Advise for vintage PowerBook collection

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by CooperBox, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. CooperBox macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #1
    I'd be very interested to hear from anyone with experience of the pre G3 range of PowerBooks. Specifically which models they consider are the most collectible, and the reasons for such.
    Over the last few days I have been offered a 'like-new' 165c, but wondering whether I may be advised to hold out for a 'more desirable' model.
    It's not a model range I know too much about, hence the question, so during 2016 I'd like to cherry-pick from those considered the most sought-after.
     
  2. MacTech68 macrumors 68000

    MacTech68

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #2
    I don't know which ones are globally thought of as most desirable, but I can say that a fully working "100 series", color display, with no cracks in the display housing would be a good find.

    The cracking in these cases is not easily seen. Inside there are brass threaded inserts molded into the plastic. The plastic that surrounds the brass inserts tends to crack and fall apart. This can usually be seen by a spreading apart of the two halves of the display housing at the hinges.

    Other things to consider is a working Hard Drive. Failures are pretty common, and since they are SCSI, they are difficult to acquire. There are options such as CompactFlash to SCSI adapters but these are relatively expensive.

    Batteries would be as expected - dead.

    As an aside, Powerbook Duo series machines usually have a keyboard with many failed keys. The silver painted membranes tend to oxidize and are too thin to be cleaned successfully. These also suffer from the SCSI hard drive failures - EXCEPT for the PowerPC Duo 2300 which can have a PATA/IDE hard drive fitted.

    Of all the PowerBook 100 series machines, the only one to use a PATA/IDE drive is the PowerBook 150, though it lacks an FPU and ADB port and can't do SCSI disk mode, but can take up to 36MB of RAM compared to 14MB in the 180c and 165c.

    The 180c has a brighter Active Matrix display but is slightly smaller than the 165c's Passive Matrix display, but are otherwise the same machine, although the 180C requires the 24Watt AC adapter for the Active Matrix display.

    Hopefully that makes it a little easier.
     
  3. CooperBox thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #3
    Exactly the kind of general info I was after. Many thanks.
     
  4. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #4
    One of the more sought after is the 2400. Similar in specs to the 3400/1400 but a Japan only release and hard to find, especially with its external floppy drive.

    Between that and the 1xx range with a colour screen, I suppose a small premium would be paid for those of the 5xx series with colour screens. Again, the latter suffers from SCSI laptop drives so buy with care.
     
  5. CooperBox thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #5
    I see one went for £216 (a cool $306 ) recently in UK. Had an upgraded 260MHZ G3 NUPower G3 CPU and maxed out RAM.
     
  6. MacTech68 macrumors 68000

    MacTech68

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #6
    I'd still like to get a PowerBook 540c with PCMCIA adapter module and a PPC upgrade.

    Actually, I'd like to be GIVEN one. Not gonna happen. ;)
     
  7. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #7
    Yes. There were tears at Chateau weckart when bidding went stratospheric at the very end. Was hoping to land that for about £120 given that an untested 2400 minus floppy and power adapter went for a tad over €120 in Germany a few months back and the Germans pay much more for their old PowerBooks. To be honest, the G3 doesn't add that much in retrospect since the max 112MB of RAM effectively precludes any useful installation of OSX. At least that is what I keep telling myself. I'm not bitter. Honest.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 4, 2016 ---
    Not really surprised. Would expect the asking price on this, which is only halfway to your wishlist, to drop a fair amount, though

    www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Apple-PowerBook-540c-/121904791615
     

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