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Nuclear Launch Command Briefcase: N-L-C-B

by Sampleth9


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

Jan. 8, 2015

Date Built

Dec. 20, 2014

CPU Clock Rate

3.5 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

23.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

50.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.176 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

5.4 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

22.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

43.0° C



There are a LOT of pictures, all through the build process.

EDIT: Using an Oculus VR in the middle of a school hallway sitting next to a box with some fans in it gets you a lot of attention form teachers, students, and administration staff...

Now that this 3 month (to acquire parts) project has been wrapped up, the Nuclear Launch Command Briefcase, or NLCB, is ready to begin service as a tool for occupation while at school. Totaling in at an estimated 23 pounds, this full featured computer is capable of performance gaming anywhere you may find a power outlet.

All of those pictures are most that I took during the build process, including a couple injuries (Acrylic is sharp).

This build was inspired by Mission Impossible, or other spy action movies with the presidential briefcase that he uses to command nuclear arsenal with his hand print and a big red button.

I started research with the LCD panel, a Samsung replacement model that is full 1080p for a laptop. The screen is 15.6" and super bright, something like 300 cd/m2. The LCD controller kit had to be imported from China, a full 3 week process, but it came with the proper LVDS cable and a custom VGA connector cable. All I had to do was slice a +12v wire out of the power supply, solder to hot and ground, and shrink wrap it. It powers on nicely, and the BIOS picks it up in half a second with ASRrock fast boot.

The case came after I solved the dimensions of the LCD panel, about 14" x 9". I knew gator made utility cases, but they are no longer in manufacturing. The original case I had was 2" taller, allowing a keyboard and mouse to fit inside but after 10 days of "processing" my order, the company claimed they were out of stock. I quickly ordered the shorter model and received it without a problem.

The case plastic is butter under a good knife and sandpaper, but acrylic, which I used for framing and casing, is hard as stone. I used a total of 3 square feet of black, and 2 square feet of clear acrylic, a good half a bottle of Weld-ON, and 4 syringes because the Weld-ON ate right through them and destroyed them. Scoring, Dremmeling, table saw, and grinding wheel were my main shaping tools.

All of the acrylic segments are bolted in place, with nuts super glued where necessary.



i5: Fast gaming, good temperatures, on sale :) not much else to say.


The original cooler was a Silverstone thing, but since that ended up being too tall, my next choice, the BIG Shuriken is whisper quiet and keeps everything crazy cool with enough pressure and airflow to vent the entire case.


I love blue. And ASRock. My other major build is an ASRock of the same family, blue and Z97. This board came with a pre-installed wireless 802.11 AC adapter, so I disassembled the casing and glued the antennas to the lid of the case, near the LCD controller.


Short enough. Fast enough. Good brand. On sale.


I originally wanted these in RAID0, but then decided against it because of Intel Rapid Storage Manager not liking that setup and the OS and drivers being on the same volume. Samsung SSDs are great, and they are often on sale. They are both hooked to the SATA express lanes on the motherboard to ensure no bottlenecks.

Video Card:

Oh man. This was a piece of work. The card needed to be on a riser to fit, and I didn't take into account the labeling when I layed out the parts, so its upside down. Oh well, I'll live. After that, i had to cut a huge hole in the clear acrylic to let the fan breathe. THEN after all was done, the drivers would constantly crahs. I had no idea why, until a hidden comment on a random thread pointed be to the PCIe link bus speed. When set to auto in BIOS, it is optimized for overclocking on a GEN3 (PCIe 3.0) bandwidth. when set to GEN1 or GEN2, however, the bus bandwidth is throttled so that the riser cable doesn't cause any issues with the card clock falling out of sync with the motherboard, causing a driver crash.

There is also an HDMI powered, HDMI to VGA adapter tucked away, and a 90 degree adapter for the video card to fit. a little snug, but it holds everything in place well.


The Corsair RM line does not turn on its fan until a certain load is hit, and this build does not hit that limit, even with the 48W LCD controller.

I am currently using a Logitech Keyboard/Mouse combo that are easy to move, so I just pack them in my backpack, grab a power cable, and move. I used InstaMorph plastic to secure the PSU in place, that stuff is amazing. although the price list isn't totally done (still working on it) i estimate the grand total to be $1500for this entire mobile rig.

