I'm going to start a new thread about this to make it a little easier to find or anyone that wants to see it in the future.

I recently obtained a prototype Compaq LTE 386s/20 and want to document everything I find and repair on it, because this is a piece of Compaq's history, and it most certainly deserves it.

It's pretty crazy to thing that this *could* be the only one left like this. No way to know for sure, but certainly possible. This is actually one of the few things I own that I truly consider to be "rare". I'm not very loose with the "rare" term, but this one certainly earns it.

Here are the original photos I took of it:

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The prototype is on the left in the images where the two are side-by-side to show some of the differences to it and the production model. And the prototype is on the top in the image where they are shown from the rear stacked.

You can also see that this machine only has 1MB of RAM built-in versus the 2MB the production units have. This unit also came with a prototype 1MB RAM card that has a clear plastic frame. The production cards have a white plastic frame.

The screen on this laptop has the typical rotting polarizer adhesive problem, which I will take care of eventually. I'll either replace the film, or put a screen from a regular LTE 386s/20 in there, as I'm pretty sure it uses the same screen.


Now for some internal shots:

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Notice the completely unshielded lower case, and the little Dremeled out area in the lower case that was done to make clearance for a protruding flex cable

If you look at metal casing on the upper case closely, you'll see a cut out for easy-access to the hard drive ROM! And if you look at the drive you'll notice the "CPQ-EVAL" (Compaq Evaluation) sticker, and that the last two digits of the model number have been written over with "61". Why was this done? Compaq always has custom models of Conner Peripherals hard drives; the hard drive in this machine was originally a CP-2060, but Compaq's custom version of this drive was the CP-2061, so this drive is basically the prototype of the CP-2061! The bad news about the hard drive is that the seal has turned to goo on it, and it has definitely ate least gotten of the sides of the platter. If it has gotten on the surface, then the drive is likely not salvageable short of sending it of to have it recovered. Worst case, I'll find another CP-2061 and throw it in there, just so I'll at least have a functional laptop. Don't worry though, I'm definitely going to hang on to the original drive. Anything that I replace on this machine, the old parts will be kept. Going to try and keep the stuff I replace to a minimum though. So far, the screen and likely the hard drive are the only things that really need replacing.

Also, the 386SX chip has a sticker on top of it that I have never seen before. I'd like to see the other layers of the motherboard, but it's connected together with massive, 29 year old flex cables, so it's not worth the risk to me to potentially destroy this machine.

There is another little area in the front of the metal casing that has been crudely cut-out that I didn't think to get a picture of. Looks like it was done to clear the plastic casing. I also noticed that overall the machine just doesn't fit together as well as my production model. Some of the screw holes and stuff just don't line up too great

That's all for now. This thing is just really fascinating the hell out of me! I'm having a lot of fun with it so far.