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mearnsv1

Powerbook 2400

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Hi everyone.

 

I have a Powerbook 2400 with a few problems. I wonder if any of you knowledgeable people can help me out?

 

My machine works pretty well. It has a NUPower G3 upgrade, the memory is maxed at 112mb, 20gb HD, and the battery lasts around 1 hour.

 

Problem 1 Screen flicker on battery.

When running on battery, the screen backlight flashes on and off. This stops as soon as it is connected to the mains. Any idea what the problem might be?

 

Problem 2 Sudden freeze.

If using a program such as iTunes or Quicktime Player, the machine will randomly crash forcing a restart. This does not happen with less intensive programs. Again, any idea what the problem might be?

 

Thanks in advance.

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I've got a 2400c spec'd very similarly to yours. My NUpwr is the 240MHz variety.

 

Anywho, I couldn't say anything for sure about the first issue. It could be that something's aging and warning of failure in the future, probably on the power/I/O board. None of mine have ever exhibited that particular display anomaly, though I have had to replace that power board on one of them. The GLoD is typically a more common mode of failure for that component, though.

 

On the second, the G3 upgrades were often accused of running hot. This was often times true, particularly with the Newer upgrades. One thing you could do is disassemble it (there's really no other way to get to the processor card) and check that the processor's thermal pad is intact and making contact with the little 1" square chunk of metal in the bottom of the case that acts as the heatsink. When I installed the G3 upgrade in mine, I slightly bent the heatsink upward (it's attached only by its heat pipe thing, so it's pretty easy to move) to ensure full contact between the processor and heatsink. Aside from a few random crashes in OS X 10.2, I haven't had any lockup problems with mine, though it's still much warmer than the stock 603ev.

The Interware upgrades were much more desirable due to their lower temperatures and higher frequencies compared to the Newer cards, but they're much rarer in consequence.

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The flickering is a sign of insufficient voltage. Either the battery is marginal, or the power regulator board has a problem.

 

The crashing could also be due to power instability. If, for example, the regulator is a bit loosey-goosey, then the voltage could dip too much on a transient basis, causing all manner of mischief.

 

If the flickering and unstable behavior both appeared at the same time, then a common cause -- e.g., power board anomalies -- is made more likely.

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Quick update.

 

I opened up the 2400 which was a substantial task.

 

The hard disk had been upgraded at some stage in the past an was not touching its heatsink. Also the thermal paste on the CPU was non existent.

 

I removed the hard drive(for a quieter machine) and applied some new thermal paste onto the heatsink.

 

I am running the system via a pcmcia compact flash card.

 

So far so good. No crashing or screen flickering.

 

Thanks for the pointers.

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The hard disk had been upgraded at some stage in the past an was not touching its heatsink.

 

Yeah, the hard drive's heat spreader only contacts 12.5 and 17mm drives; the 9.5 that was likely installed wouldn't reach it. It's not a huge deal, unless you're running a Hitachi or Toshiba hard drive. I use Fujitsu or Seagate Marathons (or >9.5mm drives) in mine, and have had no problems.

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I am running the system via a pcmcia compact flash card.

 

I am thinking about doing the same on my newly revived 2400c. What is the performance like on yours, running from the pcmcia slot?

 

If the machine is cardbus enabled, will this theoretically improve the drive's speed?

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If the machine is cardbus enabled, will this theoretically improve the drive's speed?

 

If the machine is cardbus enabled, will this theoretically improve the drive's speed?

 

That's a good question, I believe most of the generic PCMCIA CF card adapters conform to the older non-Cardbus standard, as I use the same adapters in older Powerbooks. I suspect a "cardbus-enabled" PCMCIA CF adapter adapter is a very rare beast.

 

Performance of said adapter + Adata 2GB "60X" CF card in my 2400c (with cardbus mod) is very good, but not dazzling. Booting and random seek times are very fast but general use (eg. copying, loading) is no faster than a good HD. I'm using a 5400RPM 40GB in my 2400c so generally just use this for everything and not CF, I'd be inclined to use a big HD in other Mac notebooks too.

 

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you use two Cardbus PCMCIA cards in a 2400c and attempt to start up, somethings things go a bit screwy.

 

JB

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I knew I had seen something more about this somewhere, so went digging....

 

The 3400c is very like the 2400c, and for our purposes the key thing is that its cardbus capability is similar (and similarly compromised).

 

Dan Palka (he now of InfoMac and an occasional poster in these parts) has a set of well-hidden pages on the 3400c ( http://www.danpalka.net/hooper/ ) in which he points out that the 3400c will not boot with a cardbus card inserted, though once booted, cardbus cards will (sometimes) work.

 

By a kind of mathematical necessity, this means that running a 3400c from a cardbus CF drive is not likely going to happen, and the chances are that the same applies to the 2400c.

 

There are cardbus-CF adapters or readers commercially and readily available, but they are a good deal more expensive than the older 16-bit pcmcia cards, and would likely be no use for the purposes I had in mind.

 

Ho hum.

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Interesting stuff. I've never thought of booting from CardBus. I usually don't leave a card in when I power down (too many machines, too few peripherals), and if I need to boot from a PC Card, it's always a standard PCMCIA-compliant device (CF adapter, Type III hard drive).

Toshiba made a 5GB Type II hard drive, but I don't know whether it's CardBus or PCMCIA. They seem to be in the $100 range still, so I haven't bought one yet.

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