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Thank you all! :) The iBook G3 has been my dream computer since I was a little girl, so finally getting this one to a usable state is pretty much accomplishing a life goal. :lol: And it's even my favorite color!

 

The flash drive is Windows formatted. I had a brand new drive all set and ready to go, formatted on my iMac and everything, but it turns out that it's too big to fit in the recess the USB port is in on the iBook so I physically can't use it. :vent: So I need to get a new drive just for my iBook, but I decided to use the Windows one in the meantime since it had enough room to transfer my games and I'm too impatient to wait for the new one to arrive. :D

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You can pick up USB extension cables from anywhere to have the USB drive dangling off it.  Congrats on getting it running, the Clamshell is a great piece of design.

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8 hours ago, Byrd said:

You can pick up USB extension cables from anywhere to have the USB drive dangling off it.  Congrats on getting it running, the Clamshell is a great piece of design.

That is definitely good to know! How did I not know those are a thing sooner? :lol: The clamshell is absolutely a piece of art, and the built in carrying handle is something modern laptops should have. Yes, modern laptops are much lighter, but especially the ones with bigger screens can be kind of clumsy to carry. (At least for me, if being a klutz was an Olympic sport I would be a serious contender for gold!)

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For what it's worth, the battery on those clamshells just uses six standard 18650 lithium cells. Very easily attainable and a pretty simple job to install into your existing battery pack.

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It should be noted though, the blue color on these iBooks was Blueberry, not Bondi. Bondi was strictly for the very first generation of iMacs, that color went away when the jump to the "Yum" Fruit colors was made. Bondi is a slight bit greener than Blueberry. As the iBooks came out when that jump was already made, they only took two out of the five Fruit colors for the Clamshells. Which is a bit of a bummer, I would have loved seeing all the Fruit iMac G3 colors represented in Clamshells!

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11 hours ago, ian128K said:

For what it's worth, the battery on those clamshells just uses six standard 18650 lithium cells. Very easily attainable and a pretty simple job to install into your existing battery pack.

I am in the midst of this exact project right now! :)

 

In theory, this is true. In practice, I have found that it would have been far easier, safer, and cheaper to just have purchased a commercial battery pack from Newegg. The 18650 cells can be very dangerous and frustrating to work with. If they are not handled properly, they will explode and catch on fire. (Don't ask about the melted battery pack on my workbench.) I built a spot welder to attach them together, but this cost almost $100 by itself. Theoretically, you could solder the batteries together, but with how reactive they are, I would not even consider doing this. I think the 18650 cells cost me $30, and a charger for the cells cost $10. If I had just bought a $60 battery pack, I would have been much better off.

 

Of course, I am having tons of fun figuring out how to do the project, and I am enjoying working on it. From a monetary standpoint though, I'm not sure it is worth it, unfortunately.

 

I hope to make a post about my battery as soon as I assemble a battery pack that doesn't try to catch on fire! I think it will be really exciting to use my Clamshell without being tethered to the power adapter.

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9 hours ago, LaPorta said:

Do we now have a proven method for rebuilding these batteries?

The method exists, but unfortunately, there is a lot of conflicting information that goes around when dealing with the 18650 batteries. There are several videos showing people soldering directly to the cells to rebuild iBook batteries, but according to the manufacturers of the batteries, this is dangerous and also decreases the battery life. A lot of people swear by this technique, but I have a feeling the battery manufacturers know what they are talking about more than most hobbyists do. The problem is that if there is a tiny short anywhere, it is enough to get things red hot, which melts the insulation, leading to more shorts, fire, etc. Essentially, if anything goes wrong, you can have a massive fire hazard on your hands.

 

I did a ton of research before attempting to rebuild my battery pack, but I still ended up melting several batteries and spending way too much money. :( I think at least for now, it is easier, safer, and cheaper just to buy an aftermarket battery pack. If the source of these dries up, I guess someone will make a bit of money rebuilding these for people who don't want to deal with the problems entailed!

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I picked up a brand new 64GB flash drive at Target today, and when I inserted it it greeted me with my very first bomb on this Mac! Or, at least tried to... :lol: This particular error has always made me smile. Thankfully a restart put an end to its hissy fit, and when the files are done copying from the 256GB drive onto the 64GB drive I should be able to get my software all transferred and set up! :D

 

I've also noticed that the iBook intermittently forgets the date and time after a restart/shut down. Are there any PRAM batteries I need to be concerned about replacing? This will be a school laptop, so date and time will be quite important.

 

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23 hours ago, ian128K said:

Oh come on, don't leave us hanging like that! :lol:

I'm waiting for another battery pack to arrive in the mail at the moment, but as soon as I make a working battery, I promise to make a thread detailing the (more difficult than expected) process.

 

...OK -I'll describe the melted battery here too. :)What happened is that after I spot-welded the entire battery pack, I had a hard time getting the plastic shell to snap closed. It turns out there are at least two revisions of these batteries, (one with orange cells, and one with green ones) It looks like the green cell variant is easier to work with, but I had the orange one. While pressing the plastic clips together, a tiny piece of insulation must have been scaped off one of the cells, because the next thing I knew, I could see a red-orange glow coming through the almost closed plastic shell. The nickel-metal strips ended up getting so hot that they melted and acted like fuses before things could get even worse, but this was enough to destroy three of the 18650s and make a pool of molten solder fuse to a battery cell. The wires I soldered to the nickel strips fell off because the solder melted after getting so hot. The plastic casing also partially melted in this area from the heat. I hope to try again, but this scary (and really expensive) experience was more than enough to put me off from the project for over a month! I guess the main takeaway for me was that the 18650s are really dangerous, and if anything goes slightly wrong, they are enough to ruin your day!

 

13 hours ago, Juliet Elysa said:

I've also noticed that the iBook intermittently forgets the date and time after a restart/shut down. Are there any PRAM batteries I need to be concerned about replacing? This will be a school laptop, so date and time will be quite important.

I think the iBook just uses the main battery to run the clock, so getting a new battery should fix this issue. There might also be a capacitor that keeps time between battery swaps, but I cannot remember if that applies here.

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16 hours ago, Juliet Elysa said:

I've also noticed that the iBook intermittently forgets the date and time after a restart/shut down. Are there any PRAM batteries I need to be concerned about replacing? This will be a school laptop, so date and time will be quite important.

With an active Wi-Fi available just keep the 'Book  with the Date and Time Control Panel (OS 9 nomenclature) set to use the Time Server. You get an almost immediate correct clock set when you start up.

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