Blueberry iBook Clamshell (1st Gen)

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by AphoticD, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. AphoticD, Nov 9, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017

    AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    IMG_2307.jpg

    I am pleased to report that I am now the proud owner of a Blueberry, 1st Gen iBook G3 Clamshell! This is the first time I've held a clamshell iBook in my hands since 2001.

    We hardly see any of these Macs for less than $1/Mhz here in Australia, so I was lucky to spot one in decent condition for a relatively low price (about $75 USD inc shipping). The iBook was listed as untested by the seller because they didn't have a power supply to run it. When it arrived though, I plugged in my Pismo's power supply, hit the power button and all appeared to be in good working order.

    It booted into Mac OS 9.1 with the previous owner's files scattered all over the place, plus an installation of the old Mac classic "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego". I tried launching it, but the game wouldn't run without the disc. The System Folder was curiously tucked away inside the Documents folder which was on the Desktop - Gotta love OS9's "I don't care where I reside" System Folder approach. Judging by the date modified information on the existing files/HDD, it looks like this Mac hadn't been touched since about 2003.

    Everything appears to be stock config;
    • 300Mhz G3 with 512k L2 cache @ 150Mhz.
    • 3.2GB HDD - Very slow and only barely enough to install Mac OS 9 + Mac OS X together.
    • 64MB of RAM - 32MB on-board + 32MB PC100(?) SO-DIMM
    • Battery is dead. It appears to charge while the machine is sleeping and I have seen the charge reach 25%, but as soon as I pulled the power it switched off and lost PRAM settings/Date and Time.
    To my surprise there was a retail copy "Mac OS X Jaguar 10.2 Install disc 1" in the tray loading CD-ROM drive. I tried booting off the disc and got to the installer window after some time, but unfortunately 64MB of RAM made it a very slow experience.

    I shut down and installed a spare 256MB PC133 SO-DIMM from my TiBook, then popped in Panther install disc 1 and began the installation. After some time installing and running all of the software updates, I have the iBook running beautifully with it's highest supported OS X config (10.3.9)

    I also updated the Boot ROM to 4.1.7 downloaded via archive.org [direct download link].

    Here's an About This Mac shot and included is the very low Xbench disk test report.

    Picture 2.png

    I've ordered another 32GB KingSpec mSATA SSD + JM20330 mSATA to IDE 2.5" 44pin adapter. Once these come in I will go through the trial of stripping the machine down and replacing the HDD.

    I noticed that Gauge Pro under OS9 is reporting high CPU temps up to 50°C. My Pismo normally sits around 30 - 36°C (tops). I will redo the thermal paste when the SSD+adapter come in from China. Despite the high temps, the iBook feels only slightly warm on the underside.

    One thing I found is the ATI Rage Mobility GPU, which has 4MB of VRAM and maximum resolution of 800x600 @ millions of colors, is capable at keeping up in and around OS X Panther with Dock magnification, Exposé, Genie effect, etc, but really struggles (and in some cases, fails) with anything OpenGL related.

    Until now, I have not seen an OS X supported Mac fail to show a smooth "Flurry" screensaver. Even the Forest/Cosmos/Beach Slideshow screensavers are unbearably slow with cross-fading and zoom/pan enabled. My Pismo with it's 8MB Rage 128 Mobility flies with a smooth 30fps on these 'savers in comparison.

    Overall, I really admire this iBook and will put an unsupported Tiger installation on it once the SSD arrives. I've also ordered a 512MB SO-DIMM which will max it out + an original 802.11b Airport Card.

    This will also give me a kick to make a genuine first attempt at a battery rebuild and while I'm at it, rebuild the dead PowerBook G3 battery to give my Pismo a dual-battery setup. I believe the iBook, PowerBook G3 and even the PowerBook G4s all use the same battery cell type.

    -AphoticD

    :apple: :apple: :apple:
     
  2. CooperBox macrumors 65816

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #2
    The G3 Clamshell is an interesting, albeit challenging unit to completely disassemble/remove the logic board for re-pasting. As indicated in a previous post, the manipulation I apprehend the most is the removal of the DC-In receptacle from the lower case. Due to the very tight tolerances I always feel something is likely to break. So far so good, but slowly with care is required (as the nun said to the abbot)....;)
    I've often been tempted to install an SSD in a Clamshell, but so far other tasks have taken priority. That and the fact that the 1st gen Clamshells 300/366MHz are exceedingly slow, and frankly somewhat frustrating in use by todays standards. Imho due to the work involved, an SSD installation is more suited to the 466MHz firewire model maxed out with 576MB RAM. As I have two PowerBook2.2 (M6411) 466MHz models, hopefully I may accomplish this change with a 32GB SSD before the year is out.
     
