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military laptop LXI & radio set up


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  • 2 years later...
  • 1 year later...

For those who are still busy with their DRS LX1 ...I recently got one gifted im busy restoring .

Usual problems .. backup battery dead ..and it wont boot from HDD .

HDD btw is a normal 44pin IDE 2.5inch drive like in older laptops . just put in a funny caddy . Bios has limitations seeing bigger as 6gb drives , will be working on that to see if it will accept a larger drive later on (40 to 80gb) It will run on win 95/98/SE and NT 4 workstation..wichever you prefer.

 

The backup battery btw is not a common CR type wich is likely why the computershop in a previous post couldnt find it :)

Backup battery is situated on the lower board next to the ram modules ..looks like a relay ..marked Timekeeper Snaphat M4T28-BR12SH1. Hard to find , if you can order from them : Farnell sells em .. but found cheap ones offered on Ali Express so just have to wait a bit now.

 

Another thing noticed: Mobo has a single 44pin ide output , its possible to change the single cable for one with two positions so one can add a second idd or a laptop CDRW .Theres conversions for the plug on those to genderchange em to 44pin ide . I plan to add a laptop cdrw in now obsoletely space the battery was mounted.

 

Other possible hacks: change the Xircom cardbus ethernet/modem card for a faster one..or even replace it for a wifi cardbus module..Ive removed the military LAN output plug from the back and replaced it with a black PVC mil looking style watertight 'normal' RJ45 output ,was same size , just screw out the weird mil connector adn screw in the watertight RJ45 part .Still trying to find out if the pinline the keyboard is connected to is also the actual USB out too ..would be quite handy to have :) The BAMS net connector wont be affected as thats soldered directly to another part of the Mobo . i would advise to take out the build in NICAD battery though ..you can rebuild it/ replace the cells easilly ..but chances are when they go leaky they will do damage !

Edited by Heinrich
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  • 5 months later...

Hello all,

I am a collector of unusual computers (UK military, US police, Soviet USSR, Soviet GDR..) and I have four computers having been a part of the network English IARRCIS in the 90s.

The hard disks of origin being very expensive $$$, I have to find the way to restore a little life in computers by using small distributions Linux on diskettes 2 minimum or  25 maximum. :thumbsup:

It is a practical solution, on condition good on to have still diskettes under the hand.

Good day,

Vince

 

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  • 1 year later...

After a bit of struggle I finally have antiX (linux) and w95 running on my LXI.

What did I learn?

Lots.

The standard disk is a bog standard 40pin IDE.  But the connectors are way far from stanard.

So I stripped the machine down.  fitted a standard IDE cable in place of the standard cable.  I took the +5 and ground from the battery charger connector and wired the beast up to a SD to 3.5” 40 pin hard-drive adapter.

Bingo, installs from CD onto the adapter.

Also installs to an externally fitted 3.5 IDE disk - but that is less pretty.

 

I had trouble doing instals of windoze to the SCSI drive (without an IDE) somway into the installs it got confused about C: and D: and e:  Since it is windoze I just gave up and walked away.

Unix/Linix installs OK to scsi.

If I can can give anyone a hand with their kit, drop me a line.

----

Questions:

Sound - does anyone know the corrects for the sound conector on military kit?

Network - where can I get a connector for the fibre?  I run fibre in lots of places - but with SFP, not with that muckle big connector on the LXI.

Can anyone tell me what software ran on this kit?  I would like to mock up some screens, but I have no idea what the function of this unit was.

Thanks

lxi-a.jpg

lxi-a.jpg

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Is the sound connector 7 pin circular like this: clansman-headset-socket.gif ?

 

For the fibre LAN connections common military types are TFOCA (USA), Fischer FOH, and MIl-38999 DM - I think it will be a case of looking for pictures that match yours to find a source.  The catalogue at http://www.techoptics.com/products/harsh-environment/multiway-connectors/ has most of the common types with links to the data sheets - if the LXI is the same as IARCCS it looks a lot like the HMFM type ?

