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Reply 20 of 37, by henryVK

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Good advice!

Particularly, since I'm pretty sure this DEC falls firmly in teardown territory. Windows 95 can also recognise a cardbus CF-adapter as a removable drive without any need for drivers, for people who just want to use it in addition to an IDE-CF-adapter.

Reply 23 of 37, by Roby1111

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Dirtbag wrote on 2019-10-29, 15:38:
Well "fun" ... […]
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Well "fun" ...

Using the same method as I used for MSDOS 6.22 and windows for workgroups and a lot of trial and error I now also have a CF card with windows 95B, however. I cannot get the Hinote to boot from the win 95 card. When inserted it will always boot from the internal harddrive.

Given the fact that the bios is version 1.30 I assumed I needed a bios update, which I found. http://unimatrix.gomtuu.net/DEC_legacy/legacy … tal/epid71.html

I grabbed the 1.42, the most recent and put it on the MSDOS 6.22 CF. However. It requires a floppy drive, as with many from the era, mine is dead as a doornail. Just for test I opened my El cheapo USB floppy drive I recently bought from aliexpress.

db

Hello from munich, germany ;o)

as european headquarter of DEC was in munich, this type of notebook was quite popular at fleamarkets at the end of the 90ties here.

I bought my first one already in 1996 used but in good condition, but only 4/25 with STN screen.
I used it commercially at that time to control a CNC-tool and because heavy vibrations always wrecked the internal hdd, i tore the system down and thereby removed the trackball and fitted a small 2.5" to CF adapter there with a 128 MB compact-flash card, that i could easily get in and out through this very hole, where the trackball was located normally. Some "strong"-adhesive-tape sealed the hole for normal usage and the PS/2 external mouse was quite more useful as the trackball too...

So CF-Card instead of HDD was already well-known solution at that time in the mid-90ties!

After switching that CNC to a permanent embedded solution, i foregot about that notebook for over 20 years! As i finally found it again, i plugged it in and it worked like switched off yesterday!

I had the chance to grab some more of these machines over ebay, so now i am also owning that wonderful TFT version ;o)

To some of the above problems:

1) hinote vs hinote ultra: there are two versions, the ultra is the very thin version with external floppy (under the main body) and WITH sound, the "normal" hinote had a built in floppy, but hdd was much better servicable, as the complete keyboard could be opened like a cars engine-hood! also battery was internal, but in separate plastic cabinet, but only NiCD or NiMH, against modern LiIon in the ultra version. So the ultra is the better choice! Also both hinote modells were extendable with two MORE additional PCMCIA-Slots, but this extension was situated at the back of the housing, not below it like with the ultra. Also serial, parallel and VGA-connectors were available at the backside of this extension, so that it could be used as docking-station, being the only "pro" for the normal Hinote modell.

2) NO special drivers are needed to boot from pcmcia in general! Just enter Bios like mentioned above and activate "boot from pcmcia"! Remember: Pcmcia is just a smaller formfactor ISA/IDE-Bus with some extensions for hot-swapping and usage other than ATA/IDE disks (or equivalent interface sram/flash storage).

But the so called 504MB Bios limit is a possible pitfall as even the smallest 512MB CF-Cards available today may be a little bigger than this limit. There were tools outside that time to overcome that limit, but it seems, that bios in DEC hinote at least ist tolerant to "modern" drive geometry-translations. So when formatting the CF-Card in another (more modern) machine, be aware to choose at least the primary "bootable" partition below 500MB raw, and of cause, make it bootable "active". Use FAT16 only! Also be careful to treat the CF-Card as a HDD and NOT a "removable" device, otherwise it will also fail to boot! (superfloppy booting was invented later...) If you succeed with FAT16, you might try converting the running system to FAT32, but up to 2GB there is no advantage in doing so.

3) as you might already mention, the type hinote 4xx CT consists of the processor 4=486 (SL) and the Speedgrade 25/33 for normal clock cpus, 50, 66 for DX2 like (mobile) double-clock cpus and 75 for a DX4, actually running at 3 times 25 MHz "Base-Clock", the C equals Colour, the T for TFT display and a S for a STN-display (cheaper solution, with low color contrast and very poor viewing-angle) All CPUs are plastic TQFP-style packages,soldered directly on main PCB (or soldered on daughter PCB in ultra machines, for easy upgrade!) This CT/CS marking was quite usual that days, e.g. Toshiba used the same naming-convention on this.

