The Heavy-6


#1

Based on many community requests and the subsequent overwhelming response to my polls and interest checks, I’m happy to report that I’ve finally brought to life my housing for the Leopold FC660C, which I call The Heavy-6.

It is so named because its all-steel backplate acts as a weight, nearly doubling the heft of the aluminum upper housing—to four pounds with the keyboard installed. And for the high rollers, also by popular demand, I’ve even made an all-steel version, suitable for both self-defense and data-entry purposes, which weighs in at an astounding 7 pounds. :weight_lifting_man::money_with_wings::money_with_wings::weight_lifting_man: (I know the price on these is bonkers, but I’m barely taking any markup at all on them.)

I’m making this offering in the form of a group buy on my shop. You can find all the pricing and details there, but please feel free to use this thread for any questions or discussion or feel free to email me directly: shop@norbauer.com.

I’ll be taking orders for a brief period—just until midnight 13 October—so that we can get factory production rolling soon. Please note, however, that there is a possibility I may cut the orders off early if the quantities get too high (which the survey data suggests it might), just in order to help keep the logistics manageable for me personally.

Like my popular and (happily) well-received Norbaforce design, the Heavy-6 uses my contoured back-plate design strategy, meaning no visible seam at the sides of the housing and a clean external profile. The FC660 plate is hung from above with flange screws and the keyboard’s breakout PCB rests on internal standoffs that rise up on the interior of the case from the rear cover plate. Assembly is pretty straightforward and, like with the Norbaforce, I’ll provide an instructional video closer to the time when they ship.

For the first time, I’m offering a custom-made padded carry bag to pair with one of my housings. It is specifically designed to fit an assembled Heavy-6, though it should also be compatible with the FC660C and other similarly-sized keyboards. It is made here in California and features luxurious, high-end materials (see product listing in the GB for more details). I hope to offer more custom keyboard bags from this factory, so please considering supporting this one. I know the pricing is pretty dear, but this is part of my ongoing experiment in trying to work with the best possible factories and materials possible. Please help me prove that it’s feasible. :slight_smile:

These are the finish options:

Aerospace: a bead-blasted anodized finish—gray Portcullis badge.

Retro Refrigerator: a matte blue-green powder-coat evocative of Midcentury Modern kitchen appliances and typewriters—white Portcullis badge. This is a matte version of the very popular similar color I have offered previously on other products.

Aperture: a powder-coated hammertone texture, evocative of the finish used on certain vintage Leica cameras and high-end Japanese tripods—gray Portcullis badge.

Motorsport: a textured vibrant yellow powder coat—red Portcullis badge.

Monolith: an astonishingly heavy all-steel housing with matte black PVD coating (a durable coating primarily used on luxury watches)—purple Portcullis badge.


#2

Here are some pre-emptive answers to probable questions. :slight_smile:

Why no optional riser feet? Unlike my previous housings, the Heavy-6 has an inherent slope, which matches that of the FC660C itself. Most users of this keyboard find that 3-degree slope to be adequate, and my survey results suggest that only a tiny minority of people would want more. Based on those projected quantities, my best quotes from factories for getting risers made were mind-boggling high (like $150+ per aluminum set). Since I’m currently working on creating a set of leather desk mats for my own and other keyboards with variable slopes, I decided simply not to offer riser feet with this run. I’m happy to discuss more in the thread below.

Can I get a custom color? Why no black anodized? I’ve opted to offer this design in a highly-curated selection of materials and finishes. I’m sourcing these finishing services from several different vendors. I’m also using new higher-quality finishing providers, in my unending quest to provide the best possible cosmetic surface finish quality. (The new powder-coating vendor I’m using in California applies their finishes in a medical-grade clean-room, bunny suits and all.) In addition to being inherently more expensive, all the vendors being used on this run also have much higher color-lot fees, making one-offs so expensive that I’d be embarrassed to quote a one-off price to someone. One alternative: you can just get the Aerospace finish and get that powder-coated by a local vendor that does more piecemeal-type work. I’m happy to provide advice on how to go about that.

