View Full Version : Lower Power Mac battery

March 18th, 2011, 04:21 PM
I had an old Power Mac 6100 sitting on the "to be scrapped" pile because it was unresponsive and I wasn't interested enough to do much. I was replacing some CR2032 lithium coin cells in other equipment and my eye caught the 6100.

What the heck, why not replace that oddball half-AA-sized 3V battery with a 2032?

I grabbed a coin cell holder, some double-faced adhesive foam tape and my soldering iron. Within 15 minutes, the new cell holder was in and the job looked factory. I pushed the power button--and up it came..

If anyone is interested in the specifics, I can furnish them.

Anyone want a 6100? I don't know what it's good for.

March 18th, 2011, 04:43 PM
Those half AA are 3.6V and old macs start losing information if you fall much under 2.9V I think.

Anything special in that 6100 (PDS card, G3 upgrade, etc)?

Old Thrashbarg
March 18th, 2011, 04:51 PM
Interesting, though I would expect it to go through batteries a lot faster now, since the 2032 is lower capacity, and lower voltage to begin with. The original 1/2AA cells lasted for years, but it wouldn't surprise me if you only get a few months out of a coin cell. Then again, you can get quite a few of the coin cells for the price of even a generic 1/2AA cell, so you probably come out ahead in the long run.

I've always thought the 6100 to be an interesting machine. It's my favorite form factor of all the various Macs, but despite its compact footprint it also gives quite a few options for customizing/upgrading. It had options for an AV card, or a DOS card, or even a standard Nubus card (7" only, though), depending on what PDS adapter you plugged in. You can even upgrade it to a G3 if you want. The relevant parts are pretty easy to find, too.

March 18th, 2011, 05:25 PM
Macs run fine without that battery. They'll loose time, startup disk and some network settings when not plugged in, but for the rest it's not a problem.

Also, if you encounter a really dead 68000 or PPC Mac, try reversing the polarity of the battery for about a minute. I've resurrected more Macs than I can remember that way. Seems to do a deep discharge on the PRAM memory chip. For some reason, it doesn't work in Intel Macs.

And I just discovered My Mac+ needs cleaning. The battery I put in some five years ago had leaked terribly. Fortunately, it's in a little palstic box with easy outside access. So, I don't even have to open up the case.

March 18th, 2011, 05:26 PM
I'll hook a DMM to the thing and see what the current draw is. It'd be kind of stupid to draw a lot of current from a primary cell, but this was Apple in it's not-so-great years, so you never know what they did.

Absolutely nothing special about the box as far as I can see. Just your basic 6100. It didn't even have a CD drive and uses a 250MB SCSI drive. I was thinking about scrapping it and saving the PSU for projects--and hang on to the Superdrive. I kept it to read 400K and 800K Mac floppies, but I've got other ways to do that on a PC platform.

I've already got a beige G3--a much superior system IMOHO, even though I don't use it much.

March 18th, 2011, 07:29 PM
I have no need for another 6100 (have a normal one and a DOS compatible one) both free from a local computer refurb guy who gets old machines dumped on him from time to time and freecycles them. The early Nubus/PPC machines were not that much fun (except for the 8100 and Radius 81/110 towers).

The 6100 without a PDS video card has a funky audio+video in/out plug you need to get a cable for and then convert to VGA to make it usefull. I could use a G3 add-on but I am not going out of my way to find one for a machine I rarely use.

The Beige G3 MT is one of my favorites, but I mostly like the old 68K machines and anything newer is mostly to support those old machines (or run video editing setups).

March 18th, 2011, 07:36 PM
Got both the video plug adapter (funky whatever-to-D-sub-15) and the network adapter (another funky-to-RJ45).

I'm not a Mac fan and don't like using OSX, but for terminal mode. Old Mac OS didn't really have any sort of command line interface and I can't think without that.