Forum etiquette

Our mission ...

This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

This forum has been around in this format for over 15 years. These rules and guidelines help us maintain a healthy and active community, and we moderate the forum to keep things on track. Please familiarize yourself with these rules and guidelines.

Remain civil and respectful

There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

This should be obvious but, just in case: profanity, threats, slurs against any group (sexual, racial, gender, etc.) will not be tolerated.

Stay close to the original topic being discussed
  • If you are starting a new thread choose a reasonable sub-forum to start your thread. (If you choose incorrectly don't worry, we can fix that.)
  • If you are responding to a thread, stay on topic - the original poster was trying to achieve something. You can always start a new thread instead of potentially "hijacking" an existing thread.

Contribute something meaningful

To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
  • This is not a chat room. If you are taking less than 30 seconds to make a post then you are probably doing something wrong. A post should be on topic, clear, and contribute something meaningful to the discussion. If people read your posts and feel that their time as been wasted, they will stop reading your posts. Worse yet, they will stop visiting and we'll lose their experience and contributions.
  • Do not bump threads.
  • Do not "necro-post" unless you are following up to a specific person on a specific thread. And even then, that person may have moved on. Just start a new thread for your related topic.
  • Use the Private Message system for posts that are targeted at a specific person.

"PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

In short, if you are going to reply to a thread and that reply is targeted to a specific individual and not of interest to anybody else (either now or in the future) then send a private message instead.

Here are some obvious examples of when you should not reply to a thread and use the PM system instead:
  • "PM Sent!": Do not tell the rest of us that you sent a PM ... the forum software will tell the other person that they have a PM waiting.
  • "How much is shipping to ....": This is a very specific and directed question that is not of interest to anybody else.

Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.

Reporting problematic posts

If you see spam, a wildly off-topic post, or something abusive or illegal please report the thread by clicking on the "Report Post" icon. (It looks like an exclamation point in a triangle and it is available under every post.) This send a notification to all of the moderators, so somebody will see it and deal with it.

If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.

New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.

Other suggestions
  • Use Google, books, or other definitive sources. There is a lot of information out there.
  • Don't make people guess at what you are trying to say; we are not mind readers. Be clear and concise.
  • Spelling and grammar are not rated, but they do make a post easier to read.
See more
See less

Grid 286 1520 will not power on

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Grid 286 1520 will not power on

    I recently picked up a Grid 286 model 1520. when I plug it in (the 3 prong PSU) and hit the power switch the lower/external disk drive and battery charging/low lights blink and then nothing. Two of the many times I've tried to power it on it did start to boot and then shut off after a few seconds. I tried ejecting and reinserting the PSU but no luck. I've also left it plugged in for several hours but the same. I'm guessing the battery/PSU is dead but I have zero experience with this machine and laptops/portables in general. any advice on this thing? will I need to somehow replace the PSU (which I guess will not be easy or cheap)? also whats the standard power jack next to the 3 prong power plug? it looks like it takes a standard laptop charger.

    The DC power pod in the back of the computer provides 12 volts DC for the computer. By pushing the button under the pod it will pop out and you can put the battery in the same space.
    Pop the power supply out by using the plug next to it you can connect an external 12 volt DC source. The case is grounded and one pin is the + but don’t remember what is what but that’s all that is required.
    It may be less of a hassle to remove the pod and use clip leads to connect to the fingers inside the pod bay or you can test the power supply out of the computer but you have to be able to load it down to a couple amps load to properly test it.
    Inside the computer is a DC to DC converter power supply that provides +12 and +5 to the system. Don’t know if its your issue but I have noticed a lot of failures of the capacitors in the power pod, may have something to do with them being so old?


      Do you happen to have a DC power supply that can supply 16 volts at about 2.5 Amps? If so, you can eject the power supply (that's probably bad) and connect the external supply to the Grid. A common 12V DC supply will not work. You *might* be able to use a common 19 volt supply. But, you're pushing the upper limit of what the internal regulators will safely handle.
      I did some testing a few years ago. I could get a 1520 to boot at about 14.5 volts. If it were booted at say, 16 volts, I could decrease the voltage to about 11 volts.
      If you do have a suitable power supply, I'll post more info on what to do.


        I don't have a 16v PSU unfortunately, been looking at thrifts and around the apartment but nothing, I may have to resort to ebay.


          I have had good results with this power supply from It is also on Ebay
          Good luck.


            Chalk one up for the Shawnerz, I just looked and they are indeed 16 volt pods. Could have sworn that I ran these on twelve or thirteen volts before! Anyway low voltage won’t do much harm being they were designed to also run from batteries.
            Think that’s were the issue is that the DC to DC converter has a shutdown circuit to prevent damage to itself if the voltage drops below a set level but the problem is that when it first starts up it draws a lot of current and just know from experience that when the contacts are dirty the first inrush trips the protection and you get what you described in your initial post. The small amount of resistance across the contacts can cause a voltage drop that shuts the system down before it can start.


              I acquired the power supply you suggested and set it to 16v. Unfortunately, I'm having the same issue. I hit the power switch and the light blinks briefly accompanied by a clicking sound and then nothing.


                Bad Caps in the DC/DC converter i would guess


                  Yes, I would agree.