How to Configure your CTRL Keyboard!

more_vert
search
Hey everybody! Thank you for purchasing your Massdrop CTRL Mechanical Keyboard. We hope you’re enjoying it so far. 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, Only modifiers) Media Keys
Fn + Page Up: Volume Up Fn + Page Down: Volume Down Fn + Print: Mute Fn + Insert: Play/Pause Fn + Home: Stop Fn + Delete: Previous Fn + End: Next 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 . CTRL Keyboard is in the folder "massdrop/ctrl". QMK setup instructions are here: https://docs.qmk.fm/#/newbs 3. Load the firmware onto your keyboard. To load the firmware onto your CTRL keyboard, download the appropriate loader application for your computer's OS here: https://github.com/Massdrop/mdloader/releases. 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.
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 (only CTRL Keyboard available for now). 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 CTRL 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 CTRL 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 CTRL 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.
search
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



Having any issues or generally need some help?
Let us know in the discussion and we’ll give you a hand.
(Edited by moderator jxliu)
121
1.2K
remove_red_eye
241.2K

search
close
jxliu
1064
Engineer
Apr 20, 2022
Stickied
Hi all, we've had a couple false starts rolling out updated firmware for CTRL and ALT for our keyboard configurator. If you are experiencing USB port issues, please recompile and flash your keyboard again. We rolled out a fix earlier today. For CTRL and ALT, we currently have two main firmware versions: 1. "Original" - This is most similar to the firmware on the keyboard out of the box. 2. "Modern" - This version is more-resistant to keychatter (single keypress resulting in double or triple characters) and uses non-volatile memory on the keyboard to save your LED settings across power cycles. If you are curious about the technical details, see my reply to this comment. For SHIFT, Carina, and Rocketeer, only the original firmware version is available currently. Some time next week, we will be updating our keyboard configurator to add a version selector for CTRL and ALT so that you can choose to compile with either the original or modern firmware version.
jxliu
1064
Engineer
Apr 20, 2022
Technical details Our CTRL, ALT, SHIFT, Carina, and Rocketeer keyboards use ATSAMD51 microcontrollers. Some of the original code added to QMK to support the ATSAMD51 MCUs is not compatible with QMK's GPLv2 open source license. To address this, we rebuilt support for ATSAMD51 MCUs in QMK using a library called RIOT-OS ( https://github.com/RIOT-OS/RIOT ). This rebuild is what I have referred to as the "modern" firmware version for CTRL and ALT above. The rebuild also standardizes some of the functionality that previously relied on custom code. For example, in the original firmware, the code for scanning the key matrix was specific to CTRL, ALT, SHIFT, Carina, Rocketeer. The modern version uses QMK's key matrix scanning functions and thus benefits from the improvements over the years to QMK's debounce handling. This is why the modern version is more resistant to keychatter than the original version. Our keyboard configurator is currently compiling the modern version for CTRL/ALT (note to self to update this once version selector is added) and the original version for SHIFT/Carina/Rocketeer. If you are comfortable with code and you'd like to compile your own firmware with the modern changes, use this branch from our QMK fork: https://github.com/massdrop/qmk_firmware/tree/feature/riot_m2 . The branch includes all changes from the main QMK branch up to end of January 2022. It will take at least a couple QMK develop cycles for all of our changes to be merged into the main QMK branch. A PR for the initial RIOT-OS integration is open for the current QMK develop cycle. This rebuild sets the groundwork for more improvements that we are planning to roll out later this year.
riw777
32
May 11, 2022
I'm having two problems with my Alt with using 1.06 and a fresh compile .bin. First, from time to time my keyboard crashes ... the led's are on, etc., but keystrokes don't "do anything." Second, the leftalt key LED is some sort of yellow shade on three different alt keyboards. Thoughts? I've been thinking about switching over to using the qmk configurator, but it doesn't look like it supports all the various options.
jjjd
4
May 4, 2022
Hi, After trying the QMK web configurator, I switched back to the Drop one. The "Modern" build doesn't enable any LED colors on my ALT, while the same setting compiled with "Original" works just fine. I have already tried to reset the keyboard (and flashed with the default setting firmware), it didn't work. All keys are functional. It just no LED colors at all for the "Modern" build. Any suggestions on how to fix it? Thanks.
(Edited)
HelloGuys
5
Apr 26, 2022
