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How to Configure your ALT Keyboard

Hey everybody! Thank you for purchasing your Drop 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.

Default Hot Keys Hold FN + listed keys to activate LED Keys
Fn + A: LED Pattern - Select previous Fn + D: LED Pattern - Select next Fn + Q: LED Pattern - Decrease scrolling speed (for animating patterns) Fn + E: LED Pattern - Increase scrolling speed (for animating patterns) Fn + Caps Lock: LED Pattern - Change scrolling direction (left to right, right to left, bottom to top, top to bottom, radial center to edge, radial edge to center) Fn + W: LED - Increase brightness Fn + S: LED - Decrease brightness Fn + Tab: LED - Toggle breathing effect Fn + X: LED - Toggle all LEDs off/on Fn + Z: LED - Toggle mode (keys + edge, keys only, edge only, all off) Fn + R: LED - Increase brightness of edge LEDs only (up to brightness of keys LEDs) Fn + F: LED - Decrease brightness of edge LEDs only Fn + V: LED - Toggle every other edge LED off 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) Flashing
Fn + B (hold for three seconds then release): Put keyboard into firmware flashing mode (also referred to as “reseting the keyboard”)
How do I configure my keyboard? 1. Create your keyboard configuration and compile it into a firmware file. For this, you can use our web-based configurator tool: . See “Drop Keyboard Configurator” section below for more information. If you are comfortable with programming and working with QMK code, you can manually create and compile your configuration by checking out our fork of the QMK repository: . Our keyboards are under the “keyboards/drop” folder, e.g. “keyboards/drop/alt”. As of August 2022, our fork uses features and keyboard support that have not yet merged to the main QMK repository. For additional details, see this comment: . 2. Flash the firmware file onto your keyboard. This will copy the firmware into your keyboard’s memory. See the “Flashing Your Keyboard” section below.

DROP KEYBOARD 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 file onto your keyboard. See the “Flashing Your Keyboard” section below. If you click the arrow next to the “Compile & Download” button, you will be able to customize the version of the compiled firmware. The “Modern” version is set as default and recommended for all users. If you are logged in to Drop, 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.
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:

 FLASHING YOUR KEYBOARD 1. Download the Drop Keyboard Configurator application. 2. Launch the Drop Keyboard Configurator application. After the application launches, click “Flash Firmware”.
3. Follow the flashing instructions in the application. It will instruct you to select the desired firmware file followed by resetting your keyboard. Note: the Drop Keyboard Configurator application will automatically receive updates. We are currently working on adding configuration capabilities to the application.
Having any issues or generally need some help?
Let us know in the discussion and we’ll give you a hand.

(Edited by moderator jxliu)

Aug 6, 2022
Mar 30, 2024
I only get the error below when I attempt to flash my v1 Drop CTRL keyboard. I thought the problem might be that my username on my computer has a space in it, so I duplicated the .bin file and moved it to a file path didn't involve any spaces, but it still errored out. What are my options for flashing custom firmware?

Apr 23, 2024
ctim2008I have the same problem with my ALT v1 and haven't found a solution
Feb 18, 2024
on my drop alt v2 pcb fn+b does nothing just types b while i want to flash the pcb with new config. please help!!!
Dec 7, 2023
Keys are just randomly not registering. I reseat the switches, moved one around, then another stops working. Yesterday it was the Backspace and Space, now it's the "w"... I do need to type ords ith this keyboard... Is there something I need to change?
Jul 29, 2023
so the base color for my keyboard leds seems to be red, how do I change it?
Dec 29, 2022
Out of nowhere my drop alt has stopped working. Only when i tilt it in an awkward upward position will it turn on. The orange light on te bottom of the keyboard sometimes flashes. Is there a problem with my pcb?
Jul 3, 2022
k key not working? has anyone encountered this as well, and how did you fix it?
Jun 28, 2022
i have a drop alt, following problem persists whether im using original or default firmware. whenever I use the fn key with 1 to =+, or bind f1 to f12, it locks any keyboard inputs, from any keyboard i connect. shortly thereafter the mouse goes too. only fix I've found is power cycling my pc until it decides to cooperate or uninstalling all the hid keyboard drivers and rebooting. the latter can only be done before the mouse stops functioning too. if anyone has a permanent fix for this please let me know. edit: this issue isn't a thing with my ducky one2mini or my razer black widow. only the drop alt.
May 28, 2022
I'm trying to compile the ALT firmware myself. I've managed to get QMK set up with the forked repository and compile the default_md keymap. However, the keyboard won't connect after that, and I had to re-flash a firmware from the configurator. I suspect the issue is related to the "USB Port Detection Delay" setting in the configurator, as 100ms caused some similar problems for me. I don't know what the default is in the code, or how to change it. I'm assuming that I just need to add a #define to the applicable keymap.c that will get used by the USB2422 code, but I didn't have any luck figuring out what the appropriate macro name is by digging through the code. What do I need to do with the code to change the USB Port Detection Delay myself? Edit: Nevermind, I think I found it in "shift_register.c", with the line: wait_ms(400);  // Allow power dissapation time on CC lines Compiling with that allowed it to work as expected. It even allows me to turn on N-Key rollover, which the current version of the configurator does not.
Jun 14, 2022
The Configurator describes it as, "After powering on, this is how long the keyboard waits before detecting which USB port is plugged into the computer." I believe that, if the delay is too short, the firmware is more likely to decide that the wrong USB port is connected to the computer, due to stray currents. Most of the time, I see the issue as a USB port failing to connect -- if I switch my cord to the other port, then it works fine.
Jun 15, 2022
IonitorI did find increasing the time ended up shortening the delay between plugging in and the keyboard actually being responsive, so I suspect you're probably right on about that. Thank you for the help!
Apr 20, 2022
The keyboard freezes on Windows boot menu and does not work again unless either reset or cutting the power. I believe this started after flashing with the "Modern" firmware. Does anyone have a solution or link to the "Original" firmware?
May 23, 2022
Nixon012Came here looking for a solution to the same problem. If you click to the right of compile and download on the arrow you can choose which firmware to compile. Modern or Original. The original isn't the original and my keyboard no longer works as it did before this change. I regret changing my keyboard. No, I regret buying anything from DROP as they're just a bad company when it comes to support.
Mar 5, 2024
Nixon012Same problem. Love the keyboard, but after a few emails with drop I gave up. Worst support I've experienced in a long time. There was like 3 emails back and forth just to verify my purchase. I just want to know how to unfreeze it.
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