The CF-28 F.A.Q. - Read me before posting

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by Modly, Jan 20, 2008.

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  1. Modly

    Modly Warranty Voider

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    This thread will be updated many times, and contrary to our normal behaviour, I wanna keep this one thread on topic so it's not out of control... More people will read a short thread :D

    Keep in mind, we are modifiers/hackers/tinkerers, and all of this is a community effort. If you have something to add that is of use, feel free to let us know what you can do.

    If anything is not answered here, do a search before asking. Some questions have been asked so many times, and you'll probably get a faster answer by searching. This is also under construction...

    Topics to be covered
    • "What do I have?"
    • Drivers
    • Touchscreen activation
    • Memory
    • Wireless cards
    • Hard drives
    • CD/DVD drives
    • GPS
    • Keyboards
    • Internal PCMCIA slot
    • Beer/Alcohol

    What do I have?

    Almost everybody wonders this when they first rip open the box and find their new (used) CF-28.
    That's because you wanna make sure you didn't get ripped off, and maybe find something extra in there.


    For a quick summary, everything after the CF-28 part in your model number is how yours was configured. If it's CF-28Mxxxxxx, it's a 600, 28Pxxxxxx it's an 800, and 28Sxxxxx is a 1GHz.

    Another way to find out more details is to check your BIOS. Anything that you can enable/disable, you have installed. (You may need to check for some of these physically too. Any computer with a RIM board can be dip switched to tell the BIOS that GPS or various wireless devices are attached.)


    Touchscreen activation

    If you've got a touchscreen, you may be pulling your hair out trying to get it to work. Once you figure it out it's easy, but it's tricky that first time.

    Start by getting some drivers (use the above section's links). Run the installer. Once it's done, open up your System control panel, go to the Hardware tab, and click on Device Manager.

    Expand the "Mice and other pointing devices" hardware, and double click on the mouse (PS/2 Compatable mouse) that it found. This will open up a new window.

    Click on the driver tab, and click on "Update Driver". On the next screen, select "No, not this time" and hit next. On the next screen, select "Install from a list or specific location (Advanced)", and hit next again. Choose the option "Don't search. I will choose a driver to install", and hit next again.

    Select "Have Disk...", and browse to the directory C:\util\drivers\mouse , and open up the folder inside (it'll be different for different OS's), and select the Fidmou.inf file inside of that folder. Once the file is selected, hit Ok, and it should start installing.

    Once it's installed, you'll need to restart the OS to use it. When it's rebooted, you'll see a new icon in the system tray next to the clock. Right click on the icon that looks like a poorly drawn mouse in front of a monitor, and go to Calibrate. Use a rounded hard device (Pencil eraser, rounded pen caps, etc) to get the X's as close as possible. The closer you get this, the better your touchscreen will operate.




    Memory

    Maximums for CF-28's.

    600MHz == 384 MB
    800MHz == 512MB or768 MB
    1000MHz == 512MB or 768 MB or 1024 MB, depending on amount of onboard memory.

    They use 144-pin SO-DIMMS chips. Keep in mind, the 600's are picky about what they use, and many chips will only show up as half the amount.


    Wireless Cards

    Most CF-28's don't come with 802.11 wireless, so it's usually one of the first mods somebody does to them now.

    Most of us here use Atheros based cards (5004 chipset or newer). Most are nameless brands of cards, but some of us go with the Senao Engenius EMP-8602 (400mW) or EMP-8602S (600mW).
    They use the Mini-PCI slot (So don't get a Mini-PCIe card).

    To swap in a wireless card... http://forum.notebookreview.com/search/23731996/?q=Cf-28+wireless+card&o=relevance&c[node]=1012

    To install an external antenna.... http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/external-antenna-hack.148844/

    Mnementh's RIM antenna hack that turns the old WWAN RIM antenna into an AWESOME wifi antenna.... I have used this hack MANY times on CF-28s always with great success!.....http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/built-in-wireless-advanced-mods.215522/

    EDIT - Here is a great post by Cap.Dogfish showing the installation of an SMA bulkhead connection and a flag antenna.

    SR,
    Today's your lucky day, I just happen to have one on the bench. The photos are of the left side plastic cover at the palm rest(that's left when the computer is right side up).

