Author Topic: Happy as a pig in Shit.  (Read 5360 times)

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Offline Bryce

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Happy as a pig in Shit.
« on: 23:31, 12 November 10 »
Hi all,
     today I became the proud owner of a 6128 Plus. I got it on Eeeeebay-Francais for a reasonable price, so from now on, I can test my hardware stuff on the plus and maybe even develop some Plus specific hardware.
Unfortunately I can't test it yet, because I have neither a power supply nor a monitor for it, but those are minor issues. I just spent the evening cleaning it first, it was in a state that I can only describe as Gut-renchingly disgusting, jesus, how can anyone let a CPC get to this state of disrepair, I had to strip it down to it basic components and soak it in hot water before I could even touch it. Some people have absolutely no respect for their hardware. The guy who sold it also didn't seem to think that cleaning it before selling it might be a good idea. Either way, it's now clean and it's mine :) As soon as I have it connected to a supply and my TFT, I'll start testing my hardware :)

Bryce.

Here's what it looks like, now that it's cleaned....

 

Offline TFM

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #1 on: 00:10, 13 November 10 »
Good to see, that this poor child now has a suggar daddy! I'm sure the poor Plus will now learn a lot about hard- and software.
 
It's great if things are getting better  ;D
TFM of FutureSoft
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #2 on: 06:17, 13 November 10 »
That's kool for you !!!


But like wine, the best bottles are dusty. :laugh:
French tradition.

Happy like a PLUS in dust ?

Offline redbox

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #3 on: 10:45, 13 November 10 »
Welcome to the club Bryce  8)

I love the 6128 Plus, awesome machine...!

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #4 on: 11:16, 13 November 10 »
Yay! Welcome to the club man! You should have shown us the 'before' condition as well!

Don't whine too much, dirt makes them cheaper on eBay ;)

Offline Bryce

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #5 on: 11:59, 13 November 10 »
No, I didn't take a "before" picture because I'd then need to clean the camera too :D And it really wasn't a picture I'd want to look at again in the future. But just so that you can make you own "picture" of how it looked: Only some keys went down when you pushed them, and didn't come back up after that. The connectors on the back were full of whatever that sticky mass was (mixture of dust and smoke I assume) and the entire housing was brown/yellow.

Bryce.

Offline fano

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #6 on: 13:09, 13 November 10 »
Nice purchase ! and nice cleaning , it looks like mine  :-*
« Last Edit: 13:11, 13 November 10 by fano »
"NOP" is the perfect program : short , fast and (known) bug free

Follow Easter Egg products on Facebook !

Offline MacDeath

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #7 on: 18:10, 13 November 10 »
Thats a point for the Atari ST... When I opened them they were so clean.... lots of metal protections and a different Keyboard system.
To be fair, Atari managed to sell them quite low-prive if you compare to CPC/PLUS... and Atari STF/STE have a lot more components actually (16 bit components, they are more expensive).

I think Sugar got a better benefit per Amstrad CPC/PLUS than Tramiel/Atari.

the margin was certainly indecent.

No wonder he's that rich. ::)

To bad as if the 6128PLUS was sold the price of the 464PLUS (and the 464PLUS not produced at all), It could have sold so betterly.
Guess what, I'm sure it was largely possible actually.

64K + a few component and getting a disk Drive instead of a Tape Drive, this doen't cost 1000Francs (150euros)...
to assemble those in the factory is the same : Tape drives even has more complexe mechanical parts and the motherboard is already the same.
Even getting 2 different productions (464/6128) add a few cost...

And more common technologies could have been put unto PCW and PLUS... PCW is just a Mode2 fullscreen CPC, sort of.
Could have use the Hardsrpites from the Asic for it's GUI, and even the scrolling stuff (could help in text-processing, not ?)


The most impressive : when I opened the STF to cannibalize for my both STE... I could see a slot for a Blitter and a slot for additionnal sound stuff...empty.

The ST/STF was supposed to be a STE from the start !
this would have been awesome then.
The ST was mostly unchanged for 5 years, could have been easily the STE 2-3 years before...

Just like the Amstrad PLUS could/Should have been upgrade during the costdown era (Pre-Asic).


Nonetheless, good machines anyway.

What's good with the 6128Plus ? you can put a CPC6128 on it to get an impressive Double Decker CPC/Plus...

