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Ran into an issue where my power adapter for my Powerbook 540c was outputting 16v on one pin, but only 2.xv on the other pin so my 540c would no longer start up. Took the PA apart(it's epoxied together) and discovered 6 capacitors. 2x 330uf - 25v, 2x 100uf 200v, and 2x 100uf 25v. The part numbers can bee seen in the picture. While the capacitors didn't look bad, I knew they were 20 some years old and it was time to swap em out. Sure enough, as soon as I soldered in the new caps I got 16v back on both pins and my Powerbook 540c is happy again!
Hopefully, this would come in handy for anyone curious about the PCMCIA module made for the PowerBook 500 series. I've posted as many pictures from various angles of the board assembly and parts (in case anyone has interest in planning modifications and how much space is inside the module) as I don't intend to open this up very often. If at all. There are three hex screws, one plastic tab, and a sticker holding my Rev C module together. I didn't have a hex bit of the correct size, but a Torx T6 proved a snug fit that allowed me to remove the screws. When I depressed the plastic tab back a small distance, I was able to carefully lift and separate the pieces only slightly, hinging at the sticker in the back. Some patient "working" back and forth allowed me to carefully separate the sticker from one of the pieces, and the unit was opened. I worked the board assembly from the back to the front to lift it from the bottom molding. The module ejection mechanism is separate from the board, and is a fixture on the bottom molding - it may be difficult to replace if it becomes damaged. Here is the bottom side of the board assembly. All pieces, angled, minus screws. Left side top (from front of module). Right side top (from front of module). Left side bottom (from front of module). Right side bottom (from front of module). Overview of bottom of board. All pieces of the module. Front hinging doors of the module. There is one stretched "rubber band" that acts to spring the doors back to resting position. If this part breaks someday, you could probably just install a rubber band to replace it...I'm actually surprised this one hasn't dry-rotted, yet. Or hack another spring assembly to your fancy. Okay. Just let me know when you make USB and cardbus possible for the 500 series.
So while I'm waiting for new caps to come in for the Fat Mac with the Hyperdrive I thought I'd dust this off and see if it worked. PowerBook 520c "BlackBird" I picked this up years and years ago and literally never did a thing with it. It's just been in a box in the garage for about 12 years. Anyway, when I powered it up and it gave me the Sad Mac. I figured out it was a hard drive error so I hunted up a Disk Tools floppy that would boot the machine and re-initialized the disk. Success! No more Sad Mac! After more digging I found a set of System 7.5 floppies and loaded it up. I was really worried that I might have problems with the 20+ year old floppies but they were all still good! So after I got the system loaded up I discovered it's got 12mb of ram and 320mb HD. The screen had some lines on the top half but after I re-seated the ribbon cables the the lines went away. Wow, passive matrix. I'd forgotten about ghosting! Just like every one of these I ever worked on the screen bezel is cracked where it attaches to the hinge screws and it's also missing the port cover on the back. They may have been a cool design but were not Apple's best constructed PowerBook. Performance-wise they were good but they fell apart rather quickly. I hated working on these back in the day, they were just so fragile. I found three batteries for it and they all appear really dead, as in the PowerBook doesn't recognize them. Seems like I remember there was an "intelligent" battery utility wasn't there? I don't recall if it was for the 500-series. I also found two "new" still-in-OEM-package PRAM batteries I have for the 500-series but I'm sure they're just as dead as the one in the system. "Ready for PowerPC Upgrade!" Heh, yeah, I remember installing a NuPowr 117mhz 603e upgrade card in one of these for a friend. It wasn't a terribly impressive upgrade if I recall. Anyway, one down several more to go.... Maybe tomorrow I'll get out the 1400.
I have a PowerBook 520c and there was a bit of a problem with the display where if you poke the display in the right place, the contrast will bug out. Sometimes if you hit in the same spot again, the display will become readable, but unstable. Basically, it goes from unreadable bright, to unreadable dark, to unstable dark, and then basically flicker. I have saved a 520c from the depths of a neighbor's garage! Are you happy now?