[NTLK] Blinking screen, 2100 won't boot

NewtonTalk newtontalk at pda-soft.de
Wed Jun 3 17:37:36 EDT 2020

> Help! Am new to the list but not to Newton. I tried to fire up my ancient
2100 after eons of non-use, and am getting nothing but a screen that blinks
twice repeatedly and then it shuts down.

This is the Newton's polite way of notifying you that it has a memory
problem. So, most likely, it's a problem with the dynamic RAM or the Flash
RAM. It might be a problem with the ROM, but I've never seen this so far.
This problem is definitely NOT caused by the battery pack, the battery sled
or the power adapter, and no reset sequence will fix it. 

For a start, remove the ROM board and clean its contacts with a pencil
eraser. While it is removed, check the pins of the chips beneath it with a
magnifying glass. There are two dynamic RAM chips and two Flash RAM chips.
Maybe there's a short somewhere. I have had mainboards on my workbench that
were poorly manufactured and had tiny balls of soldering tin roaming all
over the mainboard just for fun. This can create the occasional short.
Another probable culprit might be a poorly soldered pin.

If you can't find any flaw like this, try using a microscope instead of a
magnifying glass. Still no dice? In that case your Newton's mainboard has a
permanent memory problem that in all likeliness has to be fixed by replacing
a RAM or Flash RAM chip. Having this done is probably more expensive than
buying a tested 2x00 board from yours truly.

Good luck!


-- Newton software and hardware at http://www.pda-soft.de

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