HP Palmtop OmniGo 700LX - Technical information

Archived 2013-12-08
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Introduction

The OmniGo 700LX (OG700LX) is an enhancement of the very famous 200LX Palmtop. Compared to the HP 200LX, the 700LX has following enhancements:

  • A second PCMCIA slot in which a Nokia Data Card is mounted. The slot is internal (in the bottom of the 700LX), and it is wired in a non-standard way, so you cannot replace the Nokia Data Card by a flash card. A flash card is not recognized in that slot.
  • A Nokia phone dock on the top of the screen. A Nokia 2110, PT11 or compatible phones can be mounted there. In combination with the built-in Nokia Data Card you can use the phone for SMS and fax transmission and for mobile Internet access. Fax and SMS software is built into the ROM of the 700LX and accessable from the Application Manager. The other software in ROM seems to be identical to the 200LX ROM software.
  • The Infrared port of the 700LX is shielded and another circuit is used. This is probably HP´s solution for the EMI problem, which is relevant if you want to use an IrDA phone with the HP 200LX. Since the 700LX directly works with a GSM phone on top, it should be resistent against EMI, which was not necessary for the 200LX when it was produced.
  • The mainboard of the 700LX contains some additional components, like three LEDs which indicate GSM communication, battery charging and alarms, some "manual" correctionsC of the circuit, which have not been applied to the motherboard layout (maybe mine is an early model; would be interesting if newer 700LXs also have these manual corrections! Mine is an SG60... model, i.e. from 1996.
  • The AC adapter jack is different from that of the 200LX, because it is designed for use with the Nokia phone charger instead of the HP AC adapter. Also 12 V, but apperently not as relieble, because HP increased the size of the coil between the jack and the motherboard dramatically!
  • The case is totally different, and apperently designed by Nokia and not by HP. It is much larger that the one of the 200LX, due to the additional functionalty and components. And it contains much more wasted room than the 200LX. It could have been designed more compact, in my opinion.

Pictures

First, here is the shielded IR port. The IR transceiver which is used looks like the HP HSDL1001, but I am not sure. Thus the IR receiver electronics which was used on the 200LX motherboard (and acted as a GSM antenna there, hence the EMI problem) is unnecessary. In addition, HP applied a metal shield:

Here are a few motherboard details. First the motherboard itself:

Some of the manual circuit corrections:

The used memory chips (ROM and RAM):

The AC adapter jack and the large coil:

The LEDs:

The second PCMCIA port on the motherboard (black) and the two cable connectors for the display and for the GSM phone (white):

The Nokia Data Card and how it is mounted via the white L-shaped male-male connector on the second PCMCIA port (here without the case part which actually separates the motherboard from the PCMCIA card):

This is the case part which is between the data card and the motherboard. Looks a bit like the bottom shell of the 200LX, but it is not the bottom of the 700LX. Do you see the rectangular hole? It is for this white L-shaped PCMCIA connector...

Here you see the bottom of the keyboard with attached motherboard and connected display and phone cables:

Now we put the case part with the rectangular hole onto the motherboard. The huge coil takes place in the round hole in the bottom right corner, and you see the second PCMCIA port through the rectangular hole:

The L-shaped white PCMCIA connector makes it possible to connect the Nokia Data Card:

The interesting thing is that the outlet of the Nokia Data Card, where normally the phone is conneced, is not used here. The connection to the phone must somehow be established back through the PCMCIA port. There are obviously some non-used PCMCIA lines which are used here for that purpose.

Now the actual case bottom is mounted to cover the Data Card and the coil:

And this is the complete 700LX:

There is one interesting thing to note: From what I have found out, all 700LXs manufactured before 1996, abt. 20th or 30th week, have an engraved world map in the lower left corner of the keyboard case, all after that date don´t have that decoration. When I first saw it, I thought, that some solvent or glue destroyed the surface of the case, but when I took a second look, I could see it was a world map! Probably I was not the only one who thought this and therefore returned the unit to HP claiming that it was bad, so they stopped to engrave the world map on later models. The picture below shows that world map:

The second PCMCIA slot

That second internal slot, which you can see on the pictures above, is usually occupied by the Nokia Datacard. But it would be nice if it was possible to use that slot also for other PCMCIA cards. It should be possible to use other I/O cards, since at least the I/O contacts of the PCMCIA connector must be present in this custom slot, but is it also possible to somehow use a flash card as an "internal hard drive"?

Anyone who knows something about this or who made tests, please report!

RAM and speed upgrades

No RAM upgrades are available for the OmniGo 700LX. The speed upgrades, e.g. the Times2Tech Doublespeed upgrade, should work in the 700LX.