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_upCarnageHimura, TheGrahamcracker, and 47 others
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Jazic
0
Aug 5, 2020
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Is there a way to backup or get a copy of the stock firmware of my Alt Keyboard?
Aug 5, 2020
Kevinho
0
Jul 29, 2020
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Keep receiving a "ERROR: PARCER: could not open to read"
Jul 29, 2020
plagueparty
12
Jul 24, 2020
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this is ridiculous. everyone talking about wanting breathing per key and all this fancy shit and i just want my brand new, out of the box, $250 board to work! Keys constantly sticking every 10 seconds, even tried switching everything over to V2 tealios that i know arent faulty, still happens. thought ok, ill just try and update the firmware and make a few tasteful changes, well good luck because powershell keeps telling me no ports found! did i get a bad pcb or what? ive followed multiple tutorials, all saying to do the exact same thing, have tried the reset button before and after executing the command, have tried the reset button and fn + b. like what do i have to do to make an almost $300 keyboard usable....?
Jul 24, 2020
plagueparty
12
Jul 26, 2020
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It's 1.04, and it no longer says could not find valid device port, now it's a problem with the applet.
Jul 26, 2020
plagueparty
12
Jul 27, 2020
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Wow, still nothing from customer support..? Can't wait to pay to ship it back because they're not gonna answer within the timeline.
Jul 27, 2020
darkjak13
2
Jul 23, 2020
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I would think what I'm looking to do should be relatively simple, but I can't seem to figure it out... I would like to have a pulse of color come from each key after I press it, but I'm not sure how to do this, is anyone able to explain/ help me with this?
Jul 23, 2020
hdsharpe1
13
Jul 20, 2020
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Could someone clarify layering for me? I set up 2 extra layers. Layer 2 transparent to layer 1, except for the option to go up to layer 3, and supposedly (if I am reading the layer explanation correctly) activates the default layer 0. I have a gaming setup on layer three. To get too it I have it set up as FN+(TT3) off the first layer or the 2nd. However, when I completely activate layers 2 or 3, I can't go back down layers. I assigned TO(0), DF(0), and TG(0) to various keys. Shouldn't one of them deactive the layer I am on and send me to the default layer, or layer 0? Or am I missing something?
Jul 20, 2020
DJLytic
10
Jul 19, 2020
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I wonder if QMK needs any dev support? Would be happy to help them improve the end-user loading process and customization potential :)
Jul 19, 2020
spydermayne
4
Jul 11, 2020
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Can you guys work with VIA and add some actual customization potentials to the ALT? As of now it feels very limited in what a normal user can do with backlight/RGB. Wouldn't even be that frustrated if there were decent guides and/or tutorials online. I guess it was my fault for buying this keyboard but being unable to customize any lighting effects without extensive (to me, as someone who doesn't code) programming is a huge "fuck you" to be honest. If y'all don't want to put in the work at least help other people to figure it out for you? Not saying the stock lighting effects are bad, but... it gets lame after seeing the same shit a million times.
Jul 11, 2020
Why_Not
2
Jul 23, 2020
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That’s a dud, send it back for sure!
Jul 23, 2020
plagueparty
12
Jul 24, 2020
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Ever run into problems flashing? I'm no genius, but I'm not a dumb dumb either. I'm pretty comfortable in powershell and continue to get error messages. I've followed multiple tutorials after becoming frustrated only to receive the same error messages.
Jul 24, 2020
Xanderr
1
Jul 1, 2020
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I keep getting "error parser file empty"
Jul 1, 2020
hdsharpe1
13
Jul 20, 2020
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I had this error and it was because I didn't have the right version of QMK MDloader. Make sure you have 1.04.
Jul 20, 2020
phitz
1
Jul 26, 2020
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Thanks @hdsharpe1 - that fixed the problem I had flashing it. I kept getting "Error: Could not find matching device ID!" or "Error: Could not find a valid device port!" with mdloader 1.03; updating to 1.04 fixed it. Recording this here with the error messages I was getting to thank you and potentially help others searching for it.
Jul 26, 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
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