Jump to content

"Restoring" PowerBook(s)

Recommended Posts

Alright I decided to create a single thread for my PowerBook Duo (and others coming soon, maybe) to consolidate everything since I've been creating one too many threads for small things. I'll list everything here of what I've done and what I'll do to semi-restore my 230. Here's my list of things to do:


- Fix standoffs in outer screen casing

- Recapp the logic board

- Recapp the LCD

- Get a SCSI2CF converter

- Clean off sticky, gooey feet

- Disassemble entire laptop for cleaning


As you can see I'm not really doing much to them other than what most people would do but I do need help and there's plenty of knowledgeable people here that know much more than I do. Kinda hard to search anything up on Google sometimes as well unless you add something like "68kmla" at the end, but I digress.


-- Cleaning off Gooey Rubber Feet --


This was incredibly easy to do and even easier with the given advice from others in my previous thread (thank you!). All you'll need is a spudger or a small flat blade screwdriver, 91% Isopropyl alcohol and either some cotton balls, a rag or napkins, either of these work fine. Try to get the majority of the goo off, in my case I used a small flat blade. Just go slow and try not to gash the plastic (or use a spudger, much safer). Once you got the majority of it off soak your rag in a bit of alcohol and rub away until it's gone. Repeat with whatever goo you come across


-- Recapping --


So one of the biggies on the list is the recapping of the LCD and logic board, I've read in numerous old threads where (I forget his name) talked about recapping Duo's/PowerBook's and had a guide/thread somewhere. I found a master thread for recapping but the only portable listed was the PB100. So how does one go about the process of finding the appropriate caps to replace the dying ones? I have taken high-res pictures of the logic board to get some of your guy's input on it. Feel free to request any other picture angles if needed.


It seems the LCD is what's going to fail first since I noticed the solder joints were heavily oxidized and there was a bit of liquid on top of one of the caps (I assume it's a cap). The logic board caps look fine, I didn't see any apparent leaking or oxidized solder joints like on the LCD.




I'll be linking albums of current portables and future ones to my GDrive to keep thread bulk to a minimum.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nicely put together thread. One suggestion, upload the pics here so I can see them at work and they'll hopefully be around for all to see for a very long time. Illustrations don't count as bulk, if they're right-sized they're content, combine them with links underneath to the embiggened images in your albums and all would be perfect.


I'm looking forward to progress reports on your Duo230 restoration project. I've got a small flock of Duos in need of the same kinds of TLC. A used 230 was my second PowerBook after software support for the 68000 in the PB100 dropped to the point I couldn't run the next rev of Quicken for doing the books. Same deal when the move to PPC forced me to snag a 2300c refurb, the books were still on that one when I shut down operations in 2004!


Glad to see you leading the way in an organized manner here, I've got a lotta work to do on all three of my precious 'Booklets. ;)

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Evening everyone! I finally completed "restoring" my PBDuo230, not without having some type of headaches unfortunately. This post will be split into two posts due to my permissions to post images.

Let's start shall we?


-- Fixing the "Dead" Keyboard --


My initial idea for this machine was to use it as a general typing machine but one thing I never tested was the keyboard. So I booted up the Duo and opened up a random text application and to my unfortunate surprise the keyboard was somewhat unresponsive. First thing I did was fire up Google and search for anyone that has had the issue. Only one page popped up that was related to my issue, I can no longer find it but the tip he used was to dismantle the keyboard and separate the membranes(?) and clean the conductive traces with an eraser. Here's how I went about using this method:


It seems the conductive silver used on the plastic layers has produced a thin film of oxidation over the years, causing high resistance and not allowing key presses to be detected properly.


-- Removing the keyboard --


1. Remove the three screws holding in the keyboard from the bottom case.

2. Pull out the keyboard and lay it face first down onto the palmrest and carefully pull up on the locking tabs on either side of each ribbon cable.

3. Remove the keyboard.

-- Getting the Key-caps Off --


Now for getting the keycaps off is entirely up to you, we might not use the same methods but here's how I do it:

I pull up on the top edge of each key using my fingernail, they pop off rather easily.


