine, me and my friends played countless games on it, I used it to program a lot of crappy stuff and a few "games"... in summary, lots of great memories. So, when I came back to UK I brought the guy with me to restore and mod it  :)

This is what I am planning to do:

- New caps
- Dual OS
- Centronics ports
- ABBA switch (a decent one)
- Reset switch
- 5VCPC
- Floppy drive restoration

and, if possible, internal RAM expansion.

Externally nothing will change besides the little hole for the reset switch and the case modification required to fit the Centronics ports. It will look like a Schneider 6128.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]

I have very little time these days, but the good news is that there is no rush either!  :D

Online villain

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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #1 on: 18:22, 05 March 17 »
Is this natural yellowing or Gitanes Mais? :-)
« Last Edit: 23:09, 05 March 17 by villain »

Offline ||C|-|E||

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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #2 on: 22:11, 05 March 17 »
It is natural yellowing from a non-smoker house, but I must say that the color is very similar  :D

Offline VincentGR

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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #3 on: 00:02, 06 March 17 »
Emotions!!!
That was fantastic.
To blit, or not to blit?
Amiga 1200 Black Project

Offline Lazy Dude

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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #4 on: 00:18, 06 March 17 »
looks like a fun project, don't forget to vacuum out all the fluff from the keyboard  :D

Offline ||C|-|E||

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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #5 on: 21:57, 03 April 17 »
So... I finally had time to do something with my old 6128. It is still a work in progress but I thought that I could give you an update and show some pics  :) . The first thing I did was just to remove the board from the case and clean it a bit. Here is how it looked before cleaning. It is a 6128 board version 2.



Then, I removed all the electrolytic caps, the 40015 and the solder that was filling the holes for the centronic ports. To remove the 40015 I simply cut the pins and then they were removed one by one. I was using the old good braid all the time. Here is the stripped board.



Before going on, I think that it is worth saying that it is NOT necessary to remove all the electrolytic caps in a CPC 6128. The only one that can be problematic if you install the 5VCPC is the cap near the power socket.  Bryce found that if it is not OK  the computer will likely reset. I just decided to replace them with high grade new ones because I felt like doing it, nothing else  :) . In any case, if you decide to change the electrolytics, pay attention to one that is near the AY, it is a 50V 1uF NON POLAR cap.

The next step was to prepare the socket for the dual OS. I followed this tutorial from Bryce that describes all the necessary steps in great detail. This is my modded socket:



After this I recapped the board and soldered the socket in place:



Finally I installed the new ports. I attached them to the board
first  using screws and nuts and then I soldered the leads. There are quite a few, but it is still a reasonably fast process.







And here is where I stand at the moment! There are lots of things to do, but I will be moving forward little by little   :) .
« Last Edit: 22:01, 03 April 17 by ||C|-|E|| »

Offline Audronic

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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #6 on: 01:24, 04 April 17 »
@||C|-|E||


Well done.
where did you get the centronics connectors, and a part description Please as i miss my 6128 centronics version that I had.


A question can all motherboards be converted to Centronics ?


Keep up the good work


Thanks     Ray
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Offline Bryce

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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #7 on: 10:16, 04 April 17 »
A question can all motherboards be converted to Centronics ?

Yes, I think all boards have the holes for Centronics connectors.

Bryce.

Offline Audronic

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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #8 on: 10:53, 04 April 17 »
@Bryce


Thanks i have one that i will update.
Just got to find the appropriate 36 and 50 Pin Female connectors.


No many on Flea Bay


Thanks       Ray
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Offline ||C|-|E||

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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #9 on: 13:39, 04 April 17 »
@Bryce


Thanks i have one that i will update.
Just got to find the appropriate 36 and 50 Pin Female connectors.


No many on Flea Bay


Thanks       Ray

Hi Ray,

As Bryce said, to my knowledge all the 6128 boards have the holes. Regarding where to buy the ports, this seller on e-bay has all of them and ships to Australia :)

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/391507935311?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&var=660671677959&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

If you order the three at the same time, I am sure that the price for sending them will be all right  :)

Offline Audronic

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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #10 on: 14:45, 04 April 17 »
@||C|-|E||


Thanks for the link. I will have a look.


Ray
Procrastinators Unite,
If it Ain't Broke PLEASE Don't Fix it.
I keep telling you I am Not Pedantic.
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Offline ||C|-|E||

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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #11 on: 02:03, 14 April 17 »
And it seems that it works...  :)

[attachimg=1]

Offline genesis8

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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #12 on: 22:42, 15 May 17 »
At least it's on the web site ! Thanks again.
____________
Amstrad news site at Genesis8 Amstrad Page

Offline ||C|-|E||

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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #13 on: 03:15, 29 May 17 »
Sooo... today I had some time and I started making the holes for the ports in the case  :) These are my weapons of choice for this kind of thing: an old iron, a rotary tool, a wire-cutter and a lot of files, although those two files that appear in the picture are more than enough for the holes I started making today.

