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4 years, 8 months ago
Fell to me into hands at purely symbolical price of a PDA of Casio Cassiopeia A-11A — one of the first pocket computers of Casio firm released at the end of 1996.

Unfortunately, the baby Kassiopeyu was quite strongly frayed by life. First, the previous owner unscrupulously lost a wire for connection of this PDA to the computer. And secondly, the Cassiopeia A-11A screen began to live life and began to be switched off at the most unpredictable moment. And then ceased to work at all, as well as it is necessary under the law of meanness.


The machine this very remarkable — onboard even whole 4 MB of random access memory, the Hitachi SH3 processor with a frequency of 40 MHz, the Windows CE 1.0 and works all this pleasure from two finger-type batteries.

It was a pity for me for the poor thing, and I decided to repair her. Process of repair and detailed information on Cassiopeia A-11A, as always, under habrakaty.

Technical characteristics of Casio Cassiopeia A-11A

  • Processor: Hitachi SH3 with a frequency of 40 MHz
  • Memory: 4 MB ROM and 4 MB OZU
  • Display: the monochrome LCD display with illumination with diagonal 5,1 inches (130 mm)
  • Display resolution: 480 x 240 pixels
  • Quantity of the displayed colors: 4 gray gradations
  • Communication interfaces: Serial port (proprietary connector) and infrared port
  • Expansion interfaces: PCMCIA (type I, II)
  • Input devices: QWERTY keyboard (61 keys) and touch screen
  • Sound: loudspeaker
  • Power source: 2xAA; CR2032 for saving of data of CMOS
  • Dimensions: 175 mm x 92 mm x 26,5 mm
  • Weight: 380 gr.

The device works under control of an operating system of Microsoft Windows CE 1.0 Handheld PC edition.


Casio Cassiopeia A-11A really very miniature device. Stylus length — 11,5sm.

The keyboard of Cassiopeia is Russified. The green key in the upper right corner includes illumination.

On the right side there is a slot for the PCMCIA cards and the connector for connection of external devices, such as the CASIO QV digital camera. The last is closed by a rubber plug.

On the left side of the body are: the connector for connection date cable, a window of the IR transceiver and the regulator of contrast.

The battery compartment is fixed by means of the thumb actuated switch. Its normal provision is shown on the picture. The fixer and the PCMCIA eject button of the card are located in the lower left corner. The stylus cleans up in the technology opening intended for it under a PCMCIA card eject button.

The baby Kassiopeya from two finger-type batteries or accumulators of a standard size of AA eats.

Under the lids tightened by screws the CR2032 battery (it is necessary for saving of data in case of extraction of the battery pack) and the ROM card is located. The ROM card (ROM), contains a firmware with Microsoft Windows CE 1.0 OS.

It is possible to update the version of an operating system only replacement of this card by the Windows CE 2.0 upgrade ROM card which at me, naturally, did not appear.

We repair Cassiopeia. And, at the same time, we photograph interiors

As I already spoke, fault of Casio Cassiopeia A-11A consisted in the unemployed the LCD display, and the sensor of a touchscreen worked normally — tapas on the screen was followed by a sound signal.

It is natural that first of all it was necessary to check integrity of the flexible loop connecting the display to the host board. For this purpose it was necessary to sort a PDA completely.

First of all we remove the lower part of the Casio Cassiopeia A-11A body.

Quite most part of the place on the host board is occupied by the PCMCIA connector and the slot for connection of the ROM card.

We unscrew all small screws which fix the host board to the body, and accurately we lift it from outside, opposite to a battery compartment. We get the plastic switch and a latch of the slot of PCMCIA. We try not to lose them and not to crush.

Accurately we open the screw-driver of a latch of connectors into which loops of the keyboard and display are inserted. We hook the screw-driver contacts of a battery compartment (them there four, but are used only two upper) and we remove them from seats.

Now the host board can be removed. In the upper left corner the plastic switch lies. We do not lose it.

The most part of components including the processor, are located on a reverse side of the host board.

In the upper right corner there are two chips of random access memory of NEC D42S16165LG5 with a capacity of 2 MB everyone.

