8543 Common Devices

Status Display
Hard Disk
Communications Cartridge
   Com Ctg PCB, Top
   Com Ctg PCB, Bottom
Volksfürsorge Suitcase "Solution"

Status Display

From left to right:
Economy switch, carrier detect, speaker, batter status, dew point, HD in use, Floppy in use, Num Lock, Cap Lock, Scroll Lock, Suspend Mode, Power Switch.


FRU 79F0983 PN 72X6074 Panasonic JU-237AO3W
Cable FRU 79F0987 PN 65F0223 by Rogers

Floppy is in a carrier and it has a metalized plastic shield around all sides but the front. Small cutout for the drive connectors in the back. The cable is the much beloved tape style. 17mm high "super slim" 3.5-inch floppy disk drive.

Hard Disk

60MB HD 79F1009 Connor CP2067 5 V 640 mA
80MB HD 95F4714
HD Cable FRU 79F0988 P/N 65F0224
MFR ID 31745, same print style as the floppy cable, marked as being made by Rogers.

Due to its vintage, the L40 undoubtedly has the 504M limit disease on native BIOS support. You can use a Disk Manager software package to overcome this limit.

Unless you buy a standalone disk manager program, free ones provided by drive makers will generally only work with that manufacturer's drives...

Peter Wendt says:
   Not long ago I installed an 850MB drive on Martins L40SX with Microhouse EZDrive - must have been an older version. Worked like a charm with no problems after setting the IDE Master jumper right.

If you want an alternative product: Look in the "support / download" pages at www.maxtor.com and download the stand-alone (bootable) version of MaxBlast...

Communication Cartridge I (3541-001) FRU P/N 06G8066, P/N 06G8051

Q. Is there any way to attach a LAN or terminal emulation adapter to the L40SX?
A. The PS/2 Communication Cartridge I (Type 3541) is an A/C-powered external expansion cabinet that can take one half-length adapter. It is intended for use with network or terminal emulation adapters (such as 3270 and 5250). At 7.1 x 3.4 x 5.7 inches, and 2.6 lbs., it is small and light enough to be taken on the road with the laptop.

Q. The announcement letter says that only LAN adapters, 3270 and 5250 emulation adapters are supported in the Communications Cartridge I. Can other adapters be used as well?
A. Generally speaking, yes, if the adapter is 8" long or less. There will be some adapters that won't work, however; memory and video adapters, for example. Also, the IBM SDLC adapter is known not to work. (It can only be configured as COM1 or COM2, which are reserved by the L40 for the built-in serial port and the optional serial port or fax/modem.)

Communications Cartridge with captive screws loose

To open CC, turn upside down, and unscrew the two captive standard screws. They are on the bottom, on the side opposite of the bus connector.

Communications Cartridge Open

Communications Cartridge open and ready for installation. The silver-grey shield is for the power supply. If you want to pull it, you will need a T15 security Torx screwdriver that will fit in that notch to the right of the bar code. The rear cover will rotate out from the bottom on the top pivot points. There are no hinges.

3541-001 Communications Cartridge PCB (Top)

Michael Brutman took his 3541-001 apart and took some pics. Note the 10 pin header on the left center side.

3541-001 Communications Cartridge PCB (Bottom)

Customer Replaceable Parts for the 3541-001

Expansion Unit (P/N 06G8066)
Rear Cover (P/N 06G8068)
Bus Cable (P/N 06G8062, FRU 06G8069)

Trackpoint (Model L40 SX) 1397090 (by William Walsh)

Switching from Trackball to Mouse operation (or the other way around)

L40SX Trackpoint

  1. Hold pointing device by sides with track ball facing up.

  2. Press latch cover buttons and pull top cover toward you. The top cover will release.

  3. Pull top cover until top is in locked position.

  4. Turn pointing device over so trackball is now facing down.

Function Of Trackball Mode Buttons

The two small buttons facing the front of the Trackpoint enable drag lock for either the left or right buttons. The two large buttons function as normal "click buttons".


Turn off the computer and all attached options. Connect the pointing device directly to the pointing device connector on the computer or on the pointing device passthrough located on the numeric keypad.

Volksfürsorge Suitcase Solution (from Peter Wendt)

The German Insurance company Volksfürsorge had a suitcase-solution based on the L40SX. I used to service these machines in the early 90s. They had quite a lot of them delivered to their crew of sales droids... and then IBM found out that the L40SX had a serious insulation problem with the internal DC-DC converter... I must have patched up several 100 if them.

The "docking station" consists out of the power supply (charger for the external battery pack / supply for laptop and printer) plus some wires for DC-Supply (laptop and printer) and a flat-ribbon cable for the printer data. The Kodak / Diconix printer was awfully mediocre. Another version of that suitcase used the Canon BJ10 / BJ20 or its IBM-cousin (have one in the collection - not using it however).

They later switched to the TP700 / TP720 ... plus an Olivetti inkjet of outstanding lousy quality. Wonder how they made it clear to them that it looks good to walk around with a Samsonite-like piece of luggage. The Olivetti jammed regularly, made grinding noises during print (if it did) and the output was close to unreadable in 8 from 10 cases (missing lines, ink spots etc.pp.) plus the "standard extra" of trying to fanfold the paper otherwise when it goes through. It was a real shame. Really.

The prints looked poor even when the printer was brand new. Older units - after 3 or 4 month of irregular use and poor to no maintenance - created even far more worse results. The complaints never ended. Not about the IBM Thinkpad (apart from being a tad slow and about some display deficits) but the charger electronics inside and the printer were pretty bad.

If the charger itself didn't blew up it "helped" to fry the batteries - that extra pack as well as those on the printer. The laptop had its own charger circuit ... if the charger blew however it used to took laptop and printer with it due to a large spike of overvoltage. No one *I* asked really liked these "integrated solutions". (But that could as well be a false impression, since I used to meet the people when they had their systems repaired ... some had good stories to tell...)

A life-care competitor used the Canon BN120 laptop with integrated printer for their sales / customer-service staff. I had one and sold it last year (I think - or the year before). It was a 486DX2-25/50 / 8MB / 540MB HD / 9.5" Mono-LCD machine and the printer was largely based on the BJ10 with a 10-sheet single feeder - and it worked surprisingly good. The machine was a bit too thick for my taste and therefore a bit unusual to work with *on a desk*. But it worked at least *and* made respectable printouts.

Content created and/or collected by:
Louis F. Ohland, Peter H. Wendt, David L. Beem, William R. Walsh, Tatsuo Sunagawa, Tomáš Slavotínek, Jim Shorney, Tim N. Clarke, Kevin Bowling, and many others.

Ardent Tool of Capitalism is maintained by Tomáš Slavotínek.
Last update: 08 May 2024 - Changelog | About | Legal & Contact