Recently a mate gave me a non working Amstrad 6128 computer. It does not power up at all, is absolutely filthy and I don’t even need to open it to know the disk drive wouldn’t work.Regardless of what the issue is causing it to not work I will give it a good clean.
First thing to do is open it up. After removing the bottom screws, there are a couple of screws on the disk drive side. Be careful when opening, as on the left hand side there are a couple of connectors plus the keyboard ribbon cable connection. if you use too much force you can easily break these connections.
On the right hand side see the 3″ disk drive. That is held secure by 2 screws.
After removing the disk drive, removing the screws from the motherboard will allow the bottom case to be removed.
Now the motherboard is out, I clean the dirt and grime off the motherboard with a soft brush, and remove drist from the edge connectors with isopropyl alcohol and a cotton tip.
I got lucky and found the problem right away. The power switch was not conducting when switched on. This switch can be opened by carefully bending the 2 tabs on each side.
Inside the switch I simply cleaned the metal contacts, and that fixed the switch. A subsequent test showed that all was working at this point.
Removing the screws on the keyboard allows it to be dismantled for cleaning.
The keyboard was one of the dirtiest I had ever seen. The keys were partly seizing due to the amount of grime.
The metal shield can be prised off using the tabs on the back. The keys can also be prised out carefully pushing the tabs from the back.Be careful no springs are lost.
I think this was owned by a chain smoker and used flat out. The keys are smoke stained yellow, and under the keys is typical gunk from smoke residue.
The keys and the plastic keyboard shell are getting a good wash.
While we are at it time to fix/ service the disk drive. Ultimately I will replace this with a Gotek usb floppy emulator, but it doesn’t hurt to have a working drive on standby. There is an excellent guide on serving these drives at http://www.dataserve-retro.co.uk/contents/en-uk/d70.html
Turning the drive over, removing the 2 screws.
Then remove the connectors.
The motherboard can then by partly removed. A couple more connectors to be removed. I found some of the connector pins were loose, so reflowed the solder on them to ensure a secure connection.
Now the drive can be accessed easier. The old rubber drive belt had disintegrated! Following instructions in the service guide, ensure all belt residue is removed from the capstan. New rubber belts can be purchased from eBay. Make sure you shop around for a good price.
Now the drive service is complete, and the Amstrad re-assembled. Some of the keys had the symbols worn off, and previously had paper stickers placed on them. I printed a fey new stickers. Although the colours are not the same, they will do!
The photo is not great, but the stickers don’t look too bad.
Now I have a fully functioning 6128 again. This is my spare 6128 now, and in the future I will install a Gotek USB floppy emulator and document the experience here.