Hello, new to this site, recent minor collector of vintage computers, mainly portables and laptops, couple local friends said this site is good to ask questions, so here's mine:
There's this guy, couple provinces over, who's selling his macintosh portable for $300, plus shipping, seen the pictures, looks to be in good condition, minor yellowing. Includes power supply and original carrying case however, the machine doesn't power on , and functions. Seller says cause its batteries, but I have no idea. I don't have much repair knowledge. Should I go for it? Thanks.
It's true that a Mac Portable needs a working battery to boot.
Instead I purchased the Outbound Portable clone and found some Mac SE ROMs to install for my use.
I was so happy to get the sleek Powerbook 100 for my then wife (basically a Mac SE in a ultra slim case).
I like it.
It's a collectible machine, to be sure, and they typically sell for more than your offer (especially with the original PSU and carrying case). However, they are finicky, and are susceptible to damage to the power management system due to ignorance or electrolyte damage. If you are comfortable with rework, potentially trace repair, and electronics troubleshooting in general, then you should be fine if any issues arise.
Some advice if you decide to pull the trigger:
- don't start the machine until all electrolytic capacitors have been replaced, and the logic board has been thoroughly cleaned (ultrasonically, ideally) to ensure as much electrotlyte has been removed from the board. Some would also advise a short bake to boil out any lingering electrolyte out from layers (15-20 minutes at 170F) as a final measure.
- only power the machine with a good battery installed (you should NOT power this machine off the PSU, as the system is designed to always run off battery). alaska360 sells 3d-printed replacements on eBay, but you could drop in a 6V / 5Ah SLA replacement brick and connect the terminals accordingly. Many users repack the original battery case (if it's avaiable) with one of these modern SLA replacements, or using the original-style three-cell Cyclon battery assemblies (which are much more expensive but tend to perform much better)
- dont' use the PSU unless you've verified it's in spec (7.5 - 7.8V), as many of these original PSU's are failing due to capacitor failure and can be way over spec, potentially damaging the machine (it doesn't have any real over-voltage / -current protection to speak of). They are actually quite easy to recap, and I would recommend doing it as these original PSU's are uniquely suited to the machine and are pretty rare (I've been looking for one for YEARS). Note, again, that the machine is intended to always run off battery, and the PSU really only exists to charge the battery in situ
If you've been looking for a Portable, I'd say this is a good offer and worth the chance...
Hello all, given the information you've all given me, I have decided to pass on this machine, while it is nice, I don't have too good of an experience with reworking. Thank you all for your advice
For those of us who might be interested, where can the listing be found?
Here is the listing for anybody who can fix this machine: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/2980482435599081/?ref=search&referral_code=marketplace_search&referral_story_type=post
I thought mine was the battery also. Turned out to be the PRAM battery eating through the logicboard. So technically was the battery. That one is now on the shelf as an "I give up" project.
I know I said I wouldn't be buying the macintosh portable, but I am currently in discussions with the seller.
So, it turns out the seller was a scammer. I found out his email didn't match his facebook account, and the one he was using was barren and fake. He also started calling me the scammer when I asked for video evidence of the machine. I am going to report him now.
If he was never planning to mail it, he could have at least thrown in a working battery.
Personally, In my opinion, he simply saw that a macintosh portable was a collectible item, and proceeded to try to mkae a quick buck off collectors. So I doubt that he actually read up about the machine that much. It was odd that he started his listing at 1000, then reduced his price to well under the market price, at 230 . I offered 300 to him for good shipping and he immediately agreed. He lived in a very populous area, and so there would've been collectors contacting him from his local area.
Either way, It's over, and I'll be sticking to verified vintage computer seller groups for a while, and do more background checks on sellers next time round.