Storing computers

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From forum article: http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=74&t=17385

The first thing to say is dont store any piece of electronic or electrical retro gear in a celler or garage

basicaly retro gear uses tin and lead solder joints

in tempretures below ~13 deg c the tin in the solder will change state faster there is two types of tin as metal state one is called white the other is gray state

if you store stuff below 13deg the white tin in the joints changes much faster to gray tin in extreame tempretures like below -10 deg the joints in the machines will turn to a mix of lead crystals and gray tin dust becouse gray tin has no cohearance

even if you store above 0 and below 13deg this change occurs and makes the solder joints crack and become mechanicaly unstable leading to also a large resistance to the flow of current through the joints and this is a spiraling problem eventualy leading to 'state' failure's

and is the reason most ics need attention when you use an atari after storage... anyway becouse there pins are exposed and badly protected 'the lightbulbs'

my tips are always to store ataris in the bottom drawer and other stuff in cupboards indoors and at room tempreture above 13deg point wrapped in a towel storage wraps are quite cool using a vacume cleaner you suck out the air from the wrap


frank b also notices if you wrap retroputer in some types of poly bags they seem to go yellow very fast im sure some of these ergo plastics {self rotting } seem to me to be a coulprite??? he also notices black bin bags are better than white tip lid bin ones.....

anyway there is a tips on tin i hope you read more about gray and white tin lead solder joints problems ones its happened there is no way to change gray to white tin again easily but im sure someone will give it a go

post your helpfull retro storage commen :mrgreen: ts or tips details below


Wrapping them in plastic is indeed wrong strangly enough. There is a kind of weakening agent in it to make it flexiable and soft. This agent leaves the plastic after a while and gets into anyother thing that is willing to bound chemical with it. Esp. if the enviroment is a little damped.

Also keep them out of the sunlight, this also doesn't do anything good for old plastic's.


If you store your equipment in Plastic containers (you know the 80l boxes with lids) be careful not to trap any moisture inside, especially if they are almost air-tight. Getting mould off plastic is almost impossible.

I would recommend you buy some Silica gel granules in paper pouches and pop them in the box with your electronics. Silica gel is a desiccant and will absorb any moisture which gets in.

And while it is better if your stuff doesn't yellow, if it does you can restore it to the original colour using a solution of high concentration Hydrogen Peroxide and TAED (Oxy) together with UV (either sunlight or even better a UV lamp). This technique was discovered last year and I've used it several times with great results. Search the forums for the precise details.

If you are storing Atari games in cardboard boxes, do not stack them flat. They soon crush under their own weight, especially if they get even the slightest damp. Stack them side on as the boxes have much more rigidity. (As you can tell I didn't and now have a load of crushed boxes).




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