Extreme Refurb: Atari 800XL | Refurbish This!

Extreme Refurb: Atari 800XL | Refurbish This!

Hello Computer Cooks and welcome to the Retro Recipes Kitchen! Now, in a recent video, I showed you an incredible, extreme Commodore 64C refurb by my friend Pete Well Pete's back! And so am I! Wait till you see the condition that this Atari 800 XL was in before he got to work on it Now, that Commodore 64 had a lot of issues inside, I mean a lot! And by issues, I mean mud Well, this one has issues inside and out, with that case Pete's on the case And so am I! So, please, sit back and enjoy this musical, pictorial journey of restoring another one of our beloved Retro Machines back to its former glory! Welcome to Retro Recipes! Now, although the Commodore 64 was my first love And the Apple IIe was the first computer my parents ever brought home Those of you who subscribe, will know that the Atari 400 was the first computer I ever owned Little did I know, back then, that it actually had a big sister The Atari 800XL Actually, a cost-reduced Atari 800 with worse compatibility And a fuzzier, dirtier picture And speaking of dirty pictures.. Here's one for you! But on the bright side, the protective film is still on the badge! So, the story behind this is that a user called TBC posted in the forum that he had this Atari 800 XL, that was quote "Unrefurbishable" Great word! So, Pete responded, "Nothing is unrefurbishable!" And so, this Atari 800 was soon after gifted to Pete And the challenge was accepted! Let's start with the case How's it goin' Atari? Hangin' a bit to the left? Oh dear! Well, let's take a hot gun to.. (laughs).. that sounds painful Actually, quite a simple remedy, just heat up the plastic until it becomes pliable And then exert some pressure (pressure exertion noise) using that pin And presto! Nice and straight. But what about the cracks in the case? Well, the soldiering iron is what you use No solder! Just run the soldering iron over the plastic to mold it back onto the other half But we have bigger frish.. frish? FISH to fry So, it's time to give this a nice soapy bath! It's looking better, but the bath hasn't quite cured at all of the broken slats Dozens of them! What you're gonna need are some metal pins Dozens of them! Then you take a bunsen burner Heat up the pin and drop it onto the plastic And after a few seconds, and a few more pins, they will melt down, sink into the plastic, forming part of it, and strengthening it, ready for the next step So, here's how the back of the case should look compared here, with an Atari 130XL That would have been a lot harder to repair Really the best way to do this is to rebuild a cage Representing each of those slats. And So, that's what's happened here It looks incredible, but it doesn't look like much.. yet What we're gonna need is some polyester resin and a mold So here's the mold, it's just an Aluminium corner piece from some furniture And we get our professional polyester resin mix to go in here Pour that into the mold And then we're going to need a good Atari 800XL case, as a spare Luckily, that was lying around! You dip that in the resin and when it comes out, 24 hours later, peel away the backing, leaving only the front And there you have it! Your Jell-O mold ready for the cage to slot in to See how nicely that fits in there So we taped that on to the top piece Place it back into the mold Get our polyester resin, again And pour that in So we created a negative mold and then a positive again 24 hours later, pull it out And.. It's not perfect There's a few too many air bubbles But that's going to be able to be sanded down and maybe use some putty as well to smooth out the finish What about the bottom piece? Here's how it should look on our spare case So what we'll do is close off those holes at the back of the spare case Make a different shaped to mold, suitable for the bottom piece Place it into the mold And this time just to see if we can get some less air bubbles, we're gonna use a silicone mold And 24 hours later, here's what comes out a complete negative Atari 800XL A sort of, an Atari – (minus) 800 And then you guessed it.. It's cage time again! Look how nicely that fits into the mold around all the pieces Really amazing job! And then it's just a question of using the polyester resin again Kinda looks