Any Questions/comments will be answered in the section below :)

Comments Sorted by:

M3RICA_ 12 points 51 months ago

Can you build me one of those cases? I wanna piss of border security...

Hazarded 6 points 51 months ago

Just go to the airport…

Eximo 4 Builds 4 points 51 months ago

Funny story:

Our company recently added Toughbooks to our available machines. When our preview/training team went on a world wide trip they got stopped 3 times with "What is that?" questions by various airport and customs authorities.

At one point they asked for a demonstration so our deployment leader turned it on, dropped it on the floor, and had one of the security guards stand on it.

Picture for reference: http://www.notebookcheck.net/uploads/tx_nbc2/dell6420XFR_2.jpg

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 2 points 51 months ago

That looks like something out of Halo or Call of Duty

Hazarded 1 point 51 months ago

That looks amazing

vikingXcore 4 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

yes, the almighty toughbook!! I would rate it between Chuck norris and Nokia (depending on the model). We would NOT try to break our's on deployment. Those things can really take a beating!

Eximo 4 Builds 3 points 50 months ago

We performed the following before even taking it on the trip: Running an engine calibration job while in an 225 F oven. Passed. (Though our standard laptop passed this too) Running it over with a Jeep (33 inch tires). Passed. Submerged in muddy water for 1 hour. Passed. Standing on the hinge with the laptop face down. Passed. Throwing it to the ground at various angles and heights. Rebooted, but passed.

Honestly we couldn't break it short of intentional destruction.

MKC 1 point 46 months ago

That sounded pretty intentional

XxD34THxX 1 point 45 months ago

My friend threw his out of a second story window(long story) and it was fine afterwards...

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

You send me parts, I send you briefcase computer

M-Zane 3 points 51 months ago

Great build!!! but the cuts in the case for the I/O and PSU make me sad.

Maybe enlarge the I/O hole to be able to put the shield in.

Also cut a rectangular hole for the PSU and use some mesh the cover the intake portion.

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

I measured and tried to find a way to work the shield in, but there isnt a way to do it without compromising the safety of the motherboard and stability of the acrylic base.

However now that I have my fancy pants new Dremmel 4000, I'll be sanding and more finely shaping all holes in the case ans acrylic.

jagoxz 1 Build 2 points 51 months ago

Someone give this guy a medal.. +1

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

Why thank you

testekelz 2 points 51 months ago

Take it to the airport :3

Dubben 1 Build 1 point 51 months ago

you da real MVP

Meithen 2 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

Sweet build, really unique!

sajiin 1 point 51 months ago
  • 1 for being really unique build, + 1 for more pictures that I have ever seen anyone post for a build on PCPP, and a Gamer's purple heart for the wounds you received in battle.
Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

I have twice as much video than I do pictures, Im making a youtube showcase video

E_Quitzau 1 Build 1 point 51 months ago

+1. Extremely nice build sir. The work you put in and the concept are astounding. I agree with another commenter on here though; enlarge the I/O hole so you can fit in the shield. I wish I could give it +10.

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

Like I replied, it compromises safety and stability of the case

E_Quitzau 1 Build 1 point 51 months ago

Fair enough, I can respect that... enjoy your machine man!

kylclrk 1 point 51 months ago

First of all, this is an amazing build. I've always wanted to have a briefcase computer.

Second, I agree with the others that have said to enlarge the I/O hole & the PSU hole. If you could figure out a way to use the I/O shield, that'd be awesome. Maybe sand down the holes so they're straighter?

Still really amazing!!

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

See the other replies about I/O shield

Arkwoman1990 1 Build 1 point 51 months ago

This looks awesome

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

I think it works awesome too

xx116xx 3 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

DOPE build. This is insane.

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

You and I are on the same page about the blue/black color schemes. Check out my other big build and I think you would appreciate the coloring

xx116xx 3 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

Ahhh, yes... I remember that one. Beautiful.

mrsimplycrazy 1 point 51 months ago

I think you're qualified to work for the CIA now.

