How to Configure your ALT Keyboard
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Hey everybody!
Thank you for purchasing your Massdrop ALT Mechanical Keyboard. If you’ve landed here, you probably want to take full advantage of the keyboard’s features, so you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll start with the basics, then we’ll move on to complete custom configuration.

THE BASICS
Default Hot Keys Hold FN + listed keys to activate
LED Keys
Fn + A: LED Pattern Select Previous Fn + D: LED Pattern Select Next Fn + W: LED Brightness Increase Fn + S: LED Brightness Decrease Fn + Q: LED Scrolling Pattern Speed Decrease Fn + E: LED Scrolling Pattern Speed Increase Fn + Tab: LED Toggle Breathe Effect Fn + Caps Lock: LED Toggle Scrolling Pattern Direction Fn + X: LED Toggle On/Off Fn + Z: LED Toggle Mode (Keys+Edge, Keys Only, Edge Only)
Media Keys
Fn + Page Up: Volume Up Fn + Page Down: Volume Down Fn + Delete: Mute
Function Keys
Fn + 1: F1 Fn + 2: F2 Fn + 3: F3 Fn + 4: F4 Fn + 5: F5 Fn + 6: F6 Fn + 7: F7 Fn + 8: F8 Fn + 9: F9 Fn + 0: F10 Fn + - : F11 Fn + = : F12
Other Keys
Fn + P: Print Screen Fn + [ : Scroll Lock Fn + ] : Pause Fn + Left Arrow: Home Fn + Right Arrow: End Fn + Up Arrow: Page Up Fn + Down Arrow: Page Down Fn + Escape: Backtick ( ` ) Fn + Shift + Escape: Tilde ( ~ )
Keyboard Option Keys
Fn + N: Toggle keyboard 6KRO/NKRO (Default state 6KRO)

