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Got my GRiDCASE 1520 up and running.

RWallmow

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
1,791
Location
Anoka, MN USA
I just got the DC-DC board recapped and the Dallas RTC chip replaced (thanks to some help from Classicbits site for the password that gets set with a fresh Dallas chip with FF's in the password bits). Wish I had researched and known that before hand, I would have tried to write 00's to it before soldering it in.
To my surprise the 20MB Conner hard drive still works and booted MS-DOS 3.30, my research indicates some BIOS hacking will be required to use any other hard drive, ideally I would like to replace it with a CF card for reliability. This really amazed me that the drive worked, I have a good half dozen 20MB and 40MB Conner drives where the top seal has liquefied and oozed all over the disk platters and out the side of the drive making for an utterly destroyed drive, and huge mess to clean up.

I bought myself a new vacuum desoldering station for this project, I have wanted one for ages now, and I wanted to lessen the risks of lifting pads while desoldering all the caps and Dallas chip for this lovely machine.

I really wish I had the Plasma version though, these early LCDs were terrible to begin with, and have not aged well either. I had a plasma 1520 back in the mid 90's when I started high school, used it for about a year, until I saved up and bought a 486 DX4-100 laptop, unfortunately I sold that Grid after that, I really wish I had kept it.

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Chuck(G)

25k Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
39,110
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
I had the 80C86 version of the Gridcase for a few years. You're not kidding about the poor display quality! Color TFTs were nearly as bad--I recall that I had a Dell something or the other P1 system with a nearly unreadable display. I remember that I loaded it up with Win95 using a Adaptec MA358 parallel-to-SCSI adapter and a Toshiba SCS CD-ROM. Didn't use it much, though--hard on the eyes.

Of course, even the Gridcase models stand head and shoulders above in the readability department when compared with the LCD on the DG One laptops. ("Is this thing on?") Those good old days I don't miss. :)
 

RWallmow

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
1,791
Location
Anoka, MN USA
I had the 80C86 version of the Gridcase for a few years. You're not kidding about the poor display quality! Color TFTs were nearly as bad--I recall that I had a Dell something or the other P1 system with a nearly unreadable display. I remember that I loaded it up with Win95 using a Adaptec MA358 parallel-to-SCSI adapter and a Toshiba SCS CD-ROM. Didn't use it much, though--hard on the eyes.

Of course, even the Gridcase models stand head and shoulders above in the readability department when compared with the LCD on the DG One laptops. ("Is this thing on?") Those good old days I don't miss. :)
I think some of the reflective non-backlit LCDs are actually better than these early back-lit ones, for example my Tandy 1100FD is far more readable (at least when there's good ambient light).
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