First post, by 133MHz
Today at the usual flea market I picked up a Compaq LTE/286 laptop, no accessories, but for a mere $2 I couldn't say no! 🤣 Aside from being dirty and missing the side covers it seems to be in good cosmetic condition.
I couldn't find the AC adapter specs (voltage/current/pinout) but I found out that the battery input takes 4.8V @ 5A, so I hooked it up to the +5V rail of an AT PSU to test it out. The hard drive spins up, but the power LED lights up for a split second and the computer itself stays dead. I unplugged the hard drive and the computer sprung back to life, but with the following symptoms:
- No backlight.
- Audible DC-DC SMPS squealing, varying in pitch with the display contrast setting.
- BIOS throws up 601 Diskette controller error in conjunction with the usual dead CMOS battery issues.
- Can't get it to boot off a floppy, no floppy access is being made by the system, and when a disk is inserted one of the motors runs continuously until said disk is ejected.
I had a closer look at the motherboard and noticed corrosion on the legs of almost every capacitor, suggesting electrolyte leakage a la Sega Game Gear (even the caps look physically similar to those of the GG). Does this mean that the Compaq LTE/286 suffers from capacitor plague like some Macintosh logic boards? I didn't find any mention of capacitor problems on these machines, and I find it hard to believe that mine is the only one like this.
My plan is to recap the board with cheap 'lytics and hope that fixes the FDC issue. Since this is one of those Compaq machines where you need a setup disk to configure the CMOS, I guess that if the FDC is toast then the entire machine is done for. 😢