  3. Dronecatcher macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #3
    I must admit, it's a brief guilty pleasure firing up a secondhand Mac and seeing the old user's install - usually a real time capsule of yesteryear computing...followed swiftly by a massive performance hike once you've done a clean install :)
     
  4. ctmpkmlec4 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2014
    Location:
    Lyons, KS
    #4
    Unless there's naked pics on the desktop... then it's just disgusting. Happened to me with a Cube I purchased from eBay. I promptly reinstalled the OS.
     
  5. swamprock, Nov 10, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017

    swamprock macrumors 6502a

    swamprock

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2015
    Location:
    Michigan
    #5
    Nice machine, and fun too :)

    I never got around to it when I had my BB Clamshell, but I wonder what the xbench scores are compared to a 300mhz Wallstreet with comparable memory, drives, etc.

    I received a box of TiBook parts that I bought off eBay a while back, and a fully-working, but battered 867 mhz machine. The 256gb drive in it still had a Tiger install with someone's personal information on it. All I know is that she was a bi-sexual jogger/fitness junkie who trolled craigslist for people to... ahem... experiment with. After seeing a couple of emails and some interesting pictures, I wiped the drive, and now will forever retain some memory about a person that I didn't need to know. It was nothing illegal, mind you, but I now wipe drives without even looking through them so that I don't see that sort of stuff again. Not that I'm a prude, but damn... some people are... different...
     
  6. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #6
    One of my best bargain buys was a virtually untouched Wallstreet Escort Edition. The display and casing were almost as new. Only the exotic content splattering the desktop gave any clues as to its former deployment.
     
  7. Dronecatcher macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #7
    I don't go digging into their personal stuff, I just smile at the software setup, from the days when the Mac was a go to daily driver...with weird media players I've never heard of and dedicated digital camera apps etc etc.
    It's also fun to deduce when the machine was last used, often 10 of more years ago - fascinating. I got a spares/repairs Powerbook this week that hadn't been switched on since 2007 - on the desktop was a torrented episode of Battlestar Galactica :)
     
  8. CooperBox, Nov 11, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017

    CooperBox macrumors 65816

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #8
    Off-topic I know, but fwiw.......
    Two months ago I purchased a vintage G40 Thinkpad that was being sold in the next town to me. The seller I'd spoken to was selling on behalf of a family member. On meet-up, the young girl was with her elderly grandfather who was the owner. The laptop: an old & heavy, immaculate Thinkpad with an almost new battery for approx $US20.
    Deal done, and once back home the machine was fired up again. I was immediately amazed at what had been left on the HD. The owner was not only a doctor but had left every professional and lifestyle-type document and holiday images imaginable - fortunately nothing 'naughty'. There were even scans of his and his wifes identity cards, business deals and letters announcing his anticipated retirement. There were lists of his patients and dates of visits, but fortuntaely someone had taken the (very necessary) precaution to store patient's treatment details elswhere. There were howerever several medical apps, Medicab and others, all of which I uninstalled. There were also many hundreds of mp3 files, obviously used for soothing background music in the consulting room or clients waiting area.
    These G series Thinkpads (circa 2003) were large & heavy, equipped with a powerful desktop processor, and consequently were an ideal business desktop-replacement machine. This example was a 2.8GHz Pentium 4 at 2.8GHz running Win XP SP3. Performance at the time was solid rather than stellar. Many would have immediately trashed such a dinosaur, but now after having been put on a severe data diet, here it now has a well-loved home.
     
  9. Dronecatcher macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #9
    For years Pentium 4 machines have been ignored and undesirable....as older Pentiums become scarce just watch their value rise as classic Win 98 gamers...
     
  10. CooperBox macrumors 65816

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #10
    Interesting. I certainly hadn't thought or purchased it with investment potential in mind, more so for the exceptional build quality and nostalgic computer history. Having said that, if eventually 30 years from now someone offers me $21 for it, I probably won't refuse.;)
    Back on topic, the G3 Clamshells have loads of investment potential. Maybe a reason I have so many....:rolleyes:
     
  11. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #11
    I had one of those, too. An iMac G4 that belonged to a student doctor full of all sorts of personal stuff, including patient details. Also as 30GB of his music collection.

    The best was a TiBook sold by a Mac business owner. One of a crateful of Mac portables he sold to me. This belonged to his wife and the wallpaper was a list of his and her bank account details.:eek:. The hard drive was full of all sorts of financial and business stuff all unencrypted and unwiped. I was staggered.

    I basically cannot be bothered with the personal stuff and only skim through hard drives to find old codecs or drivers and sometimes apps that cannot be found any more, just in case they might come in handy. Nice to know we have come a long way since RealPlayer or Vivo in terms of video compression.
     
  12. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #12
    Yes, as @Dronecatcher mentioned, I also enjoy seeing what kind of apps were installed and imagine how the Mac was used.

