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geekhack Marketplace => Interest Checks => Topic started by: ARSLOCK on Wed, 02 December 2020, 19:28:21

Title: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: ARSLOCK on Wed, 02 December 2020, 19:28:21
(https://i.imgur.com/7vafeCy.jpg)

Carolina Mech (https://carolinamech.com/) + Van Dusen Mfg.

Palmetto 60%

Designed and manufactured in South Carolina, USA

The goal of this project is to produce a high-end board entirely locally.

IC Feedback Form (https://forms.gle/RurtxjDum9Sce2f56)

Join the Carolina Mech Discord (https://discord.gg/s6XBwQh2Sb)

Photo Album (https://imgur.com/a/yNpL2xv)

(https://i.imgur.com/DSD2JhU.jpg)
Silver Powder Coat and Blue Cerakote Protos

Background:
As you all know, most of the high-end keyboards produced in this hobby are made overseas (with some notable exceptions).  After working on GMK Classic Blue in 2019, I realized a school friend actually owned a local CNC machine shop. I met with Van Dusen Mfg. and we began to design a keyboard together.  We have been working the past several months securing a supply chain that consists of as many local businesses as possible--this goes beyond just having the cases CNC'd locally. We are also working with local shipping companies for shipping boxes and custom foam. Currently were evaluating regional finishing shops for cerakote, powder coat, and anodizing. All of the people we are working with are within easy driving distance!

(https://i.imgur.com/Fg7qDNN.jpg)
Palmetto weight - hand brushed + blued for protos, most likely will be sandblasted in GB

Palmetto 60:
The Palmetto is a 60% unibody mounted with an o-ring gasket, featuring a thick brass weight and USB-C daughterboard. The typical tray mount screw holes are not present, but there is a center post to prevent shorting out from flex. The only screws on the board are on the weight and the daughterboard. There are large holes in the case the large brass weight fits into; once the weight is removed, this allows you to push out the PCB easily, similar to the TGR/Singa Unikorn. The name Palmetto comes from the Palmetto Tree, which is the state tree of South Carolina.

(https://i.imgur.com/kjyjguK.jpg)
Internal render note: the zig zag on the daughterboard cable channel is designed to pinch the cable in place, if it gets loose, the o-ring will not work properly

Finishing:
Local Cerakote and Powder Coat Vendors are currently being assessed. Local anodizing will also be tested. Colors will most likely be limited to a handful of options in order to make the buy go as smoothly as possible.

(https://i.imgur.com/g0rkEBK.jpg)
Butt shot

Specs:
Typing Angle: 8 degrees
Front Height: 20 mm
Weight: 3.7 lb / 1.68 kg (unbuilt)
O-Ring Mount
Hineybush H60 PCB + USB-C Daughterboard

Plates:
Aluminum Full/Half
Carbon Fiber Full/Half
FR4 Full/Half (outsourced to save costs)

(https://i.imgur.com/0NVLOGZ.jpg)
Carbon Fiber and FR4 Half Plates

Layout:
(https://i.imgur.com/hKk5zSr.png)

Kit includes: unibody case, brass weight, full aluminum plate, Hineybush H60 PCB, JST Cable, USB-C Daughterboard, bumpons, screws, o-ring.

Price TBD ($400-475?) - Made in USA. Working on making this as affordable as possible.

More Photos here: https://imgur.com/a/yNpL2xv
 
Round 1 Group Buy will be 50 units, most likely raffled, Q1 2021.

Cell phone sound test - Carbon Fiber Half Plate, Milky Gateron Blacks, Leopold PBT

Fulfilment will be through CarolinaMech.com (https://www.carolinamech.com)

Turnaround time: 4-6 months (hopefully less).

Thanks to hineybush, Hoodrow Thrillson, basecataz, Lewis Flude and many others for their feedback and advice.

