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PowerBook 1400 PRAM Battery—i moved it

AEChadwick

Well-known member
I have several old PowerBooks that i adore. Okay, lots of old powerbooks. It’s not a problem, i can stop anytime.

Every single PRAM battery is dead, of course... and every one of them requires dismantling the computer to get to the battery. Of course.

I ordered a handful of new VL2330 to make some replacements, but i know full well the little batteries won't last forever... so i decided to make replacement easier for Future Me. Here is my solution for the PowerBook 1400. (Powerbook 520 is up next.)

Since I was swapping SSD into each machine (BlueSCSI for the 520), I decided to re-use the liberated space.

This is a non-destructive edit; the computer itself is untouched. i re-used the wires of the existing dead battery pack, i just extended them a little and ran them into the top case using an existing void. There are no permanent changes to any part of the PowerBook.

I made a new Hard Drive Sled to hold both the SSD and a custom Battery Board. I made the board because i didn't want to try spot-welding custom battery packs or anything--i really want the inevitable future replacement to be effortless. The board pops into a friction-fit space beside the SSD.

The SSD is an PATA thing i got from China. I've tried SATA adapters and mSATA adapters in the 1400 and never had any luck. These little PATA ones are annoyingly more expensive, but they work every single time. Freed from the arbitrary case they leave plenty of space in the hard drive bay.

I have already unplugged the 1400 several times, and it's happily holding settings. (It also starts up a few seconds faster, i think it doesn't have to waste time figuring out what disk to use?)

I hope this inspires people. (Let me know if there's some reason to NOT do this--i am an artist with ideas, not an engineer.)
 

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mdeverhart

Well-known member
I think that is a fantastic solution, and really well executed. Great job!

If you’re willing to share, I bet there are a lot of other 1400 users around here that would be interested in the design files for the PCB and the sled.
 

AEChadwick

Well-known member
If you’re willing to share, I bet there are a lot of other 1400 users around here that would be interested in the design files for the PCB and the sled.

i should have included them in the original post.

the SSD is a Kingspec PATA, i have used 8GB and 16GB

the Sled wants me to finesse a millimeter out of it; it fits great but I am never satisfied.

the Board was made in Fritzing because i am lazy and fritzing works fine for tiny projects.

the battery clip is a Keystone 3005

(the board is based on a Keystone 3009, which is too large; the Keystone 3005 fits the board, but i will redesign it for any later runs.)
 

Attachments

  • 1400_SSD+Battery_Sled-stl.zip
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  • PowerBook_PRAM_fritzing.zip
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