    My PB12” arrived with all kind of music production software from Reason to Massive and a slew of VSTs. My Mac mini G4 arrived with full, working copies of Diablo II and Nanosaur 2. It’s not that I can’t find these old softwares elsewhere, but it’s fun to cherry pick bits and pieces. I would never have any interest in keeping private records/files though.

    Often when I have bought an old Mac as “not working” and I do a few magic tricks to make it boot, I will advise the seller that I have wiped the previous owner’s data just in case they may have had any concerns.

    I have never felt the need to run with the previous owners installation though, i’ll always format and reinstall for my own peace of mind.

    On another note, I installed Tiger (10.4.11) on the iBook via a 4GB USB thumb drive by changing the badMachines references in the .dist file.

    I checked the Power section in System Profiler (a section which is missing from Panther) and I gathered some details about the battery. It states that the battery has only done 124 cycles and is rated at nearly 3500mAh. This would imply that the battery may still work ok, but it refuses to charge.

    The AC adapter is a 45w silver flying saucer type adapter from my Pismo which works flawlessly on that machine and Sys Profiler on the Pismo reports the AC charges at 50W. The iBook however states that the charger is only 26W and states “AC cannot charge battery:Yes”.

    I have tried a number of things so far;
    • Reset PRAM and nvram (OF)
    • Reset PMU
    • Booted off AC and then installed the battery while fully booted
    • Cleaned the battery contacts with IPA
    • Cleaned the DC in jack with IPA
    The charge indicator light will go orange if the iBook is shutdown or sleeping, but remains green if it’s running.

    Regardless of how long I have left it charging (orange), the battery is not holding any charge.

    Does anyone have any other suggestions or is it simply a waste of time to try to resurrect the old battery regardless of what it’s stats say?


    My other concern is, does the 26w rating indicate a DC board problem (or worse?)

    I know my Pismo gave me similar trouble until I replaced the battery and confirmed that the charging capability was in fact working ok.
     
  13. AL1630 macrumors 6502

    AL1630

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2016
    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    #13
    Clamshells are one of my favorite designs from Apple. The batteries seem to go bad faster than other computers though, most of my original batteries hold at least some charge, but if my clamshell gets unplugged, it dies immediately.
     
  14. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #14
    I remember reading an article when I got my first Clamshell. It showed how to jumpstart a seemingly dead Clamshell battery by opening a gap in the seam, getting to the +/- contacts inside and applying a 9v battery for a few seconds. It does something to waken up the battery and fool the charger circuit.

    Of course, L-ion batteries can be exciting when tampered with so if you like living dangerously...
     
  15. swamprock macrumors 6502a

    swamprock

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    Aug 2, 2015
    Location:
    Michigan
    #15
  16. ctmpkmlec4 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2014
    Location:
    Lyons, KS
    #16
    The 8-Bit Guy (formerly TheiBookGuy) has a video on his YouTube channel where he replaces the cells inside a clamshell battery. I'm sure you can still buy the cells on eBay, or site like Mouser and Digikey. If you decide to refurbish the battery, remember that you tend to get what you pay for with replacement cells.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 12, 2017 ---
    I think they're a neat piece of '90s nostalgia, but the orientation of the Apple logo on the lid drives me crazy.
     
  17. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #17
    I've watched this video and it gave me confidence to want to give it a crack. I've done a lot of searching for the cells and there are definite cheap and nasties out there, so I know I'll get what I pay for if I try to keep costs down.

    I didn't realize! Thanks for that. Now I'll notice it every time o_O
     
  18. AL1630 macrumors 6502

    AL1630

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2016
    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    #18
    Yeah, the leaves also fall off, I think they were just attached with glue that wears out.
     
  19. ctmpkmlec4 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2014
    Location:
    Lyons, KS
    #19
    You're south of the equator anyway, right? So, it makes sense that the logo is upside down. I hope my observation doesn't detract from your enthusiasm of owning that sweet iBook.
     
  20. CooperBox macrumors 65816

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #20
    Strange. Never really noticed this. Certainly not a problem for me. Call it a quirk perhaps. My wife has a few of those too.......:rolleyes:
     
  21. bopajuice Suspended

    bopajuice

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    Mar 22, 2016
    Location:
    Dark side of the moon
    #21
    Very cool. I still have one around somewhere...
     
  22. AphoticD, Nov 13, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017

    AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #22
    Thanks for the suggestions. I tried extensively to jumpstart the iBook's battery with a 9V battery to no avail. I also tried this on a dead Pismo battery which still claims to have 3000mAh+ capacity. Still no luck.

    I tried the Battery Reset 2.0 thanks. Still no good.

