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Iesca

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Everything posted by Iesca

  1. Well, no sooner than my 540's power supply went caput, I now discovered that my LC III won't startup either, and instead just clicks. Apparently this is a pretty common issue, and I guess it can sometimes be resolved temporarily by applying hot air to the affected area? Grumble frumble...
  2. Hello all, I had turned on my Powerbook 540c yesterday and it worked fine (although I forgot to turn on the external CD Drive so it wouldn't boot initially, derp). After using it for a bit, I shut it down as normal, but later in the day (and today) it didn't turn on; it remains completely silent. Am I correct in guessing that the power brick finally bit it, or could it be something else? I have heard of recapping the Blackbird's power supply, though it requires cracking open the enclosure... Thank you!
  3. Iesca

    Powerbook 540c won't startup

    Happy to help! I will probably make a nicer diagram at some point in Illustrator, but in the meantime, the more of these power supplies we're able to save, the longer the blackbirds can be enjoyed! For now, this particular cap from Nichicon seems to fit the bill for the one on mine that blew, but I'm probably going to just replace all of them (more than one is corroding underneath): https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/UHW1J331MPD1TD/493-14598-1-ND/5818065
  4. Iesca

    Powerbook 540c won't startup

    Damn straight...
  5. Iesca

    Powerbook 540c won't startup

    For those in need, I made a diagram!
  6. Iesca

    Powerbook 540c won't startup

    It seems we hit upon the same solution!
  7. Iesca

    Powerbook 540c won't startup

    How interesting! I'll have to keep in mind. However, between some earlier prying and gentle hammering on a box knife I was able to get the case open. And I think we have found the problem... (see photo) There is a shield underneath, any tips for removing that, or just have to unsolder it at the solder point?
  8. Iesca

    Powerbook 540c won't startup

    Thanks for the clarification! Gonna hafta dremel that thing open then to know for sure...
  9. Iesca

    Powerbook 540c won't startup

    Would it be obviously loose? The metal outer ring on my adaptor seems pretty rigid. (Unlike, say, the one on the iBook G4...)
  10. Iesca

    Powerbook 540c won't startup

    Dang. Anyone have a cap list handy?
  11. Iesca

    Powerbook 540c won't startup

    From this list I tried out the given sequence, but to no avail. Sadly, I do recall hearing a click or mild popping at one point unplugging/plugging in the power brick, but I had assumed (or hoped) it was the same sort of crackling noise you sometimes get when plugging in a more modern Macbook power supply into the power outlet. Edit: I tried both the standard Power Management Reset (Cmd-Ctrl-Shift-Power) and the PB500 specific one (Cmd-Opt-Ctrl-Power), both to no avail. Should it chime at some point? I'm not sure what is supposed to happen.
  12. Iesca

    Powerbook 540c won't startup

    No worries on the battery pack, it's been removed for some time. I did fabricate a new PRAM battery and install some time ago using keyfob cells, but that doesn't seem to work regardless...
  13. Hello! At some point around high school (somewhere around '99 or '00), my parents got my nephew and I "new" Powerbook 540c's which at the time gave us intermittent problems, but which I got some use out of nevertheless. After years of neglect, I turned mine on briefly back in 2011 to see what was on it and to retrieve a few things, but otherwise it has basically been sitting around unused for quite awhile. I decided recently to try pulling it out once again but was disappointed to find that, other than a meek squeal, followed by the boot chime, it wasn't loading the system, not even a blinking question mark. Thinking the hard drive was dead, I tried booting from a CD using an external CD Rom Drive (the AppleCD 600e!) and an OS 8.1 install disk. While this caused the blinking question mark to appear, it did not get me any farther. However, I noticed that the squealing had subsided, so I disconnected everything and, voila! It booted to the Finder. (It has squealed off and on since then, but it still boots right up.) I've since installed OS 8.1 and have had no issues whatsoever. It seems my problems back in the day were likely caused by trying to run OS 8.5, which is too new for the machine. My mission was then to get the thing onto the internet. While I could burn CDs on a newer machine and load them with the AppleCD Drive, this was not very efficient, so I tracked down what I needed for ethernet, and ordered the adapter cable. On arrival I tried it out and like magic, I was able to connect! Though browsing was not really in the cards (though I certainly tried), I managed to load Fetch 3 onto the system, making it much easier to transfer files to (and from!) the machine. The next step was trying get it working with an external VGA monitor. I ordered the external monitor cable for the Powerbook 500 (my machine, being secondhand, never had one that I'm aware of). However, to my dismay I realized that it outputs to the old Macintosh Monitor cable, which is no use to me. But after some research I was able to track down a Mac to VGA adapter on Amazon that works perfectly! (And no dipswitches!) I just ordered an iFixit Torx 8 screwdriver to open it up, as well as a new Clock PRAM battery from AppleMacParts. However, in the meantime I can sync the clock as needed while connected to the internet using Vremya and the time.apple.com server. After that, the next project is to order and install the 2.5" SCSI2SD Powerbook module and replace the hard drive. While it continues to work so far, at around 20 years old (if not older), it's really only a matter of time before it bids this world a fond farewell.. Attached are some photos of my progress so far.
  14. Iesca

    Powerbook 540c Resurrection

    There is an RF shield-type metal cover that screws onto the enclosure for the ram and daughter boards, but I suppose that it's not strictly necessary. Otherwise it's quite snug in there. There also may be a plastic arm that serves as a mounting bracket for said cover, but that can also be removed.
  15. Is there any way to determine an older mac's serial number besides the one on the case? Past me in his youthful naïvété removed and discarded the sticker on the back of his 540c some years ago... Thanks!
  16. Iesca

    PDS Card Database?