Have the new firmware recompiles worked for anyone? Still having issues on my Drop ALT regarding the double key inputs and left USB C no longer working (or working sporadically).
HelloGuys
5
Apr 28, 2022
Thanks! Turns out using the QMK Configurator instead of the drop configurator fixed the issues for me. Simply compiled and downloaded the firmware and all is well!
HelloGuys
5
Apr 28, 2022
My problem was fixed by using the QMK configurator instead of the DROP configurator! Fixed the boot issues and USB issues for me
jldeen
3
Apr 14, 2022
For those of you having trouble with your Drop CTRL (or possibly ALT) keyboard, there is a problem with the configurator tool. There are others on here reporting issues with the 1.0.6 loader and the configurator site creating .bin files (LattE0825 and Guywhoboughtthekeyboard, for example) The new base firmware the configurator tool uses breaks one of the USB ports (left one) on the CTRl keyboard. This firmware may also be the root cause for the other issues reported here for Windows use (not turning on on Windows restart). There is an open issue on mdloader's GitHub page: https://github.com/Massdrop/mdloader/issues/77#issuecomment-1093569163. I was able to resolve the issue by compiling my own default firmware (using the default keymap) from the qmk_firmware repo. This may work for you, if you are also having issues. Drop is aware of the issue and has escalated it to engineering.
(Edited)
Hofnar
2
Apr 25, 2022
I'm also having this issue. I've done 3 new compile/downloads + flash and now my left USB won't work, only the right does. Prior to this the left would only sometimes work.
HelloGuys
5
Apr 26, 2022
Yeah, wasn't able to figure out what the issue was after multiple recompiles and flashes using both the DFU function keys and hardware toggle on the keyboard. I've also got the additional issue of still getting the double letter issue when typing.
LattE0825
6
Apr 8, 2022
Using the 1.0.6 loader and the configurator site for creating .bin files (As of April 9, 2022), my keyboard (Drop CTRL) doesn't turn on on Windows restart. My workaround here is to disconnect and reconnect the keyboard.
jldeen
3
Apr 14, 2022
It's a problem with the configurator firmware. https://github.com/Massdrop/mdloader/issues/77 Drop says they are aware of the problem and, "Will look into it."
Hofnar
2
Apr 15, 2022
Thank you so much!
Taperice
0
Apr 4, 2022
When I press down on the function key, my LEDs switch off until I let go of the key. None of my shortcuts work... How might I go about fixing this problem??
mctaylorpants
0
Apr 8, 2022
I just ran into this as well, and it was because I accidentally deleted Layer 1 in the configurator. By default the Fn key activates Layer 1, so if it's deleted then the key will appear to do nothing and will turn off the LEDs.
ejwagar
0
Apr 2, 2022
I'd appreciate some help. Trying to flash a new ALT high-profile with configuration files compiled and downloaded between 30 MAR and 02 APR. Windows compiled MDLOADER (version 1.06, downloaded 02 APR) appears to run successfully, however after running (see below) the keyboard LEDs flicker on and off for a few second before turning off completely. The keyboard becomes non-responsive; bricked. Unplugging and re-plugging keyboard results in a few seconds of flashing LEDs (during which I can press FN-B to reset) but does not resolve the situation. Here's example output: /// >mdloader.exe --first --download drop_alt_p_alt__default.bin --restart Massdrop Loader 1.06 Massdrop Loader Copyright (C) 2018-2021 Massdrop Inc. This program is Free Software and has ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY Scanning for device for 60 seconds ............................................... Device port: COM3 (SAMD51J18A) Opening port 'COM3'... Success! Found MCU: SAMD51J18A Bootloader version: v2.18Sep 4 2018 16:48:28 Applet Version: 1 Writing firmware... Complete! Booting device... Success! Closing port... Success! /// Keyboard is connected directly to a Win10 (19043.1586) laptop. Thank you for any suggestions.
ejwagar
0
Apr 4, 2022
OK. Weird. Plugged the keyboard into my Mac. Used a different USB cable. Keyboard works. Plug back into PC using the cable I used with the Mac. Works. Switch back to the first cable...works. I have no idea what was going on. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Rldx
0
Mar 31, 2022
On using the terminal as suggested in the directions after running the EXE and being sure the BIN file is in the same folder, I get an error that the /mdloader command is not recognized. I am also not sure the EXE is running properly, as I cannot find any trace of it on my hard drives. This wouldn't be an issue usually, but the default keys to adjust the LED settings are not working, either. It is quite blinding on the default setting.
Lavent
1
Mar 17, 2022
I'm trying to download the configurator file, but it's empty. What is going on?
Ryne
3
Mar 29, 2022
same issue here, getting file is empty. did you ever get to fix this? edit: I figured it out, I just forgot some steps. I didn't include the drop config in the same folder as the mdloader
(Edited)
Showing 33 of 360
keyboard_arrow_up
Newest
360 OF 360 POSTS
keyboard_arrow_down
Oldest