CUSTOM CONFIGURATION

How do I configure my keyboard? Note: You will currently need a second keyboard to complete the 3rd step of this process.
1. Create your configuration. 2. Compile the firmware with your configuration.
Use our web-based configurator tool to handle both steps at once: https://www.massdrop.com/mechanical-keyboards/configurator . See below for more information about our configurator.
If you are comfortable with programming and want to use QMK functionality that our configurator does not support, you can manually create and compile your configuration by checking out the official QMK repository: https://github.com/qmk/qmk_firmware . ALT Keyboard is in the folder "massdrop/ALT". QMK setup instructions are here: https://docs.qmk.fm/#/newbs
3. Load the firmware onto your keyboard. To load the firmware onto your ALT keyboard, download the appropriate loader application for your computer's OS here: https://github.com/Massdrop/mdloader/releases/tag/1.0.3. Then follow the instructions here: https://github.com/Massdrop/mdloader.
We are working with Jack and the other QMK contributors to get the loader application integrated into the next version of QMK Toolbox to simplify this loading process.
As part of the loading process, you will need to reset your ALT Keyboard. The reset button is in a hole on the under side of the keyboard:
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MASSDROP KEYBOARD CONFIGURATOR
https://www.massdrop.com/mechanical-keyboards/configurator
When you first go to the configurator, you will be prompted to choose your keyboard. After choosing, you will see a top-down view of the keyboard and a layer selector on the right side.
By clicking on a key, you can customize its behavior by selecting another key or function in the panel that appears below the keyboard. The currently available behaviors are:
- Keys - Individual keys such as letters, numbers, media keys, and function keys. - Layer - Activate and deactivate layers. The ALT Keyboard ships with a keymap where the Fn key activates layer 1. - Modifier - Send multiple modifiers with a single key press or allow a key to be a modifier when held and another key when tapped. - Special - Behaviors specific to the keyboard. For the ALT Keyboard, these control the LEDs.
After you have configured the behaviors to your liking, click the "Compile & Download" button in the top right to download the compiled firmware for your configuration. This typically takes around 30 seconds. You will need to load this compiled firmware onto your keyboard. See step (3) above for instructions.
If you are logged in to Massdrop, you will see a "Save as a New Copy" button next to the "Compile & Download" button. Clicking this button will save your configuration, allowing you to revisit it and modify it. The next time you go to the configurator, you will see your saved configurations above the list of keyboards.
About Layers Layers allow you to configure your keyboard with more behaviors than its number of physical keys. For example with the ALT Keyboard, by default, when you hold Fn + A to change the LED pattern, the keyboard is actually activating Layer 1 and sending the code for switching to the previous LED pattern. The physical key that is mapped to the letter A on Layer 0 is mapped to changing LED patterns on Layer 1.
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For each key, its behavior is determined by the highest active layer. For the highest active layer, if the key's behavior is "transparent" (denoted by a grayed-out "(trns)" on the keyboard display), then it falls back to the next-highest layer where its behavior is not transparent.
The QMK documentation has some tips for working with layers:https://docs.qmk.fm/#/feature_advanced_keycodes?id=working-with-layers
Configurator Development Roadmap Our configurator tool is still a work-in-progress. Here is what you can expect to be added to the tool in the future: 1. Merge our QMK changes back into the main QMK repository. 2. Macros support 3. Support for changing some QMK settings 4. Support for more keyboards
thumb_uptakayuki hirano, ratwerks, and 45 others
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Xanderr
1
Jul 1, 2020
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I keep getting "error parser file empty"
Jul 1, 2020
Ekelly
0
Jun 26, 2020
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My wasd keys act as arrow keys and I don’t know how to fix it some one please help me!
Jun 26, 2020
bloop
0
Jun 23, 2020
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Is anyone having an issue with their forward slash key? I can use the "?" fine but when I don't hold shift down and press the button, the slash does not show up. I've reset the keyboard to factory default multiple times to no avail.
Jun 23, 2020
oldline
0
Jun 22, 2020
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late to the party and saw a bunch of folks having some issues.. I just took a stab at flashing my alt for the first time and worked out fine (win10)(even tried a few times, with different configurations).. I followed along this video and never had a problem.. note that to get around having to press the reset button on the back, the instructions in Drop's github page says to press/hold Fn+B for "half a second" - I did it for about 3 seconds, right after I hit enter to run everything - not sure if that makes a difference or not. I also do most stuff in Terminal, but decided to following with this dude and do it in Power Shell but again, that's all in the following video: https://youtu.be/jH6icY8lPyA If you've already compiled and downloaded your bin file and nabbed the other files needed, save some time and skip ahead to about 4:12: https://youtu.be/jH6icY8lPyA?list=PLrsJmgRx2aydc8_QuGbDFbCs6anJJMDw4&t=252 hope this helps out
Jun 22, 2020
rishanb
0
Jun 14, 2020
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Windows 10 64bit - Keyboard is plugged in and being used to type this. It seems like the loader isn't able to identify the keyboard: "PS D:\Personal\Keyboard Drop ALT> .\mdloader_windows.exe --list Massdrop Loader 1.03 Massdrop Loader Copyright (C) 2018 Massdrop Inc. This program is Free Software and has ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY Bootloader port listing ----------------------------- No devices found! PS D:\Personal\Keyboard Drop ALT>" The above is from PowerShell as Administrator.
Jun 14, 2020
daverogers
5
Jun 8, 2020
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> Bootloader port listing
> -----------------------------
> No devices found! SMH with how much I spent on this keyboard you'd think they could pay a developer a few hours to make this software actually work. They should have an option on checkout to map the keyboard for Macs by default if they don't want to support their product once they take your money. Disappointing.
Jun 8, 2020
rishanb
0
Jun 14, 2020
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same issue on Windows 10
Jun 14, 2020
EDCaddict
0
Jun 7, 2020
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Will I potentially have any issue if I
  1. Compile the firmware using the QMK configuration
  2. Bur for the loading process, I'll use the loader provided Massdrop
Jun 7, 2020
ClackyKeboard
4
Jun 7, 2020
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Mine is working just fine after following a youtube video
Jun 7, 2020
indcyo
1
Jun 1, 2020
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@Drop The configurator is giving out bad files (at least for windows). Creating a new configuration, saving, then downloading the .bin file works fine. Running .\mdloader_windows.exe --first --download .\FILE_NAME --restart completes without any errors, and then the keyboard fails to restart. Unplugging and plugging back in, the keyboard either shows only the faint red LED on the skirt, or just does the constant "USB device unplugged" sound. I had to find default .bin file for ALT keyboard elsewhere just to get it working again, as NO file from the configurator here would successfully reboot the keyboard.
Jun 1, 2020
pewers
0
Jun 9, 2020
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I just generated my first *.bin from the online configurator and it worked fine on Windows. I didn't change much, just created a new layer so the left Alt key behaves more like Fn so I can press F1-F5 without requiring my right hand, and also so left Alt+L/R arrow keys map to Home and End (this has been a godsend coming from a decade of macOS!). Could you elaborate more what issues you were seeing? It's also worth noting that the instructions on this page are a bit dated, seeing as you don't need an additional keyboard to flash the firmware anymore. It was really quite simple!
Jun 9, 2020
claymorepvp
0
May 31, 2020
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how do i choose the switch on the drop alt? it says i can choose which switch i get but i dont see where to change it
May 31, 2020
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