Author Topic: "Norbatouch" Round 3.1415 - CNC cases for Novatouch + Cooler Master TKLs  (Read 9222 times)

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Offline norbauer

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Hiya fellow keyboard nerds.

Amidst the very kind and much appreciated--but confusingly unceasing--clamor for my Cooler Master / Novatouch TKL cases, I've caved and decided to do yet another round. :D Yes, these housings only fit OEM keyboards that have all be discontinued, but the keyboards that they are designed to house have become somewhat legendary in the community, particularly the Novatouch, so it seems that there is still considerable interest. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I'm flattered, in any event, that people seem to like the design I've come up with.

The group buy page is up now through July 13.
And you can find the full deets there.

I finally wrapped up round 2.5, and while there were some delays and hiccups with the powder coating shop, I've now switched vendors and seem to have that all mostly ironed out at this point (and am still looking into new providers to supplement). However, as a result of the thorniness and complexity of coordinating the powder finishes, I've reduced the number of colors available in this round significantly—with apologies. I'm happy to report, however, that I am able to add hard anodizing as an option for the first time on this design.

After finally being able to tally up how it much it actually costs me to get these made when all is said and done (particularly with respect to the cost of cosmetic rejects and random fees associated with inspection and transport), I had to nudge the price up just a little bit, but on this round that will also be going towards some nicer packaging which will have a more resilient coating on it than previous rounds.

Given my bafflement at the continued demand, I was thinking of calling this round "OMG 3," but in the end decided to opt for Round 3.1415, or Round Pi.  :-*











Surely, surely—surely?—this will be the last round of these, so please jump in now or forever hold your thocks. Any and all thoughts, questions, and cranky criticisms are welcome below, or by emailing me directly.

Thanks everyone at GH for continuing to be so supportive and awesome. If you're going to KeyCon, come hunt me down and I can show you the sample cases I'll have on hand there!
« Last Edit: Sat, 23 June 2018, 10:10:00 by norbauer »

Offline Signature

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Approved :D

Rest in peace Timberman

Offline norbauer

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Approved :D

Awesome. Thanks!

Nice avatar, btw. ;)

Offline Puddsy

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damn, norb just keeps putting in that work

glwgb bud
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I like what this guy said

Offline norbauer

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damn, norb just keeps putting in that work

glwgb bud

Haha. Thanks, man. It's definitely getting to be a project to organize all the little logistical details of simultaneous projects, but I kind of enjoy that sort of thing—a pleasant sort of organizational adventure. I've got to say, though, I never anticipated when I did that first experiemental run of these that I'd end up doing four!

Fortunately now, having encountered almost all the obstacles one possibly could, I've learned a lot and, for this design at least, I think I've finally got the process down.  :cool:

Online Rumblehotep

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Purple for TM or Retro for Taro ... well guess I got a couple weeks more to ponder...

Offline regionfree

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Purple for TM or Retro for Taro ... well guess I got a couple weeks more to ponder...

you don't have to choose. just go for broke. get both.
i like keyboards

Offline letze

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Was hoping monte carlo red offering...guess have to go with astro purple instead
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Offline stryker09

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Have been waiting for r3 :D
Will probably be in for the Tactical Black, but was wondering if it is even possible to get an ever darker shade of black that is matt?

Offline razor_blade

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Just making sure, but this will fit a Masterkeys Pro S RGB plate/PCB, right?

Offline norbauer

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Have been waiting for r3 :D
Will probably be in for the Tactical Black, but was wondering if it is even possible to get an ever darker shade of black that is matt?

The anodized colors are decently matte in appearance--certainly not glossy in any case.

Offline norbauer

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Just making sure, but this will fit a Masterkeys Pro S RGB plate/PCB, right?

Affirmative. :)

Offline stryker09

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Have been waiting for r3 :D
Will probably be in for the Tactical Black, but was wondering if it is even possible to get an ever darker shade of black that is matt?

The anodized colors are decently matte in appearance--certainly not glossy in any case.
Very cool thanks!

