You can help fund Techmoan with a donation

Click to visit  

SEARCH BOX: Searches this website


For more info on this - click on "About' at the top of the page. 


Techmoan never approaches a company asking for review samples.



Articles by Category


Techmoan Merchandise at TeeSpring


Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 


Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K 

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2


Yi Ultra 2.7K
Mobius (also works as a Dashcam)
Polaroid Cube+
Sena Prism Tube

My favourite USB battery power Pack

This is the excellent USB power pack I use when I travel.

2 x 2.1amp outputs. 8400mAh capacity.

Two digit Led display shows battery level


What SD CARD should I buy?

If you want an SD Card for your camera - these are the ones I use and recommend. 

I'd strongly recommend not to buy any SD cards off ebay - I've heard about too many issues with counterfeit cards - often sold on by unwitting resellers. My inbox regularly gets messages from people who bought a £150 camera then cheaped out and bought a £3 memory card on ebay - Then when it doesn't worth they blame the camera! It doesn't make any sense. Good memory is cheaper than it's ever been - see the links above.

A lot of HD cameras will not work properly with cards larger than 32GB (cards over 32GB are usually SDXC rather than the SDHC standard used by 32GB cards. SDXC cards use the ex-FAT system rather than FAT32 - in short they are a different standard). - so don't just buy the biggest card you can afford - read the specs in the manual to see what it accepts.


RECOMMENDED CARDS (for action cams - see dashcams below)

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)


U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)




The SD card in a dashcam is re-written over, more frequently than in other types of cameras. Some manufacturers void their guarantee if an SD card was used in a dashcam. So, no surprise, there are special High Endurance SD cards made just for's some.


VERY IMPORTANT. These links take you to the product, however Amazon have three different ways of selling. There's Amazon Direct - This means that you are only dealing with Amazon themselves, then there's other sellers that use Amazon's facilities - these show as Fulfilled By Amazon and finally there's Market Place sellers that advertise on Amazon, but operate independently.  I strongly recommend that you only use the first...the Amazon Direct - Sold By Amazon option. Even if it appears that you are paying a couple of £/$ more it is more than likely you are comparing the price of a real item against the price of a fake.

To give you an idea of the extent of the fake goods problem. In a 2016 survey by Apple - 90% of the 'Apple' chargers sold through Amazon - using the other the two methods..which includes the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option -  were found to be counterfeit....90%! 


« ACMAXX X-CAP Auto Lens Cap | Main | 808#26 1080p Key-fob Spy Camera Review »

Resurrecting a Macintosh Classic - here's to the crazy ideas

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted a Mac Classic II in the background of my Beginners Guide to Car Cameras Video.

Intended for an aborted project, it's a non-functioning model bought from eBay a couple of years ago.

Recently I decided that I wanted to own a fully functional Mac Classic - but after losing out on countless eBay auctions for working machines, I chose to instead take my faulty old machine down off the shelf and see if it could somehow be brought back to life.

The potential fix I found sounded much more like an old wives' tale than science and to attempt it I needed to throw out my preconceptions about electronics and do something completely counterintuitive....But did it work? Watch the video to see how I got on.

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (31)

Genius! There'll be an unholy rush on eBay now for knackered Macs!

August 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSplodger

Nice way to repair old computer :D
In 1992 I was a student and we did use this kind of MacIntosh for designing ads with desk top publishing software and even radio adverts. It was first time I digitized music and speech using computer, it was pretty cool machine at the time and I remember it was surprisingly easy to use even the mouse have only one button. Windows was in it's 3.0 or 3.11 version back then, we used that too for word processing, spreadsheet, etc., pretty much what Office software has.
On a side note, I'm now in completely different line of work and even when I was younger and worked with computers, never had the chance working with Mac, only PC with Windows. For price reasons my own computers have been PC/Windows since C-64 and Amiga times.

I still have my Amiga 500 in working condition and if it ever will fail, I might have a try to repair it with soapy water :D Years ago I already had to remove the battery from the additional 512kb memory as it started showing signs of leaking.

August 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFinnish guy

I couldn't afford an Amiga so bought the Atari 520ST. I always looked enviously at the Amiga's superior games. After the ST, I started with a 386 PC and stuck with PCs until I picked up a Core 2 Duo Mac Mini just to use iMovie to do HD editing with.

August 15, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Some model electric plane fliers "run-in" their motors (brushed motors only) briefly under water to remove contaminants etc. It seems to work, as they do apparently run smoother and last longer. Apart from spilling tea over my keybaord, i haven't tried it with a computer though!

August 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

To the people familiar with this technique they'll probably wonder what all the fuss is about...but after a lifetime of being told to keep electronics away from water, the whole idea came as a bit of a shock to me.

