iTronix 5200 minor refurbishment?

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Nuketank
Posted 2017-09-06 10:57 PM
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Hiya all.
My baby that brought me here, my iTronix 5200, is starting to show its age a bit. So I took it apart to see what replacements or upgrades I could make.
1> It looks like this machine uses a tiny supercapacitor (5.5v 1.0F) as its "backup battery". Is it worth replacing this with something higher capacity? If so, any ideas...?
2> Do you guys think I should upgrade the internal CF card while I'm in here, or keep things original? (Currently an 8MB SiliconTech card)
3> This is probably the wrong forum, but if anyone wants to see pictures of the inside of it while I have it apart, I should be able to do that. It's a nice piece of late 90's/early 2000s technology.
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Rich Hawley
Posted 2017-09-07 1:13 AM
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If the backup battery/capacitor is working...then leave it alone. Did you really mean F and not uF or pF? Many of the older handhelds used rechargable cells for their backup that "looked" like a capacitor. The downsize of these is that they drew their power and charged from the main battery pack...so if that went dead...so did your device...and with volitile ram...you lost everything.

8mb is plenty large enough to store most any data file, certainly large enough to install any CE aplication out there...keep it and upgrade if you find you really need to.

I always like pictures...
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Nuketank
Posted 2017-09-07 1:52 AM
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Re backup> Gently removing and reinstalling the main battery (easier said than done - I had to rebuild it when I first got the PC, and it never QUITE went back together again, good thing this thing has tabs to lock it in!) for 30 seconds suggests that the reserve .... whatever it is is still good. It was not very well labeled, and the strange voltage (5.5v?? I've never seen a battery that voltage!) was my best hint. That, and that it's 17 years old and not puking its horribly corroded guts out all over the machine. (Thankfully.)
Windows says that its charge is "Good".

Re memory card> I'll keep the internal 8MB then, and if I get a spur and decide I want more, they make PCMCIA/CF expansion cards for a reason...

Re pictures> ... aw, I just reassembled it! Ah well, it's worth re-disassembling FOR SCIENCE. I tried to open the LCD module earlier to troubleshoot a dead backlight, but no dice. (It came back to life later. I think it was a ribbon cable problem.) That said the main PCB is still worthy of posting, and I don't see much love for this ruggedized machine on these forums.
Am I allowed to post them here to the forums, or should I find another host for them? (And more importantly, to a different forum/thread, or is this one okay?)
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Rich Hawley
Posted 2017-09-07 3:23 PM
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Post them here in this thread...this is hardware support issues and you are in the right spot.
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Alt Bass
Posted 2017-09-08 3:51 PM
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>1> It looks like this machine uses a tiny supercapacitor (5.5v 1.0F) as its "backup battery". Is it worth replacing this with something higher capacity? If so, any ideas...?

YES you can replace it. Capacity basically means how much charge capacitor can source at any voltage. You can also add it in parallel so that you make yourself more sure in that you are not breaking anything or loosing the original part in some weird case in which it does not work (but the charge leak will be the worst from two). Be sure to use capacitor with smalles charge leak, basically you want a balance between capacity and charge leak and the sweet spot depends on the handheld internals. There is no reason not to pick the biggest one that fits.

You need 5,5V or more.

>The downsize of these is that they drew their power and charged from the main battery pack

It is the same for backup battery except it probably lasts longer. Basically backup battery/capacitor is the source of power when you replace the battery, it is not intended to be a long-term standby supply. Aren't handhelds reserving the small part of battery charge as a power supply to make RAM survive until you charge the battery? It definitely is the case with Sigmarion 3 because it never reports dead backup battery after prolonged store in discharged state.


Edited by Alt Bass 2017-09-08 4:09 PM
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