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PB100 Strange Memory Slot Board

aplmak

Well-known member
Hello all... It's been ages since I have been on. In any case I ran into a PB100 with this very odd board in the memory slot. It has a very small connector at the end that protrudes through a hole near the PRAM battery area.. It appears the board makers made a replacement battery door (see in photo) so the hole is accessible to plug something in. There appears to be 2MB of RAM on it.. but I can't figure out what other purpose the board is for?? There appears to be a "gate" chip on it... maybe someone can figure out this mystery board. Thanks!!

Oh it also boasts the manufacturer "Memory Plus" marked on the board but an internet search comes up with nothing on it....
 

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aplmak

Well-known member
So strange... they used the RAM expansion slot.. is that even possible? The tiny little connector seems to have a 6 female pin connector..
 

cheesestraws

Well-known member
Memory Plus were also the company that manufactured an SE/30 graphics board in my possession. It's interesting that that card, if I'm reading right, has both SRAM and DRAM on it...
 

Trash80toHP_Mini

NIGHT STALKER
So strange... they used the RAM expansion slot.. is that even possible? The tiny little connector seems to have a 6 female pin connector..
I always thought that a bit odd. That was the only upgrade I didn't do when I maxed out mine. Then it became my Eleonore for 30 years. Didn't know it limited Memory to 4MB, but that makes sense. The DRAM is probably mapped to the 8MB memory space as frame buffer. Now I'm almost glad I got the Maximum 6MB memory expansion card instead.

edit: scratch that, the 8MB with the System installed on RAM disk was far more useful in my case.
 
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aplmak

Well-known member
Trash thanks for shedding light on the board! I'd love to see the little connector and cable that they used to connect it to an external monitor. I've got 4 PB100's to recap now.. motherboards and display's. I've done so many 100's... My personal one has the 6MB board and an SCSI to IDE converter board with a CF card on it for the HDD. The one thing I always recommend to people on the 100's is to TAKE OUT THE TRACKBALL when you are not using it.. The rubber on the top of the display has degraded and when it is shut the mouse ball presses against the LCD display.. This is what has caused so many 100's to have bad screens!! So when I put mine away I always remove the trackball. Just a tip!

Also sometimes I think the keyboard depresses against the display if something is piled ontop of it!! All my powerbooks are stored vertically!
 

aplmak

Well-known member
WOW!! So cool you found that!! Thank you!! Always fun when you pull a machine apart and find a lost treasure inside!!! LOL!! :p
 

aplmak

Well-known member
It was always fun to see these third party companies come up with very interesting ways to add features to Apple products. I miss those days.. being able to beef up your machine with all cool gadgets.. of course expensive upgrades!
 

Trash80toHP_Mini

NIGHT STALKER
Now all you really need do is dig up drivers for it. 😬

Trash thanks for shedding light on the board! I'd love to see the little connector and cable that they used to connect it to an external monitor.
De nada, thanks for finding that card, love it! I'm amazed it will do 21" resolution, but at 1bit, that's probably a pretty small frame buffer.

My personal one has the 6MB board and an SCSI to IDE converter board with a CF card on it for the HDD.
That's my newest PB 100 rig, original 6MB expansion card from the day along with AztecMonster. Just cannot get used to silent booting on a machine I used IRL for so many years. It replaced a 1GB HDD I carried on my commute ever day in a good sized metal Makita Toolbox, what a difference!

The one thing I always recommend to people on the 100's is to TAKE OUT THE TRACKBALL when you are not using it.. The rubber on the top of the display has degraded and when it is shut the mouse ball presses against the LCD display.. This is what has caused so many 100's to have bad screens!! So when I put mine away I always remove the trackball. Just a tip!

Also sometimes I think the keyboard depresses against the display if something is piled ontop of it!! All my powerbooks are stored vertically!
Thanks for the tips, mine are vertical as well, ventilation helps prevent Vinegar Syndrome damage to the panels.
 
