[IC] the Heavy Grail: a Norbauer housing for the HHKB

Less stabilizer rattle, a PBT spacebar, rubber feet on the bottom to prevent sliding around :smiley: . A slightly improved build quality (Hard to describe, it just feels a bit more solid). USB-C port. IMO Smoother out of the box as well.

Personally I think for the Heavy Grail, I’d want to go for the veracity steel finish if available. Polycarb in the future would be pretty unqiue as well!

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Do the HiPro Keycaps only fit the Pro2 for some reason?

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No, they should fit on any standard topre stem, the difficulty these days is finding them hehe

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I was going to go the Hi-Pro route, but I have a US layout Hi Pro and couldn’t find a JP layout to fill the gaps. So, I left the Hi Pro on the Norbaforce, and used Sony News keys instead.

I’m sitting at two Norbauer cases, and this will likely be my third. Norbatouch is probably my favorite sounding and feel, but I’ve always preferred HHKB layout, so definitely getting stoked for this one. Hoping it’ll close the gap on the Norbatouch and let me use my favorite board.

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I just spoke with the mold engineer, and other than the fact that it’ll be another 1.5 weeks or so before I get the modified plate sample, it was all good news. They did some pretty radical re-engineering of the mold, including adding several vents and expanding the gate, which should address all the minor issues I pointed out in my sample feedback. It’s all going much slower than I’d like, but that’s how it usually goes and at least now we have a clear path to the last thing I need before being ready to run the GB. Here’s to hoping it happens as planned. :slight_smile:

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On the topic of Hi-Pro, maybe there’ll be a chance for a missing keys kit for the HHKB? Don’t really want to have to harvest a 1.75u right shift from a perfectly good JP Hipro board

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What is everyone planning regarding lubing their heavy grail? I have been led to believe that the HHKB does come lubed from the factory, however I assume that the grail plate will not be. I’ve seen a lot of conflicting opinions on how best to lube the HHKB and to this point my method has been “not at all” but it seems like that will have to change.

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Only the stabilizers come lubed by Topre, not the sliders themselves. On an HHKB, including Heavy Grail, I quite like switches lightly lubed with Krytox. I’ll post a video before the GB showing the sound differences.

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Personally, I do 3204 on my HHKB’s sliders, with 205g0 on the stabs. Worked out well for me so far.

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My lubricants of choice are 205g0 on the sliders, 203g0 on the stabilizers, 205g2 on the stabilizer bars, and Super Lube on the PCB.

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For me, 105g0 seems to produce the best results for the sliders. 207g0 is nice for preventing stab rattle.

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On my pro 2’s I used elitekeyboards’ discontinued “MechLube 2” on the sliders.

It comes in a plastic syringe thing making it good for this purpose.

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What are you lubing on the PCB?

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I am lubing the top of the PCB with a very thin layer of super lube to eliminate the capactive spring’s spring ping and the sound of the occasional dome sticking to and peeling off the pcb.

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wow, very interesting, I’m going to try this for my next mod.

You might find my Topre Modifications Guide to be helpful. It has outlined all the modifications that I do to my topre keyboards in addition to the PCB lube mod.

https://www.unrealkeyboards.com/Guides/topre-modifications/

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My favorite topre board I own has ironed hyperspheres and superlube on the stabilizers. I like the ironed hyperspheres even more than the deskeys rings. Although the deskeys rings are much easier and 90% as good in the end.

However, that’s an older novatouch. My newer Fc660c and fc980c have more noise issues. I’m definitely going to mod my fc980c when my heavy9 gets here. Definitely going to be lubing the PCB since a lot of what I hear is springs pinging and domes sticking.

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Does the heatshrink mod for the wires remove the spacebar ping?

Silencing the spacebar is 4 step process.

  1. Heat shrink mod to remove the ping. Try to cover as much as the spacebar as possible. If silencing a HHKB spacebar you have to leave a space for the housing tab as that interferes with the heat shrink.
  2. Lubricate every metal-on-plastic point of contact with Krytox 205g2. Other stabilizer greases would work as well.
  3. Apply landing pads as seen in my guide. These mute the sound of bottoming out on the pcb.
  4. Try multiple topre spacebars. Each spacebar is going to sound different, believe it or not, and this can make a huge difference after all the mods are complete.
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I wouldn’t use 205g0 for all the metal-on-plastic points of contact. 205g0 is expensive and you need quite a lot of lube for those areas to be effective. Instead, I’d just use the 205 for the plastic-on-plastic and dielectric for the rest of the stabilizer.

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