Some time ago I was looking for a cheap Amiga 500 for restoration. I found one for 60 euros. The seller said it was in overall good condition and was working fine many years ago before being put away. There were only photos from the top and it looked good though it was dirty. I trusted him and bought it. If he lied … well, I’ll have more work
When it did arrive I quickly noticed that it wasn’t in good condition after all. The bottom of the case was broken and there was rust on the ports in the back. There was a beer bottle cap in the floppy drive. The case was not as yellowed as it looks in the photos. It’s just the wrong white balance set by my phone camera.
More rust was visible when the case was opened. In the past, Amiga had to be flooded. The good news is that the PCB have survived and there were no signs of corrosion on it except for the ports on the back. It was dirty of course and probably a bit muddy The metal shielding was in poor condition and have left a beautiful, fractal pattern on the bottom of the casing and plastic insulation under the board.
Board has been cleaned. During visual inspection, I found and replaced two fried resistors. The joystick ports and RCA jacks on the back were badly corroded so I replaced them too. The other ports have been cleaned of rust.
I replaced the lower part of the casing and the metal shielding with another in better condition (+15 euro). The upper part of the casing has been cleaned. All keys have been slightly retrobrighted. They weren’t strongly yellowed, but I wanted to test a modified hydrogen peroxide cream method to see if the gray keys will have streaks. Yes, there was a visible discoloration. The white ones turned out perfect. Do not use hydrogen peroxide cream on gray Amiga keys. Instead, use a clear liquid one and completely dip the keys into it in a zipper bag or clear plastic box.
The bad news was that the keyboard membrane was beyond repair. I had already spent 75 euros on this computer and did not want to spend another 35 on a new membrane. So this is where the renovation process ends. The Amiga works and I hope to fix the keyboard cheaply when my AmiKey prototype will be ready for use.