Powerbook G4 1.5 EVT Rebuild

bobnugget

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Nov 15, 2006
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I found this machine up a few days ago on eBay:
s-l1600.jpg
Looks interesting; it's apparently dead, but we'll see when it arrives (ETA a couple of weeks).

Looks like it's a mid-2005 1.5 GHz combo drive version of the DDR2 1.67 DLSD 15" PB

Edit: Updated with more info so it's in the top post
 

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B S Magnet

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I found this machine up a few days ago on eBay:
s-l1600.jpg
Looks interesting; it's apparently dead, but we'll see when it arrives (ETA a couple of weeks).

I think it's a 1.5 GHz version of the DDR2 1.67 final 15" PB
It’s certainly not every day one sees red PowerBook innards!

Also, it’s interesting they were running an EVT for a 1.5GHz model in mid–2005 when the last 1.5GHz model they released was in January that year.
 
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bobnugget

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It’s certainly not every day one sees red PowerBook innards!

Also, it’s interesting they were running an EVT for a 1.5GHz model in mid–2005 when the last 1.5GHz model they released was in January that year.
I'm at work and I don't have the auction link handy, but it has a photo of the other side of the board through the missing RAM door - IIRC it's marked as a "Q16C EVT Better 1.5" with DDR2 SODIMMs (and the layout looks like the 1.67 GHz DDR2 going by iFixit)
 
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Amethyst1

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Oct 28, 2015
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Cool find. The hard drive was manufactured in June 2005, so if it's original, this would also point to it being a DLSD prototype. How much did that set you back, if I may ask? 🙂
 
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B S Magnet

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I'm at work and I don't have the auction link handy, but it has a photo of the other side of the board through the missing RAM door - IIRC it's marked as a "Q16C EVT Better 1.5" with DDR2 SODIMMs (and the layout looks like the 1.67 GHz DDR2 going by iFixit)
OK, this makes a mess more sense than before.

Amazing find.

Cool find. The hard drive was manufactured in June 2005, so if it's original, this would also point to it being a DLSD prototype. How much did that set you back, if I may ask? 🙂
Interestingly, this one is equipped with the combo drive (CW-8124-C) found on PowerBooks going as far back as the Ti 667.
 
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bobnugget

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Cool find. The hard drive was manufactured in June 2005, so if it's original, this would also point to it being a DLSD prototype. How much did that set you back, if I may ask? 🙂
$37 and probably the same again getting it shipped to me + import duty.
It actually came up in my recommended items feed so thanks eBay for that!
 

bobnugget

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Here's the auction link: https://www.ebay.com/itm/264539990754 - the other machines he has for sale don't look like prototypes.
The machine looks all original apart from the RAM. It’s in an A1106 lower case, too, which fits with the EVT prototype setup. Also it has Sample fans.
I wonder if the 1.5 GHz CPU is the reason the DLSD is listed as having a 7447a CPU
 
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B S Magnet

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Here's the auction link: https://www.ebay.com/itm/264539990754 - the other machines he has for sale don't look like prototypes.
The machine looks all original apart from the RAM. It’s in an A1106 lower case, too, which fits with the EVT prototype setup. Also it has Sample fans.
How did you manage to convince the seller to sell it to someone outside of the U.S.?

I wonder if the 1.5 GHz CPU is the reason the DLSD is listed as having a 7447a CPU
Not sure how you mean. All DLSDs, both 15in and 17in, shipped with 7447a (sometimes shown as 7447b) — either way, all DLSDs are Apollo 7s.
 

Amethyst1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2015
699
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Here's the auction link: https://www.ebay.com/itm/264539990754 - the other machines he has for sale don't look like prototypes.
The machine looks all original apart from the RAM. It’s in an A1106 lower case, too, which fits with the EVT prototype setup. Also it has Sample fans.
I wonder if the 1.5 GHz CPU is the reason the DLSD is listed as having a 7447a CPU
Built in week 25 of 2005 according to the serial number. The "1.5G" part on the RAM door sticker may have been crossed out, so maybe it's not a 1.5 GHz CPU after all...
 