-- Cleaning the Membranes --


Now that you've got all of the caps off you are greeted with the rubber dome membrane, you can just "peel" it off. Now there should be two plastic membrane layers with the silver conductive traces. DO NOT pull up from the corners of the plastic sheets, this is an easy way to rip or damage the ribbon cable since it is still inside the plastic frame.


Start off with the right-hand ribbon cable, this is the upper membrane. Push the ribbon cable from below the keyboard frame then remove the whole layer, repeat the same with the second layer. These how mine looked on the first teardown:



Now get a good quality eraser (no generic white type crappy ones) and well, start "erasing" the oxidation off of the traces. Take breaks after a while, my hands got pretty fatigued after cleaning twenty or so traces. Here's a before and after macro shot:



Honeywell? No wonder the keyboard is pretty cruddy :p Here's another before and after shot (treated traces on left and oxidized on the right):




Repeat the erasing process for the whole membrane until they are all a silver color, then wipe it down with some rubbing alcohol to remove any residue left by the eraser or any that was on the board before. Now here was my mistake, I didn't clean the rubber membrane at all before reassembling the keyboard, while the keys did work MUCH better afterwards they still weren't as sensitive as it should be.


Clean the rubber membrane's conductive rings with q-tips and rubbing alcohol, you'll see that the q-tip gets dark rather quickly. I assume its the alcohol removing contaminants or a layer of oxidation. These are the rings I speak of: 



Reassemble the keyboard partially with a few keys to test if they improved, if they did but not as much you may need to clean the three membranes again a few times. I had to take apart and reassemble the keyboard around 5 times since I wasn't thorough enough.


-- Fixing the LCD Rear Casing Standoffs --


When I was disassembling the Duo's screen assembly I noticed the initial two screws that held the case halves together weren't coming out. They were spinning so I automatically went to the conclusion that the standoffs were done. The way I was able to remove the screws was to squeeze the case halves together and unscrewing it. This gives the brass inserts enough bite to break the blue threadlock and get the LCD casing apart.


Now that you've gotten your LCD assembly apart, how do you fix the standoffs fixed (hopefully) permanently? JB Weld? That was my first thought, but then I did a bit of research and found a variant of JB Weld specifically for plastics. Search Google for "JB Weld Plasticweld". Here's a link for Amazon: http://a.co/75JQXgo


Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures other than the final product. But I'll try to explain the process I did to make a (hopefully) permanent repair.


-- Preparing the Plastics --


To make sure the epoxy grabs into the plastic casing you need to rough up the surface with either sandpaper or a x-acto blade or how I did, with a box cutter blade. Be sure to score the plastic in random directions as many times as you can to maximize the "bite". After you're satisfied with your results clean up the area with rubbing alcohol, this part is just as crucial as roughing up the surface. This gives the best possible conditions so the epoxy can bind with the plastic.


Now get the brass insert and try your best to get it into its original position. There should be an indent in the plastic where the insert used to be, if all goes well the insert should sit perfectly into the indent. Now mix up a small amount of epoxy thoroughly, after mixing use something fine tipped to apply it. Try your absolute best to get the epoxy into every little nook and cranny of the insert and trying avoiding letting the epoxy getting into the threads. I did and spent an hour getting a little bit of setting epoxy out from the threads. Apply two layers of epoxy in total


Supposedly the work time is five minutes and the cure time is one hour, that seems about right. I'd recommend leaving it cure overnight. Your finished result should be "something" like this, it ain't pretty but it works: 


Link to post
Share on other sites

-- Recapping the Logic Board and LCD Panel --


This is probably the most important part when restoring a vintage Macintosh of any kind, replacing the capacitors. This insures the logic board won't get damaged by the electrolyte inside the leaking caps, causing damage beyond repair in certain situations. I first realized the Duo was on it's last legs when I was messing around with it after the keyboard repair. I suddenly smelled the odor of rotting fish, everyone who has ever owned a Mac knows the cause, so I took it upon myself to recap the logic board and LCD panel.


Here are the caps you'll need, I ordered two spares on top the ones I needed just in case I goofed up with one:


Logic Board:

3x 100uf 25v (10mm in height)

1x 100uf 10v (5mm in height)

1x 100uf 25v (10mm in height)

1x 330uf 16v (10mm in height)

1x 33uf 25v (5mm in height)


These are all surface mount type radial capacitors.


