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PowerBook 5,3 (Special Project Update)

Posted in Blog, Computers, and History

My PowerBook G4 has been under the proverbial knife getting all of the worn parts replaced with new old-stock parts — which is a nice thing about the older laptops; user serviceable parts inside.

The G4 now has a new DC-in and left-side USB board, a new NVRAM battery and right-side USB board, a new bluetooth module, new battery to charge controller harness, a new battery, new 65w charger brick, and a new 8x “superdrive”.

Older 4x superdrive removed (the empty spot with the writing on it)

NOS 8x drive foreground and original 4x drive. The new M1 MacBook Air is in the background.

NOS NVRAM battery and USB board installed. There’s two Panasonic lithium coin cells under the plastic.

Old DC-in board removed - check out the scoring on the barrel connector. The ambient light sensor is in the clear plastic at the top of the board.

Old DC-in board removed – check out the scoring on the barrel connector. The ambient light sensor is in the clear plastic at the top of the board.

NOS DC-in board in place, as well as the NOS bluetooth module (small board on top of the speaker housing)

NOS DC-in board in place, as well as the NOS bluetooth module (small board on top of the speaker housing)

Once everything was done I buttoned her back up, ran the hardware checks to make sure everything was functional, and then re-installed OS X 10.5.8 to test the new drive.

Everything seems to be working fine.

The new charging system works — the light on the DC in from the wall wart now works and the battery took a full charge and tested to a 2.5 hour run time (back in the early aughts 2 hours was pretty good for a desktop replacement machine). And the system keeps time now when it’s unplugged… Bonus.

All in all, I’m fairly happy with how it all went. And the G4 is now pretty much new. 🙂