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

I grabbed my NC-100 from eBay for £25.00 and paid a little for postage. The NC-100 arrived a few days later and the condition was ok. The pictures on the auction matched very well to the item so I was happy enough.

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

Battery Leaks and Corrosion

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

As I always do when checking an item that uses any type of battery cell I check the battery bay. The previous owner had not removed the AA cells when it was last stored and they had all burst and leaked acid everywhere.

Power On Test

with IPA cleaner I was able to remove all of the corrosion the terminals and dried it. Now I needed to check to see if it would actually turn on when used with a fresh set of Energizer rechargeable AA’s.

Relief!

Let there be light

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

After hitting the power button the NC-100 fired into life and despite saying the Backup battery was dead (It actually did not have one!) I knew it worked and I could hunt down a CR2032.

After finding a CR2032 I refired up the NC-100 and now I was able to see if the machine worked fully and sure enough the settings page opened up.

Amstrad put a 100 year calendar on the NC-100 so it worked perfectly.

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

Disassembly

With my initial testing completed it was time to start disassembling it. and I had to laugh a little at this point because Amstrad had stuck big yellow warning stickers on the base.

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

Screws

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 next to the rom trapdoor.

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

NC-100 Rom

The rom in the nc-100 is a pretty standard looking surface mounted affair in this case the rom was version v1.06

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 terminal’s.

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

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 here.

On turning the keyboard over did spot a bit of corrosion. Not confirm if this was from the battery compartment leak though. Getting the shield off was pretty straightforward but the plastic clips were fiddly to push back

Amstrad NC-100, Amstrad NC-100 Restoration, Tim Salt Writes
RF shield

plastics

With the shield gone the membrane and all plastics separated easily. I quickly covered that in some IPA and let it sit. With the isopropyl on the membrane I moved to the plastics. Far from a pleasant sight I let you decide on choice of words here.

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

Thankfully the isopropyl took most of the dirt away. After submerging in warm water with a drop of Shower gel the rest cleaned up nicely. I followed the same procedure to clean the keys and rubber pads which turned everything a nice shade of brown.

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

Reassembly

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

The Rebuild was just the complete opposite of taking the NC-100 apart so I wont bore you with it.

I did have a few issues in reassembling the NC-100. Most of these were mainly with the shield for the keyboard it had become slightly bent. A screwdriver used as a fulcrum point helped me re-bent it back into shape and it clipped back together.

After reattaching screws and it looked it had just come out of the factory.

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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