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Author Topic: Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)  (Read 841 times)

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Howard_Casto

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Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)
« on: July 15, 2016, 08:20:09 pm »
So as you guys have probably noticed, I'm trying to get my console ducks in a row... fixing up issues, buying flash carts, ect.  Next on the agenda is the snes.  The top half of mine is from that dreaded bad batch of plastic that turns a gnarly yellow over time.  Sally's #40 to the rescue! 

I thought I would try it on something smaller first.... The gray plastic panel on the inside of my snes program pad had also turned a nasty yellow color.  I forgot to take a pic, but imagine the ugliest snes you've ever seen.... it was one shade yellower than that.

So I brushed the stuff on with a paint brush and did a THIN layer. (That's where people with streaks screw up... more is NOT better.)  Then I stuck it in a zip lock bag and left it outside in the (overcast) sunshine for about 6 hours.  It isn't back to the stock color, but it's remarkably better.  So much so that it registers as gray by the eye again and I've decided to stop here and put it back together.  I'll upload some pics as soon as the parts dry and I put it back together. 

The snes is next, but I probably need to wait until I have a sunny string of days as "close enough" won't work when only the top half of the case is yellow. 

All in all the process was pretty painless and I wonder why gamestop and other video game stores don't re-label the stuff and start  selling it in their shops along side the cleaning kits. 

thomas_surles

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Re: Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2016, 01:24:49 am »
I need to do that on mine. I hate how most people always say it's because of smoking. It's just how that plastic ages.

Howard_Casto

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Re: Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2016, 02:00:18 am »
It's due to a botched fire-proofing agent in the plastic.  There are chemicals in there that are susceptible to oxidation, so basically the plastic is rusting, if you can believe that.   

Slippyblade

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Re: Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2016, 06:58:26 pm »
I need to do that on mine. I hate how most people always say it's because of smoking. It's just how that plastic ages.

A LOT of discoloration and dead systems *is* due to smoking.  After nearly a decade of game store employment I've seen more than my fair share of systems killed by cigarette smoke.  The tar in the smoke sticks discoloring plastics.  Then dust sticks to the grime which overheats the systems and fries them.

thomas_surles

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Re: Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2016, 07:31:23 pm »
I need to do that on mine. I hate how most people always say it's because of smoking. It's just how that plastic ages.

A LOT of discoloration and dead systems *is* due to smoking.  After nearly a decade of game store employment I've seen more than my fair share of systems killed by cigarette smoke.  The tar in the smoke sticks discoloring plastics.  Then dust sticks to the grime which overheats the systems and fries them.
That is true. But I was just referring to my snes that was kept smoke free and was taken care of and still yellowed.

Howard_Casto

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Re: Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2016, 07:55:30 pm »
Well the difference is easy to determine.... if you wash it and it starts coming off it's cigarette smoke, otherwise (and the more likely culprit) it's bad fireproofing chemicals. 

I don't smoke and nobody in my family smokes, for the record. 

I'll up pics this evening. 

Howard_Casto

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Re: Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2016, 11:00:31 pm »
Pics as promised.  Too bad I can't take a snapshot worth a crap.  The plastic on the inside of the clear case was the part that yellowed. 

thomas_surles

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Re: Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2016, 05:29:33 am »
Pics as promised.  Too bad I can't take a snapshot worth a crap.  The plastic on the inside of the clear case was the part that yellowed.
What is that? I thought you were doing a console

Howard_Casto

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Re: Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2016, 12:40:07 pm »
I suggest you go back and actually read what I posted. 

thomas_surles

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Re: Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2016, 02:06:20 pm »
I suggest you go back and actually read what I posted.
Nevermind. I see now. I read it when you first post it. But I don't member too good.

pbj

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Re: Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2016, 05:17:21 pm »
How dare you skim a Howard post and experience the same confusion everyone else did.

 :timebomb:

How about dunking it in bleach?  Does that work?


