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Advice on PB150 repair - Hella cracked plastic and sadness, but working device.

Thorad

New member
My friend happened to buy a 68k powerbook 150 a while back and I recently bought it from him after looking over it and feeling that I could repair it. The unit completely works and even partially boots, although the hardrive is definitely suspect. It will definitely have to go at some point, but right now as you will soon see from the pictures the harddrive is the least of my priorities. I have lots of experience with broken 90s plastic (Just ask me how many zip disk face-plates I've fixed) and have some idea of what to do with the situation. However after taking off all of the loose plastic, my instincts are telling me that glue may not cut it here. This is a pretty severe case, namely because almost every screwhole or support in the rear half of the machine is completely cracked off or in half. I also do not have all of the missing plastic chunks, maybe only 2/3rds. I was thinking that I could possibly quickly pick up some basic knowledge of cad software and take advantage of the 3d printers at my Uni to fab a new piece to glue onto the screw mount holes, but it would also be partially fixed on by either glue or loctite and would likely crack. So I come here to ask you guys what you think I should do to repair the screw mounts/holes and have this thing actually last.
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I started by 3d printing the PB100 series hinge fix by GregorHouse, much thanks to him for posting it, but I am unsure how to proceed with fitting it to the 150 housing other than going a little crazy with a dremmel and hacking off all of the plastic in my way. Seeing as that's a bit of a no point of return decision, I wanted to ask if that's common practice.
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When I first got this, I was extremely concerned with its current state as the screen hinges were not fully closed and screen was folded over onto the keyboard with the screen housing breaking apart. This stressed me out a bit as the display seemed to be in a fair bit of danger and replacing a first gen powerbook display seems like an unfun process, namely finding a good replacement part, so I went about taking the screen off. Unfortunately I thought the ribbon cable went directly into the screen and was not removable, and as a result tore the entire thing apart until I could detach the screen connector from the daughter board. Unfortunately I split the connector in half, but it seems to be holding in a little bit and looks like I could re-insert it if I were very gentle and nice and sang it a soothing song.

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After that long winded story, thoughts? Any advice on where to go from here? Also what glues do you guys use on these things? I typically like to use loctite as according to this video by Project Farms -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vR15u0vmms It's very strong on plastic. I can aslo confirm this from my experience, it bonds plastic to somewhere around 2/3rds of its original strength.
 

Thorad

New member
One other thing- What I assume to be a small clock battery had some corosion on it and I desoldered it form the daughterboard immediately. Does anyone know what kind of battery I would need to use to replace it? The battery is a clock battery right?
 

Johnnya101

Well-known member
You can go to 100% of the original strength by not using glue, but special plastic contact cement/solvent. There's a few posts on here about Weld On 2354 solvent. I have used it recently too. It will totally melt the plastic together. With enough, you could even make a plastic paste, if needed.

It SEEMS to bring it to 100% strength, because it literally is a plastic solvent and melts it together, NOT glue it.

You may be at the point where you ask yourself if time or money is more valuable. They are all getting fragile, but if you don't have the patience for it, I'd get a new bottom panel. The top hinge cover is always broken like that, but that bottom shell is really bad.

Oh, and if you did want to save the bottom shell, you could 3d print some gray ABS parts, trim to fit, and use a plastic solvent (like above) to make it strong.
 

Thorad

New member
You can go to 100% of the original strength by not using glue, but special plastic contact cement/solvent. There's a few posts on here about Weld On 2354 solvent. I have used it recently too. It will totally melt the plastic together. With enough, you could even make a plastic paste, if needed.

It SEEMS to bring it to 100% strength, because it literally is a plastic solvent and melts it together, NOT glue it.

You may be at the point where you ask yourself if time or money is more valuable. They are all getting fragile, but if you don't have the patience for it, I'd get a new bottom panel. The top hinge cover is always broken like that, but that bottom shell is really bad.

Oh, and if you did want to save the bottom shell, you could 3d print some gray ABS parts, trim to fit, and use a plastic solvent (like above) to make it strong.
By weld on 2354 you mean this right? https://www.amazon.com/Weld-On-2354-Solvent-Cement-Pint/dp/B009W8QESI
 

Johnnya101

Well-known member
Yup. Kind of expensive, but will get the job done. Use very little to repair visible cracks. That size will last a lifetime, but its all they have. I used it on my LaserWriter II to repair some cracks. I think Fizzbinn used it as well for some stuff, if you search for it, it should pop up.

Edit: https://68kmla.org/bb/index.php?threads/best-abs-“glue”-methods.39299/page-2#post-427089
 

Byrd

Well-known member
I'm doing the same project right now - merging two bad PB150s into one, I can swear the plastics in this later 1xx model are worse than earlier models. Had mine all back together and every single screen mount decided to split open overnight and the top part of the palm rest split open (went to bed looking forward to setting up software, came back and it was honestly deformed!).

I also looked at GregorHouse's PB1xx hinge mount, however as you have noted there is additional bracing in the PB150 back screen panel that would need to be ground out to make this fit. Considering how brittle the plastic is, I've epoxied new mounts in as a trial.
 
I've been working on my own Powerbook 150 repair (replaced HD with a IDE2CF) and had the same problem with a bad battery that was about to start leaking badly. Found a replacement at (of all places) Walmart: Exell 2/V80H-FLAT. Only problem is that it doesn't have leads, it has tabs so you either spot weld or solder on something to go into the PCB and it works. I'm also interested in getting a replacement main battery that isn't new old stock.

My case has seen better days, but the hinges are solid and the screen hasn't gotten that cataract effect from humidity at all. I was kinda wondering if anyone has done a LCD light replacement for the cold cathode backlight for a 150's screen.

Also, has anyone got a good source for replacement case screws? Apparently I've lost a good number of them and the McMaster-Carr ones I've picked up are a bit easy to strip the torx out of.
 
Something also to look out for, the power barrel jack tends to get crusty with rust and debris; clean it out or replace it. I had some strange things go on with my machine and the plug itself was warm. Squirted some Deoxit on a wad of cotton and scrubbed it out, no problems since.
 
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