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Dan Nixon

Code Monkey, Electronics Engineer, Mad Scientist.

Rugged Laptop Case

By Dan Nixon on 2015-09-17

My old HP G62 laptop has been on it’s last legs for a while now and the display and battery were pretty much buggered, the display was very temperamental and required constant pressure on the display in order to maintain a stable image.

The battery would only hold a charge for round 5 minutes, but since this is a 5 year old laptop that has been heavily used over those years I let that one slide.

I did however still use this laptop as a workshop computer for that I didn’t mind getting even more beat up, having things spilled on it or dropped on it, etc. for the sake of that not happening to my new laptop.

As such I decided to take a spare cheap flight case and fit the laptop into that, the original plan was to just replace the display with a cheap LED monitor but after getting the laptop apart actually fixing the display connector was pretty easy.

Of course I could have just put the laptop back together at this point, but up until then I hadn’t really been paying attention as to which screws came from where and probably broke most of the clips that held the two halves of the bottom section together, so I went on with the flight case idea.

After much buggering about trying to get the various mounting holes on the lower half of the case and the LCD panel to line up with the Acrylic parts I was machining I ended up with the following which I was quite happy with.

Originally I had planned to use a single section of clear Acrylic to mount the display on then the LCD would be near impossible to damage if the lid was accidentally dropped onto something, but since there was not a section large enough I went with a black fascia for now.

I plan to simply fasten a clear section over the black fascia at some point which will probably end up looking better anyway as you wouldn’t really want to see what is behind the LCD panel anyway (a couple of wooden bars that the fascia is screwed to).

I also ended up cutting around 4” off the right hand side of the lower case to allow access to the ports on the right hand side, this did mean relocating the power connector which in hindsight would have been a lot better if I had mounted it so that the connector sits horizontally when connected.

I had also originally planned to mount the original keyboard on the Acrylic panel holding in the main body of the laptop, however as the motherboard was shifted to the right the cable would no longer reach the connector on the motherboard.

For all that I still find wrong with it however, I still like this new case and with a couple of modifications can see it being a very useful PC for a while yet.

I do need to find a reasonable keyboard (preferably with an integrated track pad) that actually fits in the case though, I do have a Bluetooth one that I bought for my tablet that would be ideal but I don’t seem to have any luck getting it to work well with Ubuntu (on Windows it is fine).