Howard_Casto

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Re: Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2016, 06:54:02 pm »
Bleach reacts poorly to many plastics, so I'm sure it would remove the discoloration, along with a layer of the part. 

The snes is pretty bad, so I'm waiting for a string of days with no rain so I can do it over and over if need be.  It looks like I'll be safe from Wed. on. 

Howard_Casto

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Re: Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2016, 02:05:22 pm »
Ok I think I'm getting the hang of this.  I started on the snes today as I have some good weather ahead of me.  This time I first heated the plastic in warm water and GENTLY cleaned the surface with a magic eraser.... I'm not taking surface off here, I just cleaned it.  It's been sitting in the sun a mere 3 hours and already it has turned a shade pretty close to the original color.  Also to prevent the streaking others have had issues with, I go out and re-adjust the plastic wrap every chance I have as it tends to stick to the surface.

I'll post pics tonight once it's been out a full day and I've washed it off.  I had enough sense to take a "before" pic this time as well. 

Howard_Casto

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Re: Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2016, 10:48:58 pm »
Well the results are pretty good thus far.  Not great, but good.  The color is almost there but because I was out this evening and didn't adjust the plastic, there are some un-even streaks.  I'm going to bake it for another hour or two tomorrow without putting any developer on the bleached splotches to try and even it out.  In hindsight, I'm thinking instead of plastic wrap like everyone recommends perhaps something like the clear lid of a disposable foil ham/turkey pan would have worked better.  It's quite obvious that any discoloration is caused by plastic sticking and a lid would do just as good a job keeping things from drying out. 

It's been a long day, so I'll up the picks tonight or tomorrow morning.

Slippyblade

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Re: Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2016, 01:10:32 pm »
Thanks for doing the grunt work on the experiment, can't wait to see the results!

Howard_Casto

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Re: Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2016, 03:23:38 pm »
I chickened out in regards to getting all the imperfections out.  I was afraid I would make the plastic too brittle so I just left it out for an hour today.  The end result is pretty good, but unfortunately there are still some splotches right on the front.  It ends up looking like there is a bit of dirt or something on the front, which is still a marked improvement from how it started.  I'll upload the pics later on today. 

All in all I would say to anyone with a roached snes that it's worth doing.  Just try my suggestion with a clear lid instead of plastic wrap and you should be fine.  Assuming you have a Sally's near by and have the security bits to open a snes it costs virtually nothing.  You can get a smaller bottle for $1.99 that should be more than enough to do a few consoles... I got a gigantic one for 4.99 that I could probably do half the SNESs on the east coast with.  I've got a Mac Classic shell and some other stuff to try later on, so I'll keep working on the technique. 

Slippyblade

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Re: Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2016, 06:52:16 pm »
I use the Sally's #40 non-creme developer as an oxidizer for etching metal.  Combine that with pool acid and it works great for etching brass and nickle.

Howard_Casto

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Re: Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2016, 09:22:22 pm »
Ooo good to know!

Howard_Casto

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Re: Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2016, 09:53:06 pm »
Ok pic time.  Before, after one day, and after.  Full disclosure... it looks slightly worse in person as the brightness of the flash washed out a bit of the contrast. 

It still turned out damn good imho compared to the gunky mess it was before.

thomas_surles

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Re: Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2016, 06:23:28 am »
Looks like it came out really well.

Howard_Casto

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Re: Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2016, 08:40:21 pm »
I'm satisfied with it.  It's a shame about those chips in the plastic though.  The damn thing survived my entire childhood in tact, but got roughed-up last year when my 36 year old self trips over a cord like an idiot and drops it on the hard floor.

ark_ader

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Re: Retrobrite attempts (aka Sally's #40 Creme Developer)
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2016, 03:36:49 am »
WILL IT WORK ON THE ACORN ELECTRON CASE?


(sorry for shouting. I have an ear infection)
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