The Heavy-6: a Norbauer case for the FC660C


#1

After repeated (friendly) requests from friends in the community, I’m working on an after-market housing for the Leopold FC660C keyboard, a sub-TKL board that enjoys the use of Topre switches (and thus a cult following). My primary design objective—i.e., fun—on this one has been to accentuate the compact nature of the board to make it feel formidable—aka heavy AF. More on that below.

First, let me just say: if you’re down, please fill out my two-question survey to indicate your interest.

Design features:

  • The Heavy-6 has a native slope angle that matches that of the FC660C (without its flip-out feet deployed).
  • All units will come a PVD-coated steel back plate, which roughly doubles the weight of the housing.
  • An unusual contoured profile along the side, a riff on what I did with the popular Norbaforce design.
  • Custom-molded rubber feet that maximize surface area for a nice grip, again based on positive feedback I’ve gotten on the Norbaforce design.
  • The sub-PCB sits on standoffs screwed into the rear cover. This is Hasu-controller compatible.
  • At the suggestion of @olivia and others, I’ve decided to add a maker’s mark badge for the first time. This will be metal and enamel and centered on the rear of the case. I’m still working on the design and sourcing of this but will post renders/photos when I have a better sense of the approach. See below for a preliminary notion.

Things that, in my opinion, don’t really make sense, so no need to suggest them. :stuck_out_tongue:

  • Centered USB port (internal cable won’t reach)
  • USB-C

Prototyping

After many weeks prototyping in SLA, I moved to metal

Tentative finishes/options

(in ascending order of cash-dollars)

Heavy-heavy

Just the aluminum version (this is a prototype) is pretty hefty.

Note that, based on feedback at the late GeekHack, I’ve slimmed down the profile a bit so it’s not quite as tall. I should have full pics of all finishes in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, here are a couple to give a sense.


Hi, it is SmellsLikePanda (Mechanicon organizer)
The Heavy-6
#2

Heavily considering buying a FC660C just so I can get that Leica gray…


#3

Duude this is so sweet FC660C is an awesome layout and now it might just be my first topre…


#4

Just sold my FC660c today to a lucky Canadian. I like the changes from the initial design height. :+1:


#5

Totally down for this. Love the bezels!


#6

Oh man. I actually just got in the all-steel sample like five minutes ago. It could easily double as a self-defense object.


#7

Any thoughts or plans on doing an m version? It’s not that I don’t like topre, it’s just that I dislike tactile…


#8

Roughly quoting @lekashman: “You could probably club a baby seal to death with that case”


#9

Looks great, Would like to see a heavy housing done for HHKB


#10

I think I’m in. I just finished a micro atx and build and it needs something tiny to go with it! Love your work Mr. Norbauer!


#11

What is the finish on Pic 2 & 3? (i’m assuming Pic 1 is raw aluminum)
thanks


#12

I’ve always wanted an FC660C, but couldn’t justify it since I have a heavily modified HHKB already. But this would be a good reason to finally get one…

If it happens, I’d be in. I mean, I have one of the prototype Norbatouch cases, and am patiently awaiting a Norbaforce. Might as well collect the set!


#13

I think KT deserves some new exclusive photos of the Heavy6. Who agrees with me?


#14

I would like to say, that I need this more than my wife but my wife is expensive so please don’t make this more than the other cases, k thanks :slight_smile:


#15

I’m hoping that Black Anodized option will also be on the table… (I don’t think any of the current considerations work particularly well with the Beige/Gray caps version)


#16

You already know I’m in for this @norbauer, look forward to seeing final prototypes. I’d love to see a color that would better go with the upcoming 9009 topre pbt dye sub set from kbdfans


#17

Hot damn. I’ve been kicking myself for missing out on the the Norbaforce and have also been considering getting a FC660C after coming to Topre JESUS via my hhkb. I really hope this is a fall-ish GB so I can sell my other incoming GB keebs. Topre-bless.


#19

The finish is so beautiful. Can’t we to see how this turns out.


#20

Heck Yeah man this is sick I’d love to have the case since I already have the 660c and its my daily!!!


#21

More than anything I want to hear a sample of the case acoustics.