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.
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
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”
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!.
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.
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.
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 is where the NC-100’s BIOS chip resides in my case it was the later V1.06 rom meaning this notebook was manufactured after 199’ but indicated it was designed in 1992
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.
The keyboard quickly popped out at this point so I placed that aside and now I could see the circuit boards of the machine and both were really clean and I was relieved the battery leak had not reached the circuit boards by the gaps at the battery terminal’s.
With there not being much else to do here other than a quick clean‚ I set these parts aside and moved onto the keyboard.
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
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 and they were not very pleasant!
Years of things being dropped into this keyboard and then left and signs of dried fluid and the like made it this a pretty horrible sight and after getting the keys punched out found itself being blasted off with water.
Thankfully all the dirt and dried fluid disappeared pretty quickly leaving a really clean set of plastic parts I also show how the keys are removed in this image.
And to finish the keyboard off the keys and the rubber pads were separately dropped into some warm water in a small plastic container and then shook around‚ the process was the same for the rubber pieces as you can see in the picture
With everything clean and tidy now I started to put the notebook back together and those pesky clips from the shield were just as awkward in the reverse! thankfully I got them in place.
the rest of the process was as easy as taking the notebook apart‚ the cables went back in super easily and then screwing the machine back together was also easy and then all done.
After completing this restoration I did managed to get a new backup battery and tested everything again and in true 199’ style the keyboard is spongy and does not always respond just how I remember it.
oh and that info label – I transferred it all onto a new one on the bottom of the notebook.
Time to restore this notebook : 5 hrs