Online Rumblehotep

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Purple for TM or Retro for Taro ... well guess I got a couple weeks more to ponder...

you don't have to choose. just go for broke. get both.
Running through every scenario with how I'd feel next year, Future Me agrees this is the most logical choice.
The two of us just have to convince 3AM Me of it.

Offline zslane

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Back in r2, I couldn't decide between Space Station White, Tactical Gray, or Galactic Blue, so I just got all three. If r3 offers tan, I just might get a fourth case, even though I don't have a (fourth) NovaTouch to put in it. These cases are that good.

Offline eksuen@MD

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Purple for TM or Retro for Taro ... well guess I got a couple weeks more to ponder...

you don't have to choose. just go for broke. get both.
Running through every scenario with how I'd feel next year, Future Me agrees this is the most logical choice.
The two of us just have to convince 3AM Me of it.

As this is Round Pi, you are encouraged to be irrational.

Offline Artist

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In for one yesterday, and now looking at all the comments i want yet another extra, agrhhh... what to do...

Offline norbauer

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Purple for TM or Retro for Taro ... well guess I got a couple weeks more to ponder...

you don't have to choose. just go for broke. get both.
Running through every scenario with how I'd feel next year, Future Me agrees this is the most logical choice.
The two of us just have to convince 3AM Me of it.

As this is Round Pi, you are encouraged to be irrational.

lol. Nice.

Offline Darknight00z

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What happened to dark grey ano? The ano black is too dark for my liking.

Offline norbauer

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What happened to dark grey ano? The ano black is too dark for my liking.

It is a rather long story chronicled in previous threads (and in my TopClack interview), but in short: this design isn't well-suited to anodizing colors other than black and silver due to the fact that it has a visible seam around its perimeter. It's nearly impossible for ano shops to match two parts of different volumes in color, so the shades of mating parts were often slightly out of sync, which I found aesthetically un-cool.

Offline Darknight00z

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Thank you for explaining again. Much appreciated.  :))  :))


P.s. do you have anymore photos of enigma grey?
« Last Edit: Mon, 02 July 2018, 18:56:22 by Darknight00z »

Offline playtech1

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I already have the Retro Refrigerator and, although I like the photos of the purple, I am struggling a bit to see it match many keysets.

Still, what the heck, 2 (more) ordered!  Black Ano and Powdercoat Purple

Although if you have any other powder-coating options, I would be all ears!

Love my existing ones - they have represented 100% of my keyboard rotations since I got them!

Offline norbauer

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I already have the Retro Refrigerator and, although I like the photos of the purple, I am struggling a bit to see it match many keysets.

Still, what the heck, 2 (more) ordered!  Black Ano and Powdercoat Purple

Although if you have any other powder-coating options, I would be all ears!

Love my existing ones - they have represented 100% of my keyboard rotations since I got them!

The fourth picture in this set shows a nice pairing with the purple color. :)

Thanks so much for supporting the project! I wish I could offer more powder options, but I had to slim down the number of colors lots a bit on this round in my continuing effort to try to get better powder coating turnaround times.

Online Rumblehotep

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Since I'm already waiting on an astropurple norbaforce, I figured it'd get jealous if I got another purple.
Grabbed a retro since I absolutely cannot live without that, it's the signature norbatouch color imo.
Plus I think Troubled Minds would look decent on it too, it and Taro can share it until I figure out what I wanna do with TM endgame.
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January(hope :P) is gonna be sweet.

Offline ppp

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Oof. Good thing I caught this on the very last day. Just wondering (I'm sure this is answered somewhere else but I can't find it), does the old, regular qfr fit in this?

Offline letze

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Any special gift for this round? Consider it as last round. Might want to make it something specialv ;D
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Offline norbauer

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does the old, regular qfr fit in this?

sadly, no.

Any special gift for this round? Consider it as last round. Might want to make it something specialv ;D

Not sure if this counts, but I am planning on redesigning/improving the box a bit. My packaging-design skills have greatly improved since I designed that first box so long ago. :) One thing I haven't loved about previous rounds of the box is that it's an uncoated paper. It gives it a really nice sort of arty look, which is why I originally chose to make it that way, but it means that the paper can sometimes absorb oils, which I find a bit annoying (especially since I have those around my packing/assembly table sometimes). The new boxes will have some kind of coating on them—either matte or soft touch.

