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Got an Emate itch


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I have found a seller within driving distance selling Emates for $15 USD. He said they were "power tested" but didn't explain what that meant, I asked if anything showed on screen or if there was a chime but I haven't heard back. I assume he's trying to get rid of them but I don't want to buy a lemon even if it is only $15.

 

My new pet-peeve is people selling equipment in "working condition" with a picture where the screen is off.  Your machine looks like a dead machine and there's no way to prove it!

 

Anyway, even though I haven't heard back from my last batch of questions, the seller has a good rating and I assume I can work through most problems. I'm assuming I'll have to remake my own battery pack but I see some of you have already posted instructions on how to do that.

 

My questions for you are,

  • Is this a good price for an Emate?
  • There are several available, would you buy 2-3 just in case, for parts?
  • Where to find newton software?
  • Can I get this working with my Quadra 840AV?

 

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$15 is a good price. If he doesn't have the original power adapter (they're a flat black slab, roughly the size of a 2.5" hard drive) you'll need to get one.

 

Parts machines don't hurt, I would check to make sure none of them have had a hinge fail and ruin the display cable (you'll need to lubricate the hinges regardless).

UNNA is a good place. That being said it'll work fine with OS X and the right adapters, using NCX.

 

NewtonTalk mailing list will also be helpful.

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If you can test the eMate when buying, go for one which has a good bright backlight (suggests minimal use) and ensure the display is 100% functional when the screen is tilted.  Also look on the underside of the eMate, you might luck out and find one with the rare 4MB RAM upgrade, which improves performance.

 

The eMate is certainly an odd looking device and great collectable piece, but slow.  For a more enjoyable Newton OS experience look out for a Newton 2000 or 2100 - both of which are considerably faster.

 

JB

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All this advice is spot on. The eMate will be easy to get working with your Quadra, since it doesn't require an additional Serial to Interconnect adapter that the MessagePad 2x00 use (they're hard to come by these days), so just need a standard mini DIN-8 serial cable and the Newton Conection Kit software.

 

As mentioned, the resources for software & support are: UNNA.org, NewtonTalk.net, and WikiWikiNewt.

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Well I picked up 2 from an electronics liquidator, I chose to pick them up instead of having them shipped. They are education units from a nearby school board. While the eBay posting only showed 5, they have boxes of them. 

 

 I really want to see what these machines are like to use so I cleaned them up and tried a universal adapter only on one unit. I didn't leave it plugged it long, maybe 15 seconds but no response, but no heat or blue smoke either. So I'm left with three options

  1. Get regulated power supply that match 7v/1.2a/center positive and hope it doesn't break anything (please let me know if my specs are off).
  2. Try the battery refurbish and always charge the batteries externally before using the device. I have some 2000-2800mAh AA nimh batteries lying around that I could use.
  3. Do both.
  4. Buy overpriced original power supply.

What would you suggest? 

 

Thoughts so far, 

  • These are much smaller than I was expecting
  • Can I get this on a wired network?
  • Figure out a project to connect eMate with arduino or Raspberry PI. 
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I don't trust this universal adapter, when double checking the polarity I noticed some variations in voltages, sometimes up to 1.5v away from the target voltage. Also the closest marked voltage was 7.5 not 7v like the Netwon adapter. 

 

There's a nice electronics store I can pick up a better power supply or the battery holder to refurbish the battery pack. I'll try looking for both but I think the battery pack might be the safest option right now.

 

As an idea, would it be easier charging the battery pack externally than charging them in the Newton and worrying about the exact specs?

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I finally undid the back plate and removed the battery. I started the teardown to refurbish the battery but just wanted to make sure the eMates worked. The emate pack is 4 AA batteries in series, I had a spare 4 battery holder and wired it up. The first emate worked great and chimed, asked me to calibrate and then provided me with the a limited group of apps. The second one asks me to calibrate the screen by tapping on 3 areas of the the screen, then loops and asks me to calibrate again. I read a comment about 'brain wiping' but I was unable to do this because the calibration wasn't not remembered and I could not tap YES to erase everything.

 

2 immediate goals:

-Escape calibration loop

-Gain greater authority by disabling locked down student account

 

Any one see a Newton behave like this?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I also picked up 2 of these eMates from these guys (local pickup). When I got them home, one was in great shape, but the touchscreen on the other was totally unresponsive. They were happy to exchange the faulty one.

 

Perhaps they'll do the same for you? It's still less than a month since you picked yours up, and they have tons of 'em.

 

Theirs are from a local school board and are in varying states. It's probably a good idea to bring a power adapter or battery to check replacement units in situ. I

should have brought my power adapter on initial pickup.

