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:
(Edited by moderator jxliu)

Apr 20, 2022
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?
Mar 19, 2022
Anyone else having issues where all compiled FWs fail? Even tried the default and keyboard will no longer boot. No issues with the ones I compiled 3 weeks ago tho.
Mar 9, 2022
The above link ( does not mention that one needs to "reset" the keyboard first for it to be detected by the loader program. At least, for me on MacOS, the loader would say that no device was found, until I reset the board with a pin. This can be very confusing for users, because if you search in the Github issues you see other older approaches (e.g. which are not needed and obsolete. Please care about your loyal users and update the doc.
MDLoader won't open on my PC. Is the program not supported in Windows 11? The GitHub page for the program hasn't been updated since Oct 18, 2021.
May 9, 2022
I have the same problem. MDLoader won't open on my windows 11 machine at all. I even tried the beta build with no luck.
Hey there team! I was experiencing some weird issues on my alt today. My backspace and shift keys stopped working, so I reflashed my firmware, which showed "Writing firmware... Complete! Booting device... Success! Closing port... Success!" but then the keyboard went dark and will not respond to any input. Unplugging the device, pressing the reset button, nothing. No lights, no response. I would appreciate any guidance you might be able to give me. Thanks!
I built a custom-config on the drop configurator, and since, am getting zero response from the board. I think I saw your post, but didn't you at least see an orange light when plugged in? I'm not getting any lights.
So we attached the Alt to a windows computer, which recognized it, downloaded and compiled the standard Alt firmware, and used QMK toolbox to open it. (used at90usb_1286) for the MCU, and opened the downloaded file. Then enabled auto-flash, and then disabled it. Then "open" and "open" again, and it flashed the board, so that I could reflash it with my custom set. The keys that weren't working before are still not working, but I don't own a paperweight. I'll continue trying things.
Feb 26, 2022
Hey, I wanted to try the homerow mod on my drop alt. I configured it with the online configurator tool and then flashed the firmware as described. It worked but I ended up not liking the mod. After I flashed the board again with the default bin-file generated from the configurator, non of my key leds, except capslock are working anymore. The Board LEDs are still working. I don't know what I did wrong, everything went smoothly and no errors. Maybe someone has an idea? Thanks
Feb 28, 2022
Following instructions re: Method 3 (Uncheck the “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power” option) in the article below enabled me to get rid of this problem. I have a KVM switch and the keyboard would randomly stop working sometimes, or would not work when I would switch between PCs. Implemented method 3 solution about 1h ago and have had no issues since.. Good luck!
Mar 1, 2022
I don't think this will solve this. All LEDs (except Capslock) are completely off when I turn on my computer, or when the power is cut off from the Keyboard. The Board is currently connected to my Monitor USB-Hub. When I'm away from the pc and turn off the Monitor, the Hub is turned off as well. I then have to do the Hard Reset method you described in your first post and all the lights are on again.
Jan 1, 2022
Hi I need help. I can download the files, but the applet fails to run when I try to flash my Drop ALT. This is the message I get: Opening port 'COM3'... Success! Found MCU: SAMD51J18A Bootloader version: v2.18Sep 4 2018 16:48:28 Error: Applet run error for init! Closing port... Success! What can I do to fix this? My keyboard is currently stuck in a loop of connecting/disconnecting and I can't even flash it with the default configuration because the applet won't run.
Jan 1, 2022
If I remove the .bin from the configuration file, I get Applet file: applet-mdflash.bin Error: Applet run error for init! If I remove the .bin from the applet in addition, I get Applet file: applet-mdflash.bin Error: Could not open applet file: applet-mdflash.bin
Dec 29, 2021
I just got new switches for my alt, akko cs matcha greens, and i wanted to go stabilizers. would these pre lubed and pre holee modded durock v2 stabilizers,, fit on the alt? Im also wondering if the holee mod and the lubing services, and just the modding services in general from this website are good. If they are not good what are other alternatives that I could use?
Dec 26, 2021
I need help. After configure my keyboard, every single time that I power on my PC I need to disconnect and connect my keyboard to can type anything. How can I reset it to the factory state or something? Because before I use mdloader my keyboard worked well.
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