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Olivetti PC 128 PART 3: The final touch

Greetings! Welcome to the last article about the Olivetti Prodest PC 128's reparation. We will talk about the last fixes on the pc and the restoration of the case.


Not so much to fix on the tape player. Just a sad story. First of all, THIS is a tape player from the Olivetti 128. The problems were the follows: Fixing the eject button was quite easy. There was not any problem with the mechanism itself. Our faulty component was just THIS kind of spring that was not in its place so I just had to put it back inside its place. At this point ejecting a tape was not a problem anymore.
What about the pause button? You could just press it to pause the tape but it did not work when pressed again to let the player start reading. Also here, the job was quite simple. THIS is the mechanism of the pause button. Can you see that white plastic piece? That piece used to get stuck for no reason. I did nothing, I have just oiled the spring from the button to press and release the button (it was rusted) and now everything works fine.
The play button, that button. The problem was that you could start the player by pressing it lightly with your finger. By the way, the mechanism used to stuck if the button was completely pressed. I have spent an entire afternoon to find a solution until, when I was going to sleep I have asked myself “What if... It only works using the LOAD command from the computer?” The next day I turned on the Olivetti and gave the LOAD “” instruction. The player started to work, I have spent a day trying to fix a problem that did not exist. Congratulations! -_-


After switching on the computer for the first time, I have decided to test the keyboard pressing letter by letter. Almost every key was working but the SHIFT LOCK button was stuck. It could not be turned off because the red led was always on. There could be two different solutions: the first was dust and debris on the membrane; the second, the most annoying, broken contacts on the membrane. So I have disassembled the entire keyboard and I have analyzed every part. Everything was covered in dust. Using a brush and my compressed air can I could clean the membranes and the buttons and then reassembled everything. Testing it was satisfying. Every key was working and the SHIFT LOCK could be pressed and released with no problems, also the led was working.


The last thing to repair: the case. How to repair a yellowed case? I will now explain what I have done. First of all, I have removed the black stains from the case with some baking soda and an old toothbrush. This part is very important because we need to work on a clean surface. Then I have wrapped the two pieces of the case in some kitchen film after covering everything with some hydrogen peroxide cream. I have put the case in the sunlight remembering to rotate the pieces every 10~20 minutes. You can see the work-in-progress HERE. After two hours the job was done. The most satisfying part comes now. I have removed the pieces from the plastic wraps washing them with some water. At the end of the process, I have re-assembled everything and… HERE the final work compared to the day I have bought the computer.