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#1 2017-02-27 16:50:57

jt
Member
From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,407

Orange pi ONE Laptop Build . . .

.  .  .  is the new low heat simmer on the back burner project for the year!

Got an Orange pi ONE for brute force attacks on DayStar PowerCache Adapter ROMs, PALs-n-GALs in the clone project. I'm having a blast setting it up in a really cool generic laptop. It's from a 1992(?) gov't bulk purchase and I can't find any brand markings anywhere on or in it. This thing is amazing, it was built so that everything that could be upgraded or serviced was done through pop-off panels in the case, right down to Installing the i387SL in a socket accessed through a panel in the floorboards and the HDD in a removable module under the calculator 's readout. Even the lid unplugs from the hinge assy when a pair of sliding tabs on it are released. Pretty sure there are enough pins on the cable to support an 11.6" LVDS screen to run off an HDMI converter without too much trouble, we'll see.

9Amcmx.jpg

I've never done an emulation setup before, but I'll have to see if I can get Classic Mac OS running under Android like I've seen in a dual-boot setup with Lubuntu/LXDE or the newer Ubuntu/LXDE release for Opi as the primary OS. I'll probably be asking for a lot of help in setting all this Linux/Android stuff up, you folks have got an utter n00b on your hands for this one. hmm

Neatest thing about this hack is that Opi will plug upside down into an IDS connector/pigtail harness docking setup built on the die cast metal FDD chassis. All will be hardwired to the thru-holes of the top slot of the 2U PCI riser. A doubled IDC cable PCI wiring harness riser's edge card socket is set up as the board interconnect between the removable FDD module cum CPU cage and the rest of what will become this SBC laptop Kluge. Setting up line driver/buffer junk will be lots of fun. Heaven only knows what the MoBo replacement board is gonna look like in the end! big_smile

W9Gma6.jpg

The middle slot connector will be also be de-soldered and replaced with four(?)rows of sockets as shown for breadboarding Opi outside of the lappy. May be able to do it inside the bay as the plan for the trimmed keyboard assy is conversion to a removable standalone Bluetooth KBD. There's plenty of cubic between the battery bay and top of the opening for a controller box/kickstand and in the open FDD compartment for the counterbalancing support leg on the other side so long as I idiot proof it as an FDD module removal lock. roll Conversion of both TrackBall sockets boards to USB almost goes without saying. wink

Gotta save as much of the white metal casting as possible while tucking the riser PCB underneath, hoping to mill enough off the bottom not to lose any visible part of it. Bonus points awarded for keeping the head motor mountings intact, but probably not possible. It would be a blast to be able to do something silly with that lead screw! Dunno, tolerances are ultra tight, but I've got so many extra lines available by using the PCI riser board interconnect setup I can probably just cut chunks out of its PCB if necessary to keep the stepper motor in play.

Teardown of the (very large) US Gov't Agency (which will go unnamed) laptop was prompted by visions of installing Opi in the SIMM access area, but of course things quickly went over the top once that process got underway. I started looking for a major computing appliance project box for Opi with a life size print cutout before he ever arrived.

oFlEs1.jpg

I've only found one mention/pic of this puppy on a .jp website. A buddy at work swears he has the same computer in IBM trappings at his parent's place, right down to the trackball setup. Can't wait to see it, has anyone seen this thing anywhere? I remember seeing pictures of its innovative trackball setup in the magazines back in the day. Some more pics of the mystery laptop:

a53FZs.jpg

vS5nQg.jpg

wbfznO.jpg

W5nlKh.jpg

The three dimensional maze of PCBs inside this thing are so awesome I've just got to get them working inside a clear plexi faux proto case. That'll be way more fun than just buying a simple, standard issue, clear plastic case for Opi in the first place! Storing the SBC within a drawer in a laptop case will lessen the probability of its sinking into the morass as well. neutral

edit: forgot to mention that the large daughtercard (connects to the the battery and power plug) was removed in the pics above. It covers the entire processor board save for the SIMM expansion board.

This thing was hermetically sealed in its case, even the docking port connector on the back was locked up tight. No removable screwcovers at all, they were glued on to stay. You were/are forced to mar the case to get inside, security measure? They must have just pulled the LCD, SIMM daughtercard, modules and then chucked the main unit when something went wrong. Cool beans!

Last edited by jt (2017-02-28 13:38:14)

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#2 2017-03-01 21:17:39

jt
Member
From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,407

Re: Orange pi ONE Laptop Build . . .

This is about all I could come up with about my government issue NOTEBOOK COMPUTER B2 or anything else made during the short lifespan of Nippon Steel Computer plc.

* 新日鉄 Librex
Bnwh8o.jpg
友人からもらった。
知ってる人はおそらくそれほどいないマシン(笑)。
強烈に個性的なノートパソコンで、合体組み立て合体ロボットみたいにバラバラになる。
HDDやフロッピーディスクはもちろんのこと、液晶モニター部分もレバー一つで引っこ抜け、
モノクロLCD に差し替えたり出来た。

* Nippon Steel Corporation Librex
___________________________________________________________

You received from the Nippon Steel Corporation friend.
Knowing, as for the ru person the machine (laughing) which perhaps that much is not.
It becomes intensely with the unique notebook PC, the union assembly union robot likely disjointed.
HDD and the floppy disk of course thing, the pulling tsu passed through also the liquid crystal monitor part densely at levers 1,
could replace to monochrome LCD.
___________________________________________________________

I got it from a friend.
A machine (笑) that probably there is not the person knowing that much.
With an individual note PC, I break up like a union assembling union robot intensely.
Not to mention an HDD and a floppy disk, pull up the LCD monitor part with one lever,
I replaced it with monochromatic LCD and was able to do it.
___________________________________________________________

I found a near cousin to what I'm guessing is the basis for my gov't issue version: Librex 386SL-25 4/60

I found its stablemate in a Greek auction listing:
dv6Smy.jpg
1hHFHT.jpg
mpwRAy.jpg

This one has a full bar across the top surrounding the hinge as opposed to the thinner bar with protruding MoDem port bay. So mine has clearance to put storage for the trackball assy where the power switch is located. Mine has the slider switch, pop-off LCD and built in calculator that must have functioned when the Laptop was powered down. I'll bet the HDD is in the same location, but it's not in a removable bay. There's probably no hatch in the floorboards for i387SL installation. There's none in the UK version below anyway.


