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“Military grade” Linux PDA gains WiFi, Bluetooth

Jul 7, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

Tripod Data System (TDS) has updated its Recon series of rugged handheld computers. The new Recon-X series PDAs feature twice as much Flash memory (up to 256 MB) as the original, along with optional built-in Bluetooth and 802.11g WiFi. A Linux-based version will begin beta testing next week, and ship in July or early August.

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TDS's rugged PDAs come standard with Microsoft operating systems, but are available with Linux through distributor SDG Systems. SDG was originally contracted to port Linux to TDS's rugged PDAs by 10East, a vertical market vendor serving the railroad industry.

Mike Wilson, of 10East, explains, “10East has provided ongoing funding to SDG Systems for the Linux porting of this product line, just so we could provide the very best handheld technology to our rail market. We are not interested in business outside of the rail market, so we have worked out an arrangement with Todd Blumer and TDS that enables Todd's company to service all other market segments.”

Blumer says SDG is currently readying a beta Linux implementation for the Recon-X series PDAs. Blumer said, “We expect to release the product with beta software in about a week, with a shipping release by the end of July or early August. The pricing will be the same as for the Recon X-Series with Windows Mobile.”

Recon-X models and features

TDS says the new Recon-X series includes two models: the Recon 200X features a 200 MHz XScale processor and 128 MB of Flash memory; the 400X features a 400 MHz processor and 256 MB of Flash memory. Other new features include a built-in microphone, a redesigned keypad, and an improved color touchscreen.

Basic specificatons of the Recon-X series include:

  • Processor — PXA255
    • 200X — 200 MHz
    • 400X — 400 MHz
  • Memory — 64 MB SDRAM
    • 200X — 128 MB Flash
    • 400X — 256 MB Flash
  • Display — sunlight-readable color TFT with touchscreen, 240 x 320, size not specified
  • I/O ports:
    • USB device
    • serial, 9-pin D connector
    • Audio — built-in speaker and microphone
  • Expansion — Type I and Type II CompactFlash slots
  • Wireless — optional built-in Bluetooth and 802.11g WiFi
  • Dimensions — 6.50 x 3.75 x 1.75 inches (16.5 x 9.5 x 4.5 cm)

Like the original, the Recon-X series meets the MIL-STD-810F standard for drops, vibration, and temperature extremes, according to TDS. It also has an IP67 rating, making it impervious to water and dust.


The Recon-X series is available now from TDS-authorized dealers and value-added resellers, according to the company.

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