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Motorola MDT9100 conversion

This Motorola MDT9100, converted by Trammell Hudson, comes with an informative blog post.

These Motorola MDT-9100T mobile data terminals may be familiar from US police cars. Their retrofuturistic design, weirdly stylish housing combined with the awesome-looking amber CRT with a slight Fallout vibe make them the ideal donors for cyberdeck projects.

That's something Trammell Hudson may have thought:

The original system had an i386SX running Windows 3.1 in a locked-down kiosk mode that would only allow the radio application to run. [...] I wanted to make mine into a more modern computer, while preserving the amber CRT and keyboard – Trammell Hudson.

Check the project documentation for details.

Btw, the history of the Motorola MDT-range dates back to the late 1970s, when Canadian-based MDSI (Mobile Data Solutions Inc.) introduced the first car-mounted terminal. The company was later bought by Motorola who introduced the name MDT (Mobile Data Terminal). In 1993, parts of the MDT business were separated out of Motorola again, and were sold back to some of the original owners. Today, the business is known as MDT Technologies Inc., or MDT for short (source).

Several versions of the 9100 were introduced over the years, developed for use by the Police and were mainly built into police vehicles.

The unit consists of a fairly small processor board (CPU) inside a rugged plastic case with a built-in CRT screen and a small keyboard mounted at the front. The screen is 30, 40 or 80 characters wide and 24 or 25 lines high, and is used to the display messages sent by despatch.

The MDT-9100 became a popular mobile terminal and was used by many Police Agencies world-wide, well into the 2000s and in some countries even as late as 2010.

Published on Sat 9th Oct 2021. Featured in KBD #47 (source).


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