Today is the last day for the group buy btw.

Offline ppp

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That's alright. Thought I'd give it a shot. Thanks for answering!

Offline razor_blade

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Glad to be in the the last hurrah. Since you called it round "pi", would you consider having "π" (that is Geekhack's font's fault for looking weird, it is legitimately pi in Greek) subtly machined into the case somewhere? It would really make it a great final touch. Just a thought...

Offline norbauer

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Glad to be in the the last hurrah. Since you called it round "pi", would you consider having "π" (that is Geekhack's font's fault for looking weird, it is legitimately pi in Greek) subtly machined into the case somewhere? It would really make it a great final touch. Just a thought...

You know what, that's a great idea. I'm going to talk to the factory on Monday to get this order started and I'll see if something like this might be feasible.

Offline letze

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And we still able to buy it today  ;D

That a great idea to add some touch for this round.
Possible to have serialization for this round?  ;)
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Offline Sythe

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Glad I was able to finally get in on a group buy for the case. 
Picked up a Novatouch a few months ago and had just been waiting for the next chance to get myself one of these beauties.

Ended up playing it safe and getting silver. The purple looked amazing, but the price difference ended up being a deciding factor :(

Online Rumblehotep

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Glad to be in the the last hurrah. Since you called it round "pi", would you consider having "π" (that is Geekhack's font's fault for looking weird, it is legitimately pi in Greek) subtly machined into the case somewhere? It would really make it a great final touch. Just a thought...
I love this, yes pls

Online nguyenhimself

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Hey Norbauer, got a Retro Refrigerator from the first round and still loving it.
My (somewhat tangent) question is: I'm planning to do a custom anodization job for another aluminum case of mine (this one), and I would love for it to match the same cyan/green-****ed color as your Retro Refrigerator's.

Do you have a pantone or similar for that color so that I can give to my anodizing shop for reference?



For ex, these are some of the color samples my shop got:



Thanks a lot, and I apologize if this veers off the main topic of this IC.
« Last Edit: Mon, 16 July 2018, 00:14:16 by nguyenhimself »

Offline Puddsy

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Thanks a lot, and I apologize if this veers off the main topic of this IC.

this is a GB
QFR | MJ2 TKL | "Schumiboard" | "Bulgogiboard" (Keycon 104) | MIRA SE "2Y10M" | TGR Alice "Pink + White" | MEME "Sound Meme" | Keycult No 1 "The Brass Behemoth" | Southpaw Fullsize (when it ships) | Daily driver: TGR Alice

I like what this guy said

Offline norbauer

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Hey Norbauer, got a Retro Refrigerator from the first round and still loving it.
My (somewhat tangent) question is: I'm planning to do a custom anodization job for another aluminum case of mine (this one), and I would love for it to match the same cyan/green-****ed color as your Retro Refrigerator's.

Unfortunately, it's not based on a Pantone but rather the range of available colors at my original powder coater, so frankly your guess would be as good as mine in terms of how to instruct your anodizer in matching it. However, I will say that anodizing dye on top of oxidized aluminum creates a very different (always slightly gray and metallic) look, so while you might be able to find an anodizing color that complements the RR color well, you'll never really be able to match the color itself. Anodizing doesn't replicate light colors very well due to the inherent darkness/grayness of the underlying aluminum, which always shows through. =\

Online nguyenhimself

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Ah got it. Thanks for the education on the process 🙂

Offline letze

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Suddenly Venice Beach come out of nowhere  :-*
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Offline norbauer

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Suddenly Venice Beach come out of nowhere  :-*

I got peer-pressured on Reddit. :rolleyes:

Online dantambok

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I skipped the buy because I bought a case off r/mm last month but I think it got lost in transit to me.  :-[ RIP
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Offline norbauer

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I skipped the buy because I bought a case off r/mm last month but I think it got lost in transit to me.  :-[ RIP

Oh man, that sucks. In case you end up getting your money back, I over-ordered by a little to account for the inevitable people who missed out, and those are up in my store now if you want to pick one up. It's just a few in each finish, but at the current rate I probably won't run out of the allocated quantities until next week or so.

