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Dismantle an RL02 pack

Witchy

Experienced Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2015
Messages
361
Location
Flatlands, UK
Hi folks,

An old DEC-related colleague of mine is trying to revive an RL02 drive with some packs and is starting with a thorough cleaning. BITD we had a company come round with a proper pack cleaner to service our disks but he's trying to totally dismantle the pack to get at both surfaces. I've already mentioned the runout he's probably going to get on reassembly but I can't for the life of me remember how to get these things apart. Is it worth the realignment grief compared to what others have done with long swabs and IPA?

Cheers!
 

glitch

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
5,011
Location
Central VA
I wouldn't disassemble the pack beyond removing the pack shield. They can't be reformatted for RL02 service so if you get a misalignment with the sector notches on the hub, it's done. Simply cleaning the surface with a Kimwipe wrapped around the shaft of a long cotton swab should be enough to remove any surface crud. You just hold it radially to the center of the hub and spin the platter around. There's also a Texwipe tool that holds a Texwipe for cleaning platters specifically, but I've found it more annoying to use.
 

daver2

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2012
Messages
8,778
Location
UK - Worcester
I’m with glitch on this one, you shouldn’t need to take the disk pack apart to clean it - unless you are not using the correct cleaning equipment.

I have taken a donor pack apart before now (I need to swap a disk platter into another case at some point in time to recover the data as the original pack has become damaged). The ‘trick’ is releasing the handle...

Dave
 

User78

Experienced Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2015
Messages
69
Location
Germany
... The ‘trick’ is releasing the handle...

Dave

Hi All,

it's cold outside, which seems to be the reason why I'm not the only one, which tries to dismantled the platter+hub from the handle side of a RL Cartridge.
I have in an first batch about 50 RL Cartridges which I would like to inspect, clean and image.

Removing the bottom cover is easy, and you see much more when you have the platter in front of you with good light...

Without removing I see the chance, that I miss some damage or deposit when I inspect and clean the platter.
As drive heads are quite expensive and hard to come by I would feel much more save while spin up and load a pack which was dismantled and inspected properly before.

So I will try the "Trick" with an damaged cartridge and check if it is an option and if I can reassemble all without issues.

Many Greetings
Ulrich
 

glitch

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Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
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Central VA
RetroHacker_ and I have cleaned dozens of RL01 and RL02 cartridges using the "just remove the pack shield" method with very good results. Some of them were very dirty. Use 99% isopropyl alcohol, lint-free wipes like Kimwipes, and the stick of a cotton swab. Some people use wooden coffee stirrers.

When you mount a cleaned pack, keep your finger on the LOAD switch and, if you feel excessive vibration or hear weird noises, immediately release LOAD. The pack spins up and purges with air before the heads move in, there is plenty of time to notice weird noises or vibrations.
 

User78

Experienced Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2015
Messages
69
Location
Germany
Hi all,

I have managed to remove the handle which is the trick so separate the Platter+Hub from the cartridge.

Trick is to push in the two small plastic pins [which you see when the handle is lifted up] put the handle back down, push/lift the hub gently up, to unbend the handle and pull the handle gently backwards until they is removed.
Now you can lift the upper housing and the Platter is free.

This was needed as a bigger part of my RL cartridges have rubber bumpers at the upper side, which have started to dissipate or to become glue, so part of the hub and platter is contaminated with small rubber particles.


IMG_7076.jpg
IMG_7097.jpg
IMG_7078.jpg
IMG_7079(1).jpg



Many Greetings
Ulrich
 

wa2flq

Experienced Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2014
Messages
290
Location
Chicagoland
Thanks for posting this Ulrich. One of my planned projects is to take a set of RL02 packs that I inherited that I've never mounted before and get them imaged.

After seeing the bumper degradation I will definitely move this project up the list. Your photographs give some insight as to what to be wary of.


Jerry




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vaxorcist

Experienced Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
59
Location
Germany
This was needed as a bigger part of my RL cartridges have rubber bumpers at the upper side, which have started to dissipate or to become glue, so part of the hub and platter is contaminated with small rubber particles.

Many Greetings
Ulrich

What did you do with the bumpers?
Remove them I suppose, but can they be left off without danger?
How did you clean the bumper seats?
How many disk cartridges could you rescue, what did you find on them?

By the way - my first name is Hans-Ulrich, so we are kind of name twins ...

Regards
Ulli
 

User78

Experienced Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2015
Messages
69
Location
Germany
Hi Ulli,

Bumpers where removed and the affected Cartridges where afterwards only stored horizontally as the platters will not stay in place in the storage lock position without the bumpers.

Cleaning was a longer process, and depends on the debris you have. I have used mostly isopropranolol, microfiber cloth and a vac-cleaner.

Overall I had -if I remember correct- 15 cartridges with these bumpers. Imaging was done for the previous owner, who was interested to have the data. (I had no look onto in detail)


All the Best
Ulrich
 

czunit

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2015
Messages
250
By the way when you get ready to test check the heads on the RL02 drive carefully. I had one drive with heads that were badly worn to the point they didn't fly well. Replaced with my set of spares, but not before it damaged a Rl02 pack.

They should be flat with no evidence of oxide. If oxide is spotted clean well and be ready to unload if you hear pinging or bad sounds.
 
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