How to Configure your ALT Keyboard
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.

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)

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: . 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: . ALT Keyboard is in the folder "massdrop/ALT". QMK setup instructions are here: 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: Then follow the instructions here: 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:

MASSDROP 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 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.
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:

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
(Edited by moderator Elbert)
thumb_upTom Winterton, Drew Atkinson, and 53 others

Oct 19, 2020
Please do something
Oct 13, 2020
I am not able to assign the 'menu' key using the massdrop configurator site for an ALT keyboard. Using the massdrop configurator site, followed by compiling, and flashing my massdrop ALT keybaord, I have successfully configured layer 0 and layer 1 keys on my ALT keyboard. However, I have tried multiple times to assign the 'menu' key to various keys on my ALT keyboard (on layer 0) and no matter which key I assign it to, then after flashing the keyboard, the assigned 'menu' key does nothing instead of acting like a 'menu' key. I hope someone can help me assign the 'menu' key. I am on Windows 10 and using the mdloader_windows.exe and applet-mdflash.bin files that were posted around Oct 6, 2020. When I tried the different QMK site to compile and flash, the menu key option worked, but I'd rather use the massdrop configurator, since it has controls for the edge lighting. Thank you!
Oct 14, 2020
I had possibly the same issue today. Try assigning the Application key instead of Menu. I think the keys are just named confusingly.
Oct 15, 2020
I'll give it a try. Thank you for the suggestion!
Oct 5, 2020
How do I disable the windows key on this keyboard???
Oct 4, 2020
Dang... this is some jankie, garbage software. For $150!
Actually, this is a better approach than most keyboard software because it stores it directly in the firmware, and is more powerful.
Sep 30, 2020
I´m trying to configure my Drop Alt LED, but i´m getting the error ¨Could not find a valid device port ¨. Anyone else with the same problem, version 1.04.
Oct 8, 2020
This worked, thank you!!
Sep 27, 2020
Im trying to figure out the configurator but it does not make 100% sense to me. Im trying to add a colorscheme or two for the LEDs (there is a dreadful lack of a default purple colorsheme). I seem to be able to edit a colorsheme, but I dont know if Im adding this colorscheme to the defaults or overwriting an existing one, or if once I've flashed it, it will only be the single colorscheme Ive made. Can anyone explain what exactly I can do in regards to editing and adding one or more LED patterns?
Sep 26, 2020
I try to turn my LED's off at night when I go to bed using Fn+x, but the LED's keep turning back on when my mac receives a notification / wakes from deep sleep. Is there any way to get them to stay off permanently until I turn them back on manually the next day?
Sep 23, 2020
I just plugged my alt keyboard into my pc (running windows 10) and nothing happens. It doesn't type or light up or anything. Please help. It was a gift.
Sep 24, 2020
sounds like you dont have enough power to the board
Sep 24, 2020
Same thing is happening to me when connected to one of the macs at work. I think it will not power up on only one port. If you have an adapter, try connecting it through it. It doesn't look like it happens with all machines. On my mac works well.
Sep 13, 2020
Thanks to a Raspberry Pi I had floating around I was able to figure out how to program my ALT from the latest batch. I needed to use chip id 0x60060005 to get it working. Once I updated the sources with the chip id all was happy using the 1.0.3 code. For those who are running into similar problems I have published a tweaked version of mdloader that will print out the chip ids as part of the --list flag and I've also added the few chip ids from below to the list of supported ids. My source are at

I received my ALT keyboard today and cannot figure out how to flash it. Given the other comments here I need to update / change the chip id in the sources.

I've tried the chip ids from the main sources as well as 0x60060305 and 0x60060306 with no success.

Is there a way to find the chip id and/or a good way to guess/check this setup?
Sep 21, 2020
Thanks @KemoNine. I had tried the other chip id's as well and yours worked for my new (Sept 2020) Alt keyboard. To Flash QMK on Linux I had to...
  • Git clone this directory
  • Update Line 38's Chip ID value to match the one you suggested - 0x60060005
  • In the CLI for the directory, run "make".
  • Take the compiled output from the "build" folder and run the flash command from there.
  • sudo ./mdloader --first --download {{your_compiled_keymap}}.bin --restart
KemoNine, thank you so much. I cloned your repo, confirmed my chip value, and was able to flash my Sept 2020 Alt. Hope Drop fixes their loader soon. My chip was also 0x60060005.
Sep 12, 2020
Setting Default Color Issue - Any help is greatly appreciated I am trying to set the default color at start via QMK. I am using void matrix_init_user(void) {

}; in the keymap.c file. The problem is that HSV_WHITE is the only option that works. Anything else I try (i.e. HSV_RED or (0, 255, 255)) always results in the default rainbow effect appearing. I have tried alternatives to rgb_matrix_sethsv() such as rgblight_sethsv() or rgblight_sethsv_noeeprom() and the result is always the same. The only color that works is HSV_WHITE, everything else reverts to the rainbow. I am at my wits end, so any pointers what I am doing wrong is highly appreciated.
Sep 14, 2020
This worked, thanks so much! Really appreciate your help.
Sep 14, 2020
No worries, I've been fighting the QMK stuff for the drop boards myself. Now if I could figure out how to do a caps lock indicator toggle for the caps lock function...
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Oct 24, 2020