I found what must have been the low end system from near the bitter end of Librex Computer Systems in early 1992. There are listings of 486 system models. Librex 486-33 4/60

DnXgQ2.jpg
rNoA3w.jpg
tkmMwd.jpg
9S3BHx.jpg

Very strange KBD differentiation for the UK version where the Greek version is identical to mine save for the markings. The newer one has a more old fashioned layout. That horrible vertical Enter key is particularly ugly as well as the way they abbreviated the "1" key. Librex had operations based in San Jose and the UK. Is there something particularly European about that Enter key? German language Duos had a similar arrangement.

Anybody got any info at all on my lil' B2 Beastie?

Last edited by jt (2017-03-01 21:57:31)

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#3 2017-03-01 22:25:11

cc333
Member
From: North S.F. Bay Area, CA
Registered: 2014-05-23
Posts: 571

Re: Orange pi ONE Laptop Build . . .

Very fascinating!

If it's working, I'd be inclined to leave it as is, as a very interesting and peculiar footnote in computer history.

But, your idea of putting one of those SoC things in it so it can do modern things (and emulate whatever OS you wish, including Mac OS) is nevertheless quite intriguing, and I will follow your progress intently smile

c


Main Macs: Early '09 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 13"
Secondary Macs: Early '08 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 15"
Playthings: Mac SE/30, 3.0 GHz Mavericks-based HackServe, Many others....
Desired: Lisa, Kanga PowerBook G3, Apple IIc, Apple II, Spare parts, etc.

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#4 2017-03-01 23:25:57

jt
Member
From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,407

Re: Orange pi ONE Laptop Build . . .

It'll be a long drawn out process, being on back burner simmer and all. The Laptop's been sitting untouched for fifteen years for lack of a power supply. Right now it's pretty much just a project box for the Orange pi ONE. So far I've spent $8.55 on the 2U Riser for the breakout board, the rest of the goodies I pulled out of the UTZ Cheese Ball jar in which I keep my excess "Chinese Jewelry."

I keep forgetting to order a power supply for the SBC  .  .  .  roll

Last edited by jt (2017-03-02 00:15:50)

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#5 2017-03-02 14:49:29

jt
Member
From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,407

Re: Orange pi ONE Laptop Build . . .

Thanks to eudi over at the barracks, I've got the scoop on my Librex OEM'd  NOTEBOOK COMPUTER B2 version of the Librex R386SL:

edit: "view image" to read article, it's FAR clearer. Dunno why the forums software didn't thumbnail my scaled up version of the pic, at least it's a lot better than the way things worked out using the unscaled version. I LOVE being able to edit my posts over here for clearing things like this up without anybody beating me up over it. wink  If my iFrog hosted pics weren't filtered out at work things would be perfect.

UXvveH.jpg

image edited for clarity and posted for educational purposes
credit: PC MAGAZINE DECEMBER 22, 1992

Last edited by jt (2017-03-02 15:22:11)

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#6 2017-03-02 16:06:59

jt
Member
From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,407

Re: Orange pi ONE Laptop Build . . .

hmm OOPSIE! Come to think of it there were an additional seven contacts in the FDD bay to complement the four in the battery bay. The @$$end FDD bezel has a slot molded in the back so it doesn't compress the contacts for the battery sled. Librex must have made a caddy to hold the second and THIRD batteries in the FDD bay. I just checked and there's plenty of cubic for them to fit. What a great notion for a way to carry two extra batteries around, I wonder if they made a cover for the battery tray that doubled as protection for the FDD module's interconnect?

Take THAT Apple and your "innovative" two battery Blackbirds of May 1994! LEM says "In the field, users raved about the dual battery slots, allowing up to 4 hours from a charged pair of batteries." Librex was getting five hours and two minutes in PC Magazines runtime testing back in 1992. That was with more power hungry 386/68030 generation non-VLSI discrete components on the boards as compared to eighteen months later ASIC technology and what appears to be the older SLA Battery Tech from the Portable/PB100 eras.

I'll have to take some pics of the circuit boards from inside this thing, it's an amazing 3D bar puzzle.

Last edited by jt (2017-03-02 17:38:43)

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#7 2017-03-02 16:27:54

jt
Member
From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,407

Re: Orange pi ONE Laptop Build . . .

With the help of samurai-j over at the MLA, I've been able to piece together what's probably a much clearer version of the combination of the two machine translations:

* Nippon Steel Corporation Librex
___________________________________________________________

I got it from a friend. A laptop (笑) that there is probably not anyone knowing very much about it.
With an individual Notebook PC, I can take it apart with Transformer robot intensity.
Not to mention the removable HDD and floppy disk, I was able to pull off the LCD monitor part with one lever,*
an then replace the monochromatic LCD.**.
___________________________________________________________


* There are two tabs on either side of the hinge assembly on mine, sliding them to the outside frees the LCD for release and reinsertion.
**It's a 4bit grayscale LCD, often confused with 1bit B&W LCDs in common usage of this eternally equivocal terminology.

Last edited by jt (2017-03-02 17:18:22)

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