Mutant Bee. Tac 2 Repair

While I work on a special project, I’ve been paused on all but the most basic work.

One project I did do (And had fun doing) was upgrading my Microbee Personal Communicator up to being a PC85b. This was literally just a swap of the top “core” board for the one I had left over from upgrading one of my other Microbees to the Floppy disk model.

The only complication was the system was very flakey, but after following advice from the Microbee forums, I replaced the inter board connectors with new ones from my stockpile of connectors and we were up and running fine.

While I was there I cleaned off all the excess flux residue from the bottom of the board. I’m not sure if it was from the factory or from rework, but this board was horrible. Isopropanol and a really good scrub got it all loose and moving. I then cleaned it up with more iso and tissues.
(My strategy is, once the residue is somewhat dissolved, flood the board with iso from a spray bottle, then drop down a tissue, then scrub the back of the tissue, forcing it into contact with the board. This works really well for sopping up the sticky residue. Learned that trick off Noel, from Noel’s Retrolab)

These were a horrible nicotine colour just from flux residue.

I also picked up a cheap second hand TAC-2 joystick on the weekend. These are built like the proverbial tank. No “switches” here. The directions are connected by a solid metal sphere with the ground wire and directly contact solid brass direction connectors.

Isn’t it a beauty?
The other end of that shaft is the joystick shaft itself. It seems to be one turned piece.

Even the buttons are brass disks held up with a spring.

I cleaned these with an eraser. These are the fire button contacts. About the size of an Australian 20c piece. Or a quarter if you prefer.
Here is a picture of the guts exposed.

Now, apparently something had decided to have a “nibble” on the cable. Rather than attempt to splice in a new cable, I decided to cut out the damage, and connect the two ends together. The cable was nice and fat, and I used glue lined shrinkwrap as a new outer sheath so I’m pretty happy that it’ll hold.

Nom nom nom
Cut, ready for twisting the end, and then joining back together.
Glue lined shrinkwrap. Ready for heat. This stuff is not going to go anywhere. I also shrinkwrapped each wire as well after joining.





2 responses to “Mutant Bee. Tac 2 Repair”

  1. Greg Howell Avatar

    I’m fairly sure we had a pair of TAC-2 joysticks on our old C64 – does that sound right? They seem very familiar…

  2. Greg Howell Avatar

    Just did some searching online – looks like this was the one! Awesome write-up!

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