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How to Configure Stack Overflow The Key and The Key V2 Macropad?

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Update: If you are here for The Key V2, please see this post below for information regarding flashing an updated stock configuration with hotkeys for changing LED modes and a more user-friendly Copy and Paste default action. Hey everybody! Thank you for purchasing your Stack Overflow The Key Macropad. We hope you’re enjoying it so far. If you’ve landed here, you probably want to take full advantage of the keyboard’s custom configuration so you’ve come to the right place. What Does The Key Come With? Out of the box, The Key comes built in with three keys that act as the “ctrl”, “c”, and “v” keys. It also includes a USB-C to USB-A cable to connect to your computer. Users that only have USB-C ports would need to provide their own USB-A to USB-C adapter.  How do I configure The Key?

Creating a New Custom Configuration The Key can be reconfigured and remapped so that each key press results in a different character, or set of characters. Users commonly find it helpful to remap these to media keys (Play, Stop, Next Track), utility keys (volume up/down) or application shortcuts (launch Chrome). To get under the hood and start reprogramming your The Key:
2. Download this JSON file onto your computer by selecting “Save Page As…”: https://docs.drop.com/thekey.json
3. Upload TheKey.json by pressing the “Upload” button under the text ‘Upload Keyboard Firmware Builder configuration’. This is what you’ll see:

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4. Now the fun begins. There are many areas to play with and a lot more can be read on QMK Firmware here. To keep this instruction set simple, we want to scroll to the Tab that says “Keymap”. By default this JSON file has a keymap where the three keys are the numbers 1, 2, and 3.

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5. Select the leftmost key. Click on the “KC_1” button and it’ll unfurl the functions you can bind your first key to. Choose a function. Repeat the process for the remaining two keys. A full list of keycodes and what function they perform is given here.

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6. It is now time to compile this new configuration into a file that you can use to flash The Key with your new functionality. Go to the “Compile” tab and press the button “Download .hex”. You will see a file downloaded named 3key.hex.

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Quick Note on Adding Layers Adding a layer requires one of the keys to activate a layer. For example, the function “MO()” momentarily activates a layer. We are posting some images below for an example on how one could create a new layer. 
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Again, as mentioned above, a full list of keycodes and what function they perform is given here. You can further look into “Layer Switching” and “RGB Lighting” on this page. Uploading the New Custom Configuration onto The Key This part of the process is where you will take the 3key.hex file you’ve created and “flash” it onto The Key’s PCB. What this means is that we are uploading a file to The Key and telling it to perform the functions we defined in the step above.
1. You will first need to download an open-source tool onto your computer. This tool is called QMK Toolbox and here is the github for it. Go to this page for the latest release and download the relevant file. For MAC users, we recommend downloading the .zip file, and for PC users, we recommend downloading the qmk_toolbox.exe file.
2. Install and launch the software. This is what you will see. Please make sure that the MCU shows “atmega32u4”

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3. Click “Open” and select the 3key.hex file you created above. In the image below you can see the filename is not exactly 3key.hex and that is because we tried to create many different configurations. Note that the “Flash” button is not activated at this point.

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4. Unscrew the back of The Key and take off the back plate. You’ll see the exposed PCB. Connect The Key to your MAC or PC. Once connected, press the button on the back of the exposed PCB of the macropad. Go back to the QMK Toolbox and you will see text in yellow saying that a device has been connected, along with the “Flash” button now being activated.

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5. Click the “Flash” button. QMK Toolbox will show that it is trying to flash The Key and once the flashing is done will show a yellow prompt saying that the device has been disconnected.

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6. You can now test whether the macropad is performing as you had configured it. You now have your version of The Key. Enjoy and please share what you created with the community.



Let us know if you have any questions in the discussion. We also look forward to the community sharing the custom layouts and functionality they are building with The Key.


