ML900 Product Information

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ML900 Product Information

Post by Pj »

Updated 4/9/2012

The Motorola ML900 is 2nd rugged laptop released. The ML850 was the first. It resembles the Panasonic Toughbook, but the laptop was manufactured by GETAC (MITEK), possibly based on the W130 or B300 design. The ML900 came in three revisions:

Revsion 1.0 - P4 1.7GHz laptop. This can quickley identified by having a firewire port
Revision 1.1 - Known as the ML900-NOA. This is a Pentium M 1.8GHz based system and can be identified by having a RJ11 modem port in place of the firewire port
Revision 1.2 - Same as the ML900-NOA but supported two "mickey mouse" ears on the display to allow use of a CDMA or GSM modem

The ML900 was replaced by the ML910.

The laptop is a fully sealed Magnesium alloy housing and is MIL-STD-810F. Due to this, the laptop weighs in around 9lbs.

One of the traits of the laptops that users tend to notice is its heat properties. As it is a fully sealed unit, under heavy operation the unit may become noticiably warm with the cooling fan in high gear. During normal operation the fan tends to run continuiously at a low speed. The fan area should not be blocked at anytime.

Sample model numbers:

HK1330A (HKUN4049A) - No GPS, 80GB HD, 512MB
HK1332A (HKUN4049A) - No GPS, 80GB HD, 2GB
HK1335A (HKUN4049A) - No GPS, 80GB HD, 2GB
HK1337A (HKUN4050A) - GPS, 80GB HD, 1GB
HK1338A (HKUN4050A) - GPS, 80GB HD, 2GB

HK1675A - ML910 - 80GB HD, 512MB, CD-RW

Common to both ML900's

512MB of RAM (two 200-pin PC2100 DDR SO-DIMM)
64MB Video Memory (Intel 855GME)
XGA Display (12.1" or 13.3")
Fingerprint reader
Popup RF antenna for modem options
DB9 serial port
DVI video port (supports 1600x1200x16 max)
Docking port
USB 2.0 x2
10/100 LAN
Type 2 Carbus slot
X-Bay (for internal RF options)
Mini-PCI slot (WIFI card or other)
Video in (Conexant 878A PCI; BNC-type)
Bottom of unit GPS and RF passthru
Metal IP54 covers for all port
Stereo Speakers (Realtek ALC202, AC97 support)
6000mAh Li-Ion Battery
Intergated carry handle

ML900 options

RAM upgrade to 2GB (PC2100 1GBx2)
12.1 or 13.3in display
-Sunlight readable transflective LCD display
PRM240 Private DataTAC modem
GSM modem
GPRS modem
iDEN modem
CDMA modem
Motomesh modem
WIFI (Intel PRO/Wireless 2100 LAN mini-PCI)
Internal GPS Trimbe M-Loc MPM for P4, Trimble iQ for -NOA
Internal Bluetooth or IR
Sealed backlit keyboard
Rubberized backlit keyboard
MODS cable that allows the use of a MW800 display


There is some conflicting information on the GPS units used in the ML900. The best information available is that the ML900 P4 uses the Trimble M-Loc MPM and/or the Trimble Lassen SQ unit. The ML900-NOA uses the Trimble iQ. The GPS is located on the top of the motherboard, and is secured by a metal cover that has light soldering to keep it in place and looks like it can be removed with a little heated solder. HOWEVER, you must disassemble the entire laptop and remove all RF cables to remove the motherboard to even see the GPS which is located on the bottom of the motherboard when disassembled. Lots of screws, lots of patience and but not really difficult. This does allow the ability to add/upgrade the GPS in the future. Once the shield is removed, its plug/play.

The GPS in the ML900 P4 can be enabled/disabled via the BIOS. On the ML900-NOA it is disabled by default and is then enabled/disabled by the FN+F12 key. It can be set on by default by the MOTOCTRL software in windows.

If you cannot communicate with the GPS, the Trimble default is the TISP format. You will need to download the Trimble Studio software (free from Trimble) to change the settings to NMEA output.

If you are unsure if the GPS is installed, a quick way is to remove the cover around the LCD hinges. If there are four RF cables, the GPS antenna (at the least) is installed and it will be safe to say that the unit has a GPS. If there are only three, chances are it is not. The RF modem antenna and the WIFI antenna (two wires) are routed through there.

FN Key assignments

FN+F1 - Keyboard backlight on/off
FN+F3 - Volume down
FN+F4 - Volume up
FN+F5 - LCD brightness down
FN+F6 - LCD brightness up
FN+F7 - Touchpad enabled/disable
FN+F8 - LCD on/off
FN+F10 - Sleep button (Windows defined)
FN+F12 - GPS on/off

COM Port assignments
COM1 - DB9 port
COM2 - Internal RF modem (if present)
COM3 - Touchscreen (if present)
COM4 - Internal COM port for computer settings
COM5 - Internal GPS (if present)

Docking stations

There are three docking stations available to the ML900.
-Office dock (port replacator)
-Vehicle dock / no RF passthru DDN7502
-Vehicle dock with GPS/RF passthru DDN7501

The OEM for the docking stations is Gamber Johnson. Both vehicle docks appear to be NLA from Motorola and does not appear to be offered anymore from Gamber Johnson. The office dock is still available from Motorola and has a list price of approx $630.