like candy! Don't you want to eat that?! Ah, I do like retro computers Tempting! Well, we do need to finish off those finishes So we get some Universal putty here, spread it on nicely It's like cake batter over candy! And then once it's sanded down, here's what you're left with Good enough to eat! But there's one problem.. the original has this texturized to finish So, what we do is pour some of that polyester resin, in a nice blob, on top of that texture You can also use a Atari Disk Drive or anything with that texture doesn't matter about the color When you peel it off, you get a texturized mold Place that over where you want to texturize Pour in some more polyester resin This should take the shape of that texture Sand it down a bit more, it wasn't quite what we wanted there We'll come back to that for a big reveal, soon! What about this motherboard? Looks okay on the surface, but when you look closer, we've got corrosion here on the CPU These socketed RAM chips, well, they need to have it socked to them, really they need resocketing We've got missing parts.. ..dust Snapped resistors and capacitors Even cracks in the board itself And because the board is actually bent what we're going to do is put this clamp on it And leave it at about 40 degrees centigrade, for a few days, to straighten out We'll take out all the chips and put them in the Retro Recipes Deep Fat Fryer Oh, wait! Sorry, it's an ultrasonic cleaner But, of course, some of the chips are just gonna need to be replaced Here we go, after a nice clean up things are looking a bit better Got our new resistors, new capacitor And our new chips combined with some of our paved ones Once we got them all into place and soldered everything in.. Well, this is looking like the machine it once used to be Let's plug it in Turn it on! It works! Still a few things we could to fix up, though There's this bent piece of the board here, which just needs solidifying a bit, it's become very weak So, we'll get a really tiny drill bit, make a hole in the actual silicone of the board And into that hole, we can pipe some filler to solidify this job What about the keyboard surround? You know this glass, or perspex plate, has really seen better days and Nothing a good polishing won't restore! Yeah, most of that will buff right out! And when the job's done, it's not perfect, but that is more than good enough Wow! But those scratches really needs something else So, the matching spray paint is used Really does match the original color there Once it dries, you can't really tell the difference between the two halves.. Look at that! So, I finished the job and glued back on those metal plates That's how it was And this is how it is now What a beautiful job! Now in the Atari 800XL, unlike the Commodore 64, the shielding is actually quite important It wasn't just an FCC compliance So, let's take a mallet or.. a hammer and panel beat the heck out of it! And finish off with a nice, new, Zinc spray coating Screw it all back in And move on to the most daunting task here.. This keyboard! Man… You know, we're gonna need some new keys And luckily we do have a spare keyboard That's how it was And that's how it's starting to look now, cleaned up Let's put on those spare keys Okay, they're a bit yellow (laughs), but Hey, look, look what an improvement this is! Brilliant! Well, let's come back to that case Everything's had a chance to dry and… We've given it a coat of paint! Can you believe that was the same case as the beginning of this video? But to get that texturized finish all over, we're going to spray some more paint And while it's wet, place our texturized mold on top of it, push down firmly, peel it off That's what you're left with! You can repeat that process all around Only one thing left… Let's get screwing! Motherboard goes into it's new, old, home And there's our top case with the keyboard in place One final thing.. the cartridge slot And finally the big reveal! Let's take a tour, along with some of those glamour shots! Amazing to think that this is mostly molded and didn't exist Which means, we've got a message for the original owner of this quote "Unrefurbishable" Atari 800 I'll drink to that! So as we wrap things up here, I do have one question left Who wants to peel off this protective film?! Comment below and Cheerio!

