chaplet systems halikan

A few weeks back, my son was digging around my parent’s attic and found an old laptop that I picked up in high school. The laptop is a Chaplet Systems Halikan NBA486.

I found it in one of the cabinets in my electronics class and it was already almost a decade old, so my teacher said I could keep it. It didn’t have a battery or a power adapter, so I was never able to do anything with it, but when my son brought it home, I told him we’d try to get it working.



First, we needed to figure out how to power the thing. I opened it up to see if there were any markings on the board indicating the pinout of the power connector, but nothing.

I searched around the and was able to find the picture below of the power adapter which shows the pinout of the connector.


I shoved a few jumper wires in and fired it up.


It powered up and got through the bios, but could not boot. I popped in a windows 98 boot disk that I had within reach and it successfully booted from the floppy.


I pulled the hard drive and hooked it up to another computer and it was spewing errors all over the place, so I tried a different drive.


The bios seemed to see the new drive, but the footprint was different.


You can see the original drive is about twice a thick as the newer drive. The mounting holes are in a different place as well.


I removed and modified the mounting brackets to accomodate the newer drive and tried to install an OS.  




I started with Windows NT, because that is what I had in front of me.


It quickly errored out due to lack of ram. /images/laptop_5_web.jpg

At this point, I didn’t have any other OS install disks handy, but I figured I’d be able to get something working, so I started fixing up the machine itself.

I removed the CMOS battery as it was showing signs of leaking.


The hinge for the LCD was broken. The threaded inserts for the screws had sheared through the plastic. /images/lcd_1_web.jpg


Luckily, they were still in the case. I epoxied everything back together and it seems fairly strong.


After letting the epoxy cure, I found a set of MS-DOS 6.22 install disks. I tried installing to the newer hard drive, but was having trouble. After messing around with it for a few days, I just installed it to a compact flash drive instead.

/images/compact_flash_web.jpg          /images/laptop_2_web.jpg

The OS installed successfully, and everything seems to work.


Now I need to replace the cmos battery. Every time I power off, I have to reset the drive type in the bios and re-enable the floppy drive before I can boot.