News and Blog Page
Here is where you will find details of updates and news about the Wiki.
5th March 2009
If you wish to collaborate in the Wiki, please let us know. We have had several people contact us about joining in, but we haven't been able to approve them, as they haven't confirmed an e-mail address. Please ensure that you confirm an e-mail address if you want to join in - thanks. If you have contacted us about joining in with the Wiki, you will have been approved and can start posting now.
11th March 2009
We are getting lots of enquiries about whether Retr0bright will work on other plastic items, such as collectable 80s and 90s toys, fruit machines, old telephones and all sorts of other things, including other types of plastics apart from ABS. The basic answer is we don't know; the best suggestion we can make is to make up a small amount of a mix of 10% or less hydrogen peroxide with a small amount of "Oxy" added, then dip a clean cloth in the solution and try it on a small test area that won't get seen if it goes wrong. We know that it works on Super Nintendo machines (see The Gallery) but we can always use more success stories of it being used on other items.
Similarly, if you have tried Retr0bright on other types of plastics or items other than computer parts, let us know the results (good or bad) and we will add them to the Wiki. Pictures would be great if you have them.
12th March 2009
It appears that certain blogs out on the Net have hinted that we are selling Retr0bright as a product. If these people actually took the time to read the menu on the left of this page, they would realise that we have given it away for nothing, as in free, nada, zilch, sod all, diddly squot, zip, ......now maybe they have got the message......
14th March 2009
It has been noted on several blogs that comments have been made about colour balance on the photographs in The Gallery. We would ask the skeptics to check out the links in the Related Reading section, which in a lot of cases has the original photographs taken by the person who carried out the treatment in the topic threads. You can be assured that the photographs have NOT been retouched by us in any way whatsoever.
16th March 2009
We are now aware that tests with Retr0bright are being carried out on different plastics all over the World. Tests are currently in progress on vintage pinball and arcade machine parts, Lego bricks, G-Shock watch protectors, VW lamp covers, Transformer toys, the list goes on and on.... If you are testing Retr0bright on some items, we would like photographs before and after, along with a description of your test conditions.
20th March 2009
As of this morning, the Retr0bright Wiki has now had over 100,000 reads!!! I am amazed at the interest in our project, we never expected this to capture people's imaginations in the way it has.
11th May 2009
Retrobright has made it into Retro Action online magazine! Issue 2 was launched today and we have a two page article in the magazine. Cool!
1st June 2009
A link has been added in Further Reading about restoring old Lego bricks. Thanks to Smitty5 for the link and photographs.
9th June 2009
Well, the Wiki has had over 130,000 reads and it's been confirmed that Retr0bright works on Transformer toys, vintage telephones, Airstream trailer bathrooms and wall trims, and the list goes on.... I've also tidied up the Wiki headings to the left to make them easier to follow. If any of the people that have carried out experiments want to send pictures for inclusion in the wiki, can you please send them to email@example.com , thanks.
9th October 2009
OK, so the original Retr0bright formulas have been tried and tested all over the World on all sorts of items. In the best spirit of product development, it's probably time that we started to collect ideas about what should be added into the mixture to improve it; we are about to start work on creating Retr0bright Mk.2!!
I've started a topic in the discussion tab area of this Wiki; please feel free to add your suggestions and we will kick the ideas around. If you are a chemist and are interested in working on this, here's your chance, as this will still be an open source project.
10th October 2009
I've finally got around to uploading some more pictures to Gallery 2. As before, these photographs have NOT been retouched in any way and you should be able to find the original pictures out there on the Net anyway. If you have pictures you would like added to Gallery 2, please e-mail them to me at Merlin@amibay.com - thanks.
11th October 2009
Here's a handy hint for those people who are working with the gel version of Retr0bright, who have reported that the mixture dries out quickly and needs a couple of applications. If you wrap the parts in cling film or out them in a Ziploc bag once you have applied the gel, you will reduce or eliminate the evaporation of the water, which will give you a better chance of avoiding attacking the polymer (see 'Problems and Pitfalls' to see in more detail what I am taking about).
14th December 2009
Retrobright came second in a vote for Best Hardware Innovation 2009 held by the Commodore Users Group in the Netherlands!! Now, I wouldn't have classed Retr0bright as hardware, but I am pleased that we were seen to be an innovation.
