Custom Toshiba T3100 Help

Hoy hoy chaps.

Long story short, I have purchased a toshiba t3100 with plans of "retro modding" it.

I have long built cars and motorcycles and have found myself getting an 80s laptop with the same intentions
of keeping everything that was good about the 80s present, and everything that kicks ass now jammed in there somehow.

I have come along two different build strategies but require help with one area that I am unskilled in.
That is how to make the original keyboard work with the new motherboard.

The two strategies are
1 - use a mini ITX board and figure out how to mount a good gpu in there and have an external "in cord" power supply
to power the PC. It will certainly be portable but will need to be plugged in.
2 - use a nice modern laptop motherboard purchased either new or used off the net that has the right dimensions and is reasonably powerful. I will make use of the space and put huge quantities of batteries in there and have a machine more suitable for work and university than gaming.

They will both be similarly priced.
In both instances I need to figure out how to mount the keyboard ribbon.

Some things that might answer questions for anyone who feels like they want to know more

Why am i doing this
I love 80s stuff and fiddling with things and having unassuming possessions that look like old junk but work really well.

Will I be selling any t3100 components
Yes, it is likely I will be selling all components save for keyboard and cases, maybe A drive.
The laptop has been sold to me as working but is not yet in my possession.

What am I doing about a monitor
I will be mounting a 15 inch touch screen laptop display inside a remodeled housing.

What am I doing about mouseless operations
All laptops have a nipple or trackpad, I have thought about this quite a bit
but I think that a touch screen will be more than adequate.

What do i hope to spend
Less than 1000 AUD total.



All help and suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Thanks for having a noob like me on your forums and I will keep you all updated with the "build"
driftke70

Unread post20 Dec 2017, 04:51

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So my laptop arrived and some lovely ebay global shipping worker has scratched the absolute shit
Out of the top lid.

Does anyone have t3100 spares i can buy!
driftke70

Unread post03 Jan 2018, 01:20

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Hi driftke

First of all, welcome - and congrats on the T3100. I did a similar project about a year ago, using a Zenith SupersPORT for the outer shell ( keyboards-f2/controller-replacement-for-zenith-supersport-keyboard-t12605.html ). My advice:

1. Getting the keyboard working may be easier than you think. You can't reuse the T3100 keyboard controller (it's on the motherboard) so you will need to supply your own controller. Fortunately, there's a guide for that ( workshop-f7/how-to-build-your-very-own-keyboard-firmware-t7177.html ) which uses a $20 Teensy 2.0 and the free TMK firmware. Since you probably don't have the spec for the keyboard matrix, you may need to spend some time with a continuity tester to map out exactly how the keys are laid out on the matrix, but that's quite easy, it just takes time. The hardest part will likely be finding the correct 'flat flex connector' for the ribbon cable and getting it without having to order 1000 pieces. Of course if you're a badass you can just solder wires directly to the ribbon cable, but that's way beyond my own comfort level.

2. The maintenance manual might be useful. If you don't lready have it, here it is: http://www.le-grenier-informatique.fr/m...manual.pdf

3. Fitting a motherboard (whether it's a mini ITX or a modern laptop board) in a case not built for it can be a major pain in the ass, so try to measure all the inner dimensions and work out which standoffs need to be removed etc. In my own build I went with an ODROID XU4 single-board computer instead (think Raspberry Pi) since it would fit easily, could potentially run on batteries, and it had the external ports I needed. The downside is that SBCs are not *really* built to run on batteries like a laptop board is and power management became my biggest challenge. Don't burn your house down. Lithium batteries are psychopaths.

4. Display-wise, I wonder if a 15 inch screen will actually fit in a T3100? Also, careful when cutting the case plastic here - it's brittle and it'll happily crack or shatter if you apply any amount of force.

