New retrobright equivalent undergoing testing.

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New retrobright equivalent undergoing testing.

One of my summertime non-electronic projects was to find a Retrobright equivalent. I call it BudgetBright, because you can get all of the two chemicals at your local supermarket food store.

You don't need UV lighting or sunlight. The gel/gum factor isn't as important compared to Retrobright. In fact, you don't need it at all.

It does take a little longer than the original Retrobright formula. It doesn't affect the printing & ink or surface texture. So far. Once I am confident the results are stable and that the plastic won't turn to goo while I'm playing Gorgon I'll post the instructions here.

Overall This is going to be a lot simpler and much more forgiving of errors in formulation.

From BudgetBright test #8

A 2nd or 3rd application seems to be in order to get rid of mottling and blotching. But I wanted to see what one session did.

Test #8 of a new, cheap, easily made "Retrobright" equivalent. In fact, easier to make, apply, and use than Retrobright. Does not require any thickening gum substance or UV light source. I applied the mix to the cover only. Note the Apple logo, that is pretty much the original color and the casing shades and hues should be close to that. Compare against copy paper and the original yellowed housing. Note some of the keys, how they are "protected" and in shadow. It should be known that daylight and fluorescent lighting causes the most yellowing-damage of all light sources.

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Re: New retrobright equivalent undergoing testing.

Very cool. Can't wait to see what the formula and procedure actually are.

Cheers,
Corey

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Re: New retrobright equivalent undergoing testing.

"Fascinating." Do share.

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Re: New retrobright equivalent undergoing testing.

I'm shooting for a mix and apply. Perhaps simply brush on each chemical one after the other, directly on the piece to be de-yellowed.

Spray application works too!

May be compatible with white glue. You would use the white glue to act as a masking if you don't want to take chances with already worn-down insignia. Or if you're just simply not sure. Much like a solder mask.

A goal to make this a lot safer and eco-friendly. And this won't burn your skin. Irritate it? Maybe..

I'm working now to determine potency vs. time required.

Since the ingredients are so cheap and any supermarket will have them, multiple applications are not a problem.

Like I say, this takes 2x - 3x longer, but it will work in the dark. And since it is slower, you won't blow out the coloring. Any blotching that begins to occur, you just don't do that area during the second or third time around. But I don't see color fading or blow out happening.

Another goal is for the mixture to spread itself out, you won't get lumps or active hotspots like with a gel.

The mixture will dry out faster, much faster, but the action continues for a time after that. And you can easily re-wet it. When it dries out, it dries out all over at the same rate. No overactive "hot-spots".

I want this to be optimized for Apple products and I'm orienting my tests around that.

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Re: New retrobright equivalent undergoing testing.

Hello Keatah,
in fact the process of fading to yellow color as reaction to the ultraviolett rays of the daylight
also changes the attributes of the plastic by turning it to weaken and turns it to become more simple breakable....
have you recognized some similar change in the reaction of the plastic or its elasticity besides the removal of the yellowing ?
sincerely speedyG

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Re: New retrobright equivalent undergoing testing.

Overall, though, I don't think UV weakening and induced brittleness is a problem yet. The amount of force needed to crack the plastic is probably going to be much more than any the console would see in day to day usage.

I have a couple of brand-new Platinum in-box computers. And a many old ones from schools. I don't mind sacrificing a few for testing.

I figure I'll connect them to my Jeep winch and a livestock scale or something and observe the point at which cracks develop in the plastic. A sampling of 3 brand new housings and 3 BudgetBright'ed housings should suffice to determine that.

I could do the same with the II housings, but I only have 2 brand new ones I'm willing to destructively test. I have several severe-yellow'ed ones though. I'll have to pay special attention.

I do know that //e and //e Platinum housings will sag over time. The platinum housing sagging can be observed as un-even "alignment" between the housing sides and the pop-off cover. The gap between the cover and computer sides narrows toward the center of the cover edges.

And you can observe the rounded corners in the front are at a certain height. And the front part of the housing edge near the keyboard & spacebar, in the center, is about 2-3 mm lower on almost every platinum out there. These //e models don't support the weight of a monitor very well either. These models don't have the keyboard reinforcement bars either. And this is the #1 cause of intermittent keyboards on the //e platinum models. A little resoldering fixes the problem.

For fixing the sagging sides the come too close to the pop cover edges; I usually strap the console to the bench and connect a wire cable to the inner C lip, by the power supply and where the keyboard plugs into, I then stretch and pull real hard and heat the sides with a hair dryer. This "treatment" is good until you put more weight on it again like disks or a monitor.

It doesn't take much weight to deform the housing to where the pop cover rubs against the sides. Again. Plastic is too thin.

You don't really have this problem with II and II+ units. It takes a lot like a big monitor and disks and shit ontop of the monitor to do deformation. The plastic is much thicker.

Years ago when I was green in regards to chemistry I used boiling bleach, ajax, windex and peroxide (out of intuition and guesswork) to try and clean the yellowing off the surface. I thought it was ON the surface and not in the plastic matrix.

Well, this specific housing didn't weaken, but the yellowing has long since returned. I did this amateur treatment around 2002'ish. I've since then gotten a degree in chemistry to learn how chemicals work and have always laughed at the crazy mixtures I'd made throughout youth.

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Re: New retrobright equivalent undergoing testing.

