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_upToPhoToToTuong, urwis123, and 39 others
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iamsancho
33
Nov 18, 2019
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I have two ALT keyboards. I got a keycap set for one of them that required me to reconfigure some of the keys. I use a "UGreen" USB 2.0 switch to use the same keyboard on two PCs. Prior to burning the new firmware/configuration, the ALT worked fine through the switch. After, it would not power on. Bypassing the switch for a direct PC connection allowed the ALT to work. I attached an inline USB-C power meter and found that the switch was dropping the USB voltage from 4.97 V (input) to 4.58 V (output, to keyboard). This 4.58 V seems to be too low for the ALT I had reprogrammed, but the other ALT (factory load) worked fine at the lower voltage. Fortunately, this USB switch has an auxiliary power connector so I'm able to bring the voltage up to 4.94 V and the reprogrammed ALT works. Some USB switches don't have an auxiliary power connector, which would have meant no available workaround other than to add a powered USB hub inline with the keyboard cable just to give it a voltage it would be happy with. Drop, can you please put back whatever you changed so the ALT can tolerate the slightly lower bus voltage? https://drop.com/mechanical-keyboards/configurator/preset/alt--default
(Edited)
Nov 18, 2019
MatthewMingus
6
Oct 12, 2019
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Is there any way to configure the keyboard to where when I click down on a certain key, that one specifically lights up with a specified color? I’ve seen this preset on many other keyboards but with the online configurator, I can’t seem to load it.
Oct 12, 2019
Shocker1
0
Aug 20, 2019
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Hello, I really like my high profile ALT. Now, I seem to have found a bug. For some reason the board will stop registering keystrokes when using MS Outlook. It happens when text is selected and then an alpha-numeric keystroke is registered (typically this would replace the selected text with the keystroke). However, the keyboard just stops working. The lights remain on, but no keystrokes will register. Next, unplugging the keyboard and re-plugging it results in the "orange light" blinking. Either 5 blinks followed by 1 blink or 5 blinks followed by 5 blinks. So, what is the blink pattern ? Does it have a translation? Could you provide a comprehensive manual and PCB schematic for troubleshooting or editing our boards? Please help me figure out this strange bug in the board. Seems like a microprocessor issue.
Aug 20, 2019
annnnnn
0
Aug 19, 2019
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How do you assign MO(1)? I do not see the option to assign it on the configuration page.
Aug 19, 2019
naverlands
138
Jul 2, 2019
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im on windows. i compiled the new .bin file in the massdrop online confiscator and downloaded that. i downloaded the mdloader_windows.exe and applet-flash-samd51j18a.bin and put them in one single folder. i figured out that terminal meant cmd in windows. (if im wrong plz tell me). well after that i have no clue how to proceed. i red the howto on the github page 20 times but i cant understand a single thing. i just want to flash my alt with a new default led configuration.
Jul 2, 2019
RedSven
0
Jul 12, 2019
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Jul 12, 2019
naverlands
138
Jul 18, 2019
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thank you so so much. just what i needed. oh the sheer relief i feel right now.
Jul 18, 2019
KoreanJesus21
1
Jun 21, 2019
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Is anyone else having an error where it says that your files must end in bin or hex, and all your files already end in bin or hex? It's making it so my keyboard won't flash.
Jun 21, 2019
OneTwothpick
1
Jun 20, 2019
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Is anyone else having the issue where after your Alt bootstraps from flashing a new configuration nothing has changed? I've made multiple configs and flashed multiple times with no errors but it always restarts and is the default state. My third layer is never added :(
Jun 20, 2019
OneTwothpick
1
Jul 16, 2019
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Flash from the command prompt. They should open the command prompt, navigate to the directory that contains their BIN file and mdloader_windows.exe, press the reset button, and type “mdloader_windows.exe --first --download FILE_NAME --restart” where FILE_NAME is their BIN file.

^ This is the response I got from support and it worked flawlessly. Hope this helps!
Jul 16, 2019
xngvn
2
Jul 17, 2019
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That's the command for a Windows computer and aside from the --download part is the command I'm running. I'll give it a shot today for the mac loader version adding the command. Thank you.
Jul 17, 2019
akidd
3
Jun 15, 2019
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A few questions I don't see answered elsewhere?
  • in the configurator what is pattern 2 "Teal/Salmon" - those colors are extremely different and when I use it I get one or the other seemingly randomly? I want one Salmon (or maybe just call it Pink) and one Teal (or light blue maybe - you aren't dealing with a white spectrum of shades here guys)
  • Is there a way to make a key like Capslock change color when active? It does this with the default profile. I'd like it to flash when active.
Comments:
  • Custom colors are VERY hard to get to be even similar to what you choose - I tried over 25 shades of blue to get something that didn't look so dark it is hard to see, white or pinky-purple. (and I have NO red keys defined) The default white is more pink than blue as I'd expect.
  • There needs to be a LOT more patterns in the configurator and at least half a dozen more colors that actually look like the colors on the keyboard
  • The configurator should show the actual color you choose on the keyboard image. Trying to remember what 7 or 4 mean is prone to mistake - especially given the custom colors DO show as the colors you choose.
Jun 15, 2019
djensen47
96
Jun 13, 2019
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Is there a way that I can configure Shift-Esc to output a tilde ~ character?
Jun 13, 2019
uvnikita
14
Jun 17, 2019
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Jun 17, 2019
DullRazor
2
Jun 3, 2019
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Anyone know if it’s possible to set nkro by default?
Jun 3, 2019
mmhorda
1
Jun 7, 2019
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I'd like to know it too, but nobody seems to care about it.
(Edited)
Jun 7, 2019
hskarp
0
Sep 1, 2019
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yes if you compile your own file, theres a setting nfor it in qmk
Sep 1, 2019
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