The Whole Enchilada
Updated: 14-Aug-98
Status: Being reviewed

Please Note: The information in this document has just been translated over from the printed version (14-Aug-98) and is being reviewed. There are errors! This notice will go away once all the obvious errors are corrected. From there, this document will be upgraded over time.


Generally speaking, all Model T owners should keep replaceable batteries in their computer even when they use the AC adaptor. Said batteries charge the nicad battery on the motherboard--and the nicad is the power for the RAM. True, whatever external power source is plugged into the AC adaptor plug locks out the replaceable batteries, but pull the AC power source and the main nicad quickly drains unless it's recharged by the replaceable AA's.

Totally draining the nicad is not bad, however, especially if you are going to store your Model T for any extended period of time. In such case, pull the AA's and leave your Model T turned on until it no longer functions, then store it away. Never store a Model T for an extended period of time with batteries installed--especially lead acid.

Some Model T owners use rechargable batteries, such as nicads. Over the long run, nicad battery use saves you money but there are concerns. First off, fully charged nicads hold less power then equal alkaline batteries, thus you need 5 nicads to replace 4 AA alkalines. Second, the nicad battery drains down to a point then drops off suddenly. This can be disasterious to open files. Model T users are used to working away until the red, low battery light comes on. They know that they can process for awhile longer but nicad users know that they must almost instantly hit the close file button (F8) or risk loosing their file to an uncontrolled shutdown.

Many Model T users use an external AC/DC adaptor for extended period of processing. This is good--to a point. Like all computers, Model T's are susceptible to power surges and spikes. An AC adaptor should be plugged into a surge protector when in use. Also, never use line-power during a lightning storm--always switch over to battery.

Here are the specs for the proper power source for Model 100, 102, 200, NEC PC8201A computers, and TPDD and TPDD2 peripherals:

 Input: 120v AC 60Hz 8W
Output: 6V DC 400mA
  Plug: Coaxial DC 5.5 mm O.D., 2.1 mm I.D.
Ground: Center (this is real important)

The Club 100 Power Pillow ($19.95) is by far one of the nicest power sources to come along for Model T users. It's a simple, good looking device that holds 4, "D" cell Alkalines in a black, linear pillow-like cover that attaches to the back bottom of the computer with Velcro. A power wire with a Coaxial DC 5.5 mm O.D., 2.1 mm I.D. plug, attaches the Power Pillow's power source to the computer. Thus attached, the computer not only has extended power--up to 200 hours--but the rear placement tilt s the computer into an excellent typing angle for very comfortable use.

With such extended power, Power Pillow users usually go into BASIC and issue the command POWER CONT to turn off the automatic power shut down feature. in this manner, they can have their Model T turned on, in an open file and at the ready, for extended periods of time, i.e. lecture note taking, meeting notes, or an electronic equivalent to the little, yellow Post-It note pads.

Model 100 current drain specs
by Robert Briggs 1987

The following table gives the current drain in milliamps (1000 mA = 1 AMP) for various operating modes. The first column is a 32K RAM "standard" Model 100 and the second column after a Portable Computer Support Group Expansion RAM has been added increasing the RAM to 96K. All measurements were made using a regulated 6v power supply. The figures should be used for general guidance only in the use of your Model 100 under battery supply conditions.

 .    Mode:        (Note) 32kRAM  96kRAM
 Power Switch OFF          .75mA   .75mA
 Switch on,POWER OFF  (a) 1.60mA  1.60mA
 Switch on -- MENU         62 mA   96 mA
 TELCOM  88N1D             60 mA   94 mA
 TELCOM  M7I1E(Modem) (b) 147 mA  182 mA
 Cassette on/SOUND ON     110 mA  140 mA
 Cassette on/SOUND OFF(c) 108 mA  137 mA
 Bar Code Wand On     (d)109-114 157-170
 Printer OFF          (e)  72 mA  116 mA
 Printer ON                63 mA  107 mA
 R/S Disk Drive       (f)  61 mA  100 mA