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IBM ThinkPad docking stations

 

  PCI bus for LD2000 (QM2000)
  ISA bus for LD for Windows (QM32)

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  Using LD2000 on a notebook

T

he IBM ThinkPad series of computers, especially the 760, 770 and 600 series, have been a mainstay at Pangolin for many years.

  • The 760 series was discontinued in late 1997. It is mentioned here because it works well along with the small Dock I docking station for the older LD system (QM32 ISA-bus board).

  • The 770 series was introduced in September 1997 and appears to have been discontinued in late 1999. It would be best for those looking for a used, top-of-the-line ThinkPad that can work with either the newer LD2000 system (QM2000 PCI-bus board) or the older LD system (QM32 ISA-bus board).

  • The 600 series appears to be IBM's top-of-the-line notebook for 1999. It also can work with either the newer LD2000 system or the older LD system.

  • The Series A and Series T are new as of May 1, 2000. They work with the new ThinkPad Dock 2000, a small wedge-shaped docking station that can work with LD2000.

        Here is information on these computers for use with both the newer LD2000 system (QM2000 PCI-bus board) and the older Lasershow Designer for Windows system (QM32 ISA-bus board).
     

Rear view of the Series A attached to the new ThinkPad Dock 2000 docking station, which can hold one QM2000 board.

   
ThinkPad 770 (GIF ANIM, 30630 bytes)

IBM ThinkPad 770 showing how the port replicator and docking station work together. The screen size is XGA, or 1024 x 768.
   

   
IBM SelectaDock III -- Click to see larger photo
IBM SelectaDock III with SelectaBase 770 on top. Click the photo to see three QM2000 PCI boards inside this SelectaDock III.

   

PCI bus
for Lasershow Designer 2000 (QM2000 board)

For controlling a single projector...

The newest IBM ThinkPad computers are the Series A and Series T, introduced May 1, 2000. The "A" is intended as a desktop replacement, with some models having video in and out ports. The "T" is intended as a powerful thin-and-light notebook.
        Both Series A and Series T use the new ThinkPad Dock 2000. This is a small wedge-shaped docking station that holds one half-size PCI card (the same as the QM2000 board). Pangolin has not seen or tested the QM2000 with this docking station, but based on the specifications, a single QM2000 should fit.
        The IBM ThinkPad Dock 2000 model number is 2631-10U. The size is 66.4 mm (2.6") high, 317 mm (12.5") wide, and 196 mm (7.7") deep. It weighs 2.2 kg (5 lbs). It is supposedly available now (as of May 1, 2000) at a list price of $499 USD.
        So if you like ThinkPads (they do well in computer magazine ratings), and you are only controlling a single projector, then consider a Series A or Series T with the ThinkPad Dock 2000.

For controlling more than one projector...

IBM ThinkPads such as the 600 and 770 series (about $3500-5000), use a port replicator (about $200) AND the SelectaDock III (about $700). The SelectaDock III is big. Its exact size is 16.3" wide, 17" deep and 5.5" high. It weighs a whopping 20 pounds (including a required port replicator).
        The price as of January 2000 is $700 for the SelectaDock III and $200 for a required port replicator.
        The SelectaDock III has three slots. Two can hold either an ISA or PCI bus card, the third slot is PCI only. This means the SelectaDock III can run three QM2000 PCI cards
.
        The following ThinkPads work with the IBM SelectaDock III. Each needs a special port replicator/interface in addition to the SelectaDock III.

  • ThinkPad 770 series (interfaces through the SelectaBase 770)

  • ThinkPad 600 series (interfaces through the SelectaBase 600)

  • Older models: ThinkPad 760E, 760ED, 760EL, 760ELD, 760XD, and 760XL; ThinkPad 765D and 765L (interfaces through the SelectaDock Base Model I). For the 760 and 765 notebooks, you must first copy the INF files included with the SelectaDock, then update the system (flash BIOS), install the Battery Check Utility, update the ThinkPad Configuration program, and update the PC Card Director.

Click here to go to IBM's U.S. website for information on current ThinkPad models.

770ED: 266 MHz Pentium, 14.1" active-matrix, 1024 x 768 max resolution, 16 million max colors at 1024 x 768; 8.1 gigabyte HD; 32 MB RAM standard, 56,600 bps modem; DVD-ROM drive; speakerphone; SoundBlaster compatible audio; full-motion and still-video capture (good for digitizing faces to be rasterized), NTSC/PAL video out (for videotaping Showtime previews -- no camera needed!), full-size keyboard with palm rest; MIDI; two infrared ports, two PC Card slots, lithium-ion battery with 1.5 - 3 hr work time. Typical cost when new: $3599 (IBM part # IBT-9549-5AU).
   
ThinkPad 760CD (JPG, 4885 bytes)
IBM ThinkPad 760CD on a Dock I docking station. Screen size: 12.1" SVGA (800 x 600).

   

ISA bus
for Lasershow Designer for Windows (QM32 board)

You can use either an older 760-series or the newer 770- or 600-series notebooks. We recommend the 760-series if portability is important to you. This is described immediately below.

