Tandy 128K Color Computer 3 (AKA CoCo3)

Today I picked up a Tandy Color Computer 3 (AKA Coco3). I don’t know too much about these, but having read an Article in Retro Gamer magazine a few months ago, and seeing there is a very active user base out there, I kept my eye out for this. As usual the first thing I do is pull it apart and give it a good cleaning.

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The box is a bit beat up.

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The computer itself is in pretty good shape. The photo doesn’t show this, but it is a bit dirty/ grimey.

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Here are the standard joysticks, with the connector visible.

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Underneath. The strange location for the RGB port is underneath to the left as pictured. Will make an RGB cable later. requires IDC-10 connector.

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First step is to pull everything apart to give this a good wash/ clean.

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The keyboard needs a good clean, so it needs to be pulled apart. after removing the backing panel, they keys themselves are held in by a plastic lug. These can easily be removed by prying off.

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All apart, with pile of keys.

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After a good wash with soapy water, with the help of a magic eraser, things are looking great. Some of the white keys are a bit yellowed, will see if I can improve them with a bit of cream peroxide.

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I swear its only needed for retro repairs! Ensure you wear gloves when handling this stuff.

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I apply the peroxide with a brush then cover with cling wrap so it doesn’t dry up. I strap to a board, then take out in the sun to develop. I can’t be bothered mixing retrobrite, this does well enough for me.

During the re-assembly of the keyboard, the spring for the spacebar key went missing, despite my efforts of putting all components into bags as I went. I couldn’t find it anywhere, and asked my wife for help who promptly found it on the floor after a minute. Phew!

 

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After re-assembling everything, the whole unit looks A grade now! The keys have been restored to white now.

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