Macintosh
PowerBook 5300







The 5300 series were the first PowerBooks to use the PowerPC cpu, the PowerBook 190 which looks identical uses a 68040 processor. Unfortunately the 5300 had several serious problems such as batteries that could catch on fire, so so performance and weak plastics.

The left side featured 2 PCMCIA slots. This PowerBook can be booted from a CF card in a PCMCIA adaptor, format the card as a Standard Mac volume and install your system folder and applications. I have tested this setup with a 512mb and 1gb card. I have also loaded system installers and updates on cards and run them however the PowerBook tends to want to eject the card on startup.

Using WaveLAN driver file, apt6041i.sea under OS 9 you can run wireless with a WaveLAN silver turbo card. These can be picked up cheap on eBay for under $20 and work quite well. I'm using this setup on the 5300's in my collection as well as the PowerBook 1400c.

This is the only trick for the WEP setup, you need to add 0x before your WEP password. Once done everything works great! I'm just in the process of trying to get iTunes to run reliably on the 5300 wireless.

On the right side was a bay for a removable floppy drive.

Opening the PowerBook 5300 is a matter of removing the three torx screws on the bottom of the case.

The keyboard can now be popped off, use care as it is attached with a thin ribbon cable!

The panel holding the trackpad can be removed by lifting up from the back and pushed forward to clear the tabs holding it on in front. Be careful as these Macs are notorious for having brittle plastics!

The hard drive is mounted under this plate, it lifts straight up and out.

Once the cover is removed the hard drive is easy to access.

The battery is feed through this board which lifts up and off. Note that the PRAM battery attaches to this board as well.

The pram battery lifts out of it's holder and is clipped to the board above.

And now for the bad news, the plastic studs holding the screen hinges are very brittle and easily snapped off this is a plastic sub assembly and with a bit of luck you can find them on eBay cheap but since it is a very common problem spot supply might eventually dry up.

Two problems here, no hinge mounting studs and if you look carefully you will notice that the fuse behind the power plug is also gone! The power plug itself is also a source of trouble as it is only held onto the MB by very small soldier tabs. The power connectors on many PowerBooks seem to be flimsy though a lot of times you can just resoldier the connections and you are good to go. The PowerBook Wallstreet, Lombard and Pismo come to mind.

The 5300 series shipped with four different types of LCD screens. The base B&W 5300 had a greyscale LCD while the colour 5300cs had a passive matix screen. The 5300c used an active matrix screen made by Sharp which is considerably better than the cs screen.

The 5300ce used the fourth version of LCD from Toshiba. This screen will only work on the 5300ce and 5300. It will not work on the 5300c nor will the 5300c screen work on a 5300ce. The greyscale screen will work on the 5300ce in greyscale! Confused yet? Though the 5300ce has a faster cpu I've come across more flakey 5300ces than any of the others.

The rear panel has ports for an external monitor (though only 640x480 at 256 colours), audio in/out, SCSI, printer/appletalk and ADB.

Some careful shopping on eBay might net you a cheap 5300 but beware of the the various models. The straight 5300 has a greyscale screen but will support a colour screen if you swap it out. The 5300cs has a colour passive matrix screen running at 640x480 at 256 colours, the 5300c has an active matrix screen (better) while the topline 5300ce supported 800x600 on an active matrix screen. Take note, these PowerBooks use a different AC adaptor than others in the lineup as far as I remember only the adaptor for the 190/5300 series machines will work.

Comments? Feel free to e-mail me at kevino@newsroom.net.