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PB 180 “head transplant”


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I've got two 180s here:

  • a greyscale with nice steady display but a busted disk and some internal support damage. It boots nicely from floppy, but the old 120MB disk made siren noises. Replacing the HD with an 80 MB from a 170 wasn't recognized in Apple HD SC Setup (but then, I don't hear any spin up noises from that one, either …)
  • a 180c that makes all of the right booting noises from its 120 MB drive, but the screen only gives backlight and the whole upper screen assembly/hinge is coming apart.

Can I take the lower case of the 180c (with logic board, hard drive, floppy, etc) and mate it with the upper case of the greyscale 180 (the keyboard, trackball, display) and expect it to work? I don't really want to take the nice mono screen apart if I can avoid it, and it would be nice to have one working 180 out of the two.

 

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There are apparently small differences in the logic boards. The 180 has less vram than the 180c (128 versus 512k, I think), but whether there are more wide-ranging changes in the video system remains to be seen.... By you!

 

I'd be surprised if it didn't work, but it won't be a huge effort even if it fails.

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The obvious issue with putting a color display on a grayscale PowerBook is going to be the VRAM issue. It will only run at 16 colors or grays, whereas the color models probably had 256 or thousands (I don't have the specs at hand right now.) Otherwise, given that the reverse worked, I don't see why this wouldn't work, at least with the 180c display.

 

 

Are there any other models of PB screen which can fit in the 180? I just acquired one and it has slight tunnelling on the right side. Would hate to think it can be sorted some how.

 

That said...

 

I've said this a few different times and I don't know if you've seen it: the grayscale 180 display tunneling issue gets better when the machines dry out. Mine came to me from a relatively humid climate with bad tunneling, and after being with me for a few weeks, the issue completely cleared up and I haven't seen any more tunneling since I got the thing almost ten years ago.

 

Failing a dry southwestern US climate,  do you have some kind of desiccant or a dehumidifying chamber or like a server room or a box of rice you can put your PowerBook into to dry out?

 

What I'd do is put the 180 in a bed of plain rice inside a plastic box that has a lid. Put the lid on and let it sit for several days. That may very well improve the tunneling, again, in lieu of an environmental relative humidity low enough to fix the problem over time.

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One thing i thought of while puttering this weekend: The 180 supports 640x480 color and 800x600 color video output (at least) -- it probably has enough VRAM to drive a color display if you were to put one on.

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