4) Memory extentions: the units come with 4 or 8 MB of soldered in DRAM and can be expanded by one module SO-Dimm 72-pin with 4/8/16 MB on it, giving 24MB max. RAM. Maybe there are 32MB modules outside, that are usable too, i do not have a circuit-plan, so i can not tell for sure, but from the CPU-adress-range, this would work Video-Card has 512KB in 25/33MHz-Machines and 1MB in all "better" configurations

5) other PCMCIA cards: all standard PCMCIA (NOT Cardbus!) Cards should run, e.g. Toshiba and Sony had special PCMCIA-Card based external Floppy-drives, also there are a lot of PCMCIA-CD-ROM or even PCMCIA-IDE-Boxes out there (latter needing external power...), also some USB2-Cards which are PCMCIA and not cardbus are seen sometimes on auction-plattforms...

6) i have complete drivers for Dos/Win3.1x like preinstalled by DEC and also usermanuals for both types of machines.

7) floppy-connector of so called slim-size 1.44 3.5" floppy-drives are standardized, so almost every drive (even much more modern ones) should fit electrically, but mostly also mechanically.

8) using WfW 3.11 onward, PCMCIA-ethernet or WLAN-adapters could be useful for data-exchange also and are sold at low rates nowadays... (be careful to set up your router to use NO or only "unsecure" encryption, WPA/WPA2 is mostly NOT supported!

9) for most modern and "easy to use" config install win95C or Win98 "second edition" (there are so called final editions outside on the web, which include all patches and improvements), if you are so lucky to have 24MB RAM (or more) installed, as both OS allow easy use of USB (if available on PCMCIA-Card) and also some more improvement. But deinstall the internet-explorer for speed AND safety-reasons. If connection to internet is needed, make sure that all local ports are closed, especially when connection through dial-up and not router-based connection. Use Tool "shields up" (google will find it!) to ensure closed ports for stealth status. More is not needed, if not surfing the web with it. If only 4 up to 12MB RAM is available: stick to WfW3.11 and DOS 6.22 with manually optimized upper memory usage.

I am "always" on search for several collectors items as

- PCMCIA-extension-Bay for both types
- technical manual on both types (user manual i already f0und on the web, see above)
- other ORIGINAL accessories like CD-drives, Bags, Bays, Docking-stations ....
- CPU-PCB-assemblies with DX4/75 on it
- the Bios-Updates mentioned here, as the link is dead...

I am interested at information exchange, swapping collectors items or just buying above items.

I ve got several system units of hinote ultra and at least one "normal" hinote, also some TFTs and inverters extra, so no need for complete machines.

Another collectors item of mine is all stuff and informations for Toshiba Libretto CT50-110, Toshiba Dynapad T200 (486 based "rugged" tablet-pc) and Dauphin DTR1 (486SLC based b/w VGA tablet-PC built by a IBM spinoff called Dauphin Systems)

best regards,

Robert

PS: my main working machine is Toshiba Tecra A9 with XP on it from 2007, my daily used mobile phone nokia communicator 9300i from 2006.

Reply 24 of 37, by wulp

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Hello Roby1111,
I also have a Toshiba T200CS. There is only DOS on it: I have a FDD drive that fits. Now I want to set Windows 1.0 for Pen on it, but I only find that version on CD. How can that be managed?..
Thanks for any reply!
Guy
And sorry, I normally speak Dutch..

Reply 25 of 37, by wiretap

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Just now purchased a Digital Hinote Ultra CT475 off eBay for $16. Small piece of plastic cracked off at the lower right of the keyboard base, sold as-is and no power supply. I'll make it my next laptop project. 😁

MrKsoft, do you know the model of the power brick you're using to power yours? I'll need to buy one, or some sort of equivalent. I think voltage is 11VDC / 2.7A? What's the plug style?

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Reply 26 of 37, by wiretap

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Think I found one that will work, for under $20. The Digital (DEC) FR-PCP8H-AD. 11VDC / 2.73A, 30w continuous, same plug and pinout. Ordered..

Circuit Board Repair Manuals
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Reply 28 of 37, by wiretap

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User manual attached.

The original file from the DEC FTP site for the field service manual is “HGP7100A.EXE”, but I cannot find it anywhere online. Maybe it exists on some DEC original media (CD/floppy). I checked at my work, and all we have is DEC/Compaq Alpha related material. The hunt continues..