LCD Panel:

8x 3.3uf 35v



1x 10uf 6.3v


There are no surface mount variants of this type of cap, you'll need to buy tantalum "bulb" type of capacitors for these, they work just fine. I ordered every single cap on Digikey for around ~$23 shipped, it would've been cheaper if I didn't order spares. Here's a "cap key":



-- Removing the old Leaky Caps --


I'll assume you already have your Duo torn apart and have your logic board ready for recapping at this point, if not you'll need to follow the service manual which you can find on Google. Search "Powerbook duo service manual". 


Okay so the preferred method of removing surface mount caps is to use a hot air rework station, which I don't have. So I had to make due with a generic "936D" soldering station I bought on Amazon. Another method of removing caps I read was soldering tweezers. I'll be focusing on a regular soldering iron.


Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures during the process of removing the caps, only after I was finished de-soldering all of them. I'll try my best to explain the process.


If you're lucky the old caps on the logic haven't leaked electrolyte yet, causing the solder joints to oxidize/corrode a bit. That makes them a bit harder to take new solder. Pre-heat your soldering iron to your preferred working temp, my generic iron was pretty off with it temperature measurement so I had to crank it up to 380c to get the iron to melt anything. Tin the tip and flow some new solder onto the capacitors joints (lead based solder is much easier to work with), while holding the iron there push against the capacitor to lift it slightly. After you know the capacitor is lifted pull the iron away and hold the cap up to let the solder cool, now move on to the other joint and repeat. Eventually the capacitor should pop off. Repeat for every single cap until you're done, here's what my board looked like after I was finished de-soldering:



-- Cleaning the Pads --


Now that you have a blank canvas for new caps you'll need some soldering flux. Here's an Amazon link to what I used: http://a.co/6qRH53E It worked wonders for me.


To clean the pads for new solder you'll need some flux and wick, apply some flux to every pad. After you've done that lay your wick down onto one of the pads and press your iron to it, watch for the wick sucking up old solder and "wipe" it across the pad then lift it off. You should now have a clean pad ready for fresh solder. Repeat for all of the pads. Flow a small amount of solder onto the pads, a very small amount. If you add too much just wick it off and retry. You need just enough so the capacitor feet can "stick".


-- Soldering in the new Caps --


Apply a good amount of flux to the first set of pads, a lot flux doesn't hurt anything but it does make cleaning up the board afterwards a bit of a hassle. Lay your cap on top of the pads and flux, the flux actually holds the cap as you solder so it is a bit easier. Press your iron onto the capacitors foot and pad and flow some solder into it. Repeat for the other side, now the cap should be soldered in. If you feel/it looks like the capacitor didn't make a solid connection just let the cap cool down a bit and press your iron against the pads to flow the solder again. Add more if needed. Repeat the process for all of the caps.


Here's my finished board:



Close-up of the 33uf 25v cap:



-- Recapping the LCD Panel --


The above process is mostly the same for recapping the LCD, but since we're using a completely different style of capacitor I'll need to explain how to solder these in. To prep the tantalum caps you'll need to trim them to size, I trimmed the leads down to around 5mm give or take. I then bent the leads so from a side view from the cap makes it look like an "L". Tin the leads then solder them in one by one.


Here's a picture after I finished soldering them all in:


Bend the capacitors SLOWLY down until they touch the board, I feared ripping the pads right off the board but all went well.


Here's another picture when I partly reassembled the LCD assembly, notice how the metal frame is "crimped" or bent up a bit where the caps are:



I bent the frame ever so slightly on each of the sides where the capacitors were since I was paranoid that the cap leads would touch the frame causing a short. To remedy this I covered the leads with regular tape (I know kapton tape would've been much better but I didn't think of it at the time, it works absolutely fine with regular tape.


Reassemble the LCD assembly and before you completely reassemble your Duo test the display before you put everything back together. If everything went well your Duo should boot up and the display might even look clearer. In my case fixed screen artifacts and glitching during use.


