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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:42 pm

Repair time: 30 minutes
Tools:
  • A power drill with 9/32 drill bit
  • 2 nylon bolts and nuts (see photos below)
  • Some temporary non-destructive white velcro (cut to size)


Several years ago I found out about a woman in Colorado who had a very good condition 1084S monitor for sale. After some emails back and forth, she agreed to ship it to me for a fair price. The monitor was only $100; it was a total bargain. I couldn't believe my luck!

About a week later a box arrived on my doorstep. To my horror the shipping box had virtually no padding on the inside and the monitor was able to just flop around in there. What had once been a pristine and near-mint 1084S - one of the best Commodore monitors ever made (imo) - was now a very nice working monitor with a totally destroyed tray system. The true bane of so many Commodore monitor designs.

My damage specifically included:
  • A sheared off left hinge on the monitor case (not the tray)
  • A sheared off right hinge on the monitor case
  • A broken off latch on the tray side.

My tray's left and right hinges were OK, incredibly.

I tried everything over the years: multiple brands of Super Glue on the monitor posts (nope!), epoxy (nope!), you name it (nope!). Also, I 3D printed the tray latch but it would simply pop off after a few uses.

Ultimately, I accepted defeat and have been using masking tape for a long time now.
IMG_2096.jpg
I don't use masking tape often. But when I do, I use only the finest blends.


But then last week at the 14th meetup of the Seattle Commodore Computer Club (SEA-CCC), one of the members brought his own 1084S in as part of his hardware setup. I mentioned how jealous I was when I saw his tray door was attached all snug as a bug. That's when he showed me his secret: his monitor's posts had been snapped off as well, and he'd drilled a hole in order to put a small bolt and nut through. And it was solid metal! I was completely fooled, and it made me wonder if I could find a color-matched option.

The following is the repair I made.
IMG_2453.JPG
In an ideal world the finished repair would look like this, except without me holding it with my fingers...
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Close-up of one of the missing hinges. You'll see I have a bit of various glue residues there, post-less and laughing in my face. It's like this on both sides.


At my local hardware store, there is a small section of nylon threaded nuts and bolts. I found the following:
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We aren't in the Metric System, Toto. But 1/8" is the same as 3mm.

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I got 2 of each of these.

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It's a tiny bit loose, but I wasn't looking for a massively tight fit. A little wiggle room with these trays can be a good thing, as the alignment isn't as easy as you might think.


Next was the tricky part. I had to look at the inside of the monitor and measure where I believed the center of the post would be on the outside of the case. And I needed to do this for the (Gasp! Gnashing of teeth! Pretentious finger wagging!) drill.
IMG_2463.JPG
I used a very scientific, very precise system of measuring the exact center of where I believed the center of the hinge posts to be. That's right, McGyver, I used masking tape!

IMG_2459.JPG

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The drill bit I used was 9/32. (about 7mm)



Using masking tape, a bright light and a Crayola marker, I traced the outline of the monitor and put a blue dot where I believed I needed to drill the plastic housing. The blue ink is not permanent, and easily washes off if you make a mistake. And, just pressing the tape to the monitor will leave a dot where you want it if you've got things aligned correctly. This step took some patience and care.
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Voila!

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After putting the nylon bolt through the hole, I loosely tightened the nut into place. I then marked the nylon bolt with my handy Crayola marker, and took it apart again.

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Then I cut off the excess.

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So far so good. I hoped. I still had to do the other side and test the alignment.

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After simply tightening the nuts by hand, it created enough friction to hold up the door without the top latch even being there. I could have stopped here! This was already massively better than anything I'd had for the past few years.

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Since the nylon is almost transparent, it very nicely camouflages with the case. Now just look at all that damned tape residue I have to clean! Tsk!

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Until I try an acetone with yet another tray clasp 3D print, I put some non-destructive velcro in the corners, too, for an even tighter and more stable fit.

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It's not factory, and yeah, I had to use a drill, but I'm VERY pleased with the results. You can't see my handiwork even if you squint, and going forward I bet most folks will look at this tray in envy (not knowing its deep dark secret).

WIN!
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obitus1990
New Orleans, LA, USA

by obitus1990 posted Sun Jul 14, 2019 8:06 pm

Great solution! Add a dab of thread locker on the end of the nut to keep it from unscrewing, which those nylon screws have a tendency to do over time. Sure, you can re-tighten it when needed, but, why be bothered? :)
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:02 pm

Great idea! Thanks for the tip.
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:40 pm

@obitus1990 do you know if they make a clear threadlocker? Or would super glue suffice? I don't want it to stand out (red, blue, etc.).
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Bulletdust

by Bulletdust posted Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:05 am

The 1084S P1/2's are different, they break the actual hinge on the cover flap. I rebuilt mine using very fine high tensile steel from a car's wiper insert and tiny laptop screws - Works perfectly now!
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obitus1990
New Orleans, LA, USA

by obitus1990 posted Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:18 am

intric8 wrote:@obitus1990 do you know if they make a clear threadlocker? Or would super glue suffice? I don't want it to stand out (red, blue, etc.).


I know I have seen it in white before. Superglue will probably work. I have noticed, though, that certain plastics don't seem to like cyanoacrylate and become brittle over time -- it gives them a somewhat hazy appearance when used. If you do use it, and it breaks later on, well, no big deal -- it costs only a couple of bucks to fix it again :)
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obitus1990
New Orleans, LA, USA

by obitus1990 posted Mon Jul 15, 2019 6:19 am

Bulletdust wrote:The 1084S P1/2's are different, they break the actual hinge on the cover flap. I rebuilt mine using very fine high tensile steel from a car's wiper insert and tiny laptop screws - Works perfectly now!


Pics, or it didn't happen :)
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Zippy Zapp
CA, USA

by Zippy Zapp posted Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:15 am

Nice solution. Fortunately my 1084 and my 1702 still have the doors intact. But they were never shipped from anywhere and I think that is what breaks them most of the time.
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:51 am

@obitus1990 someone else just recommended acetone nail polish remover (acetone). Just a small drop carefully applied and the acetone essentially melts the plastic. That shouldn't cause any discoloration and do the job. I'll give it a shot tonight (and straighten the velcro a tiny bit).
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obitus1990
New Orleans, LA, USA

by obitus1990 posted Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:42 am

intric8 wrote:@obitus1990 someone else just recommended acetone nail polish remover (acetone). Just a small drop carefully applied and the acetone essentially melts the plastic. That shouldn't cause any discoloration and do the job. I'll give it a shot tonight (and straighten the velcro a tiny bit).


If those screws are indeed nylon, they aren't soluble in acetone. It's a fairly chemically resistant, per the chart here:

NYLON CHEMICAL COMPATIBILITY CHART

As an aside... the housing of the monitor is likely ABS plastic. If you should get any acetone on it, you'll mar the finish for sure.

Maybe a clear nail polish would suffice as a thread locker?

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