    I found a huge amount of info through this page of old links (I had to use archive.org to access most of them).
    http://repair4laptop.org/disassembly_apple.html

    The reported 26w charge in System Profiler appears to indicate a problem with the current regulator chip on the DC in board. During all of the trial and error I took a closer look at my Pismo's 45w power plug (laptop end) and thought it looked a little bent out of shape, so using a heavy hand and not much forethought, I just grabbed the pliers and attempted to bend it back into shape when *snap*. So now my perfectly working Pismo charger needs to be jiggled before the green/orange indicator comes on. Damn. (Two steps forward, one step back).

    Assuming there must be a problem with the 45w charger (despite the Pismo still seeing it and using it as expected), I went and sacrificed an old iBook G4 45w (white) power adapter with a frayed / nicked cable. I did some research (aka youtube) and set about to build my own Pismo/iBook 45w power adapter with what I had on hand.

    After watching how NOT to repair a Mac power adapter, I found that inserting the needle nose pliers into where the cable tidy clips are and then inverting the plier's motion (opening out) was an easy way to crack open the glued together power brick. Snip the damaged cable and splice on a good cable, replacing the sleeved DC-in plug with a 3.5mm TRS audio plug (Just don't handle the plug while it's switched on :) ).

    Anyway, after my hacking away, I got the iBook to boot off my caveman 45w adapter, but it still reports it as 26w and refuses to charge the battery, so I guess I have confirmed that the issue is certainly on the iBook. I'll go about cleaning this up and soldering it together properly (with a longer cable) as a spare 45w charger for the Pismo/iBook.

    When the SSD+adapter, RAM and Airport card arrive from China, I will go about stripping it down and will try to diagnose the issue further. I'm reluctant to buy a new battery just yet.

    Next though I might try to wire up the iBook's battery to charge off another PowerBook's charger port. I'm thinking a series of 6 tiny alligator clips -> flat pins should allow me to "extend" the PB12" charging port externally and into the iBook's battery.

    I'm still open to suggestions :)

    ibook45w-charger2.jpg
     
  23. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #23
    *ahem* a couple of bolts in the head. Lets see if the bottom charging ports will charge the battery with a direct 24.9v supply

    DSC_0003.jpg

    DSC_0006.jpg
    (nevermind the negative voltage reading. I was quickly trying to juggle the camera remote/timer and the multimeter probes and tested the wrong polarity). The positive is connected to the optical drive side.

    It's definitely making a squeal / coil whine like it's doing something. I'll leave it for an hour or so like this and then power on to see if the battery has shifted from it's drained state of 13mAh.

    The question is, does the bottom charging port go through the DC-in at all or is it just for direct access to the charging board? With this in mind, I attempted to power on the unit while connected like this, but it didn't respond, so I figure the charging port doesn't go through the main power in.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 13, 2017 ---
    I just read here that the orange charging ring on the DC-in should light up when the charging ports are in use. @LightBulbFun seeing as though this idea was inspired by you, can you tell me if this is the case? I can't see any references to it in the iBook Service Source or original iBook Dev Notes.
     
  24. LightBulbFun macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #24
    indeed the Charging ring on the DC in should light up.

    the quickest way to check if its working, is fire up the machine OS X will report a 45W Charger when charging/running via the 2 charging/power points. apple does make mention of them here https://support.apple.com/kb/TA25909?locale=en_US :)

    edit: i see you tried to power it up and it did not, it should be able to be power up when running off the points. make sure your polarity is indeed correct/the screws are making contact. and use the DMM to check to see if the machine is drawing current from the PSU.

    I also see your wires are wrapped round some blue stuff on the screws? that might be acting as an insulator...
     
  25. AphoticD thread starter macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #25
    Update: I saw no improvement in the battery’s state after being powered like this. Next, I tried powering both the charging points and connecting to DC in at the same time for a possible 2x26w (~50w) supply, but that didn’t work because it still stated 26w in System Profiler and no charge.

    I shut down and disconnected the DC in power source, then successfully booted off the charging points alone and this time the DC in jack lit up green while being powered from the bottom. I was able to boot like this and check System Profiler again and yet, it was still marked as 26w and “AC adapter cannot charge battery:Yes”.

    The mystery current regulator chip must control current from both DC-in and the charging points and step down to a safe operating minimum of 26w.

    I am now thinking that to test the ibook’s battery for whether or not it CAN charge, it might be easier to pull the casing off the cells and electronics and then connect it’s plug into the TiBook’s Battery Bay instead of using clips and pins to extend the charge connections.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 13, 2017 ---
    Thanks man, the blue is just a reflection off the ibook’s bottom case, it’s not sheathed. I was able to get it to boot off the charge points after the second attempt but System Profiler still says 26w from two separate known working 45W adapters and two separate power inputs.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 13, 2017 ---
    I should also mention that without a battery installed it still states 26w at both power inputs, so it’s not a case of a bad battery causing it to step down.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 13, 2017 ---
    Was there an ASD disc for this iBook which could do component testing to confirm the fault?
     

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