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New 701C owner, Questions, insight and opinions?

Older ThinkPads.. from the 600, the 7xx, the iSeries, 300, 500, the Transnote and, of course, the 701
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New 701C owner, Questions, insight and opinions?

#1 Post by Mephisto » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:40 am

Hello everyone, I was given advice to come here after obtaining my new piece to my vintage hardware collection, a Thinkpad 701C. Its a wonderful little laptop and the keyboard is as awesome in person as it was seeing it online. That said I have some questions on what I can do to improve it and the experience on it as well as some insight and opinions.

The first thing is the most prominent one. Removable storage options
I want to be able to take data on and off of this machine (Windows 3.11 with PCDOS), I know there are some ways to go about it, and to no surprise my 701C did not come with that particularly hard to find floppy cable. I know that there is PCMCIA CF options and I was able to dig one of each out at my work to use on the machine, which seems to be identifiable on the program "PC Card Director" on the 701C, That said however its status is "not ready". I was not sure if this is considered a driver issue, which if it is I could always attempt to take out the IDE, hook it up with my drive reader and attempt to drop the file onto the drive through my modern system and the drive reader. That said however if this is something else I should look into first I would like to hear what I can do before I start taking this thing apart.

Speaking of that however, the second thing Battery Replacements
My 701C's battery has started to leak, It does not look like it has gotten bad enough yet to cause the connectors to go green but its pretty evident that leaking is happening and that I should replace that as soon as possible. I did read up on someone who replaced the internal cells with rechargeable AA batteries and while it might be a daunting task (especially having to solder on live batteries) It might be something I will consider doing unless someone out there already does this as a service. Its not that I don't have soldering skill, I just do not trust myself soldering batteries without something wrong happening. That said the CMOS coin cell replacement looks far less daunting since the soldering points on that are not on the battery itself, so that should be more easier to do that also said though what kind of coin cell CMOS battery should I look into getting?

Finally, the last and potentially most controversial thing is Long term upkeep/cleaning (AKA how to deal with stickiness
The system is in fair condition, I do not have much complaints about it cosmetically with the exception of two things (one of which being a big one) The first thing is that the top of the system residue from what looked like two stickers that are long gone but the sticker residue lines remain. Is there a safe way to clean the residue off without potentially harming the texture of the unit? I have access to a lot of solvents but I do not want to throw anything at it given what it could do without some insight/guidance. The second one, which I consider to be a bigger deal is the fact that the bottom half of the plastic has gotten sticky (really, really sticky) which I know is a common growing issue with older thinkpads of the time. I am not sure how I should approach this and if I should try to clean this up or somehow stop the coating from being sticky. I know there are some opinions out there regarding whether or not one should try to strip off the coating, I personally do not know how to feel about it personally but again I would like to hear opinions/insight on how to approach the stickiness issue.

I hope to hear back from the community on what I can do here, this Thinkpad is such a delight to have and use, and I really want to get the most out of it. It might even become a semi-regular device in my use case just because how awesome it is.


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Re: New 701C owner, Questions, insight and opinions?

#2 Post by Cooler22 » Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:16 am

Hey there,

I have spent over a year in perfecting my 701c... but recently I realized that there is no such thing as perfection :lol:

For removable storage, I recommend using a CF Card to IDE or a IDE Disk On Module (IDE DOM)

If you are willing to disassemble your ThinkPad, make sure you lubricate the hinges! 3 out of the 4 701's I have gotten started cracking at the hinges. Furthermore, be VERY delicate when handling the plastic parts.

When if you plan on removing the finishing, make sure to either use dish soap or dilute isopropyl alcohol to a 30% ratio. This way the original 1st layer finishing will be preserved. If you plan on repainting it, I recommend Rustoleum engine sparkle paint mixed with plasti-dip.

Overall, just enjoy the butterfly keyboard!

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Re: New 701C owner, Questions, insight and opinions?

#3 Post by tfflivemb2 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:47 am

Let me look this weekend, as I may still have the 701CS floppy with cable:

Price is negotiable...

EDIT: I found it.
EDIT 2: Just realized that the OP posted in September, and only posted one time. Will likely revive my old for sale ad.

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Re: New 701C owner, Questions, insight and opinions?

#4 Post by goldeneagle » Fri Dec 27, 2019 12:45 pm

Makes me wonder what those floppy/cable assemblies are worth, as I recently came across several of them. I still have my 701s, though from what I remember, they had corrosion issues, and I really need a battery to rebuild so I can use it off AC.
Historic ThinkPads owned:
300 (x3), more 355's than I know what to do with, 360C/CSE/CE/P, 510CS, 560/E, 600E, 701C/CS, 730TE, 750/C, 755C(x3)/CE(x3)/CX/CDV/CD, 760ED, 770
Newer ThinkPads owned:
T520, W520 (x2), X220 Tablet (x4), and some T61/X61T laying around somewhere

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Re: New 701C owner, Questions, insight and opinions?

#5 Post by iamdmc » Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:07 pm

Makes me want a 701C!

Does anyone have a complete 701C, or the butterfly keyboard for sale? Please PM me!
ThinkPad T480s
i7-8550u | 16+8GB RAM | 500GB Samsung 970 2280 M.2 M-key PCIe x4 | FHDtoQHD upgrade | 2242 M.2 B-key PCIe x2 @WWAN slot | Intel AX200

The X61 is dead... long live the X61

Past IBM ThinkPads: T450s, X250, X230, X220, X300, T410, X61s, T60p, T41, X31, T23, A21m

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