Opening up my A3000

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RetroBob
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Opening up my A3000

Postby RetroBob » Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:13 pm

After way too long (introduced myself http://stardot.org.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=13322) I got around to opening up my A3000 to initially remove and replace the battery. I could do with some advice...

Battery...
So short story, someone has beaten me to it and replaced it with a rechargeable battery.

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I accidently knocked out the enter key and the little wire thing - I can see where it goes (I think)... is there a method to this? It's not in properly now but the enter key does work. Should I just leave it?

If you could advise me on these questions I would appreciate it!

1) Does the battery change look like a reasonable job?
2) Will the A3000 recharge the battery or will I have to change it?
3) What's the best way to get the dust off? Have got some canned air lying around and some anti static brushes
4) Why might the screen flash red then blue when I turn it on before booting?
5) How do I get the Enter key back in properly
6) Ant ideas what's going on with the splodge o solder? Some link broken there perhaps (sorry I don't know the proper term yet).

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CharlesMouse
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Re: Opening up my A3000

Postby CharlesMouse » Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:16 pm

Hello,
The A3000 is a lovely machine, specially if you like fiddling, I hope you enjoy it.

1) The battery replacement looks good enough to me, and it's a good thing the old cell is gone, regardless.
2) That looks like a rechargeable cell from you photo, so as long as the computer gets used enough to recharge you should be good for a few years.
3) Canned air is good, a softish brush can help. Isopropyl alcohol for any tough bits, more needed? Ask for further advice. Ordinary household cleansers are generally fine to the plastics but nothing too powerful.
4) The colours are just the machine going through its test routines. As long as it boots fine; no worries. A lot of them can be turned off via CMOS settings.
5) If memory serves the little metal bar it to stabilise the key, not essential but good to have. Putting it back correctly can be quite a fiddle. I'd suggest having a careful look under some of the other wider keys for pointers as to how it should go.
6) If I'm oriented correctly can that splodge is comming from under the keyboard controller, does it say Intel on it? If so this is usually socketed if you feel like taking a look - careful! From your photo it does indeed look like a splash of solder, possibly accidental which is a bit messy of someone... As long as the computer's working fine and it doesn't look like something nasty I'd ignore it. (Not always good to do too much digging around in old computers unless there's a good reason)

I hope that helps :-)

PS
If your A3000 doesn't already have such things I can recommend keeping an eye out for a RAM expansion (extra 1mb will do but a 4mb expansion would be nicer). Also a HDD interface (using a CF adaptor instead of an ancient mechanical drive) isn't a bad idea, but be patient as these can be expensive on fleaBay...
...if you don't have an (old) 15khz capable monitor the simplest way to get all the screen modes working properly would be with a SCART cable but the traditional way of improving things with a modern monitor is to go for a VIDC Enhancer. (Google)
Charlie.

Are you pondering what I'm pondering? The Qube RiscOS Server

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RetroBob
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Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:00 pm

Re: Opening up my A3000

Postby RetroBob » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:57 pm

Thanks for your feedback, very helpful Charles.

I have a scart cable with headphone jack so it sounds great on the Acorn monitor.

There's some RAM in a slot - presumably this is expansion and the built in stuff is on the board somewhere? Says 1/3MB on it. I'll keep an eye out for more. Is it just plug and play or do I have to do smething else?

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VincentVega
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Re: Opening up my A3000

Postby VincentVega » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:52 am

Assuming the A3000 keyboard is like various other keyboards, the little wire thing for the ENTER key should be an elongated "C" shape. There should be a couple of clips on the keyboard itself where the long side of the "C" slots into (they can be broken off, far too easily in my view). The underside of the key should have a two slots on the underside for the short part of the "C" to go into - one on either side of the bit where the top of the key switch goes into. If you have a look under the SHIFT keys, you should be able to see how things fit together.

First, slot the longer side of the "C" thing into the keyboard. Next, hook one side of the "C" shape into one of the slots on the underneath of the ENTER key. Gently use a small screwdriver to force the other side of the "C" into the other slot. You should then be able to push the key down on to the top of the key switch.

It may help if you remove some of the other normal-sized keys around the ENTER key to help you see what you're doing. Whenever I reassemble a keyboard after cleaning, I always do the larger keys first, as they can be a proper pain to get back into place.

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danielj
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Location: Manchester

Re: Opening up my A3000

Postby danielj » Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:04 am

That looks like a 4MB expansion in there!

d.

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RetroBob
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Re: Opening up my A3000

Postby RetroBob » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:54 pm

Thanks guys, that's great. Yes, looks like 4MB as when I boot it says 4096kb.


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