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aplmak

Well-known member
Glad I was able to post it! I still have that 40MB hdd that was in that PB100. I will be sure to backup the drive if it still works which should have the drivers on it. Interesting tip on the Vinegar Syndrome. I usually throw a little packet of Desiccant in with all my packed up machines. Of course PRAM or regular batteries are not in or with any of my machines.
 

Trash80toHP_Mini

NIGHT STALKER
Best of luck recovering the drivers! WOW, to get that up and running would be amazing. 😲

Bottom line though, it's so much less useful in road warrior mode than that wonderful 6MB expansion card we've both got. In stationary mode, SCSI Disk Mode combined with a desktop Mac was far superior, much better than lugging the first gen 1x0 series. As I said, BabyPB went into the carry bag and I retired the Metal Makita Boxed HDD rig.

Next step for me was a soup to nuts, used Duo 230 setup from a friend, PowerBook 100? Long live the coolest tech toy EVER! :D
 

aplmak

Well-known member
Trash I think Sony did an excellent job compacting the Macintosh Portable and gave Apple an incredible result by building the PB100... I have a feeling Apple learned a lot from Sony. Just looking at the logic board in the PB100 specifically it doesn't look like your typical Apple logic board.. It's even coated which I've never seen on an Apple board before.
 

Trash80toHP_Mini

NIGHT STALKER
Substitute "amazing" job of shrinking the Portable. ;) It's pretty much a 16MHz SE with an 8MB memory ceiling and far better resolution.

Could you post a comparison shot of the Envisio board next to a standard memory expansion card? Flip flopped along parallel connectors would be perfect

I have a sneaking suspicion that chunk of cubic was intentionally reserved for this upgrade, it's far to much to have been accidental?

Another shot of it and the processor card installed on one of your Logic boards would be most appreciated. Do you think that cubic could be made contiguous with an expanded processor card?
 

Trash80toHP_Mini

NIGHT STALKER
Searching around I found a great PB100 re-cap page with fabulous pictures:

I also pulled out my two PB100 project boxes. Found my "original" PB100 logic board and processor card. Logic board was replaced under "unofficial warranty extension" when the gray tipped AC Adapter chipped and fried it. Gotta get a shot up of the replacement boards, ProcCard is obviously factory troubleshot, its ICs all marked as good.

The logic board is another story, what a beautifully bodged refurb! Never took note of it before, but they must have gotten dead board repair down to a science during the AC adapter massacre. There's a little PCB double faced taped to an IC with what looks to be a resistor network with ten bodge wires running into and out of it connecting four different components. 😲

Interested? Have any of your boards had such extensive factory rework done to them?
 
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aplmak

Well-known member
Wow all very interesting stuff!!! I am not sure if desiccant takes are of the "Vinegar" issue... but I throw them in my boxed machines just as a precaution. I'll work on getting more pics. I did get the HDD up and running and only found this extension for the Envsio board. This is the only drivers/software I could find on the HDD for the board. I will take more pics of it actually installed on the PB100.
 

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trag

Well-known member
Very late to the party, but the large, square TPC1010AFN chip is a Texas Instruments FPGA. The TC524258 is video RAM as jt observed. The ICD2051 is a clock generator, probably for the video timings. I don't see a non-volatile storage chip (Flash, EPROM) for the FPGA, so I wonder if it depends on a driver to load the bitstream. Or if the TI flavored FPGAs stored their own bitstream.
 

Trash80toHP_Mini

NIGHT STALKER
That looks like what (all?) you'll likely need to get it up and running! You've found the pot at the start of the rainbow. Have you backed it up for posterity already?

ISTR finding ROM on the card when I searched its components? The balance of what you'll need would likely be in that ROM. Portable/PB100 are SE, pre-Slot Manager architecture. So the PB100 system doesn't check for the likes of Declaration ROM at startup, hence the need for that bootstrap extension being loaded at startup.

Desiccant will absorb its fill in a fairly short time unless in a sealed container, which defeats the purpose in the case of vinegar syndrome I'd think.
 
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