Retrobright ozone method

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Re: Retrobright ozone method

Post by exxos » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:01 pm

I took the parts out of the cleaner just and took a image.... It seems the plastic has lightened up a lot more than I had originally anticipated..

The mouse button seems to have some blooming, but I think the problem was it had flipped upside down and likely ended up with some hot spots from the heater element.. I guess the boiling effect may be helping things along.. So having a bubble tank may actually speed up the process..

I had also not realise that some of the water had actually evaporated, so the top of the mouse frame is actually a darker part which had not been exposed to much water as the rest of it... But this actually worked out good for a comparison to the original colour...

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So I will leave both parts out in the open the next few days and see if the things continue to lighten up as they did before....
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Re: Retrobright ozone method

Post by exxos » Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:05 pm

So two months later...

The framework is clearly lightened up considerably than previously. Though I do not know why these did not brighten up as much as the ones previously..
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The button on the left was also just left out in our conservatory with the framework above, however that was in a plastic bag filled with ozone which I mostly remembered to redo once a week.. It did not seem to make any difference at all over the framework was just left out in the open.

The button on the right is the one which had been soaking almost continuously in ozone infested waters... Clearly that one has brightened up considerably more. I also think it is basically the original colour now going by the plastics hook parts.. There is some slight blooming there, could be that the water dried up couple of weeks ago so that was likely the cause..
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One thing I did just notice is that if we take the bottom of the button as original core, then it would seem there are actually different coloured plastics being used..

So while there is a noticeable difference between the left and right button (likely came from different mice) , the difference on the left button between top and bottom is not actually that much.. It does look like the plastic is discoloured, but I am not really convinced it is discoloured as much as it looks, and it is just the actual colour of the plastic.. So as such, assuming that, the left button almost cleaned up like the original colour.
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So I think basic conclusion is that if plastic is left in ozone infested waters for over a month, it will lighten up like new.. At least eventually.. After that, if left out in the open, the effect seems to continue where it will lighten up even more on its own..

In terms of sunlight and heat, at least out in the open, it does not seem to really make any difference.. The bottom which was in the ozone water was generally in warm water, because of the warmth in our conservatory, but overall I don't think it was much of a factor..

However going by previous results, the quickest effect was in my ultrasonic cleaner, where it was heated up and ozone was running as well.

So I would say the steps are to keep blasting the ultrasonic cleaner at a high temperature with ozone until the plastics look almost like correct colour. As to if the ultrasonics are running or not I have not experimented, but I did have the cleaner running a lot of the time during the initial treatment. I would assume the ultrasonics don't have much effect overall but I haven't experimented either way. I think the heat is the main factor with the ozone bubbling away in the tank. I think my tank was running around 70C with ozone running on and off during the day (likely actually documented this somewhere one of the above posts).

Then they can be simply left out in the open for another month where they will continue to lighten up. The effect may be speeded up if the plastic is left in soaking in ozone infested water.. But I am not really sure if it would speed things up much.. if anything.

The whole point of this experiment was to lighten up the plastic without using chemicals and to actually obtain the original colour without basically bleaching the plastic. The problem with peroxides is that it actually starts making plastics go white which is not the original colour of the plastics. With this method, the plastic seems to go back to the original colour and does not have the bleaching effect.

Final thoughts ?

Well obviously this process does work incredibly well, however, it is also incredibly slow. But the main advantage here is that it does not bleach the plastic to white and it pretty much uses nothing else but water, heat, and ozone. After initial treatment process seems to continue all by itself.

It would be interesting if a large heated tank could be constructed to enclose a entire case... Heated up to over 70C.. And have a huge ozone generator been continuously via long bubble bars.. Someone else can do that experiment :)
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Re: Retrobright ozone method

Post by exxos » Thu May 23, 2019 5:00 pm

So...

With the past success of restoring the colour on the Atari mouse a while back...

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I have just taken things to the next level....

I'm starting the experiment today of doing a entire MEGA ST case. The discolouration is pretty terrible and obvious, so I will keep this experiment going over the coming weeks or months, let's see what happens large-scale :)


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Re: Retrobright ozone method

Post by stephen_usher » Thu May 23, 2019 6:31 pm

Well, you may like to watch this... https://youtu.be/8P1OVj0IcqY

He had no real success with the ozone method either. However, merely using sunlight does have an effect.

I've been experimenting with this with mixed results.

I've been trying using solar brightening on my TT keyboard and an Acorn RiscPC keyboard.

The RiscPC keyboard has responded very well. After about 10 days by my patio doors (plus two days outside) and the yellowing has all but disappeared.

The TT keyboard is another matter. That has three types of plastic, the main keys, the function keys and the case. The function keys have responded well to the solar brightening. The main keys haven't really changed at all and the previously retro-brightened case has very slightly yellowed (though even the full retro-brightening didn't bring it back to the full white colour).
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Re: Retrobright ozone method

Post by exxos » Thu May 23, 2019 6:55 pm

Thanks will take a look later.

I am not sure what effect the sunlight has in all this as yet. Brightening seem to happen in my ultrasonic cleaner, which obviously does not have any sunlight. But this ozone method is anything but fast, it took about 4 months to get good results from the mouse.

I had basically given up with the method as it was not really doing anything significant. Until I just happened to notice the mouse in the conservatory months later, and then saw it was looking like new all by itself. So it is possible sunlight could have done that on its own..

I will have to do start another experiment... just leave a mouse button in the sun at see what it looks like in 4 months time (no ozone treatment at all).
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Re: Retrobright ozone method

Post by exxos » Thu May 23, 2019 8:39 pm

I watched the video.. Very interesting results..

I don't think I agree with the fluorescent lighting the damaging effects hypothesis.. Basically because my Falcon has been sat on top of my cupboard ( about 1 foot from the ceiling) for basically 20 years...Actually with stuff piled on top of it as well..So it has never been exposed to anything but normal daylight in the room.. I have had LED ceiling lamps for a while.. and spot lights before that.. Never pointing at the computer either.. So the Falcon has pretty much yellowed almost darkness really.. The only possible factor being basically warmth in my room...
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Re: Retrobright ozone method

Post by exxos » Fri May 24, 2019 2:29 pm

I found another somewhat discoloured mouse. What I will do is put insulation tape over half of the mouse, and just leave it in the sun as much as possible over the next few weeks to see what happens...

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Re: Retrobright ozone method

Post by exxos » Mon May 27, 2019 6:44 pm

4 days later...


It is already looking a order of magnitude lighter...

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Re: Retrobright ozone method

Post by exxos » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:05 am

A few weeks later and time to check on progress...

Looking at the top of the case by eye, I can no longer see any difference in colours. It was pretty bad originally, but still a long way off "normal"

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Where the sticker was shows the colour match the best.

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The mouse is still making progress..

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Bottom for comparison..

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Though the images are not really showing the colours correctly. The top of the mouse is a lot "yellower" than the original colour inside the mouse still.

How it looks, the mouse seems to be changing colour quicker. So I am leaning towards ozone may actually be hindering efforts. But its difficult to really say as the mouse plastic may lighten up quicker anyway.
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