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zombienerd
July 2nd, 2017, 01:23 PM
I've got a Zenith ZFL-181-93 laptop coming to me, I picked it up for less than $50 including shipping.

It doesn't come with an AC adapter. Does anyone happen to know the voltage requirement, and what connector type it uses? I want to make sure I have a brick ready to go when it arrives.

It is being sold "as-is, tested working", so any warnings about components to check (cap failures, etc) or any pitfalls I should watch out for would be most appreciated!

I know it has dual 720k drives that pop up out of the case, which is why I was picking it up, I love the way it looks. Would a 1.44mb HD disk, with the notch taped over and reformatted as 720k work in those drives? I don't think I ever went in that direction, I only cut notches into 720s to use 1.44mb

zombienerd
July 2nd, 2017, 01:31 PM
I managed to answer one of my own questions. I found a picture of the nameplate for the laptop, it says to use "Zenith 150-272" for the AC adapter. That power supply is 18V 700ma with neutral center pin, shield is positive. That's strange, but okay. I am fairly certain I have a few 12V supplies that will work, I'd just have to reverse the polarity.

Stone
July 2nd, 2017, 02:29 PM
I've tried 12V/14V adapters on 18V19V laptops without success.

zombienerd
July 2nd, 2017, 04:10 PM
Good point. I'll shoot for an 16.5 or 18V supply.

Chuckster_in_Jax
July 2nd, 2017, 05:55 PM
I managed to answer one of my own questions. I found a picture of the nameplate for the laptop, it says to use "Zenith 150-272" for the AC adapter. That power supply is 18V 700ma with neutral center pin, shield is positive. That's strange, but okay. I am fairly certain I have a few 12V supplies that will work, I'd just have to reverse the polarity.

I can't get at my Z-181 right now, but you have to be very careful about the polarity on the output of the A\C adapter. Some of those Zenith laptops used A\C adapters with negative center pin. If you get the wrong one, you will short something out.
I thought I had pictures taken of the adapter, but can't seem to find it now.

zombienerd
July 2nd, 2017, 07:42 PM
I can't get at my Z-181 right now, but you have to be very careful about the polarity on the output of the A\C adapter. Some of those Zenith laptops used A\C adapters with negative center pin. If you get the wrong one, you will short something out.
I thought I had pictures taken of the adapter, but can't seem to find it now.

The "Zenith 150-272" I found a photo of clearly showed a negative center pin. I'll verify that the one I receive has the same part number listed on the bottom before I go plugging anything in. I'd hate to have to tear the ol' girl apart to replace blown power components on day one :)

Chuckster_in_Jax
July 3rd, 2017, 03:51 PM
There was a website run by Chris Ziem that had Zenith A\C adapters for sale. Unfortunately, the website shutdown awhile ago. I did save a copy of the page that shows what adapter goes with the different Zenith Laptops.

Uploaded it here:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/dqikiug0bdtangg/Zenith_ac_adapter_info.htm

zombienerd
July 11th, 2017, 08:14 AM
Arrived today!

I repurposed an IBM Thinkpad adapter (16V @ 4.5A) and reversed the polarity. The barrel plug was the perfect size. She fired right up!

I made up a 720k DOS 5.0 bootdisk with MSD on it. The keyboard is touchy on a few keys, either requiring a hard press on some, or the lightest tap on others to get 2-3 repeated characters. I'll probably do a teardown and cleanup video. I may even retrobrite it, as I ordered some of the Salon 40 that The 8-bit-guy uses.

Anyway, I absolutely love the pop up drives! I thought that they would work in the "Up" position, but alas, that isn't the case, you have to close the drive for it to work. There is no eject button, it pops the disk out when you pop the drive up.

80C88, 640k RAM, no HDD. I wonder if they offered a HDD option on that unit. Would be nice to have a little internal storage. Perhaps I'll investigate one of those "FDD Hard Drive" units I remember seeing in a youtube video a few months ago.. EDIT - Those Floppy drive external HDD emulators are just for early Macs.

396823968339684

zombienerd
July 11th, 2017, 08:43 AM
In further research, they did make an external 10 or 20mb HDD, but it seems they are as rare as can be, with only 1 showing up on ebay in the last few years.