    View attachment 31338

    View attachment 31339

    The flag antenna is not behind any of the case, just the plastic cover. I only worry about the uncoated connections touching the case, not the plastic covered flag. The little piece of tape you can see takes care of that.
    CAP


    Hard drives

    If you want a new drive, get an ATA-6 laptop drive. The faster RPM, the better (7200 RPM will give you a good performance boost over the stock 4200, and even aftermarket 5400 drives).



    CD/DVD drives

    You must have a CD caddy to use a drive. Unless you can find a way to get around this, then you need it. You can score them on eBay, and if you're patient you can get them for $50-60.

    If you've got just a CD drive, you can upgrade it to a DVD, DVD/CD-RW, Or even a DVD-RW drive.


    GPS

    There are two kinds of GPS systems now for the CF-28. The original stock system, and the aftermarket system that we're working on here.

    At the moment, it requires a RIM board or GPS board with the GPS module desoldered, and a GlobalSat GPS module.

    If you've got problems with the jumping mouse, go to your system control panel, open the hardware tab, open the device manager, expand "Ports (COM & LPT)". Open COM 4, go to "Port Settings", and hit advanced. Change the COM port number to COM 7.
    Restart the computer. If the problem is not fixed, go back into the device manager, open up "Mice and other pointing devices", and see if there is a "MS serial mouse". If so, open it up and disable it.


    Keyboards

    There are five main kinds of CF-28 keyboard;
    Grey/Beige hard plastic keys. Not backlit.
    Black hard plastic keys. Not backlit.
    Black hard plastic keys, emissive backlit.
    Black hard plastic keys with hard support, emissive backlit.
    Black rubber keys, backlit.

    All keyboards from CF-27's, CF-28's, CF-29's, CF-71's and CF-72's can be interchanged, with a few exceptions.
    • The emissive keyboard can only be used on 800 & 1000 MHz machines, and it must have the emissive power board installed.
    • Keyboards with 3 connector cables can only be installed in 800 & 1000 MHz machines or CF-29's

    To install a new keyboard, you need to remove the panel below the screen. There are four screws between the keyboard and screen, and two behind the rear port cover. With some careful prying you can pull it up. Once the panel is removed, you can pull up the keyboard. There may be some adhesive holding it down, so carefully pry it up. Underneath the keyboard is a metal panel that is held down with six small screws (I used a #0 screwdriver to get them out). When that panel is out of the way, carefully pull up the brown connector and slide the first connector out, then slide the beige connector(s) outwards (You'll have a total of 3 connectors on some keyboards).

    BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THE CONNECTORS! THE BROWN PULL UP CONNECTOR IS VERY EASY TO BREAK!

    If your brown lever is broken or missing from the main keyboard connector do a search and you should be able to find a thread on this fix.


    Beer/Alcohol

    While not required, apparently you will have better results while working on your Toughbook with an alcoholic beverage near you. Soda is not recommended, nor is cheap beer. High priced beverages are less prone to be spilled.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2019
  2. cadillac

    cadillac Notebook Consultant

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    Thank you.
     
  3. stiffnecked

    stiffnecked Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks a lot!
     
  4. Bigfoot_of_Nevada

    Bigfoot_of_Nevada Notebook Consultant

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    This is great. Once it is finished it should be locked and stickyed.
     
  5. Toughbook

    Toughbook Drop and Give Me 20!

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    Modly... GREAT job! I'll sticky it now...

    Well done!
     
  6. Modly

    Modly Warranty Voider

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    Don't mind the last category... figured we could use some humour.
     
  7. ohlip

    ohlip Toughbook Modder

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    Modly.. you can add under the keyboard. CF-71 & 72 also compatible on cf-28
     
  8. Modly

    Modly Warranty Voider

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    Added. Thanks Ohlip!
     
  9. gravitar

    gravitar Notebook Deity

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    Hmm parts interchange.. that's a topic unto itself. Here's a couple quick ones that i can think of offhand.. The port cover hinges/screws are interchangable between the CF27 and 28. And, bizarre as it sounds, the stamped steel insert and sliding plastic cover that go inside the rear port cover of the 27 & 28 interchange!
     
  10. Terminus

    Terminus Notebook Consultant

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    That's really great news as the sliding plastic cover on the main rear port cover on my new project machine is cracked. I also need a power plug cover as well. I was told tonight that the screws holding the hard drive caddy are the same as the port covers (rubber covers) but I haven't verified that yet.
     
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