-- Recapping the Trackball --


Recapping the trackball? Yup, Apple decided to put a capacitor similar to the ones on the LCD panel on the trackball for some reason. This capacitor was a bit more tricky than the ones in the LCD panel, since I had to remove the upper mouse click switch to have enough access and not burn the switch itself. Here's how I did it, unfortunately no pictures of the process until I finished.


Flow some new solder onto the three switch's pins then lay on a bit of flux. Use the soldering wick to remove as much of the solder as you can. Now using the iron push the pins out, alternating between each one to wiggle it out. It took me around fifteen minutes to get the dang switch out. Clean up the pads and solder the new capacitor in using the method for the LCD caps.


Here's the result:


Notice how the capacitor isn't soldered in like the LCD caps are, this is because I recapped the trackball first and the LCD after. So I didn't think of bending the leads the way I did in the LCD panel. Unfortunately I didn't order any spares for this cap rating but it works fine like this, but hey if it works why fix it? :p


There you have it, I learned so much during my time with the Duo. Maybe this thread will be of use to someone in the near future! :)

Edited by perez6991
Link to post
Share on other sites

Great job! :D  This is an awesome guide.  I have a PowerBook 540c, 3400c, and 2400c that are all good candidates for a proper restore.  The project list is a little long right now, and work is hectic so it will be a few months before I can even think of trying this but I'll come back to it eventually when I complete my restorations.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great job! :D  This is an awesome guide.  I have a PowerBook 540c, 3400c, and 2400c that are all good candidates for a proper restore.  The project list is a little long right now, and work is hectic so it will be a few months before I can even think of trying this but I'll come back to it eventually when I complete my restorations.

Thank you for the compliments! Unfortunately I won't be keeping this machine much longer as a 1400c has taken it's place (for now ;) ). Tomorrow you'll be seeing the Duo in the trading post. And I am sure jealous that you have a 2400c, I've always wanted one but jeez the prices for those are outrageous! $200+

Link to post
Share on other sites

Super guide ! This is going to be an reference for me now.

btw, as you are working on a 230, did you tried disassembling the screen from the front plastic bezel ? 

I've tried doing that on a 210, exchanging a broken front bezel with a good one to fit in front of a good screen, but it looked like the things are glued together ...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Super guide ! This is going to be an reference for me now.

btw, as you are working on a 230, did you tried disassembling the screen from the front plastic bezel ? 

I've tried doing that on a 210, exchanging a broken front bezel with a good one to fit in front of a good screen, but it looked like the things are glued together ...

Actually I did try separating the bezel from the LCD panel but I believe it's held in with adhesive somewhere. Although I'm not sure, when I was recapping the LCD I decided to leave the bezel in place.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great guide! Thanks for this, I love the old powerbooks. I have a growing collection of 100-series PBs with bad plastics...


What epoxy did you use, specifically? How is it holding up now (a few days?) after the repair?

I was going to use JB Kwikweld but I found some JB Plasticweld on Amazon as I mentioned in the guide: http://a.co/75JQXgo So far it's holding up just fine, it's been more than a week since I repaired the casing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

PLEASE NOTE: In the recapping section of the guide I noticed I made a mistake in the list of caps needed for the logic board. It should be 3x 100uf 35v (10mm in height) instead of 3x 100uf 25v. FOLLOW THE PICTURE DIAGRAM INSTEAD! I really don't know why the forums don't let you edit posts after a certain amount of time, it's rather annoying :-/

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 years later...
On 2/23/2017 at 3:55 PM, perez6991 said:








Hi all,


Sorry for digging up this post... but perez6991, you've written an amazing thread and I hope to contribute by providing extra help for people with unhealthy PowerBooks.


My PowerBook is making an awful squealing/hissing noise when it powers up (or when you're holding the power button in) that goes away once it actually turns on.

Later, it comes back and shuts the machine down if you're chewing too much juice.


It's coming from the 152-0012 92KZ49 AT&T coil/transformer/inducer.


Does anyone know what the exact component is? Is there an equivalent part we can replace them with nowadays?


Here's mine:



Well, the left of it anyway... you can see it's toast... as well as the cap to the left.


Thank you ALL, in advance, for any help... and sorry for digging up this post.

Edited by stevenh
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...