(Edited by moderator HoffmanMyster)
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v3frankie
1
Oct 18, 2022
Imo, the community managers should clarify and sticky a couple things to this post as well as the main details of the product. You don't need to open the product to flash the firmware/config as explained in the "Uploading the New Custom Configuration onto The Key" section. As obvious as it may be, there is a convenient hole in the backplate to enable the flashing process. The comment by jason.wihardja on this discussion https://drop.com/buy/stack-overflow-the-key-v2-macropad/talk/2895375 Change the How To Configure file to use https://config.qmk.fm/#/massdrop/thekey_v2/LAYOUT instead of Keyboard Firmware Builder.
(Edited)
SteveWaring
0
Sep 10, 2022
Does anyone know if it is possible to control the LEDs from an Android device? It would be awesome to have an intent that accepted an Extra, to specify the LED mode. Users could then use Tasker to respond to any situation and set the LEDs are required. If it is possible, and someone can let me know how, I might find the time to code the Intent.
dobicinaitis
0
Sep 2, 2022
Leaving this here for fellow Linux users who came looking for info on how to configure The Key on Linux - https://github.com/dobicinaitis/stack-overflow-macropad/blob/main/doc/how-to-flash-firmware-on-linux.md
dustincredible
1
Jul 19, 2022
It still needs some work, but I created a SwiftBar/xbar plugin that monitors my Zoom mute status and changes The Key v2 RGBs to indicate muted (red), unmuted (green), or not in a meeting/not connected to audio (rainbow swirl). It's Mac only, but you can read about it here: https://dustin.lol/post/2022/zoom-key-v2/
https://github.com/dustincredible/swiftbar-key In the spirit of The Key, I borrowed heavily from the python @Andy-_-100 wrote in his post https://drop.com/talk/93641/talk/2893053
(Edited)
Andy-_-100
5
Jul 20, 2022
Very cool!!
Hey all, I just shared a post with some details and .hex files to give a more friendly default configuration. Left_0: fn/Layer Key (while pressed, enables Middle_1 and Right_1 when Middle and Right keys are pressed) Middle_0: Cmd+C (Mac), Ctrl+C (Win) Right_0: Cmd+V (Mac), Ctrl+C (Win) Left_1: <key does not exist on Layer 1> Middle_1: RGB_TOG (toggles RGB on/off) Right_1: RGB_MOD (cycles through RGB modes)  These are the two hex files, available for both Mac and Windows: https://docs.drop.com/TheKeyV2MacroLightingMAC.hex
https://docs.drop.com/TheKeyV2MacroLightingPC.hex The flashing process will be the same as detailed in the existing documentation for The Key V1 ("Uploading the New Custom Configuration onto The Key" section above). 
(Edited)
stuartsoft
0
Oct 13, 2022
Can you please make the JSON file for TheKeyV2 available as well?
germanshep
0
Oct 30, 2022
tamirben
4
Jun 28, 2022
Someone made a .hex file ready to flash? stackoverflow key => open default browser and navigate to stackoverflow.com C => ctrl/cmd C (copy) V => ctrl/cmd V (paste) and maybe also some nice LED changes, like a default white, when click on C will flash red, when click V will flash green, when click stackoverflow will flash some other color.
Andy-_-100
5
Jun 27, 2022
If anyone's interested, I made a tutorial to use it as a Windows notification indicator https://www.shawenyao.com/Stack-Overflow-The-LED/
ViCrunch
0
Nov 6, 2022
I'm interested nice set up but it's for windows.. I'm Mac or Linux user... Do you think it could actually work on different OS ?
schnell
0
Jun 27, 2022
Does anyone know how to program a Ctrl+V input that repeats as long as the key is held down? I've tried different combinations of macros and tap dances in VIAL, but I always end up generating either a single Ctrl+V keypress or endless input.
jason.wihardja
17
Jul 16, 2022
Your OS might have something to do with it. Your keyboard only sends key down and key up events. Your OS will then decide what to do with it. So, in your case, the OS translates those events into repeated key presses
Freik
37
Jun 24, 2022
The default configuration for this device doesn't support all the RGB animation goofiness. To do that, you need to change the core QMK configuration a little. With that change, I have a fully functional QMK working for V2. You can read the details of my overly complicated setup here: https://github.com/kevinfrei/qmk_firmware/tree/master/keyboards/massdrop/thekey/keymaps/kevinfrei and see the QMK code patch here: https://github.com/kevinfrei/qmk_firmware/commit/8ac8d8bcfcec367e910ec00cd2643a3e84913011 Specifically, I ordered the 5 RGB LEDs from left to right, added support for animations, and disabled the backlight, because that seemed redundant (plus a couple other minor things). Now my silly little 3-key macro pad is helpful for debugging and media playback, and I can make it do all the RGB silliness my heart desires.
seybsen
0
Jun 25, 2022
Awesome work and thanks for sharing! Just flashed your customized version
The comments here so far are all over the place, but I will chime in to say that I received a unit that is exactly what I expected, and performs as advertised as I understood the marketing write-up. 3 keys; ctrl, c, v. and lolz. The unit I got has the pinhole in the bottom for doing flashing, and while the instructions weren't the best I've ever read, I was able to follow them with no issue (to be fair, I already had QMK Toolbox loaded, and have used it before). What I haven't figured out, and may be more due to my lack of knowledge on QMK than with this board, is how to do anything with the key lighting. I can use the 'RGB_TOG' and other RGB commands to manipulate the lights in the base. Cool. But I don't know how to manipulate the per key LEDs? They don't seem to respond to RGB or BL commands. Any pointers, from anyone who bothered to read all of this?
G-skiii
129
Jun 30, 2022
I was able to successfully flash it after creating a hex file from the keymap you shared, but I am not able to use it effectively to change the RGB settings. Any further guidance you could add to your readme for id10t's like me would be appreciated.
jason.wihardja
17
Jul 16, 2022
Use my firmware I posted here https://drop.com/buy/stack-overflow-the-key-v2-macropad/talk/2895375?utm_source=linkshare&referer=8DTAUX. It gives you a firmware with pretty much all the possible customization of the LEDs.
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