Thursday, March 17, 2016

Restoring the TOSHIBA T1200XE (first laptop with "Resume-mode" technology)

Intel 80C286TM microprocessor
Adjustable 12/6 MHz clock speed

1 MB RAM standard
5 MB RAM maximum

Internal 3.5" 1.44 MB/720 KB diskette drive
20 MB hard disk drive (25 msec)
Battery-backed Hard RAM for memory above 640 KB

High-resolution sidelit Supertwist LCD
640 x 400 pixels
Brightness and contrast control
Size: 20.5 x 12.5 cm (7.9" x 4.9")

Double-scan CGA
Toshiba graphics mode (compatible with leading applications)

84 full-size sculptured keys
Familiar layout
12 function keys
Dedicated cursor keys
Integrated numeric keypad
Status LEDs

25-pin bidirectional parallel/external diskette drive port
9-pin RS-232C serial port
RGB colour monitor port
External numeric keypad port

Operating System
MS-DOS 4.01
MS-DOS 3.3 (option)

High-density rechargeable NiCd
1.5-2 hours per charge

Dimensions (W*D*H)
310 x 280 x 50 mm
12.2" x 11.0" x 2.0"

3.6 kg/7.9 lb (including battery)

Power Supply
Autosensing 100-240V AC adapter for worldwide usage

Advanced Toshiba Features
Hard RAM
MaxTimeTM Power Management
AutoResumeTM Mode

Carrying bag
Internal Hayes-compatible modem (where approved)
Two 2 MB memory expansion modules
External 5.25" 360 KB diskette drive
External numeric keypad
MS-DOS 3.3
Extra battery packs
Quick charger
Toshiba ExpressWriter 301 portable printer

A couple of days ago I was searching for some old memory modules on OLX, (free add website in Romania), when I saw an add about a TOSHIBA 1200XE for sale for 30 LEI (7$). 

So Excited!

The original add:

I got the machine the same day! It looked way much better than in the original post, maybe the owner used a VGA cam... :)

It got a busted hinge, the Toshiba Logo was falling apart but it looked in very good condition considering its age. Even the carrying handle is in perfect condition, at this model the rubber usually peels off like some sticky rubber. 

Fixing the hinge:

I downloaded the USER and SERVICE manual in order to try and fix the hinge. 

The hinge (metal part) is very good quality but what I do not understand is how could the relay on 2 plastic knobs with metal interior to hold the stress of a heavy hinge? If you look at below pic you will get the idea...

So now I had to rebuild that area with something strong without any exterior or big modifications of  the interior. I like to keep everything or most parts original and untouched. I googled a while and then I decided to use POXIPOL LIQUID PLASTIC to reconstruct the walls where the metal knobs were attached. 

I had fixed in the knobs and applied in multiple layers this liquid plastic carefully not to put extra so the panels would fit together.

 I used some grower washers so the screws won`t wobble in time.

 The hinge fitted in without any issues. I am sure this will hold like forever :)

If I got so far with the disassemble I decided to disassemble it more in order to check if everything looks OK as the charger its on its way from eBay I cannot test the unit :)

The keyboard is slightly clicky... very good quality build! Also the system has some AAA batteries that are both BIOS CMOS battery and also you can use part of the RAM memory as a HDD. The batteries keep the memory ON so it can act like storage even when the system is powered off for a long period of time. I am thinking to change that battery set if i find an original pack. I doubt that....

The motherboard looks great and also the power supply, what I noticed is that the HDD enclosure has a wobble in the thin tin like metal. Maybe the HDD got changed over the years but I was able to read and the HDD is a CONNER 20 MB drive. It looks like the original drive as CONNER was equipping 90% of the portable machines back in the late 80`s. You can see the memory modules next to the CPU unit, it is equipped with 1MB of memory and next to the memories there are 2 expandable slots for 2x2 modules so you can speed up the machine up to 5 megs of memory :)

The Intel 286/12Mhz CPU and in the back the RAM modules.

The chip with the 083A is the BIOS chip, pretty old school! Notice the 2 frequency oscillators?
The 1st oscillator is for time keeping (it oscillates the second) for the RTC time.
The second oscillator linked to the video memory... I have no idea why :)

The Display

Crisp 2 colour display, white on a blueish background, awesome!!!

Finally, some pictures with the unit assembled. I used glows not to put my human fat fingers all over the inside of the computer and I used the specified screwdrivers in order not to damage the screws.

 When the AC adapter will arrive from e-Bay I will power up the machine and update the page with some pictures.

Restoring the 8999$ TOSHIBA from 1986 was great! I hope I will get my hands on the T3100 unit soon,