Click for homepage
DRS - LXI
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.
  
Close of the keyboard and part of the screen

Also at the rear are two DB9 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 Thomson-CSF (now: Thales) [A].

The closed laptop Close of the keyboard and part of the screen The opened laptop All connections are at the rear The peripheral connections at the rear of the laptop showing the TEMPEST shielding on some connectors Mains and 24V connections at the rear of the laptop Mains voltage cable Radio connection cable
A
×
A
1 / 8
The closed laptop
A
2 / 8
Close of the keyboard and part of the screen
A
3 / 8
The opened laptop
A
4 / 8
All connections are at the rear
A
5 / 8
The peripheral connections at the rear of the laptop showing the TEMPEST shielding on some connectors
A
6 / 8
Mains and 24V connections at the rear of the laptop
A
7 / 8
Mains voltage cable
A
8 / 8
Radio connection cable

Storage case
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.
  
The printer (left) and the laptop (right) stored inside the container

Front view of the storage container One of the locks of the container The air pressure balancing vent ID label inside the container Interior of the bottom of the container Interior of the top lid Printer and laptop inside the container The printer (left) and the laptop (right) stored inside the container
B
×
B
1 / 8
Front view of the storage container
B
2 / 8
One of the locks of the container
B
3 / 8
The air pressure balancing vent
B
4 / 8
ID label inside the container
B
5 / 8
Interior of the bottom of the container
B
6 / 8
Interior of the top lid
B
7 / 8
Printer and laptop inside the container
B
8 / 8
The printer (left) and the laptop (right) stored inside the container

Documentation
  1. TALP, Manuel d'installation et d'utilisation
    Thomson-CSF, December 1999. Edition A-9912. NSN: 7610-13-117-4606.

  2. DRS Technologies, Company Brochure 2003/4
    DRS, 25 August 2003.
Further information
Any links shown in red are currently unavailable. If you like the information on this website, why not make a donation?
Crypto Museum. Created: Tuesday 18 May 2010. Last changed: Wednesday, 16 January 2019 - 13:44 CET.
Click for homepage