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Charadis

PowerBook 500 series PCMCIA module Rev C teardown

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Here we go with Rev B:

 

IMG_4416.thumb.JPG.bc23e1fda1ba5c223ff01a423668f184.JPG

 

IMG_4415.thumb.JPG.bd97b98d97d29b1410ee4e75fc8ef45e.JPG

 

I can spot some differences right on the first sight.

Obvious one is the earlier revision of the controller IC being  343S0145 instead of a 343S0147 in the Rev C.

 

Some caps and resistors in different places as well. If I come across a cheap way to get my hands on one of those 343S0147s I can just go ahead and solder it onto my Rev B just to see what happens.

If someone with a Rev C is brave enough to desolder that Flashrom and read its contents that might help as well. Maybe there even is a way to read it from inside the OS.

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Sweet, hoping you'll be doing the TREX controller swap out soon (ATM?) as I've got a shiny nickel laid on that process alone bringing you up to rev.3 features.

 

I'll put a shiny penny down on the FlashROM being added to rev.2 to fix something on rev.1 and not being a 2-3 rev upgrade concern. Anybody got rev.1 available for a comparison teardown?

 

If you're successful, or if anybody else wants to jump in, I'd love to see a performance comparison between the ethernet port implementation and a PCMCIA card in the same BlackBird.

 

LEM: myth or fact?

Quote

 


PowerBook 190Apple eliminated the internal modem bay and the ethernet port found in the PowerBook 500 series that preceded the 190, forcing buyers to acquire these items separately. Because the PC Card uses a 16-bit bus, ethernet performance is roughly 25% slower than on the PowerBook 540.
 

 

 

We now know the 16 bit bus limitation assumption above is incorrect:

Blackbird-Block_Diagram.JPG

Let's put the pedal to the metal in both configurations to find out if there's an appreciable difference. If not we'll know that moving ethernet off the system board leaves the Card Cage half full (WiFi) and not half empty as is implied on LEM. If it is an appreciable difference, is the support of WiFi a good or bad tradeoff in terms of  feature set.

 

For the 190, it may be a tossup, but for the NuBus PPC series it's hands down WiFi for me. 5300ce/1400c kick the Blackbird (PPC onboard) up and down the block and twice around with their 800x600 LCDs IMO.
 

 

Edit: way cool, the pic preceding my LEM text quote transferred.

 

I'm also partial to the 190 as it's possible to upgrade it with a Duo TrackBall hack. Is the 500 series TrackPad as awful as I've read and did that tech improve in the 190/5300 generation?

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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Bolle just set off the curiosity. Took a look at the DevNotes:

 

Looks like we may have another PCMCIA controller to try if TREX from 5300/1400 doesn't work out:

 

PB190-Block_Diagram.thumb.JPG.c956f8b784f2d0f6ed2074be59e333f3.JPG

 

Has anyone got a 190 board handy to take a pic of Barney? I'm guessing these are probably all Apple tweaks/revisions of the same off the shelf PCMCIA controller series. I don't recall using a WiFi card in my 190, can anyone confirm compatibility?

 

edit: 5300xx Block Diagram

 

PB5300xx-Block_Diagram.thumb.JPG.fab2f5b019e744ee759688a957f0e6af.JPG

 

So we've got Pratt & Whitney memory controllers in the mix with Barney and T-REX. Gotta love Apple's naming conventions.

 

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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17 minutes ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

I don't recall using a WiFi card in my 190, can anyone confirm compatibility?

 

I did, unfortunately don't have that 190cs anymore as it did break apart. Who could have known that I might have need it again someday :p

 

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What's one more project box? Luckily it was only the bottom half of the 190 awaiting a "c" upgrade.

 

Still need a picture of Barney, now we've got another oddity in the mix. My 190 has T-REX on board! :shocked:

 

imageproxy.php?img=&key=fcb9af74e9143c1bPB190-T_REX_not_Barney.JPG.b9b126a174406877719a8f50aa6282a3.JPG

 

 

edit: Just realized this could be a good omen. T-REX is backward compatible with Barney, so it might also work in the Rev.2 Card Cage for the Blackbirds? If not, then Barney?

 

T-Rex availability in the 1400 "DaughterCage" is much greater. Sound 1400 lid plastics are hard to come by, so cannibalization isn't as much of an issue. "Borrowing" that cage from a good 1400 board is easily reversible, it can wait for a bad board cage donor to show up. [;)]

 

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini
the usual

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On 4/17/2018 at 11:03 AM, Bolle said:

Here we go with Rev B:

 

I can spot some differences right on the first sight.

Obvious one is the earlier revision of the controller IC being  343S0145 instead of a 343S0147 in the Rev C.

 

Some caps and resistors in different places as well. If I come across a cheap way to get my hands on one of those 343S0147s I can just go ahead and solder it onto my Rev B just to see what happens.

If someone with a Rev C is brave enough to desolder that Flashrom and read its contents that might help as well. Maybe there even is a way to read it from inside the OS.

Whoa, I didn't realize you posted this, or that this thread had any movement going - I've been working on some other project lately. Thanks for posting the Rev B board! I thought the two would be much more different; it still doesn't seem like a simple chip swap. If you have software that can allow me to read the Flashrom, I can try that as soon as I am back in town.

 

Would like to save desoldering as a last resort (better if I can obtain another Rev C and use the other in the name of science..nondestructively, of course, but invasively if necessary)

 

 

Edited by Charadis

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On 4/23/2018 at 10:56 AM, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

What's one more project box? Luckily it was only the bottom half of the 190 awaiting a "c" upgrade.

 

Still need a picture of Barney, now we've got another oddity in the mix. My 190 has T-REX on board! :shocked:

 

 

edit: Just realized this could be a good om

 

Here's a PB 1400 card cage if you're looking for one! 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Macintosh-Powerbook-1400CS-1400cs-166-M3571-PCMCIA-Assembly-With-Infrared-Board/312115560867?_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D50543%26meid%3Db00b064448174309bcdb82315496ef2a%26pid%3D100011%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26sd%3D312091104242%26itm%3D312115560867&_trksid=p2047675.c100011.m1850

 

Edited by Charadis

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A little bit of info to add:

I recently acquired both a Rev. B and a complete boxed Rev. C expansion module. When attempting to install the Rev. C’s included PC Card Software 2.0 with the Rev. B card, the installer generates an error saying ‘this software cannot be used with this module; it must first be upgraded.’ This suggests that there was once a way to upgrade Rev. B modules, probably by reprogramming that Flash chip, but I have seen no references to any upgrade procedures. Maybe it was an Apple Service-exclusive procedure not available to the end users. 

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Depends on how you comprehend the term "Upgraded" 

 

Because Upgraded could mean something as simple as just replacing the PCMCIA adapter with the upgraded newer version. It could go either way. There is a flash ROM on the PCB so anything is possible, but if the control IC itself is different, its hard to code around that. 

Edited by techknight

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