5. Cost-wise I think 1000 AUD is right on the money. My own build has cost a little less than that (before shipping), and that's including some vintage headphones, the first LCD+driver that I fried by inserting a ribbon cable the wrong way round, an unused 12V battery pack, and spare case parts. Though TBH, if I include all the extras I had to buy and the parts which never made it into the build, I'm sure I'm a little bit above 1000 AUD - but those bits are sitting in a box ready for use in another project, so they're not wasted and I don't count them towards the cost of the build.

6. The scratches on the lid: Forget spare parts for cosmetics. Get/Print yourself a bunch of vintage 1980s computing stickers - think Donkey Kong, Atari, Silicon Graphics, etc. - and cover those scratches up oldschool style.

Finally, have fun with it! And post build pictures here!
Last edited by Scarpia on 05 Feb 2018, 12:01, edited 2 times in total.
Scarpia
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Unread post03 Jan 2018, 09:19

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Thanks heaps for your reply.

Super keen to see your work but the link is broken.

Ill post pics when im at my pc and not on my phone.

I would ordinarily as you say cover up and move on but these are pretty bad and
Im a fairly particular fellow. Its 3 deeps scratches. More like grooves accross the top
Of the entire width of t he unit.

Thankfully the seller on ebay was very nice and has refunded me cost of the item
And apologised for the lackluster packaging effort.

Good idea about vintage headphones.
Ill be doing my best to put super nice sounding speakers in the unit.

Very much appreciate your help re keyboard controller.

I opened up word perfect on it and practiced some typing and it is absolute bliss.
driftke70

Unread post03 Jan 2018, 23:06

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driftke70 wrote:Thanks heaps for your reply.

Super keen to see your work but the link is broken.


The link works if you remove the trailing ) bracket
xxhellfirexx

Unread post03 Jan 2018, 23:10

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That it does!
driftke70

Unread post03 Jan 2018, 23:14

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Im assuming teensy has an output i can plug into mobo or solder to a usb port.
driftke70

Unread post03 Jan 2018, 23:16

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Also any ideas on how to habe onboard sound and headphone output with mini itx. I could have a tiny cord out the back that loops around for internal speakers but prefer not to.
driftke70

Unread post03 Jan 2018, 23:26

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teensy has usb output just plug a cable or you can go the soldering way too but why bother?
Note that you can also use an arduino micro or mini for cheaper.
mecano
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Unread post04 Jan 2018, 00:20

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xxhellfirexx wrote:
driftke70 wrote:Thanks heaps for your reply.

Super keen to see your work but the link is broken.


The link works if you remove the trailing ) bracket

And I fixed the parentheses in the post so now they should work when you click on them.
Scarpia
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Unread post04 Jan 2018, 10:59

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driftke70 wrote:Also any ideas on how to habe onboard sound and headphone output with mini itx. I could have a tiny cord out the back that loops around for internal speakers but prefer not to.

If you look online for panel mount audio jacks you'll notice that a lot of them have extra pins specifically for detecting that a plug has been inserted (this is known as an 'insert switch'). Using these pins, you can cut off power to the internal speakers whenever a plug is inserted into the jack. It's pretty nifty.

See https://electronics.stackexchange.com/q...-is-closed for more.
Scarpia
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Unread post04 Jan 2018, 11:07

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Ordered a teensy 2.0 and a new case from germany. Looks like it has some marks but way better than what i have.
Seller refunded which was really appreciated as postage from usa to aus was expensive.

Pretty funny documents on the laptop. Heaps of 1988 university work. Recipes family housrh old planning tables etc.
Bit of a time capsule.
driftke70

Unread post08 Jan 2018, 10:34

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mecano wrote:Note that you can also use an arduino micro or mini for cheaper.

This is a valid point. The Teensy 2.0 is more expensive, but it has (if memory serves) 23 usable pins vs. the 18 of the Arduino Pro Micro. In many cases you can probably get by with 18, but in my case, the Zenith had a 10x8 matrix plus separate connectors for the 4 LEDs, so I needed 22 pins (23 including VCC).
Scarpia
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Unread post05 Feb 2018, 12:15

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