This weekend, I play a bit off topic from my regular hobby, which is audio. This is an old HP Palmtop 200LX. I own several units but due to improper storage, the LCD is ruined. What a waste and sad news as I realized this few years ago. But what has happened just couldn’t be reverted back. Sigh!

Okay then, from a good friend somewhere in Makasar, I got a working unit (LCD included, off course) of this Palmtop. The chassis and everything isn’t that good, but I believe I have enough spare around as shown below. Then I start to disassemble and building a fully functional unit.

For your information, this HP Palmtop 200LX is powered with Hornet chip which has 80186 compatible CPU inside. Running at 7.91 MHz, this unit is powered by 2x AA batteries only. Optional NiCd or NiMH also possible to be used. AC Adapter also supported to recharge the NiCd/NiMH installed. Other features are 2 MB RAM (upgradable to 4 MB or even higher), PCMCIA Type II up to 150 mA power consumption, SIR InfraRed port, and full Serial Port. Basic OS is MS-DOS 5.0. Somehow we can run Linux or Windows 3.0 also inside, though not at convenient level.

I have a double-speed unit which has around 15.8 MHz of CPU power. See the upgraded crystal and the patch cable? That’s the secret to double up the CPU clock.

Some high quality parts around. This unit was made in Singapore.

The 2 MB RAM onboard. Sadly this unit doesn’t have daughter card socket to upgrade the RAM. I will try to find a way to solder the socket from my other board, at risk that I could ruin this double speed board. Will see…

I’m not quite sure what is this… But they are always there in pair on all of my boards, with same marking. I try to check around and it seems they are made by Sharp.

Dozens of SMD parts around. High quality parts and well build for around 15+ years old unit.

The double speed version has special LCD frame marking (‘DS’ sign which refers to Double Speed).

It seems the transformation is completed. Now I have a fully working HP Palmtop 200LX, with good LCD and Double Speed. Next is to upgrade the RAM by installing the daughter card to plug the 1-2 MB extra RAM. What a life at that time considering we are running at least few Gigs of RAM at this present time!

Another vintage companion: Hewlett Packard 10 MB Compact Flash with PCMCIA Adapter. Still working fine!