Computer switchbox repair and upgrade

I have this switchbox I’ve been using for literal decades and I decided to dump an unreasonable amount of money into upgrading it and repairing what amounts to trash in most people’s eyes.

Original condition, failing neon tubes

I wanted to do two things: replace the neon tubes in the switches and upgrade the surge protection from a phone jack to an ethernet jack.

phone jacks replaced with ethernet jacks

Here you can see the replacing of telephone jacks with ethernet keystone jacks. That involved filing out the squares to fit the new jacks and gluing them in. I terminated them with pigtails so they could be plugged into an ethernet surge protector. I realize that this may inhibit transfer speeds, but it’s not a huge deal to me.

there it is, all installed

Now we reach the real difficult part, disassembling 30 year old switches that were never meant to be opened to solder onto thermally sensitive components that were originally crimped and fitting it all back together. I can sum this up: I failed and I don’t recommend trying.

I ended up breaking the fragile plastic here and gluing it never worked, to solve this I ended up sourcing replacement switches. I wanted ones with different color fronts (my original switches were amber and the master was red) but I only found one type, here. That seemed to work, but since all the crimp connectors were soldered it was a lot of work getting them off.

color scheme reversed, used one of the best old switches as the master

There it is, purchased 5 specialty switches, 2 keystone jacks, an ethernet cable, and a surge protector. It’s now all packed up for another 30 years of use. After seeing my efforts here let me explain something to you. Do not do this. Like, why would you? Seriously, this was just a waste.

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