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Thread: Restoring a 190CS

  1. #1
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    Default Restoring a 190CS

    I picked up a 190CS from ebay a little while ago to work on as a new project, it's been a long time since I last worked on a classic 68k mac and I thought I'd like to try it out again. I had several powerbooks over the years, (140, 180 and 540C iirc) but never a 190CS and it looked as it it hadn't been fully inspected and the price was low enough to roll the dice. I received it and also bought a compatible AC adapter and discovered that it would power on and boot from the floppy, but the hard drive had of course been removed. I made several attempts to set up a DMA CF card with adapter but it wouldn't work reliably so I put in an old 18GB laptop hard drive which appears to work well enough with 7.5.3. Formats properly as one partition, install works, but I think all of these computers must have suffered from the same poor design on the power supply jack because there was very obviously a poor solder joint. I'll attach pictures below, but what a massive design flaw. I have a PB1400 on a shelf somewhere that wouldn't boot (I think I've had that one for nearly 20 years, I found it sitting on top of a recycling bin with the power supply near my first apartment. Those were the days) and I'm wondering if that isn't the same issue.

    Tonight I finally got around to pulling the mainboard, which is when I took the photos and re-soldered the connections. Now the power connector doesn't seem to be fiddly with the connection but I'm worried that there might be some other connections or something else within it that are off. I've zapped the PRAM but it doesn't seem to want to stay on when I try to install from the floppy drive. The NiMH battery was leaking when I received it but I removed it and cleaned the contacts, nothing had gotten on the motherboard.

    However, it still shuts down by about the time I get to the 7th floppy disk in the 7.5.3 install. The HDI-30 SCSI adapter for my external CD drive should arrive by next monday, so I won't need to swap disks then, but it could introduce further problems.

    The PRAM battery is apparently live enough to cause problems when the computer shuts down but the noted procedures in the service manual, when it shuts down the power light remains on and solid and it doesn't respond to the service manual suggestion of trying to hold down the reset button for a length of time or repeatedly. If anyone has any suggestions other than leaving it unplugged and leaving the power adapter unplugged for a while, I'm very open to them. I think there might be some kind of extra transient charge going around the system which trips something over, so maybe a few days will let it discharge naturally.

    IMG_20200721_222525_2.jpgIMG_20200729_230535_1.jpgIMG_20200729_230545_7.jpgIMG_20200729_230600_2.jpgIMG_20200729_230622_5.jpgIMG_20200729_230637_7.jpg

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by bifo86 View Post
    I received it and also bought a compatible AC adapter
    Red flag here. By "compatible", do you mean one of those Chineseium IEDs with a black label and white text of "REPLACEMENT AC ADAPTER"? Those will kill your computer dead, or burn your house down, or both.

    Alternatively, it could be something overheating or a bad connection elsewhere on the board that only misbehaves when the machine is hot. I'd check around the board with a bright light and magnifier to inspect as many solder joints as you can, especially through-hole joints.

  3. #3

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    Your post isn't exactly clear. You write in the first paragraph that "install works", so did it work initially?

    Anyway, there's nothing software-wise that would cause the system to just shut down. This is certainly a hardware issue. Is the heatsink correctly installed on the CPU? Also, does the system really shut down? Maybe it's just the display that turns off. Run MacTest Pro 1.3 on it, it should find any faults with the hardware.

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    The AC adapter is an original 45w powerbook adapter, the 190 and 5300 seemed to have different power adapter plugs on the computer from what I remember using on the earlier 68k powerbooks and the later PPC powerbooks. It was probably short lived because of how easily it broke the solder connections on the jack by wiggling around, I'd imagine that it was a constant warranty issue at the time. The plugs they switched to after these models were the same ones they used for years with powerbooks and ibooks with the ring-ground and large center pin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Timo W. View Post
    Your post isn't exactly clear. You write in the first paragraph that "install works", so did it work initially?

    Anyway, there's nothing software-wise that would cause the system to just shut down. This is certainly a hardware issue. Is the heatsink correctly installed on the CPU? Also, does the system really shut down? Maybe it's just the display that turns off. Run MacTest Pro 1.3 on it, it should find any faults with the hardware.
    Using floppy disks made from 7.5.3 images, the install process will begin but the system tends to shut off for some unknown reason by the time you get to disk 6 or 7 or so. My original assumption was that somehow removing and inserting the floppies was jostling the poor solder joint on the power jack but having repaired that, it did the same thing afterwards. I left it unplugged until about half an hour ago and now it won't boot at all. I pulled the PRAM battery now and I'm going to leave it for another day and possibly try to ground out the motherboard so that nothing is left in any capacitors. The system was booting and nothing has happened to it since putting it aside yesterday, so I'm at a bit of a loss now. I will definitely be taking a strong light and magnifier to have a look over it soon but for the time being I'm going to let it rest.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by bifo86 View Post
    The AC adapter is an original 45w powerbook adapter, the 190 and 5300 seemed to have different power adapter plugs on the computer from what I remember using on the earlier 68k powerbooks and the later PPC powerbooks.
    No, they are the same. I have one 190 and two 5300 and none has issues with the power jack. I guess it's just a matter of how users treated the systems back then.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timo W. View Post
    I guess it's just a matter of how users treated the systems back then.
    Busted laptop power jacks has been a problem since the invention of laptops. People always tripping over the cord and ripping the connector out at weird angles.

    I think the mag-safe connector Apple used for a few years was probably the best solution, even though they eventually tended to melt. Too much current going through the connector that would eventually get oxidized and have a voltage drop the created heat and eventually fire/melting. Some manufacturers tried in-line barrel plugs, and while those worked for awhile, they'd eventually get loose and fall apart.

  7. #7

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    Must be something more common in your country then. I'm working as an IT specialist since 1997 and from the hundreds and hundreds of Notebooks I had to repair, only one or two ever had a broken power jack. Guess we take more care when laying cables in Germany so we don't fall over them as often.

  8. #8
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    College kids are the same in any country, they treat their stuff like crap. Laptops always getting thrown around and abused.

    At least SSDs are used in almost all new laptops and precludes them from getting head strikes from kids throwing their laptops in their bag while still running, or dropping it off the coffee table.

  9. #9
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    They were very much aimed at college students back then, but the small-barrel, big plug design of the 190/5300 vs the later 1400/g3/ibook design, where the barrel plug was more robust and much less prone to being jostled around, was a real oversight. I've decided to pull out my old 1400c to work on at the same time, I put it away years ago because it stopped booting but I'm not sure if it was a problem of the power supply or the computer itself. I've got an original power supply in the mail now so we'll see, I've also snagged another 190cs for parts because why not throw good money after bad. If the 1400c can boot then it should be particularly useful for making disks, because I will never trust USB floppy drives.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by GiGaBiTe View Post
    College kids are the same in any country
    Hail to generalization.

    Quote Originally Posted by bifo86 View Post
    They were very much aimed at college students back then
    Yes, that's what wikipedia says. That doesn't mean that all were also actually bought by college students, given prices up to $2200. And it seems that target audience thing was mainly in the US. In Germany, hardly any student would own a notebook back then. Not one from Apple anyway.

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