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I finally own a GRiDCase 1520!

compaqportableplus

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This has been a dream of mine since I started collecting, and it's finally a reality!

Here's my new-to-me GRiDCase 1520!

IMG_9227.jpg

And it's the EXACT configuration I wanted also! Plasma display with single floppy and 20MB hard drive. It did cost me a little bit, but it was worth every penny. My particular one is a 10MHz variant and was built in mid 1989.

Mine is the slightly earlier revision motherboard with the 3.6v lithium battery instead of a Dallas chip, so that made things extremely easy. The 20MB Conner hard drive needed the usual repairs, with the biggest being cleaning up the melted gasket and resealing the drive. Works great now with no bad sectors! Makes that awesome Conner Peripherals signature sound that I love. It's the same series drives the Compaq SLTs use, so I'm very familiar with them. It's has lots of cool stuff on it. I will be backing it up soon.

Other than the battery and hard drive it didn't need anything else. The high contrast plasma display really is a sight to behold. It was a $995 option back in the day!

Funny thing is, I actually want to get one of the LCD variants now. There was the base option, a green/black transflective LCD, which actually looks very good from the pics I've seen. Then there was the "blue and white" LCD (a $295 option), which is probably the most commonly seen display on these. I wouldn't mind having both honestly!

Really wish I had gotten one of these sooner! I have really been missing out. The build quality of this thing is top-notch. Love the magnesium shell. The modular and serviceable construction is very nice also. This was not a throw away device by any means!

So there's my GRiD 1520! I will add some more pics to this thread later.
 

NeXT

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Funny thing is, I actually want to get one of the LCD variants now. There was the base option, a green/black transflective LCD, which actually looks very good from the pics I've seen. Then there was the "blue and white" LCD (a $295 option), which is probably the most commonly seen display on these. I wouldn't mind having both honestly!

I have one but the screens are known to develop rot in the polarizer and give the appearance of worms eating away at the screen. I've been chasing a plasma GRiD for years to replace it.

You gonna burn anything to EPROMs and stuff them in the sockets? ;)
 

compaqportableplus

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I have one but the screens are known to develop rot in the polarizer and give the appearance of worms eating away at the screen. I've been chasing a plasma GRiD for years to replace it.

You gonna burn anything to EPROMs and stuff them in the sockets? ;)
Yeah, I did see a few with that issue. The blue/white LCD seems more prone to this. Most of the green/black transflective ones I've seen have been fine though. The plasma ones hold up very well. I don't think I've seen a broken one yet.

If I had an EPROM programmer I'd definitely like to try that!
 

Qbus

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Do you have the internal Grid ROM? it has Grid DOS, Gridscan and Mode command that allows you to use the internal modem if you have it. Thought you may have it being PCSLAVE is at the top of the directory. If you have Gridscan run that and it gives you a rundown on your system.
Think on the thirties that I have with Hard drives they don't have ROM options but boot Grid DOS from the HD, most of the Gridcase three systems I have are all floppy and I have Grid ROM stuffed in them.
 

compaqportableplus

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Do you have the internal Grid ROM? it has Grid DOS, Gridscan and Mode command that allows you to use the internal modem if you have it. Thought you may have it being PCSLAVE is at the top of the directory. If you have Gridscan run that and it gives you a rundown on your system.
Think on the thirties that I have with Hard drives they don't have ROM options but boot Grid DOS from the HD, most of the Gridcase three systems I have are all floppy and I have Grid ROM stuffed in them.
I do not, mine loads everything from the hard drive. I do have the internal modem though.
 

shawnerz

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Congratulations!
I'm curious about the hard drive repair. Did you do it, or did you send it out of house to be repaired? If out of house, what was the company? I may have to send out a hard drive to be repaired and I am looking at options.
Thanks.
 

compaqportableplus

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Congratulations!
I'm curious about the hard drive repair. Did you do it, or did you send it out of house to be repaired? If out of house, what was the company? I may have to send out a hard drive to be repaired and I am looking at options.
Thanks.
Thank you! I repaired the hard drive myself. It's a Conner CP-3024. The common issues these drives have is the rubber gasket melts, as do the rubber bumpers for the head actuator.

What kind of drive do you have? Is it a Conner?
 

shawnerz

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Thank you! I repaired the hard drive myself. It's a Conner CP-3024. The common issues these drives have is the rubber gasket melts, as do the rubber bumpers for the head actuator.

What kind of drive do you have? Is it a Conner?
I'll have to take stock and see what I have. I'm off on a tangent with Toshiba T3200's. I know most of my 1520's do not have hard drives. Once I get get back on track with Grids, I'll be sure to give an update.
 

compaqportableplus

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Here's something really awesome I found on this laptop, Windows 2.11!

IMG_9250.jpg

It also has Excel for Windows installed. Really makes me smile to see someone was running this early version Windows on here! It's rare to find Windows versions prior to 3.1 on machines in my experience.
 

Juror22

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Thanks for continuing to post pictures of that beautiful screen (I'm living vicariously - I hope you don't mind!) and I agree that it is very interesting to find these earlier-than-3.1 versions of Windows installed. I'm sorry to keep dragging you back to the HD fix, but how did you re-constitute the seal? I was going to use a good seal from a second failed drive with a scratched platter, but if there is another way, I was curious what you used.
 

compaqportableplus

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I'm sorry to keep dragging you back to the HD fix, but how did you re-constitute the seal? I was going to use a good seal from a second failed drive with a scratched platter, but if there is another way, I was curious what you used.
Sealing the seam all the way around the drive with silicone is how I re-seal these drives (after opening the drive up and cleaning all of the melted gasket out). This has been a 100% successful method for me.
 

compaqportableplus

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How do you repair the rubber on the bumper stops for the head mechanism?
I've also been repairing these Conner drives but I've been 3d printing new TPU rubber bumpers and seals.
I actually just remove them, as they are not necessary! The earlier revisions of these drives didn't have them at all! Only thing is the "clunk" when the head parks will be a little louder, but I don't really care about that. I have many running without the bumpers with no issues at all.

The 3d printing does sound like a very good solution though! Much more "pro" than a tube a silicone. :ROFLMAO:
 

Juror22

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Thanks for both of your replies. The bumper-less head stop fix is an interesting solution (I've been concerned about what happens to the tape over time - I know, I think too much!) and I love the idea of 3d printing the seals, did you create your own .stl files, or did someone make them available online?

Conventional Memories - would you consider printing and selling some of these seals?
 

Conventional Memories

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Thanks for both of your replies. The bumper-less head stop fix is an interesting solution (I've been concerned about what happens to the tape over time - I know, I think too much!) and I love the idea of 3d printing the seals, did you create your own .stl files, or did someone make them available online?

Conventional Memories - would you consider printing and selling some of these seals?
I made my own 3d model from some good seals and bumpers, some of the conner drives have a different material of seal, black instead of translucent and those don't appear to "melt" over time. and some drives also have good bumpers, transparent instead of the black ones and those also appear to remain good for longer. So I modelled a file from those. But I think I have to tweak the file a bit because they are slightly to small and the seal has to be stretched a bit to make it work.
I have thought about selling some kits but then I'd first like to do a little writeup of how to replace them and probably add a huge disclaimer that it's in no way a professional restoration or data recovery tool. Also I'd like to try some different types of TPU to get the elasticity right, ATM, although they work fine, they feel a bit too stiff. (It's a difficult balance between a flexible material that is flexible enough but does not bind up in my 3D-printer like a spaghetti)
But I will probably make a page on my website with some info and the STL files when I have some time to do some more testing.
 
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