PowerBook 180! Oddities, though.

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Vellos's picture
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PowerBook 180! Oddities, though.

Well, I just recently dusted off an old PowerBook 180 that I had previously thought was dead, bricked. I booted it up, and it works wonderfully. The battery gets about 6 minutes after I spent a week reconditioning the battery, and the AC adaptor is shot, but those are fairly easy to replace.

There is one thing I'm wondering about. I thought the DC in port on the motherboard had a dry or broken solder point, causing the power not to be properly fed the laptop, which would cause the adaptor to not properly get power into the laptop, even when seemingly plugged in. I've had experience with these things before, my old Sega Genesis had this problem, and a quick reheat of the broken point with a soldering gun fixed it. After I researched the documents to tear apart a 180, I finally got inside and was staring at something rather strange that I've never seen before.

Jello-like heatsinks stuck onto the tops of a few ICs. I haven't been able to find anything about them or even pictures online anywhere, and I'm wondering just how effective they are. The thought crossed my mind to clean them off, and replace them with heatsinks designed for RAM (approximately the same size), and fix them with a thermal epoxy. This potentially could allow the laptop to cool it's self better, and also keep my legs from getting cooked at times. Anyone ever replaced these "heatsinks" before in these old PowerBooks? Would I be best off just to leave these original, albet strange, ones?

Also, if anyone has an old 1xx series AC adaptor, either the 2 or 3 amp version, I'd be an interested buyer.

Jon
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Those are thermal pads, and I

Those are thermal pads, and IIRC some are pressed against some metal when the 1xx case is closed. If you modify that setup, you'd be changing the thermal setup drastically. Dr Bob will certainly have insight about what the pads are designed for. I've never really done much about them other than give 'em a poke. They are Jell-O (tm) like, esp. the whipped style.

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right. so leave 'em alone

Thermal pads were common and normal in many PowerBooks of the era. As Jon says they're designed to move heat from the MLB to various case parts. Don't touch 'em, keep 'em clean, leave 'em be. You and your 'Book will be happier for it.

dan k

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AC adapter

I have 3 of these. I can part with one for the right price. make me an offer.

and no, I am not stingy, so it will be going for cheap.

currentl, one of them is for my PB100, one is for my PB145, which STILL needs a new PMU, and one that recharges the external BTI battery for the 100/145.

btw, the batt for the 145 holds a charge for 30 minutes or so.

I also have a spare batt for the 1xx series, not the one for the 100, but I think it will work in the 180. it doesnt take a charge, but you can have it with the adapter. Maybe you can re-condition it and get some life out of it.

PM me and make me an offer for the adapter and/or battery.

-digital Wink

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New battery!

You know - you can still get new batteries for these things - at least in the UK!

I got a battery for my ex-gf's 145B in 2002 from a place in North London who copied battries and made correct speced replacements. As far as I know they're still in buisness. It meant I could use the 145b as my "away from home" mac for a good year!

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Yup, I was lucky to locate a

Yup, I was lucky to locate a dealer online that sold 1xx series batteries for a very reasonable price. 4000+mAh batteries (as opposed to the originals 2600, AT BEST when new), and the improved NiMH technology, as opposed to the NiCD. No doubt my old battery suffers from dendrites that have probably killed off several cells in the battery, but NiMH don't suffer from those after long times of inactivity.

I just recently ordered one from here:
http://www.global-batteries.com/product_info.php/cPath/1_12/products_id/84

eBay also has some offerings, but they're identical to the one I'm replacing, and asking starts for 50 bucks and up, not including shipping, and not all of them are guarenteed new. Indeed finding batteries for these old machines is fairly easy (thanks to Froogle).

Jon
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Wow. I'm stunned that they a

Wow. I'm stunned that they actually have a decent price! I'd expect almost any online retailer to ask $50-100 or more for just about any vintage compatible battery. Let us know how things work out with it. It's still pretty steep compared to the actual worth of a 1xx PB, but it is cheaper than doing a re-cell, if your time is worth anything. Wink

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Things should work out well,

Things should work out well, UPS just reported that they've got their hands on it and are tracking it, so it'll be only a few more days until I get my hands on it.

As for the old one though, I've noticed something strange with it, I've charged it up, and eventually the capacity hits 100% for awhile, and then slowly trickles down. I have MyBattery taking a graph of the battery as it's charged today, and it seems a bit odd.

http://vel.ath.cx:8080/Images/Battery.gif

The screenshot really says it all. The PowerBook has been plugged in and remained charged the entire time, yet the voltage still slowly drops. Right now though, if I were to do a full discharge at high loads and full screen brightness, it lasts about 14 minutes. Taking notes with the backlight off yields about half an hour, which makes it useful enough. Still, this seems strange, any ideas?

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I just got the battery today

I just got the battery today (holiday season really slowed things down, but it's understandable). It came with a sorta flimsy battery cover that didn't match the material of the PowerBook too well, but no matter, those sliding battery covers swap real easily. The PowerBook detects it, and is currently charing it, regardless of the fact that it's a NiMH. I'll run it through it's cycles, but it looks like I got a good deal.

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