    I've been wanting this very thing! Now that I have an LC III, of course. Would need to of course specify the intended machine, 24/32 bit, etc. I have a bunch of LC cards bookmarked on ebay atm just as a going list.
  17. Hey all, I really donked up. I tore the ribbon cable from my Powerbook 540's floppy disk drive. At first it was just a partial tear, which I attempted to address with clear tape, but when that didn't work I managed to completely tear it in two. Short of replacing it, is there any way to repair a ribbon cable like this?
  18. Iesca

    Powerbook 540c Floppy Drive Ribbon Cable

    Turns out I was able to find a replacement on good ol' ebay: http://ebay.com/itm/Apple-PowerBook-520-540-Floppy-Drive-Cable-632-0020-A-821-0020-A-922-0780-Mac/391820356652
  19. Iesca

    Powerbook 540c Resurrection

    It seems that my 540c's memory card is of a different make than the ones on display here, but I assume the principal would be the same? The chips are labeled as: MCM517400BT60 Motorola VQQDU9614 They also appear to use tiny SMD caps instead of resistors like Bolle's. EDIT: Found a data sheet on the chips in question, for the curious: https://www.datasheets360.com/part/detail/mcm517400bt60/-8453506530169633316/
  20. Iesca

    SCSI zip drive

    That sounds really cool. I'd like to get my Plus working 100% so I can use it as a glorified typewriter and some games.
  21. Iesca

    Connecting 68k Macs to LCD Monitors

    I've had great luck with my dip-less converter and an LG Flatron E2242 that I bought new several years ago as a second monitor. The converter I have is this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002J1JAE/ I have used this configuration with my Powerbook 540c and am able to use it at 640x480 in both mirroring mode and as a second monitor, and 800x600 as a second monitor. I can't recall if I tried it with the 540's narrower 640x400 resolution (with thousands of colors). I have also used the same configuration with my LC III with 768KB VRAM and while I do have access to the thousands of colors I don't seem to be able to access the higher promised resolution of the added VRAM module. Still, it otherwise works great, if a little fuzzy at 640x480 interpolated.
  22. Iesca

    SCSI zip drive

    Congratulations on your progress, Neal! It sounds like you have a hard drive in the SE/30 that's still working (for now!).
  23. Iesca

    SCSI zip drive

    Yeah, I may go that route. People who have the Mac formatted ones seem to be charging extra for them, perhaps unsurprisingly.
  24. Iesca

    SCSI zip drive

    Here are some pics of the Zip100 Plus I just brought back from home. It has its own power adaptor, which I've included a closeup of. Haven't tested it yet. Was very wary to try any of the disks from my parents' as I remember vividly the issues we had with the USB zip drive we had and the potential of ruining a good drive with a bad disk... So will be getting a never-used disk at some point!
  25. I recently acquired an LC III that originally came from my old high school's music dept. I remember using them in high school initially, only to have them replaced with PCs at some point. The LCs sat around for years before they were given to a friend of mine who does work for the town. He kept one for himself, sent one to The 8-bit Guy (!), and he gave the third to me! It runs perfectly hooked up to my external VGA monitor. The internal battery was dead of course, but hadn't leaked at all. Floppy drive reads perfectly after cleaning the heads. And it came with a 16MB RAM module. It is the 25MHz 69030 processor. I've since upgraded it to a 32MB RAM module and also installed a 256KB VRAM module (there are 512KB modules out there but my understanding is the LC III only takes the 256, although I have seem a reference to it taking the 512, so who knows). A 68882 FPU coprocessor is on its way (these are super cheap???). I wasn't paying attention initially but it looks like it's the 25MHz version. A new PRAM battery is also on its way. With regards to the VRAM, it does give the machine access to thousands of colors, but I don't seem to have access to the promised increase in resolution... The main issue with the LC is that it has stopped booting from the hard drive. It has an 80 MB Quantum drive, and it appears to suffer from the issue whereby the read head arm gets stuck on an old rubber bumper, but if you give the head a nudge at boot it will whisk into action and behave normally, until shutdown that is. What I'd really like is a good accelerator card, though I know those are going to be hard to come by, particularly any that uses the 32-bit PDS slot. Ethernet cards seem to be easy to come by though, so I can at least do that. There's of course also the Apple IIe card but people are charging crazy money for those, even though there really should be a billion of them, seeing as how they (and the LCs in general) were produced for the education market. Oh well... The caps will probably need to be replaced. A couple of them in particular look bulged/deformed.
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