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IBM Thinkpad S30 aka iSeries 2639 crazy corrosion restore

Older ThinkPads from the 300, 500, 600, 700 Series, iSeries, Transnote etc.
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solidpro
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IBM Thinkpad S30 aka iSeries 2639 crazy corrosion restore

#1 Post by solidpro » Mon Jan 16, 2023 9:11 am

Hi Everyone

I managed to find a non-working S30 Thinkpad in Japan and imported it to the UK to attempt a repair. The obvious issue was vinegar syndrome but when it arrived it would not even power up. If anyone doesn't know, the S30 and S31 appear to be quite rare subnotebooks from around 2001 (https://lighthouse-hero.livejournal.com/422447.html. I've never found one in the flesh before so I didn't really know what to make of it. It looks a bit like an X30 series machine but feels to me more like a Transnote variant. The screen, the body, the keyboard all feels very Transnote to me. It definitely feels very IBM Japan and doesn't feel at all like most of the iSeries machines, which are mostly cheaper machines not manufacturered by IBM.

This machine isn't branded S30 - it just says "i Series" on the LCD bezel, but I believe that's just marketing, although maybe there are two versions (I noticed in the HMM the 'i Series' LCD has a different part number to the S30).

Anyway, I opened this one up - it's really easy to work on - a few screws on the base and it completely opens up. I wasn't prepared for what I was going to find...

Image

Yes, it's full of some kind of crystal silica stuff. Looks and feels like the kind of corrosion you get around a 30 year old Ni-Cad battery. The main battery is slightly opened at one end so maybe that gave off fumes.... I really don't know what it all is. So I stripped it all down, which was really quite simple - about 10 components to unscrew and as long as you kept them in order it was easy to reverse. The empty base looked like this:

Image

I warmed up the adhesive holding down that black plastic barrier and it lifted out. Washed it all out with warm soapy water and put it back together. Whilst the motherboard was out I checked all the fuses and everything checked out fine.

Image

Incredibly it boots!! It didn't even blink before and now the status LEDs behave relatively normally. I'm not out of the woods yet though. I have reconnected the lid and whilst the backlight does appear to come on, nothing displays. My next step would have been to connect up to an external monitor but the video out looks like this:

Image

Does anyone know what that is or how to adapt it? I doubt a dock for one of these is going to be easy to find. I checked the HMM and google and all I can find is it referred to as a 'mini-jack'. It looks a bit like HDMI, a bit like display port but slightly smaller and definitely pre-dates either of those standards by many years.

I have managed to source a NOS replacement LCD, but it will take about 3 weeks to arrive, and it still might not work.

Any input from anyone would be much appreciated.... what was the white stuff and what's that video output port?

Thanks!

Image
WANTED: 220, 300 ,240Z, 300C, 315D, 320, 330x, 345x, 350x, 355x, 360x, 365x, 385x
ANY 5xx Series, 700, 700C, 701CS, 720, 720C, 730TE, 750, 750C, 750P, 755CD, 760x, 765x, 770x
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solidpro
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Re: IBM Thinkpad S30 aka iSeries 2639 crazy corrosion restore

#2 Post by solidpro » Mon Jan 16, 2023 11:20 am

I opened up the main battery and it was a Lithium Ion battery. It didn't have any evidence of the white corrosion inside but the 6 x batteries - which looked about the size of the 1865 batteries used in Teslas and lots of other things - looked like they'd decayed in some way or another. The plastic coating on all of them was discoloured and wavy.

I snipped off the batteries themselves and put the external battery casing back together so that it can still sit on the machine for an OEM look.
WANTED: 220, 300 ,240Z, 300C, 315D, 320, 330x, 345x, 350x, 355x, 360x, 365x, 385x
ANY 5xx Series, 700, 700C, 701CS, 720, 720C, 730TE, 750, 750C, 750P, 755CD, 760x, 765x, 770x
ANY 8xx Series, A20P, A21p, A22p, A30p, A31p, R30, R50, R50p, R52, T40p, X23/4, X40

hidde-j
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Re: IBM Thinkpad S30 aka iSeries 2639 crazy corrosion restore

#3 Post by hidde-j » Mon Jan 23, 2023 11:30 am

Nice machine, good to see you got it booting. Please post an update when the LCD arrives, looking forward to that!
Wanted: s31/s30 | misc case parts for R40 (IR blaster cover, PCMCIA door)[/size]

solidpro
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Re: IBM Thinkpad S30 aka iSeries 2639 crazy corrosion restore

#4 Post by solidpro » Tue Jan 24, 2023 11:29 am

Hi

Well I'm not certain it's booting - but it is at least powering up. I don''t suppose you know what that weird external video output socket is on the side? I can't test it with an external LCD until I find a suitable adaptor, but I can't find what it's call. It's not even listed in the HMM....

Thanks
WANTED: 220, 300 ,240Z, 300C, 315D, 320, 330x, 345x, 350x, 355x, 360x, 365x, 385x
ANY 5xx Series, 700, 700C, 701CS, 720, 720C, 730TE, 750, 750C, 750P, 755CD, 760x, 765x, 770x
ANY 8xx Series, A20P, A21p, A22p, A30p, A31p, R30, R50, R50p, R52, T40p, X23/4, X40

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Re: IBM Thinkpad S30 aka iSeries 2639 crazy corrosion restore

#5 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Jan 24, 2023 1:01 pm

Have you seen this: https://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Category:S30

As for that unusual CRT-adapter with FRU 27L0659, see this.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)
Lenovo: X240, X250, T440p, M900 Tiny (all with W7/SP1 and NO updates since 2018), T480 (on its way).

solidpro
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Re: IBM Thinkpad S30 aka iSeries 2639 crazy corrosion restore

#6 Post by solidpro » Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:22 pm

Aha! thanks. Good job this forum is so old!! Looks like it will take a while to get a 27L0659 - there is one on ebay but the guy in Australia wants AUS $273 for it (£155 + £45 shipping) which is absolutely crazy....
WANTED: 220, 300 ,240Z, 300C, 315D, 320, 330x, 345x, 350x, 355x, 360x, 365x, 385x
ANY 5xx Series, 700, 700C, 701CS, 720, 720C, 730TE, 750, 750C, 750P, 755CD, 760x, 765x, 770x
ANY 8xx Series, A20P, A21p, A22p, A30p, A31p, R30, R50, R50p, R52, T40p, X23/4, X40

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Re: IBM Thinkpad S30 aka iSeries 2639 crazy corrosion restore

#7 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Jan 25, 2023 2:27 am

https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp
https://aucview.aucfan.com
Both are connected to Yahoo Japan, but are no longer accessible in the EEA and the United Kingdom.

But learn some Japanese (or make a Japanese friend) and then check them via VPN.
It's probably the only other place in the world where you might still get S30 parts.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)
Lenovo: X240, X250, T440p, M900 Tiny (all with W7/SP1 and NO updates since 2018), T480 (on its way).

solidpro
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Re: IBM Thinkpad S30 aka iSeries 2639 crazy corrosion restore

#8 Post by solidpro » Wed Jan 25, 2023 7:12 am

I do buy stuff from Yahoo Japan and I guess I'll just have to keep hoping and checking!
WANTED: 220, 300 ,240Z, 300C, 315D, 320, 330x, 345x, 350x, 355x, 360x, 365x, 385x
ANY 5xx Series, 700, 700C, 701CS, 720, 720C, 730TE, 750, 750C, 750P, 755CD, 760x, 765x, 770x
ANY 8xx Series, A20P, A21p, A22p, A30p, A31p, R30, R50, R50p, R52, T40p, X23/4, X40

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