Proxies? I can ship to international buyers directly. I’ve also linked to some proxy-shipping services in the product listing that are based in the US and will ship abroad for you, letting you fill out the customs form yourself. In order to keep the logistical overhead down on this group buy compared to previous ones (avoids delays once the manufacturing is complete), I’d like to keep things just to these options.


The Heavy-6: a Norbauer case for the FC660C
#3

Will I be able to update my shipping address later? I will be moving end of January


#4

Of course. Just drop me an email (by replying to your order confirmation) whenever you want to update it.


#5

Jeez louise this is beautiful! Very nice job on the design, and the finishes are excellent.


#6

Welp, I thought I’d sell zero of the Monolith finish. The GB has been live for like 10 minutes, I haven’t announced on my list yet, and I’ve already got orders for four. :face_with_raised_eyebrow: You people aren’t messing around. :+1:


#7

Ryan, I am incredibly impressed with the amount of care taken into every bit of this project. As someone who doesn’t even have an FC660C yet I will definitely be picking on of these up. Like you said, 3 degree slope is completely adequate. I had to use large rubber bumpers on my Norbatouch to get a nice 3 degree slope because the alu feet were unfortunately too steep.

I do have a question on about the bags. Would you ever consider having accessories like the carry bag and upcoming TKL bag in steady inventory? I know having a stockpile at your home isn’t the most ideal situation but maybe a semi-annual GB for things that aren’t as difficult to produce as cases once you have a good relationship with the manufacturer would work? I have no idea of the logistics that go into making them so I could be completely out of my mind suggesting it.


#8

After hearing how much the Monolith prototype’s cost I knew I wasn’t going to be able to afford that this time around. I was not wrong. Oh well, I’m really loving the new Retro Refrigerator and ordered one. Thanks for organizing this and creating great cases, Ryan!


#9

I’m actually currently planning on fulfilling the TKL bag as an in-stock item as an experiment in using a third-party fulfillment warehouse to ship stuff. It’ll be a limited batch that will probably sell out pretty quickly, but still it’ll be around for at least a little while and available immediately rather than a GB. My plan would be to do a new batch as soon as the first one sells out, but I’ll probably always change the design a bit each time so that each one is a sort of limited-edition.

Generally speaking I’m way below the MOQs that the bag factory normally has, but I think the factory owner sort of likes me, so I’ve managed to talk him way down in MOQs for us. :slight_smile: I’m hoping I can sell enough of the carry bags on the Heavy-6 bag to place a production order with him for those (I’ll refund those purchases, of course, if not), as factories tend to take you more seriously when you start placing a regular stream of orders, even if they’re very small by their normal standards.


#10

Might be hard to compare, but I have a novatouch in a norbauer case. How would you compare the feel and sound between the two. Is it too far away to compare?


#11

Beautiful finishes. Sadly Topre is Nope-re for me. Looking forward to seeing what else comes down the pipeline though.


#12

Makes me wonder, does this fit the FC600m???


#13

Welp guess we’re getting the Monolith after all along with the carry bag. That’s gonna really weigh the shoulders down.:joy:


#14

Alas, it does not. While they look the same on the outside, they don’t on the inside. =\


#15

I’ll be starting work on a really cool Nope-re design soon! Stay tuned. :slight_smile:


#16

how am i supposed to explain this to my wife


#17

Haha. I’m afraid you take me out of the purview of industrial design there, @sodiumjoe, but I’m sure, as with most challenges in life, all that is called for is a bit of creativity. :wink:


#18

My spidey senses are telling me this is likely to get shut down early.


#19

Ummmmm. So, anybody want to take a guess what, after Aerospace, is the second most popular finish sold so far (and by only a narrow margin)? :grimacing:

Here’s a hint.


#20

The retro fridge and aperture finishes are amazing! I’m in for both :joy:…one for home and one for work.