ScuzzBlog: Diaries October 2022

Entry 22nd October 2022: Post 1: Amiga 1000 - Safely Stored.

Amiga 1000 - Safely Stored.

There really comes a time when it makes far more sense to glass
case your retro computer and save it for future historians to
to perform their magic and fully restore what you have. Sadly the
constant tinkering, switching on and off just reduces the life
expectancy of your rare beast. So do the right thing and call it
a day and place your machine into store. It doesn't mean you can't
enjoy looking at your computer and imagining how life was in the
day, however, a dead, burnt out, broken, shattered computer isn't
going to make you feel very happy at all. Just avoid the risks.

I have a thirty five year cut-off now for the older computers and
if beyond that date I simply glass case them. Interestingly it is
the advice of archaeologists that are called upon to review lost
and buried items to simply record and leave in place. The argument
is that in future years far more predictable and successful means
of extraction will be around to save lost treasures.

Anyhoo I recently gave my views on what to do when storing an
Amiga 1000.

Here are my general guidelines:

01: All plastic of this age is likely to have been treated with a
flame retardant coating normally incorporated into the paint or
plastic. The coating was designed to prevent spread of fire.
Consequently it reacts to heat. I have had whiter than white cases
go completely yellow when stored in boxes in warm locations.
Retrobriting does not prevent yellowing over time. It can result
in a quite varied surface colour discolouration when going yellow.

So make sure you store in a dry location that is not subject to
high temperature. And never Retrobrite a case that you intend
storing. Like ever. No point as it's just a vanity treatment that
serves no other purpose. It can only harm the finish and doesn't
actually remove the intumescent product. The yellow eventually
comes back.

02: Make sure all rubber based cables and or wires are kept clear
of polystyrene inserts. Remove them completely.

03: Remove any and all rubber bands to anything.

04: Never store floppy disks and the like in drives or on the flat
in the case. Remove and store vertical in a disk box.

05: If you are storing boxes beware insect attack. Spiders will
destroy a surface by leaving little black and silver spots and
worse pink blotches. Also a spider will take up residence in any
computer or power supply. Moths larvae will burrow clean through
cardboard and destroy thin sheets of paper.

Just in case you have a box that you want to keep the computer in.

06: Avoid plastic coverings that can cause condensation to form
between surfaces. The air one side of a piece of plastic can be a
different temp from the other side. As the air changes temp it
will reach its dew point and form droplets of water on the surface.

Light tissue such as basic kitchen roll is not just a better
protection but actually absorbs moisture. A good path of fresh dry
air is always a better solution and so on a shelf simply covered
in kitchen tissue is a better method.

07: DON'T leave the computer in store. Remove at set times, dust
out, check for spiders and air. Then put back. Check for discolouration.

08: There are no batteries in the Amiga 1000.

09: The internals will degenerate if exposed to damp air or extremes
of changing temperature. Avoid conditions , above 27 degrees C.

10: Monitors benefit greatly from having the vent holes protected
by soft tissue. Dust inside a monitor is a killer.

11: Disconnect the cable wire to the keyboard and store safely.

12: Never store anything on top of the case when in store.

13: Never like ever ever put anything on top of the keyboard.

14: Photograph the whole case close up and check regularly that
there has been no deterioration of the surface. Check the side
seam splits and the return on the case to see if the plastic is
spreading. The 1000 suffers badly from plastic spread caused by
weight on the case. These were the worst cases made for the Amiga
and the plastic over time becomes fragile and brittle. Gets even
worse if you start attacking the surface with paint scrape. So
just be wary of the side edges and pay particular care when
opening and screwing back the case.

15: If you have books then these will fade if placed in tungsten
or natural light. LED is fine. Again soft tissue covering will
maintain the consistency of colour if placed in a box.

16: Make notes of what you do and record photographs and video by

That's my thoughts on things. Just my guidelines having stored so
many computers over the years. I have a number of 1000s in boxes.
Hopefully not cooking.

Amiga 1000 - Safely Stored.

Some things to look out for when
you consider placing your Amiga 1000
into store. Refer to notes above.

See notes about protecting cardboard.

Artwork on the Amiga 1000 is as important
as the box contents. Protect with tissue.

Remove any rubber based product such as
wires from polystyrene packaging.

Wires can actually melt the plastic facework.

Manuals are useful and need protecting from
daylight and tungsten lights.

Always take care with flaps and cardboard
packaging. Never leave half open and or with
tabs unfastened as they compress and leave
creases in the cardboard. Protect with tissue.

Photo records mean you don't have to keep
opening the case to make reference.

Never leave disks in floppy ports. Store all
disks vertical in dust free boxes.

Know which model is which. Different countries
have different power supplies.

Never leave items lying on top of computers
to avoid discolouring the face work.

Check monitor seam spread to joints and never
leave heavy objects on the case in storage.

Keyboards, keys and fascia plates will go
yellow in storage if left in hot environments.

Make notes but don't stick to facework.

Count the pins in and after use count
the pins out. Never lose one.

More than a computer... a unique serial
number. Make a note of it.

Always sign your computer off with
the date. And place in store.

She really has deserved the rest.

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Last updated 22nd October 2022

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