HOME | Notebooks | Slates | Handhelds | PANELS | Definitions & Specs | Ruggedness Testing | Industry leaders | About us
Mentor Ranger

Rugged in-vehicle computer for fleet management applications
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

Mentor Engineering is a privately held, fast-growing Canadian corporationwas founded in 1988 by a group of electrical engineers. Mentor specializes in offering a range of rugged, technically robust and functionally rich products for mobile workforces in a wide range of industries. The company offers a variety of products and solutions for mobile fleet management, route transit systems, web-based engine diagnostics and vehicle performance systems, automated dispatch systems, GPS-based vehicle vehicle tracking and mobile device-to-enterprise interfacing.

The Mentor Ranger, shown to the right, is a rugged Windows CE 5.0-based in-vehicle computer that allows real-time voice and data communication between drivers and dispatchers, supports work order management functions such as on-the-fly schedule changes, and provides vehicle telemetry, RFID and Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) information. The Ranger's optional internal 16-channel GPS and integrated navigation software allow drivers to access turn-by-turn directional prompts. The Ranger is also programmable over the air, saving organizations time and money.

Measuring just 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.6 inches and weighing only two pounds, the IP54-sealed Ranger is a compact device that can be mounted in almost any vehicle. Its 6.4-inch touchscreen with antiglare coating and a strong dual CCDL backlight (400 nit) can handle a wide variety of lighting conditions. There is also a light sensor.

In terms of communication, the Ranger has onboard USB host and client ports, and can be equipped with 802.11b WiFi as well as internal GPRS/EDGE/HSDPA/EVDO wireless data modems (they require an external antenna). As a specialized vehicle computer, the Ranger has an odometer and two vehicle I/O ports. An integrated taximeter is optional. There are also audio inputs and outputs and stereo speakers.

The Ranger is a rugged device with a very wide operating temperature range of -22 to 149 degrees Fahrenheit. It carries IP54 sealing, and has been tested in accordance with MIL-STD-810F procedures for shock and vibration.

Combined with Mentor's BBX wireless modem/AVL/telematic data collection device shown to the right, the Ranger can be used in Vehicle Tracking and Monitoring systems, improving the efficiency of fleet operations by connecting to in-vehicle devices and providing a variety of accurate, time-stamped fleet maintenance and management information.

In February of 2009, Mentor Engineering announced the Ranger's certification on the Alltel Wireless network. Alltel Wireless serves over 13 million customers across 34 states, including hard-to-service rural areas. 

Added/changed Added 02/2009
Form-factor Rugged vehicle mount computer
CPU Speed 400MHz Marvell XScale
OS Windows CE 5.0
RAM/ROM 128MB SDRAM/64-1024MB Flash
Hard Drive none
Card slots CF Card Type 2, Internal ISO 7816 smart card reader
Display type 256k color TFT with dual CCDL backlight (400 nits) and light sensor
Display size/res 6.4"/640 x 480
Digitizer/pens ITO touchscreen with 1.9mm glass surface and 3H coating hardness
Keyboard/keys Onscreen, optional external keyboard
Housing Policarbonate plastic (SABIC EXL 1414T with tactile wear-resistant coating)
Operating Temp -22 to 149 degrees Fahrenheit
Sealing IP54
Shock MIL-STD 810F Method 516.5 Procedure 1: Functional Shock
Vibration MIL-STD-810F Method 514.4 Procedure 1: General Vibration, Category 20 Ground Vehicles
Size (WxHxD) 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.6
Weight 2.0 lbs.
Power Vehicle 9-32VDC
Interface USB host and client, audio in/out, RS-232, stereo speakers, odometer and 2 vehicle I/O
Wireless 802.11b-capable, wireless modems (HSDPA/1xEvDO), optional internal GPS, optional integrated magcard reader, opional SIM slot
List price inquire
Contact Mentor Engineering
  • What does "rugged" mean?
  • Rugged Specs Primer
  • FIPS 201
  • Intrinsic Safety
  • NEMA Ratings
  • IP Rating
  • Active vs passive digitizers
  • RFID
  • RFID vs. Bar Code
  • RFID viruses and worms
  • RoHS
  • Outdoor-readable screens '07
  • Wide-angle LCDs '04
  • Search
    Web RuggedPC Review