IC Feedback Form (https://forms.gle/RurtxjDum9Sce2f56)

Join the Carolina Mech Discord (https://discord.gg/s6XBwQh2Sb)
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: Kokaloo on Wed, 02 December 2020, 19:30:00
neat!!
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: jorj_mk on Wed, 02 December 2020, 19:31:37
kinda lit
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: whitemamba on Wed, 02 December 2020, 19:52:56
cool, love the bottom ripple and big screws on the weight
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: HoodrowThrillson on Wed, 02 December 2020, 20:00:18
Palmetto so lit
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: Zeelobby on Wed, 02 December 2020, 20:13:22
Curvy in all the right places. Well done.
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: Sifo on Wed, 02 December 2020, 20:59:28
THAT BLUE I AM SO IN
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: spamnyams on Wed, 02 December 2020, 21:06:16
Looks super clean, definitely interested
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: dRnRcRr on Wed, 02 December 2020, 23:05:39
Slick
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: ARSLOCK on Thu, 03 December 2020, 06:46:09
A couple of other notes:

The squiggle line for the daughterboard channel is designed to pinch the JST cable so it stays in place. If the JST cable gets loose, the gasket doesn't really work.

This board requires Cherry snap-in stabs on backspace and spacebar.

Here's what the weight looks like

(https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/752586888354725958/783875286348857354/20201120_165742.jpg)

Thanks for all the feedback so far!
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: some1ab on Thu, 03 December 2020, 07:30:50
Nice
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: Rossman360 on Thu, 03 December 2020, 07:32:48
Looking great, bud can't wait to see it out in the world!
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: eniigma on Thu, 03 December 2020, 07:35:28
Looks real nice, gl  :thumb:
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: treeleaf64 on Thu, 03 December 2020, 09:43:23
The blue one looks so cool!!!!!!
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: PeppyToad on Thu, 03 December 2020, 10:33:16
Very well done! Digging the curves <3
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: hpkb on Thu, 03 December 2020, 12:06:33
Front side profile and internals look nice. Will consider joining to support a fellow Carolinian  :thumb:
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: Jaxxstatic on Thu, 03 December 2020, 12:16:18
This is great. Hope I can get in
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: Cahuib23 on Thu, 03 December 2020, 16:21:07
This looks great! one suggestion is to maybe make the bezels thicker on the sides as in my opinion thicker bezels translate to a more premium looking keyboard, but that is just my opinion. good luck!
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: ARSLOCK on Fri, 04 December 2020, 09:36:40
This looks great! one suggestion is to maybe make the bezels thicker on the sides as in my opinion thicker bezels translate to a more premium looking keyboard, but that is just my opinion. good luck!

thicker so they are the same as the top and bottom?
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: Cahuib23 on Fri, 04 December 2020, 10:52:14
This looks great! one suggestion is to maybe make the bezels thicker on the sides as in my opinion thicker bezels translate to a more premium looking keyboard, but that is just my opinion. good luck!

thicker so they are the same as the top and bottom?


Yeah, that may be me just wanting symmetry, but I really love everything else about the board. I'm in!


Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: CGreat on Fri, 04 December 2020, 11:07:42
As an SC native, this is a must have for me. Great job on this one  :thumb:
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: paperassgasket on Fri, 04 December 2020, 12:25:18
This looks great! one suggestion is to maybe make the bezels thicker on the sides as in my opinion thicker bezels translate to a more premium looking keyboard, but that is just my opinion. good luck!

Actually this would fix one problem but create another, aesthetically.
I think an equal bezel all the way around would make the board look like some other "less premium" boards like the Drop Ctrl.
But it would solve the issue I have with the inner and outer radius in the corners not matching. It looks odd that way for some reason.
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: ARSLOCK on Mon, 07 December 2020, 07:11:14
Just wanted to clarify a few things, I saw some comments about the daughterboard channel, since it's not straight. Just to reiterate, the zig zag on the daughterboard cable channel is designed to pinch the cable in place, if it gets loose, the o-ring will not work properly.

Blacksimon brought up that the PCB is made in China. I talked to Hiney about the possibility of made in USA PCB, and it would add another $100+ to the price of the PCB, so it's not something we're considering. FR4 is also a cheap material that is expensive to machine so we're looking at those plates being made in China as well. We don't have a laser cutter in house that can cut FR4 or poly, so we were CNCing.

As for past USA-based project gb having difficulties, I'm well aware of that. The main thing I'm worried about doing properly locally is the coating. We're actually exploring doing our own in-house cerakote. I personally am a fan of the powder coat sample we got, so we're looking at the quality of the applicators in town. I'm confident in our CNC quality based of the four proto types we've already made.