August 15, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I once got a tour of the IBM factory back in the early 1990s. All planers (motherboard in IBM speak) were washed in water, post production, to remove “stuff” although it was distilled water!
I also remember taking a Thompson video for repair at a local electronics shop with a hired video jammed in the mechanism as the video player was totally dead. The guy behind the counter produced a hair dryer from under the counter, put his lab coat over the video unit and proceeded to blow hot air into the vents whilst telling various inappropriate jokes as the unit heated up. After a couple of minutes the video sprung into life and he was able to eject the cassette for me to return to the hire shop.
He then went onto explain how capacitors dried out over time and the act of heating them up revitalised the electrolyte enough to get them operational for a short period of time. He then charged me £20 to fix the video, a small price at the time when video cost circa £300!
Other tip from a guy who worked in the Olivetti Red lab way back, use paper to clean the contacts of electronic components which have become discoloured. Showing my age now!

August 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterellmo

Ellmo, Fascinating stuff...I'm happy to read about things like this all day. My first ever go on a computer was playing a version of Mastermind some time in the mid 1970s on a mainframe that took up a large room. When I started working in 1987 the company I joined still used punched cards for their client records.

August 15, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

I once got in to trouble for copying the bootstrap loader, which was paper tape, onto a roll of bus tickets which I had “acquired” from a local bus company. It happed to be the exactly the same size as computer paper tape but not quite as durable.
The lecturer was trying to keep a straight face whilst reprimanding me as he had been forced to by a higher authority ! We also used to submit our projects for punching onto punched cards to the admin ladies to submit for batch processing.
I also remember the college getting the DEC mainframe upgraded by 512K DRAM. We watched the upgrade, which was the size of an American Fridge Freezer, being pushed down the corridor towards the computer room. Hand wound core RAM, those were the days.

August 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterellmo

ive been told that you can fix dry solder joints on a PCB by puting it in a oven. i think a freind told me it was a fix for a common problem on Xbox, (he used the warrenty in the end so he didnt get to test it) (i wouldent try it, i all ways burn dinner so i would end up with a melted PCB all over my oven. looking some think like a Salvador Dalí painting)
also been told about putting a harddriving in the freezer to get it to work for short period (something about contracting the needles back on to the disk)
theres a idea for a few videos "Mythbusters, Techmoan edition"

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohn

Techmoans "believe it or not" book !

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul


I tried this with my tea dishes and it worked. dog was a pit pissed he didnt get to clean them...;-)

Keep up the good work matt.

August 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterwillie

You need to be very careful around that HIGH VOLTAGE LEAD. enough power there to kill you.

Apart from that great video.

August 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYon

A neat trick i learn from a swedish friend, is remove all the removable components (eg rom, ram, IC etc). Then soak in a bath of industrial solvent overnight , i cannot recall the type of solvent used. He do this before every repair.

Using water seem a bit risky.

August 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWeaver

Yon, I was being careful...that's why I was able to post the video (from my hospital bed). ;-)

August 17, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Way to go! :~) I've done this many times with old PCB's (circuit boards), even put them in a DISHWASHER - and they worked...!
Most common problem are IC sockets needing re-seating, but dirt and dust do play havoc!
Enjoy your vintage Mac. :-) I certainly enjoy your videos! :^)

August 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatte

iFixit just sent out a tweet with a link to this video. Well done Matt!

August 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEric

@Eric - Thanks for the heads-up, it'll be interesting to see what effect it has on visitor numbers to the site.

August 24, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Took your advice and tried the washing technique on the motherboard out of a Dell laptop that had ceased to work. Owners had been a bit less than careful with their coffee and had let it soak through keyboard and into the computer. After a night drying in a warm cupboard and reassembly the laptop burst into life again. Another victory !

September 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIan S

Ian, good news....but I hope that people don't start washing everything that stops working.

September 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Very true Matt. I don't think it's guaranteed to be the new universal cure for every broken piece of technology !!

September 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIan S

Sorry - Mat with one T - Head is suitably bowed in shame !

September 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIan S

Hey, use three T's if you want...I'm not precious about things like that. The only reason I use the three letter variant is so I could enter it into arcade machine high score tables back in the day (usually at the bottom of the table).

September 1, 2013 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Well, the repair manual for the Atari ST said to put a cloth on the table, hold it above the table and then drop it..

September 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTobbe

Cymande - Bra @ 2:00

May 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterObvious Schism

I've done this with my color classic before. I also recapped it with tantaleum caps. The problem with electronics and water is when they are running, contaminates in the water (pure water is non conductive) cause shorting with in a circuit, causing voltage to go where it doesn't belong.

July 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlan

Hello! (From Italy)
Been a subscriber for quite some time.. and saw this video quite a lot of times.
I recently started "recapping" (changing capacitors) on those boards, if you want I can change the capacitors on your board.
I also have (somewhere) a Hard Drive caddy with a floppy drive, let me know if you need it!

Thank again and love your videos!

