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Macintosh PowerBook 145/160/170 battery replacement


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Daaaaaaang, that's nice.
I'm interested in the LED mod and how well it works. My 160 could probably benefit from that - I get about 3 hours on 5 NiMH cells as it is. Actually running a NiCd battery back in it now, got a NOS third-party battery and was able to recover a decent bit of capacity, it lasts about 2 hours but at least I can charge it in-system.

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Daaaaaaang, that's nice.

I'm interested in the LED mod and how well it works. 

 

Me too +++, I'd love to see what you've done and if it improves things such as vignetting on active displays.  Please post up a new thread on this!

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Me too +++, I'd love to see what you've done and if it improves things such as vignetting on active displays.  Please post up a new thread on this!

It should have no effect on vignetting, that's a known moisture issue. Changing the light source won't help unfortunately.

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Thanks!

 
I love any application of frosted glass or plastic myself, so that was a natural choice :) If I would start selling these, I'd have to improve on the build quality and the time spent :) But I hope my report might be of use.
 
Regarding the LED upgrade, for now I can tell that it works perfectly. With a bit of extra circuity, it maps precisely to the hardware/software controls, and the backlight is very even, with a maximum light output of a little over 400 cd/m2 (for comparison, the original CCFL gave about about 50 cd/m2 when I got it back in 2001 which slowly decreased, until it finally gave up in 2015). When I find the time (will likely take a while), I will post a more detailed report in these two threads: 
 
 
By the way, Rajel, I saw your post in the thread about replacement CCFL bulbs, where you mentioned that LEDs will give an uneven backlight with old panels made for CCFLs. This is not the case at all with my PowerBook 170, where the backlight is completely even. However, I noticed while taking apart the backlight on a PowerBook 140 that I use for spare parts, that its optical system is different from the 170's. While the backlight of the 170 consists of a reflector sheet, a light guide plate and two frosted diffuser films, the backlight of the 140 has only a reflector sheet, a light guide plate (with the pattern facing the reflector instead of the LCD like in the 170) and a simple milk-white diffuser sheet (absorbing a lot of light in comparison with the two diffusor films of the 170), so the type of optical system might be a factor.
Edited by PB170
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Ah, that may be the case. The system in the 160 just has the single reflector and light guide. If you could get a strip that's dense enough it might work, but heat and space may quickly become an issue.
I'd love to see it done though! Even if it is a little uneven, it's just at the right edge of the screen where your drive icons typically are and wouldn't get in the way too much.

Edited by Rajel
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  • 9 months later...

Hey, so I built the 3D printed pack their for my PB 150, thanks so much for making that, it looks great! I have to ask though @Westinghouse, whats up with the little tab thingys for holding on the battery cover? They aren't even close to the correct shape for the PB150 cover, is there a model that that's the right shape to hold the cover on?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi jinnai;

 

Thanks for the kind comments!

 

The tabs are only there as standoffs to hold the battery secure within the recess against the back of the original sliding case cover. I didn't feel that I'd be able to get the original sliding cover to match up well with a printed tray's sliding cover tracks without doing several rounds of prototyping - and since I don't have a printer of my own, this solution was good enough for my purposes... so the sliding cover from my original battery is a separate part from my printed tray.

 

They also double as fingerholds so that I can pull the printed tray out when the sliding cover is removed.

Edited by Westinghouse
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  • 1 month later...

Hello!

 

Just thought I'd mention that I recently built a second battery for my PowerBook. Since I'm slow-charging my first battery at 0.1C for 15 hours in order to maximize its lifetime and performance, I soon felt a need for a second one.

 

This time I used one of the original cases. After an earlier, unsuccessful attempt at cracking them open using a vice following the trick Ferrix97 used with the AC adaptors, I decided to try to cut them open with a scalpel instead, which turned out to work surprisingly well. While using the scalpel the normal way made little progress, I discovered that running it backwards allowed me to carve out thin strips of the plastic which made the process much quicker. The final result isn't topnotch, but quite good.

 

The biggest achievement however, I feel, was when I finally discovered a way to arrange the batteries inside the case and still have room for the aforementioned charing port on the side where I wanted it :) Interesting how seldom we use our brains for actual practical problem solving in this modern age where all the world's information is available at our fingertips! I share it here free of charge for you all in case anyone would like to repeat the process ;-)

 

Below are a couple of photos of the result!

