[NTLK] New Newton Manual Released

Forrest anasazi4st at me.com
Fri Aug 20 12:39:20 EDT 2010

On Aug 14, 2010, at 02:45 PM, Ryan <newtontalk at me.com> wrote:


This should be working with the updated link.


Please let me know how it works for you...



I've just finished reading your generally great Newton Manual (which is something that should have been written for some time, IMHO)...and, except for a occasional typo and the misspelling/mistyping of a couple of the names of persons you acknowledge at the end of the book, it's a job very well done, a good resource. I have to take serious exception to one section in particular, though....

In Section 8.2 you discuss recelling battery packs...at first you are generally positive:

Once you have obtained replacement batteries with soldering tabs, you then have to take 
apart the battery pack and unsolder the charging wires and heat sensor switch, reattaching them to 
the new battery.  It is a simple matter of reverse engineering, and is really quite easy once you have 
taken one apart.

FOUR PARAGRAPHS LATER, you seem to COMPLETELY CONTRADICT what you just wrote...

Some advice... rebuilding Newton battery packs, other than the eMate, can be a bit tricky.  
The best way to have rechargeable battery power in your Newton is to use a battery tray with 
rechargeable batteries.


Did you write the first part, go to bed, and then wake up hours later and write the second part? Did you have an argument with someone in between there? Forget to take your schizophrenia medicine? Have a few drinks and finish that part with a resultant hangover?

Of course I'm joking. But there is a serious shift there that sure threw me for a loop.

Later on you discuss why it might be better to use separate NiMH cells in a battery tray and recharge them with their intended charger, rather than recelling:

Be careful with charging batteries inside Newtons, 
particularly newly rebuilt ones with higher capacity 
batteries than what originally shipped with the Newton.  In 
my experience, I have blown supercapacitors and 
completely fried Newtons by trying to internally charge 
newly rebuilt battery packs. 
 On aging Newtons or newer ones, for instance, that 
have sat for a long period of time, the charging circuit can 
become too stressed and fry your Newton.  This “warning” 
is offered purely for information, and not as some alarmist 
statement.  For the most part, you should not suffer from 
these problems when charging batteries internally in the 
Newton.  However, it is important to remember that the Newton only shipped with 1200 mah 
batteries, and ones speced out for Apple.

And continuing:

Using third party, higher capacity batteries in rebuilt packs can stress the circuitry in your 
Newton, as they can take more power and a longer period of time to charge. 
 Couple this with the fact that Newtons are getting old, and corrosion, etc. can be a factor, as 
can brittle logic boards that result from Newton's that have sat for long periods of time with little- 
to-no use. 
 So the best advice is to use rechargeable batteries in battery trays: you can still get high 
capacity ones, vastly increasing the run time of your Newton in comparison to the original batteries.

Respectfully...I completely disagree with this statement I've recelled many battery packs for the MP 2x00s, and have had nothing at all similar to what you mention occur. At worst, the battery packs simply fail to work. And--these aren't ancient 1920s radios or 1940s televisions we're talking about here ("brittle circuit boards")...with tubes and giant power transformers (or even first-generation Macs). For the most part, these are devices with modern components built by a company known for its high standards of assembly.

It's my understanding that the MP2x00s had not only a safeguard against overcharging through voltage (the small metal tab on the end with the yellow sticker) but also from overheating (the thermistor found between the cells in the center of the pack).

Why are you discouraging readers from recelling battery packs? Are you planning to open an online service that offers rebuilt ones? Have you found a source of the battery trays, to now sell them on eBay?

Again...I am only joking.

Others have been doing this work for a number of years on the Internet..and there's no mention of any of this on their websites (and one in particular is very thorough in his descriptions, even recommending higher mA batteries).

Perhaps future editions need to carry a disclaimer that readers need to be wearing seat restraining devices, as there are sudden and abrupt changes in direction of topics ahead!

Again...it was just a joke. But in my mind these are issues that mar an otherwise great work, well-written and researched.


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