Full-size military laptop
LXI is a rugged PC developed around 1999 by
DRS technologies in the USA.
The PC is housed in a stong military-grade enclosure and has many provisions to make
it TEMPEST safe.
It has a built-in laptop-style LCD screen, a detachable
keyboard and a series of peripheral connections at the rear.
The DRS LXI runs on Windows and has a built-in harddisc.
The rugged keyboard can be removed from the laptop and placed on the table.
To the right of the keys is a built-in tracker ball which is used as a
replacement for the mouse.
Additional buttons are placed around the black tracker ball.
At the front of the PC, behind a hinged TEMPEST
shielded lid, is a removable 3.5" harddisc.
At the right is another shielded lid that gives access to two PCMCIA expansion slots.
All connections are at the rear. It has a standard VGA socket for
the connection of an (optional) external monitor.
Also at the rear are two DE9 RS-232 ports (COM1 & COM2) plus a DB25
(Centronics compatible) printer port.
The latter is used for connection of the ink jet printer that is supplied with the unit.
Storage capacity can be extended by connecting an external SCSI device.
The device has a built-in modem, which allows it to be connected
to an analogue two-wire military field line.
Furthermore, there are connections for ethernet (NET)
and for the Belgian BAMS combat net radio system.
The LXI was later succeeded by improved versions, such as the LXI-3 that
was released in 2003. Apart from the common improvements in performance,
drive capacity and speed, it is nearly identical to the standard LXI.
In the past, DRS has also manufactured TEMPEST-shielded PCs.
For the Belgian market, DRS equipment was sold and supported by
Although the rugged enclosure of the DRS laptop is perfectly
suitable for storing and transporting the machine, the computer was usually packed
inside a large air-tight fiber storage container with a removable top.
The computer and the complementary printer are mounted inside this
container in such a way that they can both be operated without removing
them from the protective foam.
The image on the right shows a dark grey HP ink jet printer (left) with the
green DRS laptop to its right. The cables of both units are embedded in the
foam in such a way that all peripherals can be left connected whilst stored
in the container.
Other cables can be stored in a compartment underneath the
laptop, or inside a special compartment inside the top lid of the container.
For transport by air freight, the pressure of the air inside the container
can be balanced with the outside, by means of a small valve at the front.
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© Crypto Museum. Created: Tuesday 18 May 2010. Last changed: Tuesday, 14 May 2019 - 08:45 CET.