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Circuit Board Repair Manuals
Turbo Display Project
Dual Socket 8 Project

Reply 29 of 37, by kepstin

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MrKsoft wrote on 2017-10-20, 02:20:

-Some colors have a bit of a dotted pattern to them on the screen. You can especially see this in the gray parts of Windows 3.x or 95. Possibly a limitation of these early TFTs? (See below)

I believe this is indeed a limitation of the early TFTs, probably due to the low bit depth (number of brightness levels). I see the same on my Powerbook 280c. It's basically doing a dither pattern to reproduce the desired colour.

(Modern cheapish laptop screens still dither, since they're only 6bit but they're displaying 8bit color - but it's much less noticable nowadays, particularly when they use temporal dither)

Reply 30 of 37, by MrKsoft

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wiretap wrote on 2020-04-16, 16:33:

Think I found one that will work, for under $20. The Digital (DEC) FR-PCP8H-AD. 11VDC / 2.73A, 30w continuous, same plug and pinout. Ordered..

Sorry I didn't see this earlier, always surprised this thread is still going. That is the correct model AC adapter, same as I have. In my case mine came with a European style plug, but the plug is just on a standard removable figure-8 cable and the brick already supports 100-240V so I just swapped cables and it works.

Wafflenet OPL Archive - Preserving MS-DOS music in a unified format!

Reply 31 of 37, by wiretap

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Yep, I received the power adapter. However, the laptop I received is completely DOA. Not even a power/battery light will come on. I'll have to tear it apart to see what's wrong. The seller claimed it powered up, but it definitely has zero signs of life. Not going to complain though for spending less than $20 😜 Probably the charging circuit is hosed, or some other internal connections. It looks like someone tried to rip open the cover to remove the hard drive (it's missing) and they likely did some other damage inside.

Circuit Board Repair Manuals
Turbo Display Project
Dual Socket 8 Project

Reply 33 of 37, by wiretap

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Picked up another Hinote, and this one has the floppy expansion attachment. It has some dead areas on the screen (pixel damage from an impact), so I'll have to swap with my other screen and hope that one works.

Anyhow, the seller sold this one as-is, not working, but it boots just fine into Windows 95 which was loaded on the original hard drive. Physical condition overall is very good. Besides for the failing screen, everything else works.

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Reply 34 of 37, by wiretap

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Some more semi-useful info I found on archived websites.. how to take the laptop apart, and how to reset the BIOS password. I'll try to take apart my laptop soon and document the process better.

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Reply 35 of 37, by wiretap

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Score, found the original user manual and field service manuals. Converted them for HTML. ZIP files attached. Works best in Chrome. There's a RTF text file in each as well.

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  • Filename
    P70WWUA1.HLP.zip
    File size
    107.46 KiB
    Downloads
    7 downloads
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • Filename
    P70WWA01.HLP.zip
    File size
    156.96 KiB
    Downloads
    10 downloads
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Circuit Board Repair Manuals
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Reply 36 of 37, by wiretap

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Turns out I do indeed have two functional Hinote Ultra CT475's. The one I got I thought was DOA just didn't have a CPU or RAM. 🤣 I swapped CPU and RAM with my other and it booted just fine and has a more functional LCD. They both have a vertical line issue on the right side of the screen where the solder joints appear broken - if you squeeze it, it goes away. I'll have to look into fixing that. Anyhow, I put the better screen in my better condition Hinote until I can reflow the solder on the monitor to fix the vertical line problem.

Here are a bunch of interior pictures. Taking apart the screen for repair is dead simple, just 6 screws required to fully remove. The bottom half is a complete pain, so I tried it on my busted up spare first. The Field Service Manual in the above post I made fully explains how to take it apart.

Pics: https://imgur.com/a/XwRNZiI

Circuit Board Repair Manuals
Turbo Display Project
Dual Socket 8 Project

Reply 37 of 37, by martinot

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MrKsoft wrote on 2017-10-20, 02:20:

I bought this laptop last month from an auction during Vintage Computer Festival Midwest, very cheaply and admittedly blind to any info about it: I didn't get a good look at it and basically just knew that it was an x86 laptop made by Digital Equipment Corp (honestly I had no idea they made laptops at all),

Great post and find! 😀

Very nostalgic for me as my first laptop I ever bought was a Digital HiNote with Pentium MMX in 1996 with NT 4.0 (16MB RAM, 2,1GB HD, 1024x768 TFT).

The HiNote was a really great machine that served me well for may years (until 2001, when I bought an HP Omnibook 500 https://www.engadget.com/products/hp/omnibook/500/ with Pentium III to replace it after many years of flawless service).