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Thread: My recent acquision: Ericsson Portable PC: built-in printer, plasma, bodged ISA/HDD

  1. Red face My recent acquision: Ericsson Portable PC: built-in printer, plasma, bodged ISA/HDD

    ca. 1985, it has an Intel 8088@4.77MHz, 256K RAM, a built-in printer, a 20MB HDD, and a plasma screen! I didn't research the machine before buying it, and no photos of it running were offered so I had no idea it would be plasma.

    IBM DOS 3 is installed, along with DEC GEM/3, Norton Commander, and various random things I have yet to go through.

    This machine apparently sold with a 5.25" drive and no HDD. Mine has no 5.25 drive but does have an HDD. Hmm. When booting I see a flickering + on the top-right corner. I know this! Plus+ made HardCards that I see often in Compaq portables and that's their disk activity light: a flickering + on-screen.

    Inside I see a bodged-in ISA card and a Plus card+drive in the place of where a 5.25 FDD would have been. It has specific brackets and Ericsson tags all over it so this was a manufacturer option. I replaced the CMOS battery while I was in there.


    Shown here with a paper Print Screen of a DIR C:\ via the built-in printer, a shaky-cam video can be seen here

    View more images here

  2. #2
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    Another Ericsson Portable PC

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yXK01gBQE6Q

    This one has the original 5.25 disk drive.

  3. #3

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    I dig it. Never played Oregon Trail in Orange, myself. Only green.

  4. #4

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    WOW! That hard drive setup is too cool! Looks like a prototype possibly. Never seen a Plus "MicroFile" before. Looks like a VERY customized HardCard.

    Can the memory be expanded any?
    Compaq - “It simply works better”

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    To me it looks like Ericcson bought standard HardCards, then folded them in half and replaced the brackets with their own. But the ISA socket hack is questionable. Someone in another thread suggested it may have been a kit that someone didn't have an OEM cable so they bodged it. But the way its wired in to the baord is not a user-friendly whatsoever
    You can see my disassembly of another HardCard here https://imgur.com/gallery/WyJxX : similar card, similar cabling from the HDD, but I also hadn't seen MicroFile before though the card clearly says its a HardCard 20

    There is a bank of sockets that are populated in mine for "Ex 256K RAM" and Wiki says its expandable to 512K so I think that means mine is maxed out however it fails memory check and only avails 128K. I'll look into that later

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by EkriirkE View Post
    To me it looks like Ericcson bought standard HardCards, then folded them in half and replaced the brackets with their own. But the ISA socket hack is questionable. Someone in another thread suggested it may have been a kit that someone didn't have an OEM cable so they bodged it. But the way its wired in to the baord is not a user-friendly whatsoever
    You can see my disassembly of another HardCard here https://imgur.com/gallery/WyJxX : similar card, similar cabling from the HDD, but I also hadn't seen MicroFile before though the card clearly says its a HardCard 20

    There is a bank of sockets that are populated in mine for "Ex 256K RAM" and Wiki says its expandable to 512K so I think that means mine is maxed out however it fails memory check and only avails 128K. I'll look into that later
    Yes, HardCards say "HardCard" on them, not "MicroFile," so it definitely didn't start life out as a standard HardCard. Like I said, it almost looks like a prototype hard drive option, with those wires and everything. Can't imagine a standard production-line item being like that. Definitely a very rare piece.

    Interesting about the memory. 512K would be nice. That's the absolute minimum a PC needs to be useful in my opinion. 256K is just too limiting for my needs.
    Compaq - “It simply works better”

  7. #7
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    I have one of these. Mine is 512KB with no printer, and single floppy.

    On the left side at the top, under the keyboard, below that panel is connectors for a hard drive module.
    But from my research, it seems only a non-voltile solid state drive was available when new - I can't remember the capcity.

    It went inside the unit under the keyboard, on the left side I think.

    Was many years ago I looked it up though, so not an expert.

    Side note, the standard floppy drive is kinda neat, when the disk is inserted the whole drive is covered. When you unlock it by pressing on it, it snaps open and the disk spits out.

  8. #8
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    Excellent documentation work and explanations. I had never seen an indent for floppy storage before!
    Offering a bounty for:
    - A working Sanyo MBC-775, Olivetti M24, or Logabax 1600
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

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