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Old 5th Sep 2018, 12:59 pm   #1
sadlerl
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Default BBC Micro Security Ink Woes

Hello!
I have some BBC Microcomputer cases to restore for a friend. The problem we're having is that they have security ink back from the 80's when it would have been in schools. As you will be able to see in the link below, this is a mark for Shelford School, Nottinghamshire.


Higher res image here but image attached to this post.


I know that, by design, these aren't to come off, but I like to think there is a solution to (pretty much) every problem. This appears to be a rather sticky problem.

Through my googling, I've not been able to really find out what this stuff is. This is obviously by design (or through my poor searching skills), but I think that if I knew what it was then I might be able to find something to break it down or let it go into solution.

I have tried a number of solvents to even make the ink bleed - none of which have even touched the plastic of the ink.

If anyone is able to shed any light on this, that would be great as I think it would be really cool to solve this (if it hasn't already been done so).

Thanks a lot, Luke.
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Old 5th Sep 2018, 3:14 pm   #2
merlinmaxwell
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Default Re: BBC Micro Security Ink Woes

That ink was designed to dissolve the plastic when applied so it isn't removable without destroying the case finish. Any (probably hard to get hold of these days) solvent that dissolves the ink will also dissolve the case. You end up with a bluey/creamy smear. The only way is obliteration i.e. a respray (well a spray).
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Old 5th Sep 2018, 3:41 pm   #3
sadlerl
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Default Re: BBC Micro Security Ink Woes

That is a real shame. I did suspect that this was going to be the case but was being hopeful.
I'll take a look at what I can do about this situation and whether it will look rubbish or not.
If I remember, I will update this post for the sake of posterity.

Thanks a lot for your response.
Luke
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Old 5th Sep 2018, 3:45 pm   #4
Hartley118
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Default Re: BBC Micro Security Ink Woes

Judging by the postcode, that computer was used, not in Nottinghamshire, but by Shelford School, Cambridgeshire, a rather reputable primary school for pupils up to age 11.

That mark is part of the BBC Micro's Cambridge history. Back in the day, Acorn worked closely with Cambridge schools, introducing them to computers and at the same time developing their own educational software. You can be pretty sure that some of the erstwhile users of that computer are now leading lights in the technology companies of 'Silicon Fen'.

Do you really need to remove the mark?

Martin

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Old 5th Sep 2018, 4:29 pm   #5
ionburn
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Default Re: BBC Micro Security Ink Woes

In my view a mark like that is part of the history of the equipment, and (assuming the computer was not stolen at some point) in some ways adds to the attractivness.

As it appears a bit like a tatoo, maybe it can be obscured by selective colouring, but it would not be easy. Someone into airbrush artwork may have the answer.
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Old 5th Sep 2018, 4:34 pm   #6
Paul Stenning
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Default Re: BBC Micro Security Ink Woes

I would find a suitable sticker to apply over the security mark.

Or try to find a suitable colour car touch-up paint or Airfix model type paint to just paint over that area. Yes it will show but I don't think there is any other option.
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Old 5th Sep 2018, 4:40 pm   #7
Nickthedentist
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Default Re: BBC Micro Security Ink Woes

I agree with the "leave it alone, it's part of its history" brigade.

A bit like the original registration plates and tax discs on a classic car IMHO.

Nick.
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Old 6th Sep 2018, 1:53 am   #8
arjoll
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Default Re: BBC Micro Security Ink Woes

I'd just leave it. Some of my Apple IIe gear has "Southland Hospital Board" stickers, while I have a Sord RGB monitor with a TVNZ asset number sticker. They're all staying, it's part of the history.

I also don't retrobrite equipment - just clean it up. Old plastic goes yellow, it's a fact of life, and I don't see the point in pretending an old Commodore is brand new!
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Old 9th Sep 2018, 8:04 pm   #9
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Default Re: BBC Micro Security Ink Woes

Ahh - responses. It sent me a notification about the first one, but none of the others. I guess I did something wrong.

So I fed the information back to my mate and basically advised the same, in the way of 'leave it'. The sad part of this though is that he refurbishes these and sells them on, but the ones with these marks on just don't sell. Unless he sells them at about 100 less, they just don't budge, which is why he came to me about it.

The reason I came back to this post is to give an update. I wasn't able to find any kind of markings that would give away the composition of the case, but I guessed that it was some kind of polystyrene blend. With this, I made up a dilute acetone (50:50 water) mix, masked off the area and dabbed it on to the area. Immediately you could see that blue ink began to move into solution. I quickly, but carefully soaked up the ink into a paper towel and washed the area down. I did this twice and the results came out quite well, I think it's fair to say. It looks a little odd due to the fact that I now have a clean spot to deal with, but it's a work in progress.

It is sad to destroy a bit of history, but in that state, it really was a dead duck and would have probably had its innard used as spares and then the case sent off to the tip. Sad, but true.
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Old 10th Sep 2018, 11:25 am   #10
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Default Re: BBC Micro Security Ink Woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by sadlerl View Post
Ahh - responses. It sent me a notification about the first one, but none of the others. I guess I did something wrong.
The notification says you won't get any more until you come back. It doesn't spam you very time.
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Old 12th Sep 2018, 12:05 am   #11
arjoll
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Default Re: BBC Micro Security Ink Woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by sadlerl View Post
The sad part of this though is that he refurbishes these and sells them on, but the ones with these marks on just don't sell.
He may need to look further afield. Even messy, beaten up and non-working BBCs and Sinclairs sell in no time here.
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 4:09 pm   #12
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Default Re: BBC Micro Security Ink Woes

He probably means "... just don't sell for the sort of money he wants".
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 7:35 pm   #13
ColinB
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Default Re: BBC Micro Security Ink Woes

Could always clean the rest of the case so it will match?
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