Altair Turnkey and some DEC stuff cheap

Noel Chiappa jnc at
Sat Apr 11 09:12:31 CDT 2015

    >> On Thu, 9 Apr 2015, Noel Chiappa wrote:

    >> The real problem is that there's 'grup' (a Dave Clark neologism) in
    >> the thin space between the plastic contact pin housing blocks and the
    >> PCB. Needless to say, one can't take the PCB off to get in there...
    >> So my plan of action is to stick them in water for a couple of days,
    >> and then use a water jet to try and get down in the thin gap between
    >> the contact blocks and the PCB, to clean it out.

Hi, all, thanks for all the suggestions: alas, they won't really help with
this part of the problem, since the gap between the PCB and the pin contact
housing blocks is only about 1mm (less in some cases) and there's no way I
know of to get any kind of effective brush into a gap that small.

Maybe something akin to dental floss, but that would be about it. (String
might be a good idea, it has a rougher surface and might be better at removing
impacted grime, plus it's wider, so will do more width on each pass.)

The Simple Green might be something useful to add to the bath, though. I
generally use compressed air to dry boards (although I've heard rumours of
possible static problems from this, I've never had a problem), which is easy
for me since I have a 5HP compressor in the basement. It mostly blows the
water (along with any dissolved minerals, although I usually try and finish
with a douse of distilled) right off the board.

    > From: Tothwolf

    > There /is/ actually a source for replacement gold fingers (and copper
    > trace material), but that sort of stuff can get expensive if you need
    > to replace a lot of them.

Actually, I wouldn't try and replace the traces; I'd just use wire, and solder
the ends onto the remains. (I'm more into functionality than cosmetics. If
anyone is really intense about the cosmetics, please let me know, I'd be
interesting in hiring you to fix the two boards... :-)

The gold contact fingers are another matter, and for them I thank you for
your very useful pointer:

    > You might try contacting and see if they have
    > any replacement gold fingers the correct width.

I have yet to look into this, but I'm sure they'll have something that will
serve. The standard DEC contact fingers are 2.2mm wide, but some off-brand
boards use fingers as narrow as 1.6mm, so I expect they'll have _something_
I can use.


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