Inside the Hyperion

Both of my Hyperion units were found at a local Salvation Army store, but at different times. The second unit has never been very healthy. It had obviously been opened and tinkered with by the former owner. A metal screen had been inserted in front of the display, behind the casework, and some of the screws had not been replaced. Some of the casing was cracked. The display was jittery and off-center, and the second drive unit wouldn't work. I opened the machine up to see if I could determine what was wrong by simple inspection, but I'm no expert in the art of computer repair. These are pictures taken when I was looking for the problems.

The case is very easy to open. There are two screws under the handle that have to be removed, and then the machine can be placed on its face and the back portion of the case can be lifted off. In this way, the case is very similar to that of the early Apple Macintosh machines, but of course the Hyperion predates the Mac.

Image: Lifting the cover
Image: Complete innards

With the case removed, everything is visible. The picture tube is on the left, the disk drives are in the metal cage to the right, and the power supply is the board that sits on an angle between the two. The computer itself is the two printed circuit boards at the back of the machine (top of image).

There is a fan attached to the side of the disk drive cage, that only operates when the disk drives are running. I didn't stick my hand in to find out which direction it was blowing, but it probably sucks air in through the disk drives and blows on the power supply components. I don't think my other Hyperion unit has this fan. I've never heard the fan noises emanating from it.

This image is taken from the back of the machine, after the circuit boards have been removed. It's still difficult to get to the disk drives from this point.

The metal frame actually bends at the front from the weight of the CRT. This image is too dark to see it, though.

Image: Metal cage from rear
Image: Board connections

The two boards that the computer lives on are only connected at one point, by a 64-pin connector. Each board gets its own connection to the power supply (through the same cable).

The company name is found at a few places on the printed circuit boards.

Image: Company name on board

Well, I didn't manage to fix the machine. In fact, I made it worse - with the second floppy now working but the display not powering up. I suspect that it's a problem of loose or faulty wiring. The power light goes on and off if I touch the wires in certain ways. Maybe I tugged too hard during disassembly.

The wiring is done in such a way that it goes in two directions from the power supply, from the same connector. In other words, the connector at the power supply joins with the middle of the wires that lead toward the disk drives on one side, and the circuit boards and CRT in the other direction. And the wires just seem to be pushed into the connector and not held in very firmly.

Next time I'll pay special attention to the wiring.

[Hrothgar's Cool Old Junk Page] 1999-08-22