Introduction: Restored VT101 Terminal With Krylon Fusion Paint

This rare unit was being tossed out by my college as it had been in service since '82. I snatched it up because it had a really cool design, and I had a us for it as an interface to my micro board. Unfortunately, however is was dirty and permanently yellowed from age. This would not do in my house! So I thought the best way to restore it was a paint for plastic. I completely disassembled the unit and keyboard, and painted all parts that were originally white.This turned out better than expected. It's nearly perfect! Looking at it reassembled now, you can't tell it wasn't taken out of the box new.

I carefully peeled off all stickers (to reapply later), then used Varsol to remove the sticker residue. With all residue removed, i cleaned the parts in the bathtub with a bar of Irish Spring. I then rinsed thoroughly with cold water,used a fresh towel to dry, then let sit for the remainder of the water to evaporate. This worked great, no fish eyes or distortion to the finish.

Several thin coats of Fusion were applied. No primer. I sprayed always with the same pattern, no crossing perpendicularly. I left the parts to dry over night before assembly. I then sprayed the back of all removed stickers with spray adhesive, and re-appied them (on rear of unit) with tweezers.

Comments

author
unbentcrayfish (author)2009-09-13

you should have put new hardware in it. Also mac software......... THAT would be sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeetttttttttttttttt

author
lane29 (author)unbentcrayfish2010-12-15

nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
oooooooooooooooooo
oooooooo
ooo
!!

author
mattronix (author)2009-09-29

can some 1 help me im trying to find a termanal to buy like this will you email me matttronix@gmail.com if you find 1 or are selling 1 for a good price taht works

author
OBar (author)2009-09-08

wow, I wish I still had my old TRS 80... Mom prob still has it stashed away somewhere, she keeps old junk like that... Why do I suddenly have the urge to listen to some old 80's techno and watch TRON?

author
Giant Manaconda (author)2009-09-07

On first glance I thought the title said "Krylon Fusion Plant" and thought this would be the most amazing instructable ever.

author
Doom2099 (author)2009-09-04

beautiful

author
Foxtrot70 (author)2009-09-04

Though the cabinet style looks dated, I like the futuristic styling. I have an Advent VideoBeam 1000A projection tv circa 1978 that I use as everyday tv and yes the cabinet would look great after a recondition like this!

author
scarlettdjd (author)2009-09-03

OMG! I used to work for DIgital -- boy, does THAT bring back memories!!!! I hope you have fun using it!!!!!

author
bustedit (author)scarlettdjd2009-09-04

in Westfield, Mass??

author
omnibot (author)2009-09-04

Lovely job. Starts me thinking of my old Correspondent.
http://vt100.net/docs/tp83/chapter13.html

author
Warlrosity (author)2009-09-03

Oh, uh, um....... Am I halucanating or does it look like my iMac?

author
armadillozenith (author)2009-09-03

Looks great, and I'm glad to see re-use of outmoded parts - still serviceable! Thanks for the tip about Krylon Fusion paint. I'll bear that in mind for my own plastic parts re-use projects. I'd find some more detail helpful in your write-up: How did you clean/prepare the surfaces (I imagine much fingergrease and grime to be rid of)? And how did you apply the paint.. spray-on? How (easy was it to) get a good finish?

author

There you go...

author
Yerboogieman (author)2009-09-03

Is it a click-clack keyboard? I love those.

author
alpinedelta (author)Yerboogieman2009-09-03

Me too, but this one's pretty soft compared to an old IBM.

author
Yerboogieman (author)alpinedelta2009-09-03

Ah, darn. Those IBM keyboards were the greatest, especially if they had the trackball.

author
osgeld (author)2009-09-03

Guess you have never heard of retr0bright

http://retr0bright.wikispaces.com/

anyway, looks nice, wish i had the space for a few collection pieces like that

author
armadillozenith (author)osgeld2009-09-03

That's a great tip about retr0bright, thanks! Heart-warming that recipe(s) to refresh age-yellowed plastic have been made public-domain.

author
westfw (author)osgeld2009-09-03

That's neat. VT100s were awful terminals, infamous for their flow-control-requiring "smooth scrolling." Bleah.

author
kelseymh (author)2009-09-03

G*d, that brings back memories! Are you actually using it?

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alpinedelta (author)kelseymh2009-09-03

Yep, i have an HC11 base microcomputer that I program with assembly. You interface with it normally using a VT100 terminal emulator. But now I have the real thing!

author
kelseymh (author)alpinedelta2009-09-03

Whoa. That is truly amazing; thanks very much for putting this up. Makes us old folks feel better :-)

author
Lithium Rain (author)2009-09-03

Oh, my. :D That's so retro-cool!

author
kissiltur (author)2009-09-03

neat job. I'd like one of the old Wyse terminals we used to use at the telecomms company I used to work at to talk to the PROM burner since that had the keyboard integrated into the screen unit. Ugly things, they were, but tidy.

author
Gamernotnerd (author)2009-09-03

Looks great!

author
crouton976 (author)2009-09-03

4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42, execute....

108 minutes remaining...

=)

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