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My T23 story of one big rescue mission with happy end!

T20-T23 Series and T30 specific matters only. NOT for T25-Retro.
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skydreamer
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 2:44 am
Location: Moycullen, Ireland

My T23 story of one big rescue mission with happy end!

#1 Post by skydreamer » Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:27 pm

It was eight month ago when one of our clients was throwing out some stuff along with that troublesome T23, which has been hit by a lightning and in all fairness when it landed on my desk it looked destined for a skip. The last owner left a good selection of bread crumbs, cheese bits and other hard to identify objects inside the keyboard and some more sticky leftovers made it even onto the motherboard. The phone socket was burnt out after the lightning strike and a handful of keys had the characters missing and a couple of them were broken.

So first a big cleanout job was in order then hop on the ebay to get a refurbed keyboard plus new Hitachi 80GB HDD and 1GB RAM. Also the battery was dead hence another Internet order and the laptop was ready to Rock'n'Roll. At this point I started to have doubts about my sanity as the parts were already able to pay for a refurbed fully working laptop but I somehow felt that there is still a good bit of life in this old dog with 1400x1050 screen.

After upgrading the BIOS and the controller firmware I managed to install Windows XP, updated all drivers and happy days were here but not for long...

4 weeks ago the battery stopped charging. Not knowing about this great website I went on ebay again to get a replacement motherboard, which turned out to be a complete base of T23 with modem and NIC. After 4 auctions I finally secured the laptop base for a good price and soon was replacing like for like (both are PIII 1.13GHz). To my dismay two weeks later the laptop was hit with a pulsating fan syndrom but fortunately I stumbled across the sticky thread here and fixed the fallen out inductor. Not even two days later the battery stopped charging. Again- opened the laptop and after resoldering the battery pins as suggested elsewhere on this site I managed not only to fix the e-bay acquired base but also the original lightning hit one.

Since then I am finally in calm waters with the laptop, have placed another order for an internal WiFi card to go instead of the mini-pci modem, so hopefully it will be here from China in next two week. I could not resist the price....

Finally yesterday I found an ingenious article detailing upgrade of the T23 with a built-in bluetooth for less then 5 Euro. I will wait until the WiFi arrives, do both together and report back.

The only thing I need to figure out is what kind of enchantment was cast upon this black box that made me to put so much effort into fixing it, perhaps some fellow Thinkpader's can explain this? ;-)

Till later,
SD
Rescued T23, 1GB RAM, PIII 1.13GHz, 80GB 5400 rpm HDD, Mini-PCI WiFi, internal bluetooth module, LCD 1400x1050. Dual Boot XP Pro & Fedora Core 7.

rkawakami
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Re: My T23 story of one big rescue mission with happy end!

#2 Post by rkawakami » Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:47 pm

skydreamer wrote:The only thing I need to figure out is what kind of enchantment was cast upon this black box that made me to put so much effort into fixing it, perhaps some fellow Thinkpader's can explain this?
Sometimes I think that IBM shipped some nano-creatures inside their Thinkpads whose main job was to come out at night, creep across your house to where you are sleeping and quietly whisper in your ear, "Buy some more Thinkpads.... you still don't have them ALL!" :) .

"Welcome to the T23 club", he said, typing from a 1.2Ghz, 1GB, SXGA+, wireless 2647-HNU system...
Ray Kawakami
X22 X24 X31 X41 X41T X60 X60s X61 X61s X200 X200s X300 X301 Z60m Z61t Z61p 560 560Z 600 600E 600X T21 T22 T23 T41 T60p T410 T420 T520 W500 W520 R50 A21p A22p A31 A31p
NOTE: All links to PC-Doctor software hosted by me are dead. Files removed 8/28/12 by manufacturer's demand.

Harryc
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#3 Post by Harryc » Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:19 pm

1.) Thinkpads were originally designed and engineered unbelievably well. That excellence has carried over from series to series over the years. Some of the original designers are still on the project.
2.) They are easy to fix with some basic knowledge. See #1 for the main reason why this is so.
3.) Once anyone with a respect for something engineered well gets that design in their blood, a brand loyalty results.
4.) If you've ever loved a well engineered automobile, it's the same thing.

So here you have something that you love and are loyal to, that is designed well, and is easy to fix. It's a no brainer :)

skydreamer
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 2:44 am
Location: Moycullen, Ireland

#4 Post by skydreamer » Fri Nov 09, 2007 6:29 pm

Hot update:

The MiniPCI WiFi Atheros card arrived today including the aerials all the way from China. And I also used this opportunity to install an internal bluetooth module.

The Atheros card was no brainer, for the fans of this card the most up to date drivers and utility can be obtained from the Toshiba's support website. (currently 27-Oct-07)

The radio sensitivity is definitively on par with the D-Link PCMCIA card. The miniPCI card uses less energy hence the T23 lasts longer on battery. I also noticed that the processor fan is not spinning as frequently- the heat from the WiFi PCMCIA card must have been affecting the CPU.

Bluetooth module was more fiddly- essentially you need to break the case of a cheap USB BT adapter and extract the PCB with electronics. Then desolder the USB connector, and replace it with 4 thin insulated wires and twist them together. They need to be soldered onto the pins of the motherboard docking connector (fortunately on the upper side, no need to take the MoBo out), which means that you are going to loose the USB in the docking station. That does not bother me.
Unless you know what a Weller station is and have practical experience with soldering tiny joints do not even think about it. The installation instructions are listed on the below website, you can make sense out of the photographs and the text is in English- although I had difficulties understanding it.
http://mikrom.bloguje.cz/586705-add-usb ... -t23-1.php

I have placed the BT PCB into the cavity at the front on the right hand side since the other cavity at the right side is already taken by the WiFi aerial.

Then the software installation, I prefer Toshiba BT stack- unfortunately it is only 30 days demo and you cannot buy it but you can google some more permanent solution.
Linked up with the BT stereo HQ headphones the laptop runs at 730 MHz and takes only 17 Watts, this is abslolutely awesome. No break ups in music, CPU around 15%.

The only problem I have now is that unless something breaks down I have no excuse to take the T23 apart anymore!

If you were interested in a more detailed BT installation guide I could put it together, just let me know- I think that the website above gives a lot of good hints but may be a bit confusing.

The whole operation took 2 hours, the BT part aproximately 30 minutes.

Cheers to all Thinkpaders,

SD
Rescued T23, 1GB RAM, PIII 1.13GHz, 80GB 5400 rpm HDD, Mini-PCI WiFi, internal bluetooth module, LCD 1400x1050. Dual Boot XP Pro & Fedora Core 7.

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