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military laptop LXI & radio set up

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Some time back at a show was looking over a nice 110 FFR with all the radio kit, it also had a military laptop LXI, looking on line about the laptop it could be used for the combat net radio system BAMS (developed and used by the Belgium Armed Forces) this laptop was built around 2000 by DRS technologies in the UK. the unit is TEMPEST safe.

 

(TEMPEST)Codename, referring to (the study of) unwanted compromising emanations. This includes the emission of unintentional and unwanted intelligence-bearing signals. If such signals were intercepted and analyzed, they might disclose sensitive information. In cryptography, the interceptor might be able to reconstruct (part of) the plain text. (Wikipedia)

 

I now have 2 LX1 laptops that work, was this Lx1 used with clansman ? did the British army use them ?

 

some info here from the cryptomuseum

http://www.cryptomuseum.com/pc/drs/index.htm

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:D

 

Just got back from Hack Green sale and purchased there a DRS LXI rugged laptop. Just put it on charge but just wondered if anyone has any user guides or pearls of wisdom into getting this running

 

We hope to use it on our display

 

 

regards

 

Nick

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Just thought I would update my previous post

 

The laptop purchased at Hack Green and thankfully not at £300.00 they are on sale for on Ebay I found that in addition to the hard drive removed as expected whoever decommissioned the laptop removed the bios chip off the mother board

 

So that was a blow.

 

However stripped everything out except the power supply and I am looking at fitting a raspberry pi computer inside.

 

The monitor then proved to be an obsticle as the wiring did not match anything I could find on the internet so the next plan is to try and fit a secondhand 14 inch monitor in its place

 

The output from the raspberry is via hdmi so I have an hdmi converter to vga

 

I will let you know how the next step progresses

 

Nick

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I didn't realise they had a detachable keyboard. Clever!

 

Andy

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Hi

 

Ive just acquired 2 Lxi Ruggerised laptops as im hoping this is something that my BATES comms truck may have had ??

 

How do you power them up ? I had no leads / plugs , and the only sockets on the back look specialised jobbers ? will these laptops run from vehicle electrics ? or are they mains 240 volt only , I found the small battery so a bit in the dark .

 

anyone help with user manual ? leads .

 

most appreciated

 

 

cheers:nut:

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Majorworld

 

I got leads that look the same as the mains and power connectors on the cryptomuseum photos from "the Xmod" - I have a slightly older luggable IARCSS computer sans disk which will also likely end up with a pi and a modern LCD inside - From memory the DMC is Z75 and the DC lead to fit Landrover/Clansman 2 pin power connectors is NSN 5995995002389; the mains lead is 5995999573555

Regards

 

Iain

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Hi Iain

 

That's great , message me with your price if you would please , im hoping to power these from my RB44 distribution board and also from mains , looks like I need to find suitable hard drives now to get them working , also be amazing to find the original BATES software . surely this stuff is all old hat now and could be available ???

 

cheers

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Hi

 

If it is similar to the IARCSS they will be SCSI discs (an old high performance system that existed in servers and high end macs at the same time as PCs used IDE/ATA) - the drives themselves are standard but they may well be in a carrier/caddy with a custom connector on the back. The LXI on the cryptomuseum photos has what looks like a standard SCSI expansion connector on the back so you can probably connect any standard SCSI external disk as a way to test the machine - just guess the SCSI "Target ID" or disk number for the boot drive and install Windows NT or Linux, probaby the targets will be 0 and 1 for the first two discs. Old external SCSI drives still turn up on e-Bay often advertised as for Apple machines so just look for a matching connectors. SCSI is a daisy chain system - each device has two connectors for "in" and "out" and the last device in the chain has its unused connector fitted with a terminating plug.

 

[ Computer ]----[Drive 1]----[Drive 2]----[Drive 3]----[Termination]

 

The challenge may actually be getting an OS onto the disk if there is no floppy or USB - so you may end up having to get a SCSI CD-ROM as well ....

 

Regards & good luck !

 

Iain

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Majorweld

 

Slight confusion - I don't sell them - look for the NSNs I gave on http://www.thexmod.co.uk - they are about a tenner for each cable before P&P and VAT. I got my IARRCS computer (http://www.thexmod.com/item_detail.asp?id=11991) and cables there a couple of years ago - also minus disks - they have been in storage since my house move but I still hope to revive it when I get time. The cables you need for DC or mains power are http://www.thexmod.com/item_detail.asp?id=12752 and http://www.thexmod.com/item_detail.asp?id=13216 respectively. The IARRCS has the benefit of a floppy drive at least.

