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Pismo problems

1847 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Rob
I just bought a used Pismo. The PO told me that it was working but the battery died and just needs a new battery. I don't want to spend $100 on a battery if that doesn't solve the problem.
I would have thought that it should power up with a dead battery,
I have plugged in the yo yo adapter and I'm not getting a power light from the adapter or the laptop, also the battery is not showing any power on the power bar lights.
Any ideas?
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First thing to try is a power manager reset

Go to and search for the instructions specific to your machine

Also you should know that there is another battery inside the machine; it is not a standard type and replacements cost about $50

Gord or John or Lars or MacDoc can do a better job than I of going through Pismo troubleshooting.

Personally, I think the Pismo's day is done - I can't get attached to the idea of resurrecting any broken pre-G4 notebook machines. Others will disagree.

And a cautionary tale for anyone else buying online. If the seller says "All it needs is a new xyz and it will work fine." (with the unstated "and of course there's no way for me to test it without the xyz")

Then tell the seller to install a new xyz, test it, and only then will you buy it when their statement has been proven to be true. You will of course increase the purchase price by an agreed upon amount for the part. That way, the seller, and not the buyer, takes the risk of the seller's statement being untruthful.
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I have never, ever seen a Pismo PRAM battery in a Radio shack or any electronic supply store. It is a custom assembly.

Sure, used and new ones may be able to be found on eBay, although there are none in Canada at the moment. One seller in the US is selling 3 used ones for US$21 + shipping (current bid) saying essentially "probably one of the three will work". Caveat emptor.

HE - I don't dispute that a working Pismo is a good machine for its speed :). What I'm saying is that I can't get excited about investing money and time in fixing a busted Pismo, esp. when we can't tell if the processor board is fried or not.
I've tried to get a power reading off the yoyo pwr supply and so far no luck.
I also tried to use a ibook pwr adapter and it wouldn't fit.
I checked the voltage on the ibook and got voltage but the yoyo nothing.
I was worried about my technique!
So maybe I have a dead yoyo!

It's not very easy to measure voltage output from a yoyo adapter or any others with similar connectors to the computer.

The actual functional part of the output connector is a standard phono plug. The outer metal cylinder is just a shield so you don't short the little + and - contact rings on the phono plug.

It's almost impossible to access the two contact rings on the phono plug with standard leads from a multimeter. That's because the shield is doing it's job.
Most people would assume the outer shield is the - ground. This is not the case.
I tried getting the leads inside the ring with one inside and the other on the tip to get + and _ but I still didn't get any voltage.

A dead power adapter (or dead power card) would make much more sense than a dead pram battery. I have had Wallstreets and Lombards with dead pram batteries and they have always powered up, even without the main battery installed.
In case you might be interested, here is a link to an online disassembly guide for the Pismo: PowerBook G3 Pismo Disassembly: PowerBook Parts
if you wheere local to me i would let you test it with one of mine
and if you are in Toronto just ask
if you wheere local to me i would let you test it with one of mine
and if you are in Toronto just ask
Thank you for the offer if and when I get to Toronto I'll pm you.
I'm a 2 hour drive North.
I have a battery coming so I'll try that first !

Have you done a reset yet?

PowerBook G3 Series (Bronze Keyboard) (M5343)

1. If the computer is on, turn it off.
2. Press and release the reset button on the rear of the computer. The reset button is located between the external video and modem (RJ-11) ports.
3. Wait 5 seconds.
4. Press the Power button to restart the PowerBook computer.

Note: When you reset the Power Manager, wait at least 5 seconds before pressing the Power button to start up the computer. If you do not wait at least 5 seconds, the reset procedure may fail. (If you suspect that the reset procedure has failed, press and release the reset button again and wait 5 seconds before pressing the Power button.)

Also, the YoYo power adapter has two rings on the plug. The tip is neither power or ground. There's no easy way to get a probe to both rings unless you make a special female plug adapter.

Plug in the YoYo adapter to the wall socket and then the adapter plug into the Pismo. Then push the reset button on the back. If that doesn't give it some life then it could be the YoYo adapter or more serious problems.
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