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How to Configure Stack Overflow The Key Macropad?

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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)
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Lucasho
139
Jan 16, 2022
i'm surprised by the comments here - granted, there's the usual massdrop f-ups: inaccurate instructions owing from inconsistent product QC (mine came with hole in the bottom so I knew to use a paperclip to put it in flashing mode - but the target audience is also a more tech-savvy one, so presumably some kind of tinkering is to be expected. on my current laptop I haven't bothered to install QMK, but I fired up KFB in my browser and quickly installed QMK toolbox, and within 10 mins I was off to the races. It is usable out of the box, and customisation isn't really that hard at all. so massdrop may have oversold it, but i really am surprised by the nature of the complaints here. the build quality is excellent and I have had no issues with it so far. there. I'm also surprised I actually left a positive comment on Drop.
lisatwin1
0
Jan 21, 2022
I wish I was that lucky. 20 minutes in, I went through the motions twice, but all I am getting is the letters C and V.
Zoliandru
0
Jan 13, 2022
I'm a bit confused because when using a number in the string, it returns the character & for 1, é for 2, etc. Also when trying to output "azerty" it outputs "qwerty"........ How do I output the | (pipe) on my azerty keyboard using this keyboard? When selecting the pipe in the firmware builder, it outputs "£" (I assume this is the place where the pipe is on a qwerty keyboard) And how do I use a key to make that combination of 2 keys : "fn + f4"
(Edited)
starvegal
1
Jan 12, 2022
I was not able to reflash my The Key with Keyboard Firmware Builder. I had much better luck with https://config.qmk.fm/#/massdrop/thekey/LAYOUT. Good luck!
lisatwin1
0
Jan 21, 2022
Thanks for this, I was completely confused on how to do the "Key Mapping." I was about to return it, even still I'm disappointed that the C key isn't "CTRL + C."
ProducePirate
1
Jan 6, 2022
Hmm.. Not sure what I expected from the SO key, but the c and v keys I expected to be the equivalent to ctrl-c and ctrl-v. Ideally this should be the setup (can't afford the time do re-map yet). 1) SO key should do the equivalent of launching the default browser to StackOverflow.com. Either by having a driver that does this, or by a key mapping that uses the most common keyboard shortcuts (aka windowskey + https://xxx), or (windowskey + uniquescriptnameinpath, where that script is user modifyable to launch a browser to a site). 2) Ctrl-C 3) Ctrl-V Not sure how you'd make a mac version, but I'm sure a driver later and the mac would be taken care of. Software-wise, a tiny driver for the most common setups - binary with source available. Or the QMK stuff above packaged to work for just this keyboard. Think about it. For now, its an expensive desktop decoration that may increase my nerd rep depending inversely on how much the one seeing it knows...
Domcopinger
0
Jan 12, 2022
Absolutely agree with this, had expected this to be the default configuration and it's going to be a little bit of a pain to set it up to get that configuration
flaminghakama
0
Dec 29, 2021
For anyone on a mac, Who is also using a Windows keyboard and so has already swapped the Option and Command keys in system preferences > keyboard > modifier keys The correct setting for the first button is "LGUI"
LeonZhang
0
Dec 25, 2021
How do you setup macros on this?? Cannot select a key to bind, please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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MarcSelman
0
Dec 29, 2021
Use the `m()` function
ryates
0
Dec 22, 2021
I have sent my request to return The Key for reasons already written. The automated response to this request included: "due to higher than normal demand, response times may be delayed". Gee, I wonder why that is? I have to post one other problem with this product. It comes with a USB-A to USB-C cable that looks like it is thick enough for charging up a Prius. Not only that, but it is a coiled shape that is essentially worthless since The Key is so light that the cord immediately retracts it you try to position The Key with the cord stretched at all. If this is all part of the joke, then "Ho, ho, ho, and send me my money back."
ryates
0
Dec 21, 2021
The product is not as advertised. It did not work for CRTL, C, and V out of the box. (It actually locked down my CTRL key so I could not type until I unplugged it.) The instructions for reprogramming are hideously complicated, incomplete and assume a great deal of knowledge of jargon on the part of the user. (Configure a JSON file?, download and run an app from Github in a DOS window? Open the back of the key with four tiny, tiny screws and mess with the guts? Flash the The Key's PCB? Are you fucking kidding me?) I have a set of small screw drivers but none are anywhere close to small enough for those screws. Mine is being returned ASAP. Yes, I know it is a joke. And I guess the joke's on me.
lixo
0
Jan 7, 2022
I mean... You're buying a stack overflow gimmick, can't be that hard for you to just flash your own firmware on the thing. Besides that you could have already known that this is basically a qmk macropad before buying it.
i think this is a fun little macropad. i assumed (ass, u, me?) that c did ctrl+c and v did ctrl+v without having to hold ctrl (key with SO image on it). but thanks to this post, i can set it up like this myself. and thanks to everyone who ported this over to QMK.
bo-zhang
0
Dec 20, 2021
Why I use Thunderbolt3 cable to connect it to MacBook Pro directly, there is no response, and the red light does not turn on
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