B S Magnet

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Built in week 25 of 2005 according to the serial number. The "1.5G" part on the RAM door sticker may have been crossed out, so maybe it's not a 1.5 GHz CPU after all...
Looking at the photos a bit more closely, I noticed two more interesting details:

1) the presence of two Cmd keys (something I had to do as a customization and key-mapping with DoubleCommand on my 17in DLSD)

and

2) the logic board connections and signs of grey, coupled with two antennae connectors underneath the PC card grille, which would support how this was a test version of the DLSD releases.
 
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bobnugget

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How did you manage to convince the seller to sell it to someone outside of the U.S.?
It's on the way to a re-mailer account that I set up a few years ago - shipping is fairly expensive and you get the joy of import tax on both sets of shipping, but it's worth it for US only bits. I let people know first on the first few transactions that it was a remailer as it was unverified, it's now a Paypal + eBay verified address and I haven't had any trouble with sellers using it.

Not sure how you mean. All DLSDs, both 15in and 17in, shipped with 7447a (sometimes shown as 7447b) — either way, all DLSDs are Apollo 7s.
Everymac reckon there's confusion about it: https://everymac.com/systems/apple/powerbook_g4/specs/powerbook_g4_1.67_15_hr.html

It's just clicked that it's a non-DLSD DLSD :)
 
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B S Magnet

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It's on the way to a re-mailer account that I set up a few years ago - shipping is fairly expensive and you get the joy of import tax on both sets of shipping, but it's worth it for US only bits. I let people know first on the first few transactions that it was a remailer as it was unverified, it's now a Paypal + eBay verified address and I haven't had any trouble with sellers using it.


Everymac reckon there's confusion about it: https://everymac.com/systems/apple/powerbook_g4/specs/powerbook_g4_1.67_15_hr.html

It's just clicked that it's a non-DLSD DLSD :)
Nah, the confusion was all rabidz7 and his mythmaking. Every DLSD is definitively a 7447a/b. If in doubt, I have one of the very last 17" DLSDs ever made (built the third week of March 2006), and it’s a 7447b.
 
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LightBulbFun

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Nov 17, 2013
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this is very neat!

the DLSD schematics pointed to there being at 1.5Ghz build option, but obviously it never made it to production!

so its cool to see one in prototype form, it would be interesting to see the PVR of the CPU if its a 1.2 or a 1.5 revision
 

bobnugget

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Nov 15, 2006
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It arrived a day early today:
DSC00240.jpg DSC00241.jpg
Just as described. The top case looks correct too:
DSC00242.jpg DSC00243.jpg DSC00249.jpg
Build date of May 24th, 2005 and a red board attached.
Here's some board pictures:
DSC00244.jpg
820-1875-02 - so a second revision of the released 820-1875-A (DLSD) board
DSC00245.jpg
DSC00246.jpg
A few mods here (and an actual bug under the tape):
DSC00247.jpg
Whole board:
DSC00248.jpg
- - Post merged: - -

and the tape on the RAM reveals... it's HP RAM :(
DSC00251.jpg DSC00252.jpg
Blank serial number section behind the battery:
DSC00253.jpg
- - Post merged: - -

That's probably all i've got time for tonight, sorry!

The machine does appear to have a hardware fault. When plugged in, the power board appears OK - the light illuminates green without a battery and charages/glows orange with the flat battery installed (which has gone up to 5 lights after 1 hr charging - we shall see).

I've tried so far:
  • Connecting the top case and pressing the power button
  • Running without a battery
  • Running from a charged battery
  • PRAM reset
  • PMU reset
  • PRAM reset for 2 minutes
  • booting with out the RAM to see if i get some beeps (nope, nothing)
No success yet.
 
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B S Magnet

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Dec 5, 2018
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It arrived a day early today:
View attachment 880804View attachment 880805
Just as described. The top case looks correct too:
View attachment 880806View attachment 880807View attachment 880813
Build date of May 24th, 2005 and a red board attached.
Here's some board pictures:
View attachment 880808
820-1875-02 - so a second revision of the released 820-1875-A (DLSD) board
View attachment 880809
View attachment 880810
A few mods here (and an actual bug under the tape):
View attachment 880811
Whole board:
View attachment 880812
- - Post merged: - -

and the tape on the RAM reveals... it's HP RAM :(
View attachment 880815View attachment 880816
Blank serial number section behind the battery:
View attachment 880817
- - Post merged: - -

That's probably all i've got time for tonight, sorry!

