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My 3lectr1cal Conquests!

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
A couple of week ago I bought myself a laptop I've been after for a while now. I never thought I'd find one for a good price though, as they seem to be quite rare and sought after.

But I found one! A PowerBook G4 Hi-Res DLSD 1.67GHz!
I found it on Mercari for $110. A good bit of money, but these go for much more on eBay, and it was worth it to me. The seller only provided a few potato pics, and they never specified what model it was. Luckily, one of the grainy photos had the model number visible - A1138, the DLSD. The seller took a while to ship, and I honestly though they weren't going to, but it did eventually get here.

The first thing I noticed was how good the condition of it is. Some minor scuffing on the bottom and a small dent on the top - that's it. Powering it up, it booted to a Chinese install of OS X Tiger of all things. I checked the battery cycle count and it read only 6! This thing had barely been used! I don't know the health yet - and it still seems to be waking up after going so long without charging, but the light on the bottom blinks when unplugged so it holds something. The power LED is also orange. It's just stuck at 0% at the moment, I'll give it time though.

I'm currently installing Leopard onto it, and it defaulted to Chinese in the language picker. Did it pick it up from the hard drive install, or is this a Chinese PowerBook? Not sure how that works. The text on the bottom is all in English, and it shipped from the US.

All the normal wear points on these are perfect - the bottom feet aren't missing (they fall off super easily on these), and the mirror finish on the display latch isn't worn either. The backlight doesn't look even the slightest bit yellow. I'm super stoked on the condition of this thing.

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3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
Alright, the battery is aftermarket, and has a manufacture date in 2009, so hopes are low of it working. charge light stayed orange but OS X says it isn't charging. Oh well.
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
I didn't realize that these used standard DDR2 modules until now - I had a spare 512MB stick so I could get it to 1GB, but instead I robbed my half-dead late '06 MacBook's 2GB of RAM and now it's maxed out! Should be much faster now.
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
I'd need to find a version of doom for OS X then, no classic environment on Leopard. It's been a great system so far.
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
After months of waiting, a PowerBook 3400c popped up on eBay for a price that I was actually willing to pay. All I knew going into it was that it turned on, was a 200MHz model with 48MB of RAM and a 2GB HDD, and that it came with the charger and FOUR batteries. The seller didn't give details on whether the batteries worked, but the one inside of the laptop appeared to be charging in the photos. I ended up buying it.

The main concern with this laptop is the PRAM battery. It's a horrible 6 cell NiMH Varta battery, which is notorious for leaking. These were put into a ton of late 90s laptops, including those by Dell and Toshiba, but they also ended up in the 3400c. It's also placed directly over the logic board, and these batteries have killed a ton of these systems. This one working already is a good sign that it hasn't leaked too badly yet, but it could have still caused damage that didn't yet render the computer dead, such as destroying the keyboard connectors.

Today it came in, and luckily wasn’t damaged at all in shipping. Here it is next to it’s older brother, the 5300c.
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I went ahead and swapped the original 2GB hard drive for a newer 20GB drive I stole from my PowerBook 1400c. The 1400c will have to do with a 6.5GB drive for now until I get these all running with SD Cards.
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What about the PRAM battery? Well, it sure was beginning to leak, but it hadn’t gone bad enough to damage the board yet. It’s super easy to miss when one of these starts to leak. The first place you‘ll see evidence is on the connector pins, and they had turned green on mine!

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The casing on these batteries is the same color as the corrosion they cause. Alas, this hasn’t been enough of a warning for people to remove them it seems. Get yours out if you haven’t already, and check your old PC laptops too! Dells and Toshibas are known to have these from what I’ve seen, but other may as well!
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It will now sit on the shelf of shame, next to 2 other green devils pulled from Dell laptops, and a Tadiran block battery that wrecked my PC/AT!

I‘m super stoked to have one of these now. The hinges on it are intact, the port doors are present and undamaged, and the keyboard and trackpad have very little wear. The only damage on the whole system are some minor scuffs which should clean up nicely with a magic eraser. I’m super pleased to finally have one of these awesome laptops in my collection, and guess what! At least one of the batteries works! I still have to leave the other 3 on charge, but all were at least recognized on a quick test. I’ll update after I’ve gotten them all charged and tested!

That‘s all for now.
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
So far we're 2 for 2 on working batteries! I haven't done full life tests on each, I will be doing that at some point, but so far from how quickly they're draining, I can at least get 30 minutes from each one.
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
Well, consider me shocked. All 4 batteries hold charge, and I just finished a full life test on Battery #4, and got 2 hours and 40 minutes out of it. I can't wait to see what the other three give me! I'm guessing less, as #4 appeared to be the least used one, but it will still be interesting.
 
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