• Hello, Guest! Welcome back, and be sure to check out this post for more info about the recent service interruption and migration.

Powerbook 540c Resurrection

croissantking

Well-known member
aaaaaand this right here is why I need to get myself a hot air station 😅 😅
I don't have one. I used a hot air gun, the kind you use for stripping paint. It's crude, but it works. The chips fall off when heat is applied.

I used a standard 25W Antex soldering iron and dragged the tip across the legs of each chip once positioned correctly. Generous applications of flux from a syringe was THE KEY here, I mean it really helped to get a good result. In many cases I went over the chips until the joints looked good.

The donor chips I've sourced are much thicker than the ones on the proper RAM cards, but they do fit (although snug).
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
There are of course many methods of doing such a thing (like yours, good job!), I see hot air the whole way as being likely the easiest way, mainly for desoldering. Unfortunately my 1400 has the stock 16MB which doesn't allow for the soldering trick. My 540c could be a candidate. Maybe also my 3400c. I'll get to that when I get some new tools :)
 

croissantking

Well-known member
What should we know about the SMD caps if attempting this mod?
Do you mean the decoupling caps? I was reading about how they reduce interference or something like that. They need to be installed if they are missing: I tried using one of my newly made up 1400 modules without adding them in and the computer crashed with an address error on the Welcome to Mac OS screen. That problem went away once I added in the caps.
 

croissantking

Well-known member
What values are they? It would be useful to know now in case I'd want to do this mod in the future.
I googled this and there is a range of acceptable values, it seems like around 0.1uf would work OK.

In most cases you can just bring the caps along with the chips from the donor board.
 

croissantking

Well-known member
How easy would it be to make up a PCB for a 32MB PowerBook 500 series RAM card at somewhere like PCB Way? Because I was thinking about making some more of these that I could potentially sell…

Edit: Oh - it’s the connector that’s the problem, isn’t it. (As in I’ve heard they’re unobtainium)
 

Iesca

Well-known member
How easy would it be to make up a PCB for a 32MB PowerBook 500 series RAM card at somewhere like PCB Way? Because I was thinking about making some more of these that I could potentially sell…

Edit: Oh - it’s the connector that’s the problem, isn’t it. (As in I’ve heard they’re unobtainium)
Yeah, that's what I was told once by SiliconInsider when I inquired about it. So for now, the method of swapping chips from donor modules seems to be the most feasible option at the moment.
 

pyranger

Member
this 32MB RAM card from Techworks was purchased back in the mid 90's at or around the time I bought the PB520
 

Attachments

  • ram1.jpg
    ram1.jpg
    969 KB · Views: 19
  • ram2.jpg
    ram2.jpg
    4.7 MB · Views: 19

pyranger

Member
i don't remember upgrading the processor, but lifting the lid a little wider reveals "XPC603" so I think you are right! wow. I totally forgot. however, when I go to control panels "power macintosh card" or "601 processor upgrade" I get the message "doesn't work with this macintosh". what tools should I load to see/leverage the ppc card? btw, thanks for noticing this. 20 or so years ago I made a "Sophie's choice" between my pb520 and SE/30 and kept the PB520 because it took up less space and was newer, more powerful and expandable with color and all of the ports. This last couple of years since I got into vintage computing I've been kicking myself for getting rid of the SE/30 (and still am), but now I feel a little better.
 

Attachments

  • ppc_upgrade.jpg
    ppc_upgrade.jpg
    822.6 KB · Views: 7

croissantking

Well-known member
i don't remember upgrading the processor, but lifting the lid a little wider reveals "XPC603" so I think you are right! wow. I totally forgot. however, when I go to control panels "power macintosh card" or "601 processor upgrade" I get the message "doesn't work with this macintosh". what tools should I load to see/leverage the ppc card? btw, thanks for noticing this. 20 or so years ago I made a "Sophie's choice" between my pb520 and SE/30 and kept the PB520 because it took up less space and was newer, more powerful and expandable with color and all of the ports. This last couple of years since I got into vintage computing I've been kicking myself for getting rid of the SE/30 (and still am), but now I feel a little better.
You could always get a second hand SE/30 to restore, as I’ve been doing. It’s my favourite machine.

I’m not sure there are any drivers needed to activate the PPC card, but other members may be able to advise better. It’s a cacheless card, so performance will be roughly on par with a PB 5300.
 

pyranger

Member
You could always get a second hand SE/30 to restore, as I’ve been doing. It’s my favourite machine.

I’m not sure there are any drivers needed to activate the PPC card, but other members may be able to advise better. It’s a cacheless card, so performance will be roughly on par with a PB 5300.
got a 512KE, Plus and ClassicII running. Been mostly focused lately on modifying RaSCSI to connect my and a buddy's old macs together over the internet. Am always on the lookout for an SE/30.
 

pyranger

Member
hahahah. yeah. I'm not hurting and have plenty of 30-40yr old projects to keep me busy. am enjoying learning about appletalk and mac networking
 

alexGS

Active member
hahahah. yeah. I'm not hurting and have plenty of 30-40yr old projects to keep me busy. am enjoying learning about appletalk and mac networking

I just made myself a ‘printer cable’ (crossover cable) with Mini-DIN8 plugs and 3m of nine-wire cable. I was delighted when it worked - my Powerbook G3 Wallstreet (9.2.1) and my Powerbook 100 (7.1) can now see each other, and read each other’s files!

I must admit, I was baffled by how I shared just one folder on each, yet the entire hard drive was available to browse on the other, and even any other connected drives. But that seems familiar, I think I remember similar ‘accidental total access’ across a school Phonenet network, almost 30 years ago.
 
Top