[attachimg=1]

The first step is to mark where you want to cut. It is important to be precise because we will be using those guides all the time. The second step is to remove the first big chunks of plastic with the old iron. It is necessary to cut well away from the lines we drew. All the plastic near the iron will be completely melted and distorted.

[attachimg=2]

Next, with the wire-cutter I like to clean the hole as much as I can.

[attachimg=3]

The following step will be to use the rotary tool to remove extra plastic until we are closer to the marks we drew. It is necessary to be very careful, one mistake here may damage the case forever. Again, the rotary tool may partially melt and distort some plastic, but to a much lesser extent than the hot iron.

[attachimg=4]

Finally, it is the turn of the files. Lots of elbow grease is needed now, a quite a lot of patience too. Polishing these kind of holes with the files usually takes me a few hours but that is completely fine  :D . With the files you can go as close as the line as necessary and obtain a very smooth finish.

[attachimg=5]

This is how the small hole looks right now. It is still a bit rough, as you can see, but with a little more work it will probably look pretty decent  :)

[attachimg=6]

Offline Audronic

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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #14 on: 03:33, 29 May 17 »
@||C|-|E||


Well done.
Is it possible to show a photo of the Motherboard and the case as it will be fitted Please


Keep up the Good work


Ray
Procrastinators Unite,
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I keep telling you I am Not Pedantic.
As I Live " Down Under " I Take my Gravity Tablets and Wear my Magnetic Boots to Keep me from Falling off.

Offline Bryce

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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #15 on: 10:08, 29 May 17 »
Nice work, but the house must stink of molten plastic now  ::)

Bryce.

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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #16 on: 12:56, 29 May 17 »
Is it possible to show a photo of the Motherboard and the case as it will be fitted Please

Sure! Here you have it  :)

[attachimg=1]

Nice work, but the house must stink of molten plastic now  ::)

Well... the trick is to do this when everybody else is sleeping  :-X I mean, the part when you melt things with the iron  :-\

Offline Audronic

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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #17 on: 13:10, 29 May 17 »
@||C|-|E||


Thanks.
My parts ( centronic ) Have just arrived in from China/Thailand.
and i am about to do the same. The Picture helps Thanks


Ray
Procrastinators Unite,
If it Ain't Broke PLEASE Don't Fix it.
I keep telling you I am Not Pedantic.
As I Live " Down Under " I Take my Gravity Tablets and Wear my Magnetic Boots to Keep me from Falling off.

Offline jpx13

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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #18 on: 21:20, 29 May 17 »
Hello,

Nice job, looks promising!  With a bit more filing it should be really smooth  :)

Aren't the holes a bit big for the connectors ? Have you measured the marks with plugs in the centronic connectors?

JP



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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #19 on: 21:39, 29 May 17 »
They are more or less as in the Schneider CPC. A bit big, but in line with the marks in the lower part of the case. This was probably done on purpose back in the days in order to avoid problems accommodating expansions  :) .


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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #20 on: 01:59, 18 June 17 »
OK, after what seems years with the files the modifications for the Centronics are almost over!  :D Maybe I will try to polish them a little bit more but they are already, more or less, similar to the original holes in terms of precision. The CPC case is not the most perfectly manufactured product and this is definitely an advantage but still, it took me ages  :picard: I have just put the two halves on top of each other, without screws or anything, to judge the final result. Oh! I will possibly remove the partially cut word too...

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]
« Last Edit: 02:02, 18 June 17 by ||C|-|E|| »

Offline ||C|-|E||

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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #21 on: 23:36, 12 August 17 »
OK! I had a little bit of time to go on and install the switch to commute operating systems  :D The screws will need to be black, but still, the holes are ready. Since this computer already has the centronics ports, will have a reset switch in the back, the 5VCPC and maybe an ABBA switch, I thought that I would be installing the new switch on the left side of the case, near the joystick port. There is a bit of free space in there and it is in a very handy position.

So, I drew the shape of the hole and I made a small perforation with a tiny hot iron. Then, I just used the files, as always.

[attachimg=1]

After quite a long time the hole was finally ready and I installed the switch using a couple of screws with nuts. Since the screws are not painted, they draw too much attention, but this will be solved on time.

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]

As you can see, there is plenty of room inside the case for the switch and it does not interfere with any other component. It is close to the keyboard when installed, but it does not touch it at all  :)

[attachimg=4]

[attachimg=5]

One step closer to finish it!





Offline Gryzor

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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #22 on: 15:37, 16 August 17 »
"Estereo" :D :D


But why did you use a permanent marker??

Offline Bryce

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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #23 on: 16:45, 16 August 17 »
"Estereo" :D :D


But why did you use a permanent marker??

I usually use permanent marker too. It doesn't scratch the surface, doesn't wipe off while you are drilling and filing and can be easily removed with isopropanol when you are finished.

Bryce.

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Re: Restoring and modding a special CPC 6128.
« Reply #24 on: 16:56, 16 August 17 »
Yeah, it is the best way to have a convenient guide to make the holes right and straight  :D In any case, the case of this poor guy is solid but so battered that I think that sanding and maybe painting it is going to be advisable...  :-X
« Last Edit: 16:58, 16 August 17 by ||C|-|E|| »