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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Classic Macs and Mac OS > Motorola Starmax is dead

Motorola Starmax is dead
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Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Mar 2002
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Mar 29, 2002, 07:20 PM
Here's the deal. I am trying to resurrect a Motorola Starmax 3000/180 that is absolutely dead to the world. Plug it in hit the power button and.....nothing. No fan noise or any noise at all. I suspect it's a bad power supply which I can replace for about $90. The problem is that I can't return the power supply if I find out later that that wasn't the problem. So, is there any way to test the old power supply to make sure that it is, in fact the problem? What other things could make the computer totally dead?

Any ideas would be appreciated.
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Houston, TX
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Mar 31, 2002, 05:48 PM
Well you might just be in luck. Just a few months ago I had to replace the pram battery in mine, which when goes dead you get what you have. It is a little battery connected to the motherboard that holds all the settings for the pram, and when it goes dead so does your computer. I dont remember what kind exactly, you'll have to open it up and pull it out, then go to the nearest specialty computer electronics store, or order it online.
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Apr 1, 2002, 12:33 AM
Got a 5500 in the house. When we first got this refurbed unit, it would not fire-up. Called the seller and he sent a pram battery. After installation, it started up no problem. About $12. at your local Radio Shack.

Hope that is the problem!

Posting Junkie
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Apr 1, 2002, 02:03 AM
Unfortunately, the insides of the StarMax are not designed that well, resulting in it being a major bitch to get at the PRAM battery. But the good news is that like the others here, I've seen that exact same problem three times, and each time it's been the PRAM battery.

Make sure you get the 4.5V alkaline battery instead of the 3V lithium battery that most Macs use. Otherwise, you'll waste your money, because the StarMax uses a different type of battery. It's larger, boxy, looks kind of like a 9V, and has a cord coming out the top of it which plugs into a socket. Don't get the kind that looks like a normal AA battery!

Also, be careful to note where the various cables inside the machine are plugged in, because you're sure to dislodge a few of them getting to the PRAM battery - you have to slide out some of the motherboard. This is not Apple case design, folks.

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Apr 2, 2002, 04:09 PM
You guys are friggin geniuses! That's all it took. I pulled the battery out my old PowerMac 6500, plugged it in and the StarMax fired right up. Charles, you weren't kidding about getting at the battery. What a pain! Now I just got to find another battery for my 6500. My local Radio Shack didn't have any and said they were discontinued. Thanks you guys!

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Mac Elite
Join Date: May 2001
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Apr 4, 2002, 11:11 AM
The battery thing consistantly pisses the shit out of me too, you know.

I cannot possibly imagine what idiot let anything go out the door that couldn't boot off of a dead battery. Computers do not NEED clocks. Hell, I remember when having a clock was an after-market option. If the battery dies, the computer should
1)Boot normally
2)Set the time to the time of the last shutdown + 1 second, which is safe.
3)Flag any files it changes the timestamp of.
4)Automagically put up a window that informs the user that the battery is dead. That tells him EXACTLY what kind of battery the specific mobo needs. That gives him links and phone numbers for Apple offices around the world (the immediately displayed one being the one he's likely in based on timezone, lat/long, language prefs, etc.) from which a replacement might be ordered, and the old one sent for recycling or safe disposal. That has textual and pictoral instructions for installation. That has a button to print everything important out. And that asks the user to set the current time, IF a ntp connection to get the current time from a time server hasn't already been established! (which is then used to amend any already-updated files' times retroactively, which was why they were flagged)

And naturally, the interior of the case ought to have instructions within, with the clock battery incredibly easy to get to and replace. (having it accessible from outside w/o having to crack the case as on the original Macs was a great idea)

Given the sheer number of people who have problems with this, and how long it's been going on (we had several a week when I did Apple sales and repairs in the mid-90's) whoever could fix this once and for all and hasn't ought to be fired but good.

There is, after all, NO ASPECT of the computer or computing experience that shouldn't exemplify good UI, or that shouldn't be supportive of the user.

[ 04-04-2002: Message edited by: cpt kangarooski ]
This and all my other posts are hereby in the public domain. I am a lawyer. But I'm not your lawyer, and this isn't legal advice.
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