We're going to open the case up just a bit to give some more clearance in the bottom row. This type of board has very tight tolerances, but I'm testing the cap clearance with SA, GMK, OG Double Shots, EPBT etc. I'm hoping this week we'll be able to cut some more cases and I'll share some raw pics when I have them.

Thanks for all the interest and feedback so far!

Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: Sifo on Mon, 07 December 2020, 08:11:25
Understandable that some stuff has to be outsourced to China, doesn't detract from your efforts though. Can't wait to see more
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: Ireris on Mon, 07 December 2020, 10:48:56
I think engraving made in USA on the weight would be a nice touch, maybe

Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: ARSLOCK on Wed, 09 December 2020, 07:50:33
I think engraving made in USA on the weight would be a nice touch, maybe

Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk

Yeah I think we will engrave that in the inside of the case. I'll share the internal engravings when we cut some more prototypes!
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: ARSLOCK on Wed, 23 December 2020, 09:17:40
Just a small update - we are making more prototypes. Testing some in-house Cerakote soon. Going to test some anodizers in Atlanta hopefully the week after Christmas. Thanks for all the interest so far, be sure to join our discord for more info.  https://discord.gg/s6XBwQh2Sb
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: MakerJake on Wed, 23 December 2020, 11:35:40
The local manufacturing is super cool!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: Chippy on Mon, 11 January 2021, 07:21:48
Yes, been waiting for this. Really happy you chose this mounting style.
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: GMK83 on Mon, 11 January 2021, 07:28:01
I love that another board is made in the USA, but its so much nicer with that weight finish in the proto photos.  I understand that was done by hand and not realistic at scale, but that looks really great.
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: Livid on Mon, 11 January 2021, 10:50:28
i live in SC so gib
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: ARSLOCK on Thu, 21 January 2021, 09:30:44
I love that another board is made in the USA, but its so much nicer with that weight finish in the proto photos.  I understand that was done by hand and not realistic at scale, but that looks really great.

You know maybe we could offer it as a premium option. I do like it myself!
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: dRnRcRr on Sat, 23 January 2021, 21:13:38
Man everytime I see this thing
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: macclack on Sat, 23 January 2021, 21:29:43
Really cool project I hope I can join the GB
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: highpur on Sun, 24 January 2021, 01:55:44
Beautiful keyboard, sadly the price seems a bit too high for me. Good luck on the IC and GB!
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: dRnRcRr on Sun, 24 January 2021, 11:54:46
I think the price is fine considering its made in USA.  But I respect its too much for you. More chance for me to win
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: ARSLOCK on Wed, 27 January 2021, 07:19:55
Just a small update, we received a batch of the outsourced Carolina Mech (https://carolinamech.com/) FR4 plates:

(https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0471/6894/6340/products/20210122_085311_1024x1024@2x.jpg)

Pretty happy how they turned out, we should be able to offer FR4 with the GB.

We purchased a bead blast cabinet for the shop and re-machined some of the flat surfaces and are bead blasting to remove visible machine marks, we're going to try a black anodize with a local shop. If that goes well the aluminum plates in the GB will be anodized black.

We're also experimenting with our own in-house cerakote still, trying to refine the process (it's tricky!) Have some photos of the green and grey we've tried on our Discord (https://discord.gg/zzyj64g). I'm trying to post more behind the scenes type photos there, if you are interested in that!

Of note also hiney is currently doing a gb for his h60, which is the PCB we are using in Palmetto.
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: azzipa on Wed, 17 February 2021, 14:46:35
nice work! i thought i was not gonna look (seriously) at any more boards this year, but if you GB a red cerakote then i'll be quite happy (and my wallet will be quite sad). option for FR4 plate also sounds good. will be interesting to see tally of responses to IC.
Title: Re: [IC] Palmetto 60% O-Ring Gasket Mount - Made in USA
Post by: ARSLOCK on Thu, 18 February 2021, 07:58:23
(https://i.imgur.com/ric7ZOL.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/0GN4Ltn.jpg)

Update for Mid - February. Still working on our in house cerakote. Definitely a learning process here, so we're not quite ready  to do cerakote at scale.

Anodizing: We have 8 prototypes at 2 different anodizers currently. One local, and another in the USA. Once we have some satisfactory results with the anodizing we'll be able to move forward with a group buy. I'm also exploring the idea of doing some in-stock units, so stay tuned. Trying to share as much behind the scenes pics as we can in our discord.