I decided not to show you the horrific state in which I found my beloved MSX2. I will simply let you imagine what a bunch of mice can do to a computer, and more generally eight years spent in a garage in Oregon. Biohazard is definitively the worst and most disgusting of all these damages … Eeerk! My mistake was to keep the computer on a shelf instead of storing it in the usual clear plastic box I always use. Truly, I wanted to keep the computer ready to use, but over the years, I never touched it. Another mistake to avoid, if you must stock a computer on a shelf, is to keep the unit horizontal. Don’t do that. Keep it vertically – and this, of course, applies to the keyboard if it is detachable. Remember that mouse poo and pee seem to have a strong affinity for keyboards… After vacuuming the droppings, spider webs and dust, I used an isopropyl alcohol spray to wash-off as much stuff as possible. Then, I used disinfecting sheets – don’t forget the gloves, I used 20 pairs of total –, cotton swabs and many clothes. Once the system was safe to handle, I could bring the unit into the office, open it and take pictures of the inner parts.
It’s a Sony
The HB-F500F is compact and densely populated. The build is characteristic of other Sony products: excellent and designed for maintenance. Inside the system, besides dust, everything was pristine. At this stage, my hopes were high that it will work again. Interestingly, the bottom of the motherboard is covered with a sort of conformance coating. The Z80A is the LH0080A manufactured by Sharp. Other chips of interest are the Yamaha S3527 a.k.a. MSX Engine (Yamaha YM2149 sound processor, parallel IO, and DRAM controller), and a pair of Sony MB83256 (CMOS 262,144-Bit mask-programable ROM, manufactured by Fujitsu). The power supply had no problem whatsoever. All the capacitors looked and tested pristine! Note that the PSU is not universal, which means that I will have to use a transformer (step-up from 110v to 220v). Compared to many other systems from the same era – but not only –, Sony’s quality is extraordinary. A pure delight to take apart, clean, and put back together. At this point, I really had to take care of the filthy keyboard. DO you feel ready for it? See the next post then.