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are there leds we can mount to the bottom of the pcb to get a underglow instead of on the keys?
You could just put the LEDs on the bottom side of the board in the same spots as they would normally go for the keys. You may have some clearance issues with the bottom case though. Possible something surface mount would work.
ya, there isn't enough room for normal keyboard LEDs. I was wondering if anyone had experience with any particular surface mounts.
Yes. My last build, I mounted 2x3x4 square LEDs on the underside. You can do it before or after installing switches, but if you do it after, you'll need to trim the leads to around 3mm first. Bend them over after installing, there isn't clearance for them to stand up.
You can also use 1206 SMD LEDs, and I'd recommend going that route if possible, since they shoot light straight down. Put a bit of solder on the anode pad, then heat up & slide the part on with tweezers. Then solder the cathode.
I covered the top and part of the bottom with SMD LEDs on my current build; photos attached.
Could you show us what that looks like when it's assembled? It looks like a really cool idea and it seems like it would be easier to manage than top-mounted LEDs since I'm assuming you don't have to remove the LED to fix problems with a switch (I got Zealios and I've had to replace several switches mostly due to key chattering).
Definitely. I'm going slower this time around because I have some ideas from previous builds that I want to try.
I went with the 1206 LEDs because I really like Matias switches, and they don't have a place to put a leaded LED.
Where did you get your led's and do they have purple?
I got them on eBay, and I'm sure someone has purple ones.
I was wondering about the 2x3x4 leds. No issues with clearance when they are under the pcb like that?
I've got some yellow ones for my board and I'm debating going for an underlight look around the edge.
I just installed these under my board. There is enough clearance with some room to spare as long as you lay them flat against the board.
Are you going to try controlling the leds with kll at all or just leave them "stock," so to speak (always on)? One of the bigger gaps in the kll documentation is, in my opinion, how to control led behavior.
Excellent post though and I appreciate the additional info on leds and pictures!
Do you know about the LED+ and LED- key assignments?
Oh definitely-- I was more talking about the various lighting modes hinted at for the k-type or only having the switch led toggled on if there was an assigned function for the key on that layer, etc.
That would be cool.
By the way, how many lighting levels do you get with the stock firmware? I'm seeing something like four different levels. (My board is at work, so I can't check it right now, but that's what I think I saw.)
No clearance issues if you fold them over flat, which si what you'd want for edge lighting. There isn't enough room for them to stand upright.
Wondering if you have any pics of the final product yet? I am putting blue LEDs on the switches, then I'm thinking of putting blue SMD LEDs on the bottom of all the switches as well to get the underglow (at least on all the perimeter switches anyway). I like a lot of light, so I may do all of them, we shall see.
If I remember correctly, there are like 255 levels. BUT the LED+ and LED- on the configurator don't go in increments of 1 level. They trigger a level for every couple of milliseconds you hold the key down. It's kind of interesting, on mine if I hit the key enough the left and right halves desync and I get two different lighting levels on each half.
Would be nice to have some better LED control in the configurator (and mouse keys?)
Ah, I would not have guessed the part about the timing. And...I have not looked at the code yet. Thanks.
"...the left and right halves desync and I get two different lighting levels on each half."
I have seen that, too. I usually put them back to "LED off" to resync them, and then try LED+ again.
How's the progress coming? Not to bother you too much, but I'm looking at getting in on the new drop so I have one of these for the office and I'm seriously considering this under-mounted LED tactic (having to desolder LEDs when I need to access a switch for some reason has been a huge pain).
Been ungodly busy with stuff, and paint takes time. here's a test fit shot. Looks like I need to correct some solder joints, everything was lighting, but I lost a couple keys.
Looking great! I'd love to see what that looks like when it's all done. By the way, have you tested that USB-C cable yet? I've bought a couple replacements for the really long ones that come with the dox, but none of them work with interconnectivity between the hands. If you've found one that works, I'm curious what specs I need to be looking for in replacement cables.
I guess I should share my pics too... My bad. I don't have any clearance issues with the ones I used on the bottom. The ones on wasd won't light on the bottom, and I think it's because I have red on top and blue on the bottom. I'm currently using a USB-C cable I bought from Monoprice to connect the two halves, and have had no issues.
Yeah, I've tried some USB 3.0 ones that still don't work. It appears USB C suffers a LOT from the whole issue of manufacturers making out-of-spec cables and selling them without really telling you about it, so a lot of them don't work on the interconnect even though at a glance they meet the requirements.
I've done some more research and will soon be purchasing a 3.0 set that's supposed to be properly made to-spec for data, hopefully these work.
I use a USB 2.0 cable to connect it to my computer and it works fine. The same cable cannot be used to connect the halves. It has to be a USB 3.0 cable for the interconnect, apparently, although I really don't understand why.
It's probably so that the interconnect can keep up with our 10000 wpm typing speed on the Ergodox. :J
I'm using USB 3.0 for the interconnect and I still can't any cables except the ones that came with the dox to work. The ones I most recently purchased were even approved by that Google engineer who has been going around Amazon testing USB C cables to verify they're made to-spec and still no dice - I'm out of ideas...
I just looked at a pdf of the schematic. It looks like they have re-purposed the eight "SuperSpeed" pins on the type-C to serve as UART interconnect between the two halves. They have them wired as four copies of the UART tx and rx. The USB3_A connector on the other side uses its two SuperSpeed pins as the other end of the UART tx and rx. If that is correct, then that means the SuperSpeed wires must be present, and two of them from the type-C side need to go to the two on the USB3_A side. I don't have the cable here, so I don't know which of the eight pins on the type-C end connect to the pins on the USB3_A end. I can imagine that there are a lot of incompatible (i.e. shoddy) cables out there.
Pictures are on sheet-2 here: https://github.com/kiibohd/pcb/blob/master/ICED%20-%20Left/ICEDLeft.pdf
And here are the lists of pinouts:
Is there any way to use that information to determine what cables are compatible with the interconnect?
You would need to have a schematic or pinouts of the cable, and confirm that there are wires in the cable that connect from the SuperSpeed pins on the type-c side to the SuperSpeed pins on the usb3-a side.
Alternatively, if you already have a cable, you could use an ohmmeter to check the connections.
Okay, I have more info. I used an ohmmeter on my working cable that came with my Infinity Ergodox.
1. Looking again at the pinout spec for the usb3-a, I realize that only the SuperSpeed RX pins are being used on the Ergodox. (Not the TX pins.) That means there are only two pairs of pins that we care about on the usb-c side: RX1+/- and RX2+/-.
2. Measuring my working cable, I see that only one of the RX pairs is connected from usb-c to the RX pair on the usb3-a. I can't tell which pair on the usb-c side, because the usb-c is symmetric. But it's a fact that the cable only has one RX pair on the usb-c going to the RX pair on the usb3-a. That makes sense. The Ergodox accommodates that on the usb-c side socket by duplicating the same connections for both RX1 and RX2, so it should not matter which way the usb-c is plugged in. "Should not".
So, my advice is this:
First, make sure you have a real usb-c cable with all the conductors. i.e. buy a good one.
Second, if it does not work as an interconnect on the Ergodox, try flipping over the usb-c connector in the socket on the Ergodox. You might have a problem with one of the pairs of connectors on the usb-c socket on your Ergodox.
To work as an ergodox interconnect, it has to have the SuperSpeed RX+/- wires. It has to be a USB-C SuperSpeed data cable.
That one in your link talks about 'charging', but I don't see anything about data.
Update: I think you would be looking for the phrase "SuperSpeed Sync and Charging". "Sync" means data transfer.