Rob's Ramblings

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Econet and furry batteries.

Firstly, I think I'm going to disable keyboard navigation on Opera, after yet again managing to press something that sent me forward or back a page and lost all I typed when I came back here. Let's try again.

OK, it's been a while since we had an update.

I've replaced my econet network cabling with some of PhilB's brand spanking new econet socket boxes. If you're into econet, then I really must recommend these. They link together with standard Cat5 fly-leads or cable, and have built in terminators where required.

That didn't help with my A5000 econet problems, however. Indeed, shortly afterwards the blasted thing wouldn't power up at all.

I put a plea out on comp.sys.acorn.misc and very soon have three offers of replacement machines. They really must be a nice bunch on there!

But a but of reading up has enlightened me to a standard problem with A5000s - Acorn, in their infinite wisdom, decided to solder Ni-Cad batteries directly onto the motherboard. You would have thought they would have learned their lesson with the exploding battery packs on the Masters. Anyway, after 15+ years, these batteries grow fur, and leak battery acid all over the place, wrecking tracks and burning the legs off chips..

So, with two replacement machines here, plus my original, I have three fury batteries, and none of the machines will work properly. I clean out Maplin of tagged Ni-cads (they don't have anything remotely pin compatible, so I'll have to solder them in on leads.) and rip out the batteries and clean up as best as I can the boards here. One looks like it's had it, with a fair bit of damage. The second required one track repair, and that is now firing up to the desktop. The third, my original machine, looks OK, but still won't power up. I'll have to get back to that.

Next task is, of course, to rebuild a whole machine. I'm going to use the SD-IDE drive I got from Mark at retroclinic, which is already formatted. I just need to work out how to copy disc-to-disc on a machine with only one IDE interface, as it is reluctant to co-exist with another drive.

I may have to set up another fileserver, fire up the A5000 with the hard drive, and copy everything off across the econet, then copy it all back again. Assuming the econet works now .....

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