(the flat casing)

Or even a Speccy from Amstrad..er, perhaps not.

Just need a little bit of hardware to connect them as a networking 2xZ80 and 256K Ram solution, lol...
The PLUS would act as the video card and sound card, the CPC would be the main processor... And the  double AY sound solution would be neat.


BTW cleaning the ports/plugs is a pain in the ass.
Cleaning the Keyboard is also painfull (and delicate).
« Last Edit: 18:40, 13 November 10 by MacDeath »

Offline Bryce

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #8 on: 23:17, 13 November 10 »
Bloody Nora, typical Eeeeebay. For a start: Tested: No it fuckin wasn't!!! Otherwise he would have noticed that it DIDN'T WORK!!!! Then he claimed that the drive belt had been replaced? No I don't think so! It definitely wasn't, because I just spent an hour trying to remove the sticky remains from the disk-drive wheels!!! Either way, the belt has now been replaced and I got it to boot (after cleaning and resoldering several contacts) and it looks like it will work now.

Bryce.

Offline MacDeath

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #9 on: 23:25, 13 November 10 »
 :laugh:
Those froggies, bastards all of them !

Offline redbox

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #10 on: 01:47, 14 November 10 »
For a start: Tested: No it fuckin wasn't!!! Otherwise he would have noticed that it DIDN'T WORK!!!! Then he claimed that the drive belt had been replaced? No I don't think so!

My 6128 Plus's drive belt had already been replaced, which I found weird because when I collected it (from the buyer's wife) she was all surprised that I had bought it ("what are you going to do with it?" etc.) but seemed to know a strange amount of information about it's past and the fact it had been "fixed".

Didn't stop me discovering that it randomly crashes about 1 month later.  But hey, a slightly broken one is much better than not having one at all  8)

Offline MacDeath

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #11 on: 05:55, 14 November 10 »
Well, having been changed (drive belt) 10 years ago seems like recently... as it wasn't used since. :P


Drive belt can get old simply because of time, not because of use...

But hey we know that most of time (99%) it is the only faulty part... well perhaps not only99% lol...
 ::)
But quite often.

The rest is also often just cleaning connections (Keyboard, and others...)
 
« Last Edit: 06:00, 14 November 10 by MacDeath »

Offline arnoldemu

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #12 on: 01:36, 16 November 10 »
Bloody Nora, typical Eeeeebay. For a start: Tested: No it fuckin wasn't!!! Otherwise he would have noticed that it DIDN'T WORK!!!! Then he claimed that the drive belt had been replaced? No I don't think so! It definitely wasn't, because I just spent an hour trying to remove the sticky remains from the disk-drive wheels!!! Either way, the belt has now been replaced and I got it to boot (after cleaning and resoldering several contacts) and it looks like it will work now.

Bryce.
I was wondering if it worked or not, but I knew you had the ability to fix it :)
Nice! Welcome to the cpc+ world.
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Offline Bryce

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #13 on: 02:21, 16 November 10 »
As long as nothing physical is damaged (ripped membrane or drive heads damaged) or damaged custom chips then it's always fixable. Everything else is standard electronics and easily diagnosed and replaced :)

Bryce.

Offline TFM

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #14 on: 20:11, 18 November 10 »
Well, having been changed (drive belt) 10 years ago seems like recently... as it wasn't used since. :P


Drive belt can get old simply because of time, not because of use...

But hey we know that most of time (99%) it is the only faulty part... well perhaps not only99% lol...
 ::)
But quite often.

The rest is also often just cleaning connections (Keyboard, and others...)

My experience is the following: As long as a drive is used more often it will run fine. I have a 6128 without replaced drive belt. It's running for over 20 years with the same belt.
 
But, whenever you stop to use a drive, then the beld get's egg shaped and you can't use it any longer.
 
In germany we say: Wer rasted, der rosted. Means if you take a break you get corrossion. It's from the times of the knights, but still true for drive belts. So keep em running in circles and you will not need to visite the shopping square
TFM of FutureSoft
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Offline Bryce

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #15 on: 10:33, 19 November 10 »
I've seen two different types of drivebelt failure, the first is as you describe TFM, a bit like an unused Tyre on a car that's been parked too long: The belt hardens in an oval shape and if it's old enough, crumbles apart when you touch it. The problem on the 6128Plus was completely different though, the belt hadn't dried out, rather it had turned into a sticky tar like substance and could be rolled into a tarball (not the Linux type) when removed. This was pretty difficult, because it stuck like glue to both wheels.

