exxos blog - random goings on

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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos » Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:36 am

Been messing around with the girlfriend's laptop (Lenovo G550) all weekend :roll: Some of the keys are not working on the keyboard, change the keyboard in exactly the same problem :roll: This is a most infuriating fault :(

The keyboard ribbon is near the top right of the image, and the keyboard controller is the big chip near the bottom left.. I have continuity checked from the ribbon itself right down to the chip and it all beeps out just fine. I've checked resistances high & low and voltages on each pin of the keyboard connector and cannot really see anything wrong there either :(

I even fluxed up the chip and re-flowed it twice just to make sure and on the various pushing on various places on the motherboard to no avail.I managed to find a chip on evilbay less than fiver, so ordered one as a last resort.. But it is looking like it will have to have a replacement motherboard.

It's pretty amazing that almost every guide and fix it solution on the Internet generally starts with "run the troubleshooting wizard"...This is a hardware fault as the arrow keys do not even work in the BIOS anymore.
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As a side note, it was originally wiped off windows 10 because it ran incredibly slow, but I also had similar issues with Windows 7.. It literally took all night just to get the updates. It was hung on checking for updates for hours! Long story short, while Windows 7 seems to consume 1 GB of RAM, and there is 2 GB in the machine, Windows update itself needs 2 gigabytes of RAM!! out of desperation, the swap file had 2 gigabyte on it anyway, but I upped it to 3, and after about an hour and a half of checking for updates it did finally start to actually download them. The whole thing was just painfully slow. So I think the general idea that machines can run on 2 GB is probably fine if you do not want to install updates ever! Or just literally leave the thing running until it completes which could really take days on some machines...This laptop had a SSD in it, so I dread to think how slowly this would have gone with a old skool driving in it :shock: .

I also had problems registering Windows 7 and had to do the phone activation in the end. The codes & CD I know are good, so I don't know what is going on there unless Microsoft simply don't allow registrations with registration codes any more :shrug:
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos » Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:47 pm

Been busy in the background with my stencil alignment tool among other things...

I think the tree like supports are pretty cool...

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Anyway, Stencil in place...

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And voilà!

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So now I can easily change the stencil for metal or film, and quickly adjust and remove the PCBs for rapid pasting.

I do actually want to do a slightly larger version and fix some of the annoying issues which this one has... But mostly it was because I was limited to one base only as icky printed that one...Now I know how it all works fits together may start working on version 2 should not take much doing now..
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos » Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:33 pm

The laptop saga continues...

Replacement IC came so out with the old...

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In with the new...

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And still didn't work properly :roll: but at least I did not make the problem any worse :lol: :thumbup:

So I metered out the connector again and found pin 2 was not connecting to the chip... And this is the first thing I checked as well :roll:

So out with the bodge wire...

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And keyboard now works correctly :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:

A bit of tidying up done just as well...Superglued the wire down so it does not move..


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Way too tired to try work out how to put this thing back together now :lol: may see if I can fit a faster CPU to it while I'm at it...
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by stephen_usher » Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:00 pm

Well done! :dualthumbup: :bravo:
Intro retro computers since before they were retro...
ZX81->Spectrum->Memotech MTX->Sinclair QL->520STM->BBC Micro->TT030->PCs & Sun Workstations.
Added code to the MiNT kernel (still there the last time I checked) + put together MiNTOS.
Collection now with added Macs, Amigas, Suns and Acorns.

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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos » Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:43 pm

The laptop saga continues.. I could not find a switch small enough so I just got the one which I thought would fit... It is the same physical size just the legs stick out a lot further than the original.. So I blobbed as much solder on the pads as I could to pad out the gap to the legs and are soldered it on my that. Thankfully The switch is now operational and we can now left click once again! :yay2:

Oddly the switches would not work without the mousepad connected, which has nothing to do with the switches as it is on a separate board for starters :shrug:

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It may look like chaos but it is very functional now! :lol:

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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:18 pm

some various PCBs where the SMT is preassembled in order to help speed things up and reduce my workload somewhat...


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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by Icky » Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:14 pm

Nice @exxos. That should help a lot with cutting down assembly time.

Is the quality of the work good?

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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos » Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:43 pm

Icky wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:14 pm
Is the quality of the work good?
Yep...

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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:28 pm

Actually managed to accomplish something today, laptop back together.. dual core fitted now... Oddly does not work with a duo core... It gets red hot , so probably faulty off evil bay no doubt :roll:


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Had a few screws left over but oh well...

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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by Steve » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:46 pm

Silly question maybe, did you just do this for fun? Might have been better to just get a used Thinkpad off ebay for cheap. I've got an X230 (i7 cpu) which has a 12'' screen I upgraded to 1080p for when I need to be portable and a t440p which has a larger screen and faster cpu/graphics for more serious stuff. Got both for around £100 each by shopping around a bit on ebay. Thinkpads are the bees knees for modding and maintaining. Companies buy them by the bucketload and then just throw them to recycling as soon as the product cycle gets updated... probably the best technological bargains you can find these days.
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