Image 1.jpg

Image 2.jpg

Image 3.jpg

Image 4.jpg

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On a side note, another reason for building a second battery was that I wanted one that looked less homemade in order to – hopefully – allow me to take the computer with me while flying. It was with some great worries that I approached the security control at Copenhagen airport about a month ago. I had prepared a variety of explanations about older laptop batteries, and other strategies to talk myself through the control. My optimism for the rest of the the trip grew considerably however, when it passed through the control without any questions whatsoever. In the end, I returned home after going through four additional security controls (two in Finland and two in Japan) without any remarks! No guarantee that it will work everywhere, but at least I deem it a success this time. Here's me in the air: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5HMkCqfhCA ;-)

 

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  • 5 months later...
9 hours ago, Jinnai said:

it would matter for internal charging, right?

Maaaybe...
If you include a BMS circuit in the pack, I suspect the laptop could be run off 8.5volts instead of the original 7.5volts, and charge the pack in circuit.

Does anyone have a schematic for any of these laptops? If not, I'll pull my 165 apart and try to figure out if this is a reasonable solution ;)

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  • 1 year later...
On 1/27/2017 at 3:14 AM, nvdeynde said:

I replaced the cells of original Powerbook 100 series batteries with 5x Panasonic Eneloop Pro cells rated 2500mah. These are good quality Japanase cells and meet exactly the specs of the old Apple battery.
I re-used the 2x auto resettable heat sensors from the original battery pack to protect the cells against overcharging/overheating.

Works fine and is very cheap, easy to build. The cells cost about 15$ for 5. The laptop charges normally and I have a battery life of about 3 hours on a PB145 with LCD and hard drive constantly running.
 

Were you able to charge from the laptop or did you have to set up a way to remove the cells before recharging them? If I were to set up another 5 batteries in parallel to the first set of 5, similarly to the original configuration, would it still work?

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  • 5 months later...

Bringing another thread back from the historical archives...

 

I 3d printed the battery case @Westinghouse designed (I'm not sure if he's still on here but what an incredible job - I was astonished at the extreme level of detail to allow for clean routing of conductors). 

 

This pseudo-battery worked great with my PB 145B and 5x NiMH batteries for a couple of weeks.  Note I was NOT charging the batteries in the Powerbook and continued to remove them and charge separately. 

 

As I had previously removed the PRAM battery when I recapped my PB (to avoid potential leaking - note that I have sense ordered replacement rechargeable coin cell batteries) I had taken to plugging in my Powerbook right before removing the battery pack to avoid losing the date/time etc.  I would then unplug the Powerbook right after replacing the battery pack with freshly charged batteries.  This had worked great for a number of cycles but this weekend when I unplugged the adapter the Powerbook just turned off despite having fresh batteries.

 

As it stands now, the Powerbook will turn on when connected to the AC adapter but will not turn on with only battery power.

 

Has anybody else experienced an issue like this?

 

A couple of things:

1) I plan to troubleshoot this a bit more once I get the replacement PRAM battery is delivered but won't be opening the unit until then as I want to limit the number of times I need to take apart Powerbook plastic...  I think some models may have a fuse on the logic board (or elsewhere).  I think it should be pretty easy to probe and see where power isn't getting to.

2) My 1.2v rated NiMH cells charge to about 1.4v.  That means that a fully charged pseudo-battery puts out 7v as opposed to an OEM battery at 6v.  The AC adapter is 7.x V so I had thought this would be fine.

3) I did reset the power manager (no power at all for 5+ minutes, hold down reset and interrupt for 10 seconds) with no change.

 

Thanks!

Edited by superjer2000
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Superjer2000; thanks for the kind words about the case design!

I am on here every once in a while.

 

Regarding your issue, I wonder if perhaps there is no longer good contact between the battery and the contacts inside the powerbook.

This might not be the case for you (I'm still using my original, before I added the 'lid'), but it would not hurt to check: maybe the case warped a bit under the physical stresses of the cells and cell contacts; I had this to some extent, and I soldered some additional copper over the battery-to-powerbook contacts to ensure good contact.

 

 

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