50 thoughts to “Extreme Refurb: Atari 800XL | Refurbish This!”

  1. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone. It is really nice to see that you liked this small restoration job of mine. Also, I would like to thank Chef Peri for making this awesome video – it is a top-notch work! I must admit that I did a lot of mistakes while working on this unit. It is all described in details on my blog. However, because of learned lessons you can expect way better outcome with my future extreme refurbishing projects … and there are quite a few. I just need more time 😉

  2. I have an extreme restoration project that I think even Pete would struggle with:

    This machine was delivered to me like this by DHL. It appears they drove a truck over it or something. Anyway they were nice enough to repackage the item and deliver it to me anyway, without a word.. :/

  3. Great tip: you can repair abs plastic stronger than original with acrylic powder and (toxic) mma fluid. You can get it at finger nails stuff suppliers. Search for: Plarepair, which ich basically the same stuff, but more expensive.

  4. How many hours did this resurrection take?
    material costs?

    It's mind boggling why anyone would even bother when you can pick up very good cosmetically, non-working XLs off [auction-site] for less than $60. Usually bad ram which takes a couple of hours to replace for less than $10 for new memory.

    Would any Atari purists buy this rebuilt machine?

  5. Brilliant! And for the perfect finish, you can always do what i do to finish up (I make knives rather than fixing computers), use a loupe and a very very small file to remove all uneven things.

  6. the best work of refubish i saw ever . !! this atari deserves it , how many time took you?

  7. I found one of my original Amigas in its box in the loft of my garage… very gooey… I am going to try restoring it…

  8. Amazing job! Real clever trick with the painting and texture. Might have to "borrow" this idea in the future for some of my IBM machines.

  9. Truly an amazing job there.
    ahh, the atari xl machines. one of my first jobs was as a tester at (now defunct) Tandon corp, and they were helping develop the Atari Xl machines (at least the floppy end of them, been a long time). I had the chance, but alas, not the money to buy a prototype atari 1450 xld, ( somewhere between 50 and 250 existed) when the machine was canceled. another thing that we had in house were custom bios chips for the Atari hard drives that dropped the track to track seek rate from (50?) millisec to 9-12 Millisec, which made them amazingly quick compared to the standard drives

  10. If you were going to that extreme, I'd have done something (I don't know what) to find a way to even up those vent holes on the back. Flat file maybe? I mean you can't tell from the front or top, but the extreme work you went to for everything else here makes me start feeling OCD. Seriously, holy s**t dude…! I've had this video sitting in my recommended list since you posted it and I haven't watched it because it physically hurt seeing a machine in that condition.

    I'm very sorry I didn't watch it sooner. This was an amazing restoration effort!

  11. I've only very recently come across your work, and I have to say job well done! I also think it's cool that you're down with us ASMR "weirdos" LOL. It's the voice, man. Soothing, like a warm cuppa on a cold day!

  12. My folks had Atari 800 in their basement for decades; really wish I could of handed it off to you gentleman before Mom tossed it.

  13. Police: where do u live ??
    Me: with my parents
    Police: where does your parents live ??
    Me: with me
    Police: where do u all live??
    Me: together
    Police: where is your house ??
    Me: next to my neighbor
    Police: where is your neighbor house ??
    Me: if I tell u you won’t believe me
    Police: tell me
    Me: next to my house

  14. Wonderful job and such skill! Lovely machine. These small retro PCs are just delicious. Please can we have one in chocolate? :-))

  15. Those chips might still be fine, just because the chip carrier is cracked doesn't mean that the actual chip which is a fraction of the size of the entire package is damaged.

  16. Dude, how are you not on radio (good radio, not most of the trash) or professionally podcasting. That voice is money.


    This isn't just any Atari 800XL Restoration… It's an M&S Atari 800XL Restoration.

  17. am I the only one who hears how bad his mic is? I love your videos mate, but your mic at the beginning of the video is kinda bad

  18. These videos are so nice and professional I like that. You've gained a new subscriber. Keep up the great work!

  19. Don't know, if somebody already said this, but in fact, you could not throw away those chips. They are refurbable too (if they are not faulty) ^_^
    These black thing is just their plastic casing.
    But, you might know it already, I guess

  20. This is so much time and effort on repairing the case why not just make a casting of both signs of the external case? I understand there's people that are purist they want as much as The originals possible but I think it would just be a lot cleaner and more simple to just make a new clamshell ?

  21. That was kind of an extreme job… Someone must have smashed that poor little thing hard.. 🙁 .Well done, sir! It got a new life now. I am sorry to say that now, but I cannot do otherwise. Your voice is highly suited for ASMR audio (*cough*pr0n*cough*) records… Gosh, that narration crawled on my skin…(in a positive way)

  22. With everything possible by way of 3D printing, has anyone simply scanned a good case and then reprinted it? I'd imagine there'd be at least a niche market for such a thing, especially when you could manipulate the final product to have embossed lettering and/or different colours. Just a thought.

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