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FROM THE SHOP - DIARY 06/24/99

MORE WORK.  So, I went about the task of replacing the PB PS/2 form-factor, AT power supply with a generic one (generic PS/2's will work in quite a few PBs even though they have a monitor power receptacle and many PB power supplies do not).  No can do...  This computer is packaged in a mini-tower with a wide pedestal at the bottom.  The motherboard is mounted on the very bottom of the case parallel to the horizon. The power supply is mounted about half way up the tower. The wires going to the motherboard come out of the power supply on the left side and must go all the way to the far right and to the bottom of the case where they plug-into the motherboard  The motherboard power wires are 16 1/2" long.   The wires on most generic PS/2 power supplies are about 14" long.

I tried to find a power supply with extra long AT motherboard wires in New England.  None of my vendors had one.  Meanwhile, my customer's wife, who works at home with the computer, was commuting from Maine to Boston to get her work done.   Finally, as a quick fix, I agreed to remove the motherboard wires form the old power supply and solder them to one of my generic power supplies.

THE FIX.  I had both power supplies apart on my bench and was ready to cut wires when I discovered what I thought was causing the problem.  Are you ready?  The wires coming out of the power supply and going to the drives, motherboard, etc. were all zip-tied (cable tie) very tightly together--much too tight, a real hour glass.  I clipped the zip-tie, inspected the wires, and properly zip-tied them again in a different place.   I tested the power supply out front and it worked.  I believe the zip tie was increasing the capacitive load on the power supply beyond specs and tripping it out.

Footnote.  By the way this case is not the easiest to figure-out how to take apart.  At first I thought it was simply a terrible design; the motherboard power supply and drive connectors are totally hidden under a lip on the top of the  pedestal.  You would have to be a real Houdini and use a mirror to plug them in.  I tried and gave up.  Claudia tried and gave up.  I was about ready to pull the motherboard to get at the connectors when I discovered the key.  The bottom front panel on the pedestal snaps off (be careful--gently pry the top on each side of it up and forward a little).  Once removed, the two screws which secure the two sides of the pedestal are exposed.  The sides slide forward and off.   Of course, the motherboard connectors are exposed when the right side is removed.

Larry

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