IBM ThinkPad 760-series

The best notebook/docking station combination for Lasershow Designer (QM32 board) is the IBM ThinkPad 760CD or 760ED with a Dock I docking station. This is the smallest and lightest ISA-bus notebook/docking station around.
        Unfortunately, the ThinkPad 760CD and 760ED are older models no longer sold by IBM. They are available on the used/refurbished market for about $1000. The Dock I is available for $100 to $250. So at least these are economical. The processor is slow by today's standards (90 to 133 MHz) but it is OK for use with LD since the QM32 handles the laser signal processing.
        Click here to go to IBM's U.S. website for refurbished equipment. Other companies, such as JP Computers, also sell refurbished IBM ThinkPads.
        Pangolin has provided TP 760CD- and 760ED-based docking systems to clients recently (1999). We buy them, check them out, load Windows 95 or 98, load the LD software, install the QuadMod and make sure everything is working right. For this we add 15% to our costs for the computer, docking station, shipping to us, etc.

760ED: 133 MHz Pentium; 12.1" active-matrix, 800 x 600 max resolution, 64,000 max colors at 800 x 600; 1.2 gigabyte HD; 16 MB RAM standard, 64 MB RAM maximum; 28,800 bps modem; 6x CD-ROM drive; speakerphone (!); SoundBlaster compatible audio; full-motion and still video capture (good for digitizing faces to be rasterized), NTSC/PAL video out (for videotaping Showtime previews -- no camera needed!), full-size tilting keyboard with inadequate palm rest, plays MPEG movies on CD-ROM (the coolest -- not needed for laser use but great for watching on airplanes, etc.), MIDI (but practically does not work with LD since MIDI is blocked when in the Dock 1), two infrared ports, two PC Card slots, lithium-ion battery with 1.5 - 3 hr work time. Typical cost when new: $5999 (IBM part # IBT-9546-U9A).
760E:  Feature-reduced model of 760ED. Does not have built-in CD-ROM (not a problem -- put it into the Dock 1), has smaller memory and hard drive, no video input or output, no MPEG movies. Typical cost when new: $4349 (IBM part #IBT-9546-U4B, 810 MB HD, 8 MB RAM); $4899 (IBM part # IBT-9546-U4A, 1.08GB HD, 16 MB RAM)
760EL and 760ELD: Feature-reduced models of 760ED. 100 MHz Pentium, 11.3" dual-scan (on EL; probably VGA) or 12.1" active-matrix (on ELD; probably SVGA)), 810MB HD, 8 MB RAM ($129 for additional 8 MB), 4x CD-ROM (ELD only), no video input or output, no MPEG movies, no built-in modem (use a PC Card). Typical cost when new: $2499 (760EL, IBM part # IBT-9547-U6G), $4499 (760ELD, IBM part # IBT-9547-U3F).
  
ThinkPad 770 (GIF ANIM, 30630 bytes)
IBM ThinkPad 770 showing how the port replicator and docking station work together. The screen size is XGA, or 1024 x 768.
  


IBM ThinkPad 770- and 600-series

If you want to use newer IBM ThinkPads such as the 600 and 770 series (about $3500-5000), you must use a port replicator (about $200) AND the SelectaDock III (about $700). The SelectaDock III is big. Its exact size is 16.3" wide, 17" deep and 5.5" high. It weighs a whopping 20 pounds (including a required port replicator).
        The price as of January 2000 is $700 for the SelectaDock III and $200 for a required port replicator.
        It has three slots. Two can hold either an ISA or PCI bus card, the third slot is PCI only. This means the SelectaDock III can run two QM32 ISA cards.
        The following ThinkPads work with the IBM SelectaDock III. Each needs a special port replicator/interface in addition to the SelectaDock III.

  • ThinkPad 770 series (interfaces through the SelectaBase 770)

  • ThinkPad 600 series (interfaces through the SelectaBase 600)

  • Older models: ThinkPad 760E, 760ED, 760EL, 760ELD, 760XD, and 760XL; ThinkPad 765D and 765L (interfaces through the SelectaDock Base Model I). For the 760 and 765 notebooks, you must first copy the INF files included with the SelectaDock, then update the system (flash BIOS), install the Battery Check Utility, update the ThinkPad Configuration program, and update the PC Card Director.

Click here to go to IBM's U.S. website for information on current ThinkPad models.

770ED: 266 MHz Pentium, 14.1" active-matrix, 1024 x 768 max resolution, 16 million max colors at 1024 x 768; 8.1 gigabyte HD; 32 MB RAM standard, 56,600 bps modem; DVD-ROM drive; speakerphone; SoundBlaster compatible audio; full-motion and still-video capture (good for digitizing faces to be rasterized), NTSC/PAL video out (for videotaping Showtime previews -- no camera needed!), full-size keyboard with palm rest; MIDI; two infrared ports, two PC Card slots, lithium-ion battery with 1.5 - 3 hr work time. Typical cost when new: $3599 (IBM part # IBT-9549-5AU).
   
  This page last updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2007 08:50 PM

 
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