I did some work reconstructing the earlier BATES/BMETS Artillery fire control software that ran on a GEX PC-XT equivalent years ago http://www.g0ozs.org/misc/LACS/index.html - I wrote a DOS batch file to emulate the screens on a normal PC but it may be too long ago to run on any computer I have now. You could write a simple shell script or C program to run in a Linux console to produce similar screens I'm sure 

Best of luck 

Iain

 

 

Edited by g0ozs
Better links for data sheets
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  • 10 months later...

I also finally got my DRS LXI to run Win98SE and some DOS games.

At beginning, it always got stuck in the booting phase. Then inspired by this thread (http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?60359-NCR-SDMS-SCSI-hanging-(EDS-DRS-LXI-Military-Laptop)/page2) that their might be some issue with the BAMS board. After removing a jumper on it, the computer booted normally.

My next setup is to replace the PC Card of Ethernet + Modem with a one for WLAN, then I can go online and get software and games much easier. Actually I got one which has however a CardBus interface which differs slightly from the old PC Card. Then another from CISCO is ordered and on the way.

This thread is also very helpful for me to  recover my LXI. Many thanks to all contributors especially Iain and Heinrich!

Besides this page (https://www.multi-board.com/board/index.php?thread/80350-wiederbelebung-eines-drs-lxi-militär-notebook/) and the note in PDF format helps me a lot in disassemble it and replace the CMOS battery.

Another question is that, does anyone know that how could I get the sound from LXI??
It has a build-in Yamaha sound card but there seems to be no audio port or jacket at all.

 

Best regards,

Hanwen

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IMG_20200106_114420_1.jpg

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  • 4 months later...
  • 9 months later...

Hello,

I really like how DRS LXI it looks and really want to build a new computer in a DRS LXI case.

I looked for almost 2 years to buy one... but it's impossible to find one.

and I would love to find one completely dead with no chance of  being fixed (it will be a really tragedy to transform a functional old laptop)

Can somebody please help me to buy only the case?

I am from Sweden but I am willing to pay for the shipping from anywhere (at a reasonable price).

Thank you in advance and have a nice day,

Florin

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21 hours ago, Florin said:

Hello,

I really like how DRS LXI it looks and really want to build a new computer in a DRS LXI case.

I looked for almost 2 years to buy one... but it's impossible to find one.

and I would love to find one completely dead with no chance of  being fixed (it will be a really tragedy to transform a functional old laptop)

Can somebody please help me to buy only the case?

I am from Sweden but I am willing to pay for the shipping from anywhere (at a reasonable price).

Thank you in advance and have a nice day,

Florin

I've got one that sort of works - it needs a new screen as there are rows of pixels missing, although it could just be the driver card.  Just beware that they are very heavy!

Andy

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I've stripped my LXI to send to Florin just in case someone gets excited about exporting 1990s military technology to Sweden.  That leaves me with two circuit boards which were working last time I fired it up, but no promises. if anyone wants them as spares drop me a DM.

Andy

LXI IMG_0786.jpg

Edited by andym
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This is a bit of a trip down memory lane!

I worked on IARRCIS and later ATTACS in the system support groups for both so was involved early on in the development of these things..!

We had the main grey terminal boxes (can't remember their name), the smaller green "laptops" that were called Liaisons as they were allegedly portable! as well as Cisco routers, hubs, printers all in tempest protection so weighed a tonne to lug around!

I think someone was asking about the big brass connector, if they meant this one, its the ruggedised fibre connection that had a big brass, rip your skin off connector! These were adapted to point vertically as they were shoved back against a wall or something and would snap the fibres which IIRC were a good few thousand each!

image.png.c4b9a5636eb420f6d5b6fe6d0cfd93df.png

There is a later version up for auction I see...

https://bid.mod-sales.com/auctions/7759/witham10115/lot-details/5991bfab-c084-4cee-9cfa-acea00f58edd

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  • 7 months later...

Hello again,

 

Unfortunately the laptop received from Andy is not the right model for me.

I had no idea that there is more than one model. (the one I received is not very thick; it has around 60mm)

Does anyone have a thicker model for sale (I believe it should be around 80mm)?

I am interested in the body only (no internal cards or other electronics).

If not I will have to cut and extend the body height (and i really don't want to do that).

 

Best regards,

Florin

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