The machine does appear to have a hardware fault. When plugged in, the power board appears OK - the light illuminates green without a battery and charages/glows orange with the flat battery installed (which has gone up to 5 lights after 1 hr charging - we shall see).

I've tried so far:
  • Connecting the top case and pressing the power button
  • Running without a battery
  • Running from a charged battery
  • PRAM reset
  • PMU reset
  • PRAM reset for 2 minutes
  • booting with out the RAM to see if i get some beeps (nope, nothing)
No success yet.
The only long-shot idea which would be on my process-of-elimination would be to assure the battery remains outside of the machine long enough (and also unplugged) to also drain out whatever charge remains left on the PRAM battery (which in theory shouldn’t be all that long), and maybe also holding down the power button for at least ten seconds, as if doing a hard-reset after a crash.

Then plug back in, sans battery, and try to power on and see whether you get anything.
 
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vddrnnr

macrumors regular
Jan 23, 2017
200
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Hi bobnugget,

Maybe the problem is the keyboard connector.
You can try "jumping" the power connections bellow the keyboard connector and
see if it works.

Best regards,
voidRunner
 
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B S Magnet

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Dec 5, 2018
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Hi bobnugget,

Maybe the problem is the keyboard connector.
You can try "jumping" the power connections bellow the keyboard connector and
see if it works.

Best regards,
voidRunner
Before even that, just give a thorough look-over and clean-up of the board and connection points — unplugging and re-plugging all connections, before trying connector-jumping. Maybe do a full, iFixit-assisted tear-down, clean-up, and then re-assembly.
 
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bobnugget

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280
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England
I left the machine on charge overnight which has changed things. Power button now gives fans on, an error beep and an illuminated sleep light, which blinks twice periodically. (I think this means no RAM installed from https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT1547). I tried re-seating the RAM, but that didn't change anything. The 'book then needs the power button held down to turn off. A further PMU reset and PRAM reset have done nothing.

I'm not likely to have much time to spend on the machine until next week now, but will try and get some DDR2 4200 SODIMMS from the junk pile at work.

Thanks for the advice so far!
 
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bobnugget

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Nov 15, 2006
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Next stage complete - it now has 2x 1 GB PC2-4200 SODIMMs from the junk pile. It gets to a clicking hard disk, with the screen showing signs of life.

It currently needs the battery removed after each failed boot, and seems fairly unreliable getting there. Can't complain too much for a 14 year old engineering sample, though.

@Amethyst1 - yes will do this once I know what state it’s in. If it's going to boot (or definitely isn't) then i'm sure it'll need some thermal paste.

Edit: updated and expanded once I got to my mac.
 
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B S Magnet

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Next stage complete - it now has 2x 1 GB PC2-4200 SODIMMs from the junk pile. It gets to a clicking hard disk, with the screen showing signs of life.

It currently needs the battery removed after each failed boot, and seems fairly unreliable getting there. Can't complain too much for a 14 year old engineering sample, though.

@Amethyst1 - yes will do this once I know what state it’s in. If it's going to boot (or definitely isn't) then i'm sure it'll need some thermal paste.

Edit: updated and expanded once I got to my mac.
Yep, sounds like the poor thing has been through the works throughout its lifetime. The TLC you’re giving it should hopefully give it some renewed life.

It’s reassuring that you’re making headway here!
 

bobnugget

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For today’s update: I tried using the debug aid jumpers as suggested by @vddrnnr late last night. System booted fully to flashing question mark. I’ve removed the hard disk, which is sadly utterly dead, and will try a suitable drive sometime soon. Busy weekend and then I’m away on business so not likely to do too much for a week or so now.

I wiped the case down, too, and it doesn’t look to be in too rough shape, just the missing plastic at the front and slightly misshapen next to thepower socket