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