Announcement

Collapse

Forum Rules and 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.


Rule 1: 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.


Rule 2: 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.



Rule 3: 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.


Rule 4: "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.

Rule 5: 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

First Generation Compaq Portable - Nothing on startup!

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    First Generation Compaq Portable - Nothing on startup!

    Hey everyone, back after a long absence with this find!

    I was pretty excited to pick this little (not very little, actually :P) Compaq Portable up today, cool old computers like these don't show up too often down here! I bought it from a man who claimed to be the original owner since 1985, and a date stamp inside the machine says April 18th 1984.

    I got the machine home and hooked it up, turned it on, and got nothing except the whirring of the fan. The screen was cold, no disk could be heard or anything. I found out the keyboard cord was not connected to anything inside the machine, and there's a grey cable laying disconnected inside (see photo). I think I might be missing a HDD? Or does this machine boot from a disk? I've seen models with 1 floppy drive in front and an HDD in front, mine has dual floppies in front. I'm also missing ALL of the peripheral cards, which leads me to believe my machine may have been used for parts in it's life? Not sure but it would be cool to get this thing going again!

    What parts am I missing, what cards would've originally came with this machine?
    Thanks everyone, sorry if this seems like a dumb post, I'm really new to the vintage computer scene haha
    Additional pictures/info/anything available upon request

    Eggs.jpg101_0947.jpg

    #2
    Just realized this should probably be in the Handhelds/Portables forum....sorry! Mods please feel free to move!

    Comment


      #3
      My 2nd portable did that when I first got it... two of the tantalum capacitors had shorted out making the power supply trip out. The fan is powered right off 120v so it keeps running.

      I figured out which cap was bad by putting my multimeter at the motherboard's power supply connector ground and working backwards. IIRC the shorted cap was on the 5v rail. By measuring resistance between things with a +5v connection and ground I could narrow in on the area of the board where the short was. You'll need an accurate meter with good probes to do this.

      Looking back at the pictures I took I think this was one of the bad caps:



      This one was bad too:



      You'll want to read up on KeyTronic foam & foil keyboards. Likely yours will need to be rebuilt.

      -J
      My Site (under construction!) | My Apple Lisa 2/10

      Comment


        #4
        As I was looking at new posts, here's another person having trouble with this type of cap: http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...itor-questions

        They fail frequently at this point!
        My Site (under construction!) | My Apple Lisa 2/10

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Fireflite View Post
          ... I think I might be missing a HDD?

          [ATTACH=CONFIG]30967[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]30968[/ATTACH]
          That machine did not ship with a hdd

          Comment


            #6
            Correct, the "Portable Plus" had 1 fdd and a HDD.
            My Site (under construction!) | My Apple Lisa 2/10

            Comment


              #7
              So I've been getting my Portable going as well. First time I turned it on this year another tantalum in the PSU blew. I'd forgotten one blew a couple years ago when I set the system aside. Replaced them, and a couple others which I had the correct value of on hand.



              The machine worked great for about 2 hours, then click... just the fan again. After some testing I found the tantalum in the PSU on the -12v rail had shorted out. This cap is a real PITA to get at as it's buried between a heatsink and the big caps on the 5V rail.


              The small bright bulb is on the -12v rail, the large bright bulb is on +12v, and the dim headlight bulb is on +5

              I think I'll stop playing whack a mole with these stupid tantalums and replace them all before I put it back together.

              -J
              My Site (under construction!) | My Apple Lisa 2/10

              Comment


                #8
                @compu_85

                Thanks for posting.
                By the way, can you dump the BIOS file from EPROM or DEBUG.EXE?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Isn't the grey cable (leading to the white molex connector) in the 2nd picture the main power cable to the motherboard from the PSU? You can just make out the pins on the motherboard that it should be connected to as well.

                  If so that should be connected and then you can continue fault finding.
                  System 80 Expansion Interface located! Thanks to all who helped out and the good people in the NZ vintage computer forums!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by 3pcedev View Post
                    Isn't the grey cable (leading to the white molex connector) in the 2nd picture the main power cable to the motherboard from the PSU?
                    You're right... I missed that earlier. The header it plugs into on the MB is the first picture I posted in post 3. You access it by popping the bottom off the machine, then loosening the 2 screws (don't have to remove them) on the small cover over the motherboard's power, speaker, and keyboard connections.

                    I'd suggest turning the machine on and measuring the power at the floppy connectors before hooking the motherboard up. That will let you know if the PSU is working. If the power goes away when you plug in the MB there's a short on it someplace. Plug in just the MB first. If it powers up then add the cards.

                    FS550, I'll grab a copy of the ROM now My machine is from 1984. I don't know what ROM revision it is.

                    -J
                    My Site (under construction!) | My Apple Lisa 2/10

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by fs5500 View Post
                      @compu_85

                      Thanks for posting.
                      By the way, can you dump the BIOS file from EPROM or DEBUG.EXE?
                      Turns out my programmer can't read 8kb roms?

                      Any hints on how to do this with Debug? My machine has a Rev. F motherboard and a 100666-001 Rev C. Rom.
                      My Site (under construction!) | My Apple Lisa 2/10

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by compu_85 View Post
                        Turns out my programmer can't read 8kb roms?

                        Any hints on how to do this with Debug? My machine has a Rev. F motherboard and a 100666-001 Rev C. Rom.

                        Try dumppc.exe on DOS.

                        http://www.mess.org/_media/dumping/dumppc.zip

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X