August 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFerrix97

Hello Techmoan

Thank you for all of your videos! As for this one I wanted to share with you something I learned in the Military. A good way to clean solid state electronics such as this motherboard is to use dermo water, also called demineralized water. This is the type of water achieved from a reverse osmosis or certain distillation processes. This is the best sort of water to use because it is H2O, free of any contaminants that you find in drinking water or tap water. This may surprise some of your reader but pure water free of any contaminants actually does NOT conduct electricity. To the contrary, it is an insulator. So even if thous small capacitors had a bit of a charge, and you didn't go to the process of discharging them, your board will still be safe during the cleaning process

the problem with using tap water (even if the equipment works after the bath) is that the mineral deposits are left on the board after the water drys. this can break down the etched paths and corrode the connections on boards over time. This can also lead to an arc on the board one day and will at best kill a function on the board and at worst start a fire.

The second step would of course be drying. Use a bottle of 99% (or the highest you can get above 70%) Isopropyl alcohol this will remove chemicals (such as the ones from the suspected leaking capacitor) from the etched board without damaging any of the delicate metal connectors and will not leave any residue when dry (like a soap would). Hope this helps someone who drops a coffee or soda on there laptop. Cheers!

December 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid W

Actually the problem electronics have with water is not the water itself, but the stuff dissolved in it. Everyone will tell you water is conductive, but this is only due to the minerals in it: distilled water barely transmits electricity. So if you drop anything electric in water it is likely to short out or go haywire due to the electrons taking all kinds of unintended paths through the water, but also after it dries, the stuff that was previously in water will be caked on everything and proceed to attract humidity or corrode (which is particularly bad with salt water).
If you drop anything into water the correct thing to do (counterintuitively to most people) is to wash it immediately, without letting it dry. Not letting it dry (completely or nearly) is important, as you can dillute and wash out the solids while they are still dissolved, once they have precipitated out most won't dissolve again. Don't forget to remove the power source as soon as possible, unplug it or pop out the battery, presto.

I first learned about this on a photography forum. Someone had dropped a hellishly expensive pro camera into the ocean and thought he'd ruined it, but he had a techie friend with him who fished it out with a plastic bag and transported it, in water as you would do with a goldfish, to the hotel. Then he washed it out under the tap and proceeded to soak it for a couple of hours (and then days) in several tubs of fresh distilled water. Whereupon it worked as new. I believe the batteries were shot and the lens needed cleaning and lubrication, but there was no damage to the electronics.
Of course there's chance for damage. Older PCBs were made of paper, some components (mostly older) are also built from paper or stuff that doesn't like water, protective lacquer used is sometimes water-solluble, but the more modern SMB components, where everything is encased in plastic, should be fine. One problem with modern tech is the lead-free solder used, which corrodes readily (mostly even without water contact). The corrosion won't eat through the solder, but it grows crystals which then can short out the contacts (particularly with the modern ICs which have hardly any clearance between them).

January 31, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterhorrovac

Did you wash with distilled water? Its my understanding the the reason water ruins components (that arent powered on) is that the disolved salts in the water are left behind when the water dries, shorting connections. For that reason I believe distilled water is the way to go, but then again the soap would likely add back the things removed in the first place!

perhaps the best would be a mix of distilled water and 100% isopropyl alcohol?

March 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Short reply for the tl;dr crew: THIS WORKS for those machines with ancient electrolytics that have dumped their guts over the logic board. Check below for a couple of possibly helpful tips...

Last night I fired up my Color Classic as I need to create some system disks for various "classic" systems I've neglected for ages. Or at least tried to. Plugged it in, hit the start button on the keyboard, and... nothing. NOOOOOO Color Classic, you were our best hope!

My first thought was the electrolytics had had their day (which of course they have) but it didn't occur to me the electrolyte would insinuate itself into all the places where it really shouldn't be. Pretty much every cap has shed its load (which isn't a problem as I had a load in stock for a Mac Portable rebuild) but I thought I'd give this a go just out of curiosity.

I was actually expecting the PSU caps to have died, a bigger job and a PITA but they actually seem to be holding steady. A good test for this is to pull the logic board out and hit the power switch, if all is well the display will perform a degauss cycle and you'll hear the hard disk (if fitted) and system fan spin up.

As for cleaning, I'm patient but not that patient. I removed the RAM, cache and ROMs then gave it a 10 minute soak and a scrub with hot water and washing up liquid. Then, looking good-as-new (but wet), I gave it a damned good shake and put it in my oven for an hour on minimum heat. Others may disagree but I think it's a good idea to drive any water out as quickly as possible, especially where there may be steel components such as those found on I/O ports, and I wasn't prepared to wait a couple of days for it to air-dry naturally.

I then dropped the board back in, hit the power, and then... nothing. I then realised I'd pulled the power cable out for ease of access, refitted it, hit the power button and... CHIME!

As stated in the video, this ISN'T a substitute for a proper cap replacement but it may give enough breathing space while you decide if you want a sale or repair.

May 2, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMacPhreak

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>