Practically on the center of the host board there are two proprietary chips of CASIO FM-7431 and FM-7432. Datashit on them it was not succeeded to find.

The communication RS-232 interface is executed on MAX3241CAI chip.

Attentively we examine the host board on existence of the evident defects. Such it is not revealed. We clean a brush connectors for connection of loops.

We arm with alcohol and an eraser, we wipe contacts of loops of the keyboard and display.

Now it is possible to try to collect Casio Cassiopeia A-11A and to check it for working capacity. And it is possible and not to collect as these manipulations did not help to recover operation of the display.

Well, we will continue to scoff at almost dead body. The main objective — to retrieve and ring out a display loop.

Accurately we turn off the screws fixing a loop of the display and we remove it.

We turn off two screws connecting halves of the body of the display and accurately we reveal him, trying not to damage plastic latches.


We exempt a display payment from the fixing its screws, and we get it from the body.

The loop connecting a display board with the host board is just opposite to the loudspeaker. We open a latch of the connector and we try to pull out a loop, but far from it! The loop is pasted to the printed circuit board that extremely is not logical, but it is quite possible.

It is a little efforts and skill, and the loop at last is exempted from glue bonds.

At once it becomes clear why the display did not want to work. You only look at a status of contacts — here definitely not to do without alcohol.

We take an eraser and we get rid of dirt in intervals between signal connect pads, we polish contacts till glitters. Also, on a loop the dent (as though it was pressed through the screw-driver) was found but thank God it did not affect integrity of internal conductors.

Now it is possible to collect a PDA. Repair is ended.

First start

After assembly of Cassiopeia it is necessary to make sure carefully that there is no excess part left. I, for example, forgot to put into place the thumb actuated switch which switches a supply circuit at the inserted battery pack and serves as the peculiar latch fixing the battery pack in working position.

We include Cassiopeia A-11A PDA.

After initial setup of all parameters we are waited by the usual "screw" interface.

You already paid attention that the interface of an operating system, and also keyboard layout pattern, unfortunately, in English? In spite of the fact that the qwerty-keyboard of this device is Russified, support of Russian in applications needs to be installed separately, for example by means of RusCE/LE.

As you can see, on a PDA office Microsoft Word and Excel programs are already preset.

The size of random access memory which is taken away under programs and under data can be changed in a control bar.

It is necessary to notice that all data are stored in random access memory of the device and vanish in a case of simultaneous extraction of the battery pack and the disk CR2032 element.

As Cassiopeia A-11A has the expansion slot PCMCIA, it would be possible to try to connect to a PDA the CompactFlash flash card through the corresponding adapter, however I had neither an adapter, nor the memory stick on the small volume (and I strongly doubt that Cassiopeia will be able to digest modern CF with a capacity more than 1 GB) therefore this experiment is postponed until the best times.

However, it is possible to try to connect to Cassiopeia A-11A some PCMCIA a card, for example the NEC PC 9801N-J05 modem which was overlooked at me.

As you can see, it successfully is defined by system, and by means of it it is possible to try to be connected to the Internet on dialup. Unfortunately, has no preset Cassiopeia A-11A web browser and there is no ftp-client too therefore by means of network connection of nothing to download on a PDA it will not turn out.

By tradition, it would be desirable to start on Cassiopeia A-11A some toy (except the built-in solitaire, of course), but alas and ah — without complete wires for connection of a PDA to the personal computer I have no opportunity to install even an interface Russifier the Windows CE.

The observant reader will tell: "Companion, why to you wire? Cassiopeia has IRDA, throw files by means of it". I hurry to upset you, infrared port on mine Kassiopy as it became clear later, does not work. Attempt to transfer or receive the file comes to an end with nothing.

It is possible to look long here at such window, without having waited for result.

For purity of experiment, I tried to couple Cassiopeia A-11A to several devices: A PDA of Toshiba Satellite Pro 430CDT and with the normal computer by means of USB-IRDA Kingsun KS 959. Any device could not accept or receive the file from Cassiopeia though successfully defined it in a visibility range.

On it my small overview of the baby Kassiopei came to a logical end.
Thanks for attention, and good to you day!

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