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Nice little pad.
It's a quality build, I'm really impressed. I was excited and also a bit worried about it, since it is my first programmable macro pad, and I'm really new to this type of thing. I have not been disappointed. Assembly is super easy, and for those who don't know: Switches are hot-swappable. All you need to do is put 4 screws in place and it's ready (see pic below).
Some seem to have had trouble with the screws - they are regular size in my regard, for this type of device. A TORX T5 screwdriver should work perfectly, but any other small screwdriver (like a + # 1 X 40mm for instance) should also work. You don't need something super specific to make it work. Just get a small 'cross' screwdriver and you should be fine.
And the RGB LEDs were a nice little surprise (see pic). As far as the bag being "just a bag of stuff": Yeah it's true, the package only includes the components and nothing else. It would have been nice to get at least some type of instruction or links or whatever, to make the unboxing experience a bit smoother. However, personally, I was kind of prepared to be faced with that, so that didn't really bug me. Some people were nice enough to post instruction in the comments section, which I'll be reposting here again (see below). I'm a noob so these posts made it significantly easier for me to get this thing running. I still need to figure out some things of course. If I find time I might do a video including the basic instructions, seeing that no-one has done that yet.
The only thing that bugged me about this pad, was that the colour on one edge of the black case had been scrapped off, probably during transit, but I just put a little paint on it and it's all good.
So here are the steps on basic setup (initially posted by @Orangutang in comments):
Got mine to work, staring shamelessly in awe at the RGB now! First QMK and I want to post and help other noobs like myself if possible. My success stems completely from "textonly" and "blacksunix"posts under the BM-16A drop discussions https://www.massdrop.com/buy/bm-16a-16-key-programmable-mini-pad-kit/talk/2331792 READ these. The only changes I made were to use the json layout files for the BM-16S from the Google Drive Get: QMK Toolbox from Github, install it Get: the default JSON and instructions from manufacturer Google Drive. This is on their Aliexpress page for the BM-16A as mentioned by "jf647" here. So you can just search for it as well.
- Make sure you line up the cutout segment of the backplate with the reset pins ("RE") so you can access them later.
Note that the Google Drive JSON can be found here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1tlTHQIFcluK2mjZ4UbbKCsdRLgSRSPw6
Here are some pics of how I shorted the terminals in the RE box:
So that's that, I think it's a quality pad.
- I used https://kbfirmware.com/ to modify my layout. Upload the "BM16S.json" file from the manufacturer Google Drive pack into kbfirmware.com
- This loads the basic layout in kbfirmware.com. Customize it
- Backup your json if you wish under the Settings tab. Then go to the Compile tab and export the ".Hex" file and load it into QMK Toolbox. Make sure the right chip is correctly selected in the toolbox UI
- Connect the board to the computer. I shorted the reset pins, labeled "RE" next to the smaller of the board chips, with a pair of needle nose pliers. Definitely gonna solder and run an external switch there at some point...
- The keypad will be put into DFU mode with this reset, and will then be visible in the QMK Toolbox console. Here you can flash your custom Hex file to the board
- Unplug, replug
Would recommend to a friend.
The metal grid piece on my just floats around. Its not secured in any way. Am i missing something?
Yeah that's correct. The only thing holding it in place are the switches. It might depend on the quality of the cut though, because, as you see above there are definitely holes where the screws are supposed to go through, but they're not really touching or securing the metal, so if you turn the board over without the switches inserted, the grid piece will just fall out (not happening with switches inserted). At least that's the case on mine, others might have gotten a better cut grid piece, but I'm just assuming.
wish i could buy MX keycaps like that
Pretty sure I could resin cast something like that. But given the build it would leave most of the MX switch exposed. I can give it a try though and see how it works out. Would be an interesting experiment.
do it, take some pics, and show me how it goes!!