Projects

Amstrad NC-100 Restoration

When I decided to do the Amstrad NC-100 Project I knew it would hold a special place for me considering I used them at school so I was really excited to do this project.

Delivery & Condition

My NC-100 I bought from ebay was Delievery by a courier in minimal packaging not exactly how I would send a computer through the post. But considering I had no idea if this was going to work it was ok.

Amstrad NC-100, Amstrad NC-100 Restoration, Tim Salt Writes
NC-100 as it arrived

The condition of the Notepad was exactly as it appeared in the ebay auction listing and while its not the nicest condition NC-100 I have seen I was pretty sure even at this point it could be cleaned up.

Battery Leaks and Corrosion

Amstrad NC-100, Amstrad NC-100 Restoration, Tim Salt Writes
Cleaned Battery Compartment

Like anything I get with batteries is to check the condition and well this one was not good every battery had burst and corrosion was everywhere thankfully a cleaning this out with Isopropyl cleaned the majority of it out.

However at this point I had no idea if the corrosion had spread below the battery compartment and it made me also really question whether it would turn on at all.

Power On Test

With the corrosion mostly cleaned out I got to finally test out sand see if the device was going to turn on and just like this later shot I took the device booted to a Lithium Battery is low. Please switch off and replace Battery

Relief!

I must admit at this point I breathed A sigh of relief as this was exactly what I needed to see proving the corrosion had clearly not damaged or corroded any traces on the PCB or damaged the Processor remember battery acid is caustic and can melt through anything!.

Amstrad NC-100, Amstrad NC-100 Restoration, Tim Salt Writes
Amstrad NC-100 Low Battery *Taken after restoration*

At this point I did not have a new CR203 handy so I borrowed one and fired the notebook back up and this time it went straight to the setup menu for date and the time that was enough for me now so I now needed to get inside and start the disassembly.

Amstrad NC-100, Amstrad NC-100 Restoration, Tim Salt Writes
Date/Time Setup Screen for the Amstrad NC-100

Dissembly

At this point before I started taking the notepad apart I had to laugh on the bottom of the NC-100 is a big yellow sticker with warnings all over it.

These included getting Amstrad to replace the backup battery when it goes flat not that unusual Apple and most mobile manufacturers do the same thing and charge a lot to do it.

Amstrad NC-100, Amstrad NC-100 Restoration, Tim Salt Writes
Warning Sticker

Screws

Amstrad NC-100, Amstrad NC-100 Restoration, Tim Salt Writes
Amstrad NC-100 rear

Finding the screws to take the notebook apart is pretty easy there is one next to the backup battery 2 near to each of the feet.

The other screw that needs to be removed is where the NC-100s BIOS chip resides in my case it was the later V1.06 rom.

This rom is common on these computers so nothing special.

Disassembly Part 2

With the screws all removed the case quickly came apart and I only had to be careful I did not catch the keyboard wire or screen cable and or rip them out and with done I just folded both parts over.

Amstrad NC-100, Amstrad NC-100 Restoration, Tim Salt Writes
Both Parts of the Amstrad NC-100(Keyboard Removed)

The keyboard quickly popped out at this point so I placed that aside and now I could see the circuit boards of the machine.

Both of these were really clean and I was relieved the battery leak had not reached the circuit boards through the gaps at the battery terminals.

Not much else was needed here other than a quick wipe with some methylated spirits in this case 98% isopropyl and it was time to move on.

Keyboard

Amstrad NC-100, Amstrad NC-100 Restoration, Tim Salt Writes
Amstrad NC-100 Keyboard Unit

Immediately on removing the keyboard I noticed an issue it was bent but placing it on top of a screwdriver and bending sorted it out.

Then I set about taking the keyboard apart I needed to get to the membrane and remove the caps at the this point I did not realise I could have used a key puller and removed them oh well.

On turning the keyboard over did spot a bit of corrosion but nothing to say if that was from the battery compartment leak this shield was relatively easy to remove but the plastic clips were fiddly to push back

Amstrad NC-100, Amstrad NC-100 Restoration, Tim Salt Writes
DSC07573

plastics

Removing the Keyboard membrane was easy enough with the shield gone and it was pretty dirty but I covered that in some isopropyl and let it sit and I moved to the plastics for the keyboard.

Amstrad NC-100, Amstrad NC-100 Restoration, Tim Salt Writes
Yuck!

Signs of dried fluids & dirt made this a pretty unpleasant sight and after getting the keys removed it was off to the sink for cleaning.

Thankfully it cleaned up really nicely but turned the sink water a lovely shade of brown!.

Amstrad NC-100, Amstrad NC-100 Restoration, Tim Salt Writes
Clean Keyboard Plastics and how keys are removed

To finish off the keyboard restoration the other parts were treated to a cleaning in a small container filled with water and a bit of shower gel.

Reassembly

Amstrad NC-100, Amstrad NC-100 Restoration, Tim Salt Writes
Rebuild it

With all the parts cleaned and looking mucb better it was time to put it all back together again. This was a straight forward process of just doing the reverse of taking it to bits.

However the keyboard shield gave some issues thanks to a bent locking pin that was quickly fixed though and it clipped back together.

The rest of the process including reattaching the cables was simple and then using my trusty battery screwdriver put the case back together and.

Done! A quick test and everything was working nicely as it was before I started.

Time to restore this notebook : 5 hrs

Final Result

Amstrad NC-100, Amstrad NC-100 Restoration, Tim Salt Writes
After Restoration

NC-100– wikipedia –
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amstrad_NC100

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