Powerbook 1400 battery rebuild

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by amagichnich, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. amagichnich macrumors 6502

    amagichnich

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2017
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    #1
    Hey,

    I have a PB 1400c/166 that I want to use as a typewriter but as it was to be expected the battery is dead. No I know that it's not that hard to rebuild a Lithium battery. But what about the NiMH ones? There are no new ones available so building one is the only chance of having a 'portable computer' again.
    Any help is appreciated ;)

    Am I in the right thread or should I ask in the collectors thread?
     
  2. amagichnich thread starter macrumors 6502

    amagichnich

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2017
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
  3. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #3
    Would it be a matter of finding the right cells and connecting them up? I was considering a rebuild for my Pismo battery and had it all torn down and mapped out, but found that quality cells were going to cost me nearly as much as buying a new (old stock) Apple OEM/Service PBG3 battery replacement, so I went with the new.

    As you said, you're unlikely to find any new batteries for the 1400, so a rebuild is the only way to go (or finding someone who does it?).

    I've been eyeing off a 1400c/166 and another one just popped up on the Aussie 'bay.. One has 16MB of RAM, the other has 48MB but is twice the price.

    Do I dare take the plunge?
     
  4. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #4
    I have three or four of these things, two with G3 upgrades. The 64MB ceiling limits what you can do with them as does the Nubus architecture. If you are planning on getting one, make sure you get decent pictures of the lid. Stiff hinges and poor plastics meant lots of cracks around the hinges leading in time to broken lids.

    The other weak point is the CD drive. Only one of mine works. The azimuth goes skewiff. You can try adjusting the screw under the lens or just replace the Teac drive. Plenty on eBay. Many of those, however, don’t play nicely in the 1400. I just use a PCMCIA/CF arrangement to install stuff on my 1400 PBs.
     
  5. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #5
    I like that; "three or four", tough to keep track when you have so many! If you are going to rebuild the battery, you might as well do a few of them. So 64MB is the ceiling for RAM? That does put a limit on things.

    I imagine the G3 upgrades would be extremely rare and expensive. I have seen a mention of the lid hinges cracking due to fatigue. Unfortunately, the photos aren't showing much of this.

    Sorry to hijack your thread, but here are the two I was watching;

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Vintage-...601906?hash=item4b281dfff2:g:~rMAAOSwcUFZmMim

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Apple-Ma...237138?hash=item54503a1712:g:U8IAAOSwHZ1Z1wgJ

    What are your thoughts?

    I think the same has happened to my Pismo's DVD drive, the stainless section has dropped a fraction, feels loose and catches on the underside when pushing the tray in. Perhaps a plastic clip or something holding it into place has broken off. I need to tear it down to investigate. Putting discs in it causes a horrible grinding noise as the disc is rubbing/scratching against the plastic tray assembly.

    I was thinking of using the PCMCIA-CF adapter too. Is Ethernet (via an adapter of sorts) a possibility on the 1400?
     
  6. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #6
    They both look in good shape but ouch, those prices!
    RAM modules are next to impossible to find so I would consider the leather freak out of the two. Having said that, you will get more out of a 3400. Don' t even google for the price of a Japan-only 2400.

    Never networked on Classic MacOS so cannot help there. Having enough trouble getting a network card to work on my MDD at the moment.
     
  7. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
  8. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #8
    Actually, the 2400s are in line with N hemisphere prices. Proximity to Japan might even make Aus a better location to pick up one of those.

    Good luck finding RAM for the 1400. You need to piggy back the modules so you need a base and a topper to hit 64MB. 2 different module types.
     
  9. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    Ouch. I think I'll keep an eye out for a 3400 or a Kanga instead.

    The 1400 appears to be the most common pre-G3 portable still kicking around on ebay. I attribute this to be either one of the most durable, time-tested designs or simply one which collectors are happiest to part with for cash because of their limitations.
     
  10. amagichnich thread starter macrumors 6502

    amagichnich

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2017
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    #10
    Mine has no CD drive so I can't confirm failing ones ;)
    I use it with 7 and 8, 9 is too slow on it, even as it is the maxed out 166mhz one.
    Right now I use it only for writing while sitting on the balcony and smoking a pipe :D after I wrote something I transfer the files via a pc card to my PB which uploads them to wherever their destination is. As I have an ethernet card I plan on hooking it up to an Apple Talk network, but that is a plan for the future...
    The keyboard is absolutely great!! IMO it is the best keyboard one can possibly find on this planet, except for the weird arrow key alignment. It has a very pleasant depth and noise. If only I could plant it in a modern MacBook Pro :D
    In general I like the shape of this baby, it's the perfect mixture of sharp edges and curves. The trackpad is a very good example: it has edges but the button is a curve(when looking at it from the front)
     
  11. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #11
    Yes. The 1400 is reputed to have the nicest Mac keyboard going. That on the 3400 is spongier and rattlier by comparison from what I remember. If you can get by with an older version of MS Office/Appleworks/Nisus then it makes for a nice word processor.

    Rebuilding old Mac batteries is sadly a cost benefit exercise. Older PBs never had the relatively stellar battery life of the iBooks or the 2 battery option of the PB G3s.

    I would be interested in finding out if any one has managed to crack open any of the older batteries without destroying the casing. I have a couple that are starting to leak and a few other dead ones I would like to transform into weight savers.
     
  12. amagichnich thread starter macrumors 6502

    amagichnich

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2017
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    #12
    I saw an ebay auction of someone who destroyed the battery casing while doing that. Then he sold the thing for some flowers and a kiss :D I didn't buy it because I wanted a complete one. My 1400 came with a modem, ethernet, 2GB card, maxed ram, a ton of useless cds because no cd drive, all the manuals and: The extra exchangeable covers!! I don't really like them but imagine you're at starbucks with a 1400 with exchangeable covers! Someone doesn't like the look of your 'laptop'? Change the cover :D
     
  13. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #13
    Three of mine came with all the extras, one with two dead optical drives. I have got to agree about the covers. I don’t see the wow factor in covering half the lid and not even the half likely to have cracks in it. All of my covers are pristine. Clearly the previous owners thought as highly of them and left them in the envelope.
     

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12 October 5, 2017