Power/Power Management

The laptop is fully ACPI compliant and also supports Windows hibernation.

It takes approximately 197 minutes to charge the battery pack to 80%
capacity and four or more hours to fully charge the battery pack when the
computer is off.

The battery level may automatically lessen due to the self-discharge process
(0.21% per day), even when the battery pack is fully charged (100%). This happens no
matter if the battery pack is installed in the computer.

When the battery charge on the battery falls below 5%, then system will

Initializing the Battery Pack
You need to initialize a new battery pack before using it for the first time
or when the actual operating time of a battery pack is much less than

Initializing is the process of fully charging, discharging, and then
charging. It can take several hours.
1. Make sure the computer power is turned off. Connect the AC adapter
to fully charge the battery pack.
2. After the battery pack is fully charged, turn on the computer.
3. Disconnect the AC adapter and leave the computer on until the battery is fully discharged. The computer will shut down automatically.
4. Connect the AC adapter to fully charge the battery pack.

So you bought an eBay ML900

Well, there is good news and bad news depending on what you bought. If your unit does not have the bottom covers for a hard drive caddy, your pretty much screwed. These parts appear to be depot only items and are not orderable. If you need $30 worth of parts you will need to flat rate the unit at over $400. Your best bet is to buy a few of the cheap parts only units and build one complete unit.

Good news: If you have a complete unit and need drivers/software, they are publically available from a Motorola website.

For the P4 ML900: ...
For the NOA ML900: ...

ML900-NOA Broadband options
The ML900-NOA revision 1.2 is the only offical revision to support a CDMA or GSM modem. This is accompished by adding a 0180305M21 "GSM" board in the xBay. There are two versions of the board known to exist. One is the 0180305M21 which has a DIP switch that allows use of the Sierra Wireless MC5720 (and most likely the MC5725) CDMA Rev0/RevA cards, and the Sierra Wireless MC8765 (North America GSM/Dual band HSDPA UMTS 850/1900MHz) and the Sierra Wireless MC8755 Worldwide HSDPA UMTS (2100MHz), and the other is (will insert board number as soon as I open up the laptop again :lol: ). Both boards sport a SIM card slot.

These appear to work with the Revision 1.1 units with the following issues and possible workaround:

-The 1.1 does not have a provision to use WLAN and WWAN at the same time, as there are no extra antenna's for the WWAN. However, you could possibly disconnect one of the WLAN antennas and plug it into the aircard (connectors are the same and are routed to the same location in the xBay).

-The publically avaiable xBay software for the -NOA laptop is missing two lines of settings to tell the computer that there is a CDMA option. The available software only has three lines of for the PRM240 datatac modem and the two GSM modems. If anyone has a ML900-NOA revision 1.2, please contact me.

ML900 Accessories

HKLN4263A - Windows XP SP2 Motorola Restore CD (OS only)
FKN8215B - Display cable from vehicle dock to MW800 display ~$170

Internal Part Numbers
0180305M20 X-BAY ASSY;PRM240(DATATAC),ML900
0180305M21 X-BAY ASSY; GSM/GPRS, C20, ML900
0180305M78 ST KBD,ML900-NOA
0180305M75 88,US,BLACK,ML900-NOA
0180305M76 88,US,BACK LIGHT,ML900-NOA
0780384Y77 KEYBOARD,ML900-NOA
850880F58 TH-BLUETOOHT,2.4GHZ,ML900
412114700002 - PCB ASSY, HDD, ADP BD ML900-NOA (HD flex)
0187506V02 - HD Heater
0180305L68S - DVD-ROM/CDRW Drive
0180305K74S - 512MB DRAM module
0180305M25 - PWA;PWA-ML900-NOA SM ?
0180305M27 - PWA;PWA-ML900-NOA, M?
6408800F70 - Thermal Pad
7580384W32 - Rubber, Power On
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Re: ML-900 Product Information

Post by Timeport »


Yes, ML900 was made by GETAC/MITAC, but ML900 has been designed by Motorola standards and requirements, this is a Motorola unique design.

That´s the difference between Motorola ML8xx and ML9xx. Motorola ML8xx were branded laptops from GETAC.

ML900 was the first laptop designed by Motorola and ML910 is the successor of ML900 and also last rugged laptop from Motorola :-)
free Motorola ML900 drivers: ... ged-laptop

Motorola ML910 spare parts (incl. HDD caddy): ... overs-etc.

Please visit my Motorola collection at

OS on ML900s:
Win XP, SuSE Linux (internal HDD), Slax Linux (USB stick), Windows XP Embedded ( USB HDD inside), Win 7 Professional.

OS on ML910s:
Win XP and Windows 7 Ultimate
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