Hello Keatah,
my posting wasn´t demand for rough testing.... rather more just an inquiry to have an eye to the
effect and watching for symptoms.....
there is no need for destructive examinations... just probably a examination of an old piece of broken off plastic out of the spare parts box..... if material changes - it also will change in small scale too.... as far as i have recognized good material tends to be able to bend while destructed material tends to "crumble" - this can also be watched when using a drill: good material gets cutted by the drilltip, while bad material tends to crumble.... so a few small examinations could solve the proof without tearing a complete housing apart....
sincerely speedyG

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Re: New retrobright equivalent undergoing testing.

[quote=Keatah]...always laughed at the crazy mixtures I'd made throughout youth.[/quote]
As long as you've not managed to have your home designated by EPA as a [URL=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hahn]super fund hazardous material clean up site[/URL], you're doing well... in a manner of speaking.

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Re: New retrobright equivalent undergoing testing.

I could just assume the new Platinums are Ok. They're still in the box.

Perhaps after I BudgetBright a couple of other Platinum //e units I could then stretch them back into shape. If they don't crack during that process(with the hairdryer and winch) then I could assume the plastic is still pliable enough. If they do crack, well then parts box it is! I typically deform a housing 1-2cm for each mm that needs fixing.

You can do this with your hand, but it gets hard after holding it for so long with the heat going and everything.

I'm really not too worried about brittleness, whatever brittleness may have developed over the years is still going to stand up under day to day use.

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Re: New retrobright equivalent undergoing testing.

This sounds excellent, I'm currently trying out the Retrobright method (as well as pure Oxi in warm water). Have you made the recipe for BudgetBright available? I'd be willing to try it out on some sacrificial plastic off of some yellowed printers.

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Re: New retrobright equivalent undergoing testing.

I am using Merlin's Gel formula but I have modified it to my own specifications. I have learned that the Gel must break down to liquid during the process or it will not de-yellow evenly. I have been doing this for about 1 year and I think I've got it down to a science.

There's a store around here that will sell a gallon of 30 vol clear developer for a very good price so I am in the clear. As long as the process I am using does not weaken the plastic, I am confident that I have fully restored my stuff. The only drawback is that the stuff I have takes a total of 48 hours to completely finish. I have very badly yellowed stuff.

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Re: New retrobright equivalent undergoing testing.

I am using Merlin's Gel formula but I have modified it to my own specifications. I have learned that the Gel must break down to liquid during the process or it will not de-yellow evenly. I have been doing this for about 1 year and I think I've got it down to a science.

There's a store around here that will sell a gallon of 30 vol clear developer for a very good price so I am in the clear. As long as the process I am using does not weaken the plastic, I am confident that I have fully restored my stuff. The only drawback is that the stuff I have takes a total of 48 hours to completely finish. I have very badly yellowed stuff.

Interesting, I'll have to google for "30 vol clear developer", no idea what that might be. How do you get it to turn into a liquid, a heat lamp/bulb?

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Re: New retrobright equivalent undergoing testing.

I am using Merlin's Gel formula but I have modified it to my own specifications. I have learned that the Gel must break down to liquid during the process or it will not de-yellow evenly. I have been doing this for about 1 year and I think I've got it down to a science.

There's a store around here that will sell a gallon of 30 vol clear developer for a very good price so I am in the clear. As long as the process I am using does not weaken the plastic, I am confident that I have fully restored my stuff. The only drawback is that the stuff I have takes a total of 48 hours to completely finish. I have very badly yellowed stuff.

Interesting, I'll have to google for "30 vol clear developer", no idea what that might be. How do you get it to turn into a liquid, a heat lamp/bulb?

It seems that you've got some learning to do about the gel formula.

When it is used, either two things will happen - the ORDER of the occurrence of which it happens is CRUCIAL to it's success.

Either it will dry up permanently, or it will turn into a liquid and THEN dry up completely. The latter is what you want since only by it's even application can we avoid uneven de-yellowing of the plastic.

If you apply too thick a layer of it then the UV light cannot shine through. Apply too thin a layer and the h202 goes up and will whiten excessively in that area.

You get it to turn into a liquid by mixing it in the proper ratio when you make it. As it breaks down, it should liquefy.

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Re: New retrobright equivalent undergoing testing.

I am using Merlin's Gel formula but I have modified it to my own specifications. I have learned that the Gel must break down to liquid during the process or it will not de-yellow evenly. I have been doing this for about 1 year and I think I've got it down to a science.

There's a store around here that will sell a gallon of 30 vol clear developer for a very good price so I am in the clear. As long as the process I am using does not weaken the plastic, I am confident that I have fully restored my stuff. The only drawback is that the stuff I have takes a total of 48 hours to completely finish. I have very badly yellowed stuff.

Interesting, I'll have to google for "30 vol clear developer", no idea what that might be. How do you get it to turn into a liquid, a heat lamp/bulb?

It seems that you've got some learning to do about the gel formula.

When it is used, either two things will happen - the ORDER of the occurrence of which it happens is CRUCIAL to it's success.

Either it will dry up permanently, or it will turn into a liquid and THEN dry up completely. The latter is what you want since only by it's even application can we avoid uneven de-yellowing of the plastic.

If you apply too thick a layer of it then the UV light cannot shine through. Apply too thin a layer and the h202 goes up and will whiten excessively in that area.

You get it to turn into a liquid by mixing it in the proper ratio when you make it. As it breaks down, it should liquefy.

For some reason I thought you were talking about the original poster's formula and I just noticed you mentioned Merlin, which is the original Retr0Bright. I'm wondering if this new "budget" version is something I should try. I had ordered stuff to do the original recipe but it seems I ordered 3% hydrogen perox and I thought it was a higher concentration. Off to find that.

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Re: New retrobright equivalent undergoing testing.

Would love to hear an update & recipe on this. Thanks!

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