6th January 2010
A Happy New Year to all Retr0brighters out there! I just want to tackle one point that has bugged me for a few months now and I think it's best to get it finally off my chest. There have been some people on other forums and blogs that have questioned and criticised the way the science of why Retr0bright works is explained on this site, whilst others described it as an 'informercial' site. The problem is that it's quite a complex chemistry concept for some non-science people to follow, so I deliberately 'dumbed it down' a bit to make it easier for non-chemists to understand without removing too much of the content. I could have written a whole thesis / dissertation about this subject, but I have no burning ambition to get a PHD right now; suffice to say that I could have written a much more complex explanation about it, but then the likelihood would have been that nobody would have tried it. OK, rant over; normal service is now resumed....
11th March 2010
Hi! It's been a while since I blogged on this page. Today, Cottduke has added some pictures of a top loading Nintendo case that was treated with Retr0bright into Gallery 2. If you would like to share pictures of your experiences, please join up and add yours!!
28th July 2010
Well, the Wiki has had well over a quarter of a MILLION reads now, I would never have believed that this geek-hack backwater project would have managed to achieve this amount of activity!! It seems to have fired the imagination of so many collectors of retro plastic items, apart from computers and consoles. I've read so many forums using it for Transformer toys, Lego, It seems that new uses are found every month for Retr0bright. Thanks you all for proving that science can be really cool occasionally.....
17th November 2011
Arise, Wiki!! I know it's been a long time since I posted in this blog, but I never cease to be amazed by the uses to which Retr0bright is put. I recently found out that Retr0bright is being used by the sneaker collector community, to restore their treasured shoes. Now THAT is cool, Retr0bright being used on Air Force Ones!!
3rd May 2013
Yes, I've not posted for ages, however, the support page at AmiBay and my e-mail has been busy with your questions, I want to add a few things that have come to light recently. The first is that Armor-All may not be ideal product for treating the plastic after Retr0brighting, as some people have reported that it can attack certain types of plastic, making them brittle. For this reason I would urge caution before using it.
Sometimes I get e-mails from people that complain that their Retr0brighted parts have gone yellow again over time. Rather than put this in the support thread where it may get lost over time, I thought that if I put this into the Blog, it may get noticed more.
So, why do the parts go yellow again? It's for a couple of reasons. I shall explain below.
Firstly, I stated in the Wiki that the chemical reaction is reversible; that's why we are able to reverse the yellowing that has occurred over time. The downside of this is that it can also revert back, as it's reversible and can go in either direction.
The second reason is that Retr0bright only treats the surface, it can't penetrate into the plastic where more of the fire retardant is present. Unfortunately, the fire retardant can migrate through the plastic and this is another reason that yellowing can occur again, as more migrates to the surface.
Is there anything that can be done about this? YES, and it's the part of the treatment that most people seem to forget.
Just as the Triangle of Fire needs fuel, oxygen and a source of ignition, the yellowing of the plastics needs three things; The flame retardant, UV light and oxygen - the oxygen is in the air we breathe. Take the oxygen away from both triangles and you don't get a fire and you don't get yellowing, either. How can you do this?
The answer is quite simple. Once the parts have been treated, you should coat the parts in a coat of clear, satin finish acrylic lacquer. This has the effect of cutting off the oxygen supply to the fire retardant and will prevent further yellowing.
For added insurance, you should use an acrylic lacquer that includes a 'UV Blocker' or 'UV Filter'. These products contain a chemical called an 'up-converter', a chemical that has the neat ability to take light in at one wavelength and give it out at another completely different wavelength, in a similar way that fluorescent colours need UV light to make them 'glow'. By shifting the wavelength of the UV light via an up-converter you effectively 'turn off' the UV light, that stops the bromine molecules from vibrating and gaining enough energy to drive the yellowing reaction.
Up-converters are used quite widely in plastics these days for this very reason, however, they weren't used in the master batches back when our machines were built and by using a lacquer containing an up-converter, you are retro fitting the answer to the problem.
This is about as close as you will ever get to a permanent fix for the yellowing problem and I hope that it helps those people who have been disappointed to find that their cherished parts have started to discolour again.
27th October 2013
I thought that I'd share an entertaining blog with you that was written by James Dziezynski at Mountainos Words.
He does have a way with words!
6th December 2014
We are moving the Retr0bright Wiki over to AmiBay during December. All content that is on here will be replicated over at AmiBay, as a sub-section of the site. You may find that this Wiki disappears at the end of December on Wikispaces. The reason for this is that Wikispaces are now wanting to implement a monthly charge to host the Wiki and we feel that as we already fund the hosting of the AmiBay site that has the support thread for Retr0bright, that the most logical choice was to move the Wiki over to AmiBay. Please bear with us while we migrate the Wiki.