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  1. #1
    121Traffic's Avatar
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    Backlit MDT keyboards?

    The MDTs we use in our vehicles are Toughbooks, made by Panasonic. Unfortunately, they do not have a backlit keyboard. Most officers use the vehicle's maplight to illuminate the thing...which illuminates other stuff too. In addition, they are mounted in such a way that prolonged typing (i.e. report writing) is virtually impossible.

    I'm hoping to find a compact USB keyboard that is backlit that I can plug into the thing. I'm hoping I can find the type that you can hang on the steering wheel to type reports on, and place somewhere else accessible to run clearances while on patrol, etc. Any ideas?
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

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  2. #2
    Andrewtx's Avatar
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    Maybe something like this?

    http://www.fentek-ind.com/illuminated.htm#kbmblusb


    The flexible kind are neat, but I don't know if anyone makes flexible ones that are backlit.

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    We used the toughbooks too. They SUCKED!
    When you find yourself in a hole............QUIT DIGGING!!!!!!!!!

    OK guys time to come clean. I am not only a police officer but I am also a big time movie star. I am using my real photo as my avatar now. Please NO autographs!!!!

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  4. #4
    Jks9199 is online now The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    I think the MDTs we got are Toughbooks. They did have a backlight for the keyboard, at least in the model we've got.

    (The software we got... That's a different issue. I'm taking odds on whether it'll work as promised on delivery by the end of the first year it's been in use...)

  5. #5
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    We had toughbooks at my old department. They were backlit. The one posted above looks pretty cool.
    In law enforcement, the customer is ALWAYS wrong.

    In God we trust. Everyone else is run through NCIC.

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  6. #6
    Darin's Avatar
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    We have Toughbooks but not the usual Toughbooks that most agencies have. We have the "semi - rugged" laptops. I don't know if they are cheaper than the rugged Toughbooks or not. But they are much smaller.


    http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp...l=Toughbook-T4


    Ours don't have the backlit keyboard either. I use the illumination from the screen to light up my keys.


    I will not sit in my car and write a report. Our system is capable of that but it's way SLOOOOOOOWWWWWW doing it that way. I can knock out 5 reports back at the office before I can do 1 report in the car.

  7. #7
    121Traffic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darin
    We have Toughbooks but not the usual Toughbooks that most agencies have. We have the "semi - rugged" laptops. I don't know if they are cheaper than the rugged Toughbooks or not. But they are much smaller.


    http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp...l=Toughbook-T4


    Ours don't have the backlit keyboard either. I use the illumination from the screen to light up my keys.


    I will not sit in my car and write a report. Our system is capable of that but it's way SLOOOOOOOWWWWWW doing it that way. I can knock out 5 reports back at the office before I can do 1 report in the car.
    Those look pretty fragile! We use these, and they are literally indestructible.
    http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp...l=Toughbook-18

    I find that with the screen too bright, even in my software's "night" mode, it can ruin my night vision. Therefore, I turn the brightness waaaaayyy down, just high enough to read the information. If I have to turn it up for a second I will, but even when it's high it's tough to see.

    As for writing reports, we don't even have the capability yet, technically. I and lots of others, however, will bust out narratives in MS Word and then just save them to a flash drive (PD issued), and import them later.
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "121Traffic" on O/R.

  8. #8
    Darin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 121Traffic
    Those look pretty fragile! We use these, and they are literally indestructible.
    http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp...l=Toughbook-18

    I find that with the screen too bright, even in my software's "night" mode, it can ruin my night vision. Therefore, I turn the brightness waaaaayyy down, just high enough to read the information. If I have to turn it up for a second I will, but even when it's high it's tough to see.

    As for writing reports, we don't even have the capability yet, technically. I and lots of others, however, will bust out narratives in MS Word and then just save them to a flash drive (PD issued), and import them later.
    We've had them over a year and absolutely no problems. Well I take that back. I had the L button pop off on me. I found it a day later in my bag which was strapped on the passenger seat. Looks like yours has the rubber mat over the keys.


    I also turn down my brightness but leave it bright enough to see the keyboard. I keep the lid down on the MDT until I'm ready to use it.
    Last edited by Darin; 07-23-06 at 08:59 PM.

  9. #9
    Andrewtx's Avatar
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    http://www.cableguyusa.com/cgi-bin/c...-741-flex.html


    That might be a simpler solution..a lot cheaper, anyway. Guess it doesn't make typing for a long period of time easier, though.

  10. #10
    121Traffic's Avatar
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    Thanks Andrew, but as of right now I use the map light in my car to illuminate the keyboard. Maybe not the map light you are thinking of on the dome or the rearview mirror, but something that looks very similar to what you posted that is connected to the controller unit for my lights, etc.
    "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge." -- Ronald Reagan, in the wake of the deaths of 4 CHP troopers in the Newhall Incident, 1970

    The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "121Traffic" on O/R.

 

 

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