 

Someone did get some IARRCS computers with disks that are now on e-bay (item 400272423410 ) at £500 each

 

Regards

 

Iain

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cheers guys

 

Crikey , well its a bit French so far , but im guessing im fairly lucky as under the front panel on the LXI I have a floopy disc drive and a cd rom drive ........ theres is a empty bay with a pin socket at rear , which is for the slide in Hard disk drive , its quite a small item approx. 3 " x 4 " at a guess so the HDD would have to fit into this slot.

 

http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/13472/European-Data-Systems-LX1/

 

Im not far from Chippenham / Wiltshire and was wondering what my chances would be of finding new old stock HDD from EDS ? Only problem s they aren't coming up on any searches ?

 

Many Thanks

 

Rich:nut:

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I think you need to look on eBay for 3.5" SCSI hard drives, find one which looks like it has the right connector and is fairly cheap. Another option would be to look up a computer fair and take it with you. I used to go to them a long time ago and remember there being second hand parts for older computers.

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Given the year of manufacture and description, it looks like the PC is a fairly standard 486 with a 50 pin parallel SCSI hard disk in a 3.5" form-factor. With a bit of messing around, you should be able to get Windows 95 or NT 4 running on it. If you really want to try your luck, BSD should be possible too.

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Hi

 

Thanks for the guidance

 

I will put pics up of the front panel soon , I have measured the Hdd slot and its approx. 75 mm wide ( just under 3" and 140 mm deep so the usual 3.5 hdd , are not going to fit .

 

 

Is it a huge job to gut these out and replace with moden lap top internals ? id prefer not too as I only want this as a working display piece as part of my RB44 artillery command truck , with some form of functioning software . ??:undecided:

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Rich

 

Probably the sensible thing before going too much further is to get a power lead and see if it fires up as far as the BIOS - at that point if there is a screen display and there is a way into the hardware setup screens (it may have been locked out for security/to prevent end users changing anything) you will know if the computer is alive enough to justify the investment in a disc drive. It may even be possible to boot it from a floppy (or if the BIOS is modern enough) a CD. If you need a DOS boot floppy I can probably make one for you as I have some older machines around with DOS. If you just need a display it may be enough to boot from floppy or CD and display a text file that looks like the original application ..

 

Based on the drive bay size it was probably a 2.5 inch IDE or SCSI drive in a sub frame/caddy that fitted the 75mm slot to provide some shock isolation - we would need a photo of the connector inside the drive bay to be certain whether IDE or SCSI although the presence of a SCSI expansion connector on the back of the PC suggests the latter.

 

Regards

 

Iain

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Hi Iain

 

Power leads are on order from Xmod as you suggested , thanks for that , excellent stuff .

 

The Guy at Xmod said that my laptop would have had the 2.5 inch Scsi HDD on a caddy ?? thers loads on ebay but whats the chance they fill fit the pin socket ?? im not to clever at this computer mlarcky . I will try and get some form of close up of the pin slot inside ? I tried earlier and it was all blurred .

 

when I get the leads I will try your suggestion , hopefully the rest of the gubbins is still inside , fingers crossed as they were not bargain basement cheap ?

 

cheers

 

Rich

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Hi Iain

 

Power leads are on order from Xmod as you suggested , thanks for that , excellent stuff .

 

Are you sure you have ordered the correct lead?? last person I know who ordered one from Xmod for an LX1 got the wrong lead.. it's not a standard size socket.. Others have just swapped the socket on the LX1 for a standard Clansman socket & used a Clansman plug & lead..

 

 

I have a LX1 & a Ptarmigan printer for sale if anyone interested

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Hi MARMITE

 

well I hope they are right ? I got 2 one for mains and one for in the truck .

 

your printer is that a SSP ? I have just acquired one and wondered where I can get the paper roll from ? I guess its some kind of DOT matrix printer ??

 

Cheers

 

Rich

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Looking at the brochure for the slightly later LXI-3 on the 'net, it seems to have a SCSI controller for external drives and an IDE controller for the internal. That suggests the hard disk is a standard laptop 2.5" IDE in some sort of caddy.

 

Andy

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Hi MARMITE

 

well I hope they are right ? I got 2 one for mains and one for in the truck .

 

your printer is that a SSP ? I have just acquired one and wondered where I can get the paper roll from ? I guess its some kind of DOT matrix printer ??

 

Cheers

 

Rich

 

Just looked on Xmod http://www.thexmod.com/search.asp?search=computer&t=1 & can't see any power leads relating to the LX1

 

SSP? not sure what that means?

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