Edited by Westinghouse
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  • 2 weeks later...

I also picked up 2 of these eMates from these guys (local pickup). When I got them home, one was in great shape, but the touchscreen on the other was totally unresponsive. They were happy to exchange the faulty one.

 

Perhaps they'll do the same for you? It's still less than a month since you picked yours up, and they have tons of 'em.

 

Theirs are from a local school board and are in varying states. It's probably a good idea to bring a power adapter or battery to check replacement units in situ. I

should have brought my power adapter on initial pickup.

I went back and bought two more. Both boot but 1 has an unresponsive screen and I can't tap on the screen to engage a brain wipe on it. I just want to rule out the screen issues aren't software related. The store's hours are a bit restricted so I didn't have time to bring my defective one and power adapter with me, I think I might leave it in the car in the future.

 

The latest snag I've hit is the replacement battery holder tubes I bought are too long to fit in the compartment. Since the original batteries were low mAH I can use the a 2xAA holder instead of a 4xAA holder. If I put in 2400 mAH batteries I should have a similar amount of capacity as the originals. I think I read somewhere the originals were 1500 mAH, but for some reasons I think they might be 800 mAH (I might be thinking of the MessagePad pack). 

 

After I get that sorted I want to start putting on some software. My MessagePad has a really good solitaire game that's probably included in the software archive on UNNA.

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By using a 2xAA battery holder instead of a 4xAA holder, you may be able to fit similar capacity in terms of mAH, but the voltage will be too low, so it won't work. I've seen people hack away plastic to fit larger holders or make custom holders that will fit, but your best bet is to re-cell the battery pack (the eMate should be much easier to do than the MessagePad 2x00 as it's just shrink tubed, not encased in ABS plastic).

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By using a 2xAA battery holder instead of a 4xAA holder, you may be able to fit similar capacity in terms of mAH, but the voltage will be too low, so it won't work. I've seen people hack away plastic to fit larger holders or make custom holders that will fit, but your best bet is to re-cell the battery pack (the eMate should be much easier to do than the MessagePad 2x00 as it's just shrink tubed, not encased in ABS plastic).

Damn, when I was looking I couldn't find a lot of information. I understand series vs parallel but always forget which one is which (if anyone has an analogy or mnemonic I would love to hear it). Another cheat I could do is a 4xAAA battery holder. The AAA are shorter and might fit but I would be compromising mAH, but I think I'm OK with that. Most decent rechargeable AAAs are 800mAH-1000mAH so that would put me around the original capacity.

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I've been thwarted again! A 4 AAA battery holder in the shape I want doesn't seem to exist. I'm looking for something like this but for AAAs. Maybe I can just do what some the sites show and glue and shrink-wrap the batteries together. If anyone knows a vendor that battery holders like this but for AAAs please let me know.

 

 pri-x225.jpgBholdAA-4Cell-2x2%20-%20BH14AAW.jpg

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  • 3 months later...

A 4.8v NiMH battery pack can be bought ready-made on eBay for about $15-20, complete with plastic wrapping and pre-wired leads. Just attach the plug from the original eMate battery (and fuse if you are so inclined), and the battery problem is solved. This is a MUCH better solution than fiddling with black AA battery holders, which don't fit without modifying the plastics of your machine.

 

Just look for a battery pack wired 2x2 lengthwise. They are available and they work perfectly in an eMate, with excellent run times.

Edited by beachycove
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A 4.8v NiMH battery pack can be bought ready-made on eBay for about $15-20, complete with plastic wrapping and pre-wired leads. Just attach the plug from the original eMate battery (and fuse if you are so inclined), and the battery problem is solved. This is a MUCH better solution than fiddling with black AA battery holders, which don't fit without modifying the plastics of your machine.

 

Just look for a battery pack wired 2x2 lengthwise. They are available and they work perfectly in an eMate, with excellent run times.

 

 

Never thought of that. The only thing is I'm using a third party adjustable supply and sometimes it says I'm providing too much power. Having the AAAs would allow you to charge externally but that would mean opening the case each time to charge...

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  • 2 weeks later...

A 4.8v NiMH battery pack can be bought ready-made on eBay for about $15-20, complete with plastic wrapping and pre-wired leads. Just attach the plug from the original eMate battery (and fuse if you are so inclined), and the battery problem is solved. This is a MUCH better solution than fiddling with black AA battery holders, which don't fit without modifying the plastics of your machine.

 

Just look for a battery pack wired 2x2 lengthwise. They are available and they work perfectly in an eMate, with excellent run times.

Just thought of something. All those AAs are 1.5v, in series they'd be 6 volts no? Won't the 4.8v pack not be enough? Or is it NIMH can only output 1.2v?

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