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

Im going to build one for my dad here soon so he can use it for fieldwork... Not like Special Forces badassery but just for regular work. it will have to be much more rugged and a bit less stylish

mrsimplycrazy 1 point 51 months ago

What do mean by regular? Regular intelligence work? ;D

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

Unless you count surveying gas pipeline :)

mrsimplycrazy 1 point 51 months ago

I suppose that IS gaining intelligence. Maybe one could blow it up.

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 2 points 51 months ago

Cool guys dont look at explosions

Scrounger 4 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

I think you could win "build of the year" with this one, and its only the first week of the year! I'm amazed that you got the laptop display to talk nicely to the motherboard.

You might want to fashion some rubber protectors for all cutouts in the briefcase when not in use. Just freeze some rubber and dremel into shape. An unexpected rainfall or splash could kill your $1500 invention pretty fast.

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

Thats a great idea, I'll look into that

overclockingfreak 2 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

Now that is AWESOME!

IMojoe134 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

my new favorite build on this site. Some else did it before you, i forget who but it was not as good as yours as it was more cramped and not as good looking.

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 45 months ago

I think there was one with a Razer keyboard bracketed to the side. It was very artistic.

IMojoe134 1 Build 2 points 45 months ago

i found it, https://pcpartpicker.com/b/XpWZxr

That one definitely doesn't look as good as yours but it performs better.

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 45 months ago

What I would have given to have a right angled, wood case.

IMojoe134 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

You could've made one

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 45 months ago

This is true... Maybe someday

Luigiox 3 Builds 1 point 45 months ago

Oh my GLOB! +1

ROG2000 1 point 43 months ago

I am wondering: Do you think that you could do this with a keyboard installed and a 297mm GPU?? I am wondering because I am interested in putting my parts into something like this but with a different case (in the link)

Case: http://www.amazon.com/Pelican-1610-Case-Camera-Black/dp/B000WAWSR6/ref=pd_rhf_dp_s_cp_21?ie=UTF8&refRID=0BNA8PYBJ0Q5VWQBBQWH

Monitor: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H7PBSN4/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_2?pf_rd_p=1944687702&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B000HAR8UI&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0NM4S6FVPYP4Q58H35Q2

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 43 months ago

I wouldn't buy a monitor. A lot of times lcd/led monitors have a compression seal around the screen and without it the display wont function properly. I would use this tool


to find a panel with the correct dimensions and its appropriate controller. This way the entire assembly is much leaner, and you have more room in the case. As to the keyboard and gpu, its up to you to really measure carefully to determine if its possible. Get the dimensions of your parts, and make little paper boxes with the scaled dimensions if you have to. I measured everything twice and still ended up moving things around by the end.

ROG2000 1 point 43 months ago

Do they have 22" displays with 2 HDMI in ports? Looking to have a Wii (with an HDMI adapter) and my PC in a briefcase.

ROG2000 1 point 43 months ago

Okay, thanks!

ROG2000 1 point 43 months ago

I can't figure out how it works. Could you explain it to me??

ROG2000 1 point 43 months ago

How much do these cost (the panels + controllers)???

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 43 months ago

For a panel and controller, you will have to find them on Amazon, digikey, Mouser or any other electronics distibutor. It will depend on all sorts off factors about the individual panel. Controllers are easy to find on aliexpress or other distributor from China. If you want to use wiimotes, you will need to make sure you have bluetooth and an IR "reference" assembly. Look that up if you dont know what I'm talking about. The number of HDMI ports is dependent on the controller, and the size of the screen is diagonal, keep that in mind.

ROG2000 1 point 43 months ago

So, what if I do use a monitor? (Note: The case is some 23"x16"x10" so it's pretty big since I plan to have my Wii and my PC with a 11.5" GPU and ATX Mobo + Keyboard and mouse inside)

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 43 months ago

the only problem i have with monitors for these kinds of applications is their thickness, lack of mounting points, and their poor ability to route cables. If you can find a monitor that will fit nicely, then go for it, but it may not be as stable, or as easy to mount as a panel + driver board

ROG2000 1 point 43 months ago

Will the monitor make it bad or just not as nice? Because I did find those "borderless monitors" in 23" which fits

ROG2000 1 point 43 months ago

My plan is to do this, but have the keyboard built-in. It would also have support to use a mouse on and two WiiMotes for a Nintendo Wii feature. But mine will not modify the case, so it still looks 100% like a briefcase, no cutouts.

trickrider2002 1 point 42 months ago

What riser did you use for the graphics card?