My FD-1 had it's drivebelt replaced with a standard rubber band around 1994 and has worked perfectly with this solution since then :) But don't spread that around, it could ruin the drivebelt market on eeeeebay :D

Bryce.

Offline MacDeath

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #16 on: 10:47, 19 November 10 »
perhaps using some alcohol or any dissolvent on a cotton-stick (the thing to clean ears)...?


On the other hand the 3" diskdrive has quite a lot of mecanical parts, don't you thing those may sometime need to be "oiled" ?

Offline arnoldemu

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #17 on: 11:21, 19 November 10 »
some people claim that using the wrong sized band, or a band of the wrong tension can cause problems for the bearings in the drive. but if it works I'll not say ;)
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Offline Bryce

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #18 on: 12:18, 19 November 10 »
If the rubber band is way too tight, then it micht have a negative effect on the bearings, the rubber band I used was around the same size as the original.

As far as oiling is concerned, I usually put vaseline (Pertoleum Jelly) on any moving parts (cogs etc) especially on tape drives, this is very close to the original grease used and helps the parts work better and live longer.

Bryce.

Offline TFM

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #19 on: 19:27, 19 November 10 »
Well, two things:
 
An old drive belt is usually way longer than the new one. This may scare people every not and then. IMHO you can use the same type of drive belt for CPC old generation and Plus drives (at least it works in my case).
 
This rubber2tar phenomenon is really disgusting, I encounterd it once when I bought a (new, but some years old) AMX mouse for the Joyce, the ball was just tar and unusable. I still have no replacement, at this time I stopped to port FutureOS to Joyce. But doesn't matter, since I waste all my time here instead of coding ;-)
 
Back to topic: It may help to repeat the cleaning procedure once at three different days, everytime you get it a bit better.
 
Hope to read that your Plus is working properly quite soon :-)))
TFM of FutureSoft
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Offline Bryce

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #20 on: 20:23, 19 November 10 »
My plus is already finished and working perfectly. I even built a power and monitor adapter so that I can connect it to my MP2 :) . Still want to add an ABBA switch though.

Bryce.

Offline TFM

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #21 on: 20:31, 19 November 10 »
My plus is already finished and working perfectly. I even built a power and monitor adapter so that I can connect it to my MP2 :) . Still want to add an ABBA switch though.

Bryce.

Hmm, MP2, well... can't you connect it to a regular CPC CTM644? I did that and it works. You only need an adapter for the video signal and for 5 Volt. So you can use in principle a CTM640 also. And the CTM644/640 would come closer to the Plus color monitor. Make sense if you want to watch some Plus demos / games.
On the other hand any RGB monitor should be ok too. The MP2 is not soooo perfect for Mode 2.
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Offline Bryce

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #22 on: 21:07, 19 November 10 »
Indeed I could, if I owned a CTM644, but I don't. I have a GT65 which is.... Green. The adapter I built is pretty much the same as the one you built by the sounds of it. The difference however, is that my MP2 has been majorly modified (and I mean majorly) and is connected to a 19" VGA 4:3 TFT Display ;)

Bryce.

Offline TFM

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #23 on: 21:35, 19 November 10 »
That sounds well. But out of curiosity...
 
- Is the TFT "in time" or is it 1/50 second "too late"?
 
- What's about scrolling?
 
- What's about overscan?
 
 
Well, up to now I saw some TFT solutions for the CPC... but the owners didn't seen to be completely satisfied.
 
Yes, well, it's not that easy any longer to get a CTM644 for a reasonalble price.
 
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Offline Bryce

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Re: Happy as a pig in Shit.
« Reply #24 on: 00:27, 20 November 10 »
I don't know about others, but my brain doesn't register 50th of a second delays, so I can't say. The MP2s additional circuit feeds the TFT much faster than the CPC supplies, so there is a very slight ripple through the picture on occasions, but that doesn't bother me. The CPC Plus picture is also better than the standard CPC picture. Scrolling in mode 2 is a little blurred, but overscan seems to work fine (Orion Prime looks great).

Bryce.