Online dantambok

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I skipped the buy because I bought a case off r/mm last month but I think it got lost in transit to me.  :-[ RIP

Oh man, that sucks. In case you end up getting your money back, I over-ordered by a little to account for the inevitable people who missed out, and those are up in my store now if you want to pick one up. It's just a few in each finish, but at the current rate I probably won't run out of the allocated quantities until next week or so.

Unfortunately, shipping to the PH can be a PITA so i prolly have to wait for a couple more weeks. I hope by then you still have something left but that venice beach looks so damn sexy!
910CE | 910RE | Alice x2 | DK Saver|  Viper V2 | Orion V2 | CA66 | TX1800 V1 | Canoe | QXP | JER80 | G80 60% | Singa75 | ALF X2 | Retro60 | Novatouch | Norbatouch x2 | 86u |  ... Modern M0110, EM7, Kyuu, MXSS, Jane V2, TMO50

Offline Sythe

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Oh dayum, the Venice Beach looks amazing......not sure if I can justify the price difference, but after seeing photos of the Venice Beach with Laser it is damn tempting.

@Norb - IF I were to want the Venice Beach, is it possible to change my order from the aerospace alu?

Offline pexon

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Just get one guys!  :thumb:  The finish and quality is epic



Offline letze

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Oh dayum, the Venice Beach looks amazing......not sure if I can justify the price difference, but after seeing photos of the Venice Beach with Laser it is damn tempting.

@Norb - IF I were to want the Venice Beach, is it possible to change my order from the aerospace alu?
Just email him. He will happily help you.
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Offline norbauer

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Oh dayum, the Venice Beach looks amazing......not sure if I can justify the price difference, but after seeing photos of the Venice Beach with Laser it is damn tempting.

@Norb - IF I were to want the Venice Beach, is it possible to change my order from the aerospace alu?
Just email him. He will happily help you.

Affirmative. I'm always happy to do whatever I can. Switching from anodized to powder is always easy right up until the powder units go off to be coated, because the powder coater can actually coat over anodizing. Going the other way isn't so easy sometimes, depending on how many extras I planned and have available. :)

Offline norbauer

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Oh dayum, the Venice Beach looks amazing......not sure if I can justify the price difference, but after seeing photos of the Venice Beach with Laser it is damn tempting.

@Norb - IF I were to want the Venice Beach, is it possible to change my order from the aerospace alu?

I actually just configured a Novatouch with Laser and it looks soooo good. (Man, do I love that set.) I wasn't the only person to have this idea. :)

Offline Sythe

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Oh dayum, the Venice Beach looks amazing......not sure if I can justify the price difference, but after seeing photos of the Venice Beach with Laser it is damn tempting.

@Norb - IF I were to want the Venice Beach, is it possible to change my order from the aerospace alu?

I actually just configured a Novatouch with Laser and it looks soooo good. (Man, do I love that set.) I wasn't the only person to have this idea. :)

That's the most that made me go from maybe to wanting to change :D

I'll message you in the next few days if I do decide to change.

Thanks!

Online Rumblehotep

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Re: "Norbatouch" Round 3.1415 - CNC cases for Novatouch + Cooler Master TKLs
« Reply #48 on: Mon, 06 August 2018, 18:22:35 »
Thank goodness you still had extras up!
Finally got my hands on novatouch and while I find SA profile exquisite on it, the feels of cherry profile leaves a lot to be desired clak clak clak.
Still in love with retro/Taro pairing so I'll retool a masterkeys pro s for that and nab an extra astropurple for nova+TM.
Thank you for planning ahead Ryan!
(Was verryy tempted by the venice beaches, when the heck did those appear?)

Offline Sythe

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Re: "Norbatouch" Round 3.1415 - CNC cases for Novatouch + Cooler Master TKLs
« Reply #49 on: Mon, 06 August 2018, 19:46:01 »
The Venice Beach pretty much appeared as the group buy stage finished up.

I think some photos of it with Laser appeared and was the motivator to add it. It was definitely the motivator for me to change my order to Venice Beach. :D