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 42 months ago


one of these, I also have one with an external molex and decoupler cap that I would use with a higher watt video card

trickrider2002 1 point 42 months ago


trickrider2002 1 point 41 months ago

Do you think I could get a Corsair H80i (https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-cpu-cooler-h80i) in the case without it looking horrendous? Also, how did you mount the screen?

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 41 months ago

In this particular case? Not a chance. Its simply too big. Another case more suited for actually building stuff in? Very likely. I mounted the screen by making acrylic brackets and bolting them too the case.

trickrider2002 1 point 41 months ago

Do you think I could get away with one of these - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00P7337YG?keywords=mini%20itx%20graphics%20card&qid=1444760821&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

Another case more suited for actually building stuff in?

What sort of case do you mean?

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 41 months ago

The video card would do nicely, I cut out rectangles to scale pieced them together. Some kind of ATA, Hardcase, Utility case, that isnt just injection molded ABS or other plastic. This case I used was designed to have a foam liner and carry sensitive equipment. A plywood and ABS ATA case for touring or hardcase storage would be much more suited for mounting and building a computer inside.

trickrider2002 1 point 41 months ago

Would you be okay with me making one of these and selling it via Ebay?

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 41 months ago

Well yes but I dont have the money to do so, nor any kind of guaranteed return on efforts.

ignafiltro 1 Build 1 point 37 months ago

Wow, this is a great idea, better than my ultra small MITX idea for use with any TV you found on your way. Cause you aint finding any TVs in an meterological expedition or whatever.

Thinking about it I would like to build one of this but in an aluminium case with the IO panel in the inside instead. Also I was thinking on a way to mount an external radiator so you could splash/dirtProof the electronics and close the case with the system still running.

Another good idea is a LiPo/LiFePo4 based battery pack wired to a 12/24V PSU.

Then you could go crazy by adding rollable solar panels for recharging the system wherever you are.

MightyAlFred 3 Builds 1 point 18 months ago

How comes I've never seen this build? This is awesome!

I'd love to build one of these one day, amazing job!

onejackgold 1 Build 1 point 11 months ago

did you get any thermal paste with the cooler which 1 did you use? is the heat-sink aluminium? mainly because im wondering about using liquid metal with this cpu instead of normal thermal paste. would this work?

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kylclrk 1 point 51 months ago

He pretty much provided step by step instructions in the description. Also, if you had read the description and looked at the pictures, you'd clearly see that this suitcase didn't come like that.

Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

There are some methods I didnt explicitly describe... like piloting a hole and then using my soldering iron and a pair of pliers to melt the standoffs into a secure position... But other than stuff like that its all really just careful measuring and some creative problem solving.

The case is a Gator ATA molded utility case, for stuff like camera equipment or other sensitive things that need a foam interior

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Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

In regards to instructions, there really cant be any... I mean, I could write a description of my reasoning and methods but it all comes down to how you would solve the situation then and there. Even now, I'm tweaking stuff and ill re-upload images of a more polished product as I can find better ways to make a piece or mount an object.

As for a case:

  • Gator Cases
  • Pelican Cases
  • Ape Cases
  • Any other hardcase made from polyethylene, ABS, Aluminum, or plywood

Choosing a case is largely dependent on the LCD panel you want to buy


The Controller solution generator will allow you to enter parameters to find an LCD panel and an effective controller to use along with it. Because they are generally laptop replacement panels, the interface for them is LVDS, which is highly dependent on the panel voltage, resolution, manufacturer, and model. Not every LVDS cable is the same. Use the wrong one and you destroy your panel.

I used a samsung LTN156HT01-101 panel from Amazon and a compatible controller from Aliexpress.com to build this

The panel you pick determines the MINIMUM dimensions of the case, but bigger is always a little better unless you want to spend a couple hours shortening 24 pin power cables.

Interior height of the case is affected by the lid, but an overall internal of 5-6 inches, with a 1.5inch lid should serve you well. The height of your power supply is a good gauge for this.

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Sampleth9 submitter 5 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

I would just recommend a ton of general workshop tools, razors, sandpaper, powertools, but anything to get the job done.

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