How to Configure your CTRL Keyboard!
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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/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.

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.
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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

Having any issues or generally need some help?
Let us know in the discussion and we’ll give you a hand.
thumb_upAli Alzarra, Michael Morgan, and 78 others
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Elbert
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Aug 6, 2019
Stickied
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Download the appropriate loader application for your computer's OS here: https://github.com/Massdrop/mdloader/releases/tag/1.0.3Windows users: Download mdloader_windows.exe and applet-flash-samd51j18a.bin and put them in the same folder. Linux users: Download mdloader_linux and applet-flash-samd51j18a.bin and put them in the same folder. chmod u+x mdloader_linux to make it executable. Mac users: Download mdloader_mac and applet-flash-samd51j18a.bin and put them in the same folder. If downloading with Safari, mdloader_mac will have a .dms extension appended to it. This is fine. chmod u+x mdloader_mac to make it executable. (chmod u+x mdloader_mac.dms if downloaded from Safari) 1) Go to the default configuration and click COMPILE & DOWNLOAD for the default keymap. Otherwise, make your desired changes before clicking COMPILE & DOWNLOAD.
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2) Locate the BIN file generated and downloaded via the configurator
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3) Move the file to the same folder as mdloader_windows.exe
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4) Open the command prompt
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5) a) Determine the file path to the directory that contains the BIN file you just downloaded. You may simply click the file path near the top of windows explorer. Clicking it will show the file path and highlight it. Copy that file path.
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b) In the command prompt, navigate to the directory that contains the BIN file by typing “cd [file path]” and pressing Enter. As you have copied the file path in the above step, simply type “cd” and paste (Ctrl + V) the file path. Note that there is a space between “cd” and [file path].
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The highlighted line in the image below shows the directory you are currently in. It should match the file path that you copied.
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To flash your keyboard: 1) Plug in the keyboard 2) In the command prompt, type “mdloader_windows.exe --first --download FILE_NAME --restart” where FILE_NAME is the filename of your compiled firmware (the BIN file you downloaded from the configurator). For example, I would type “mdloader_windows.exe --first --download massdrop_alt_config_ALT___2_Layers_with_Custom_Colors_2650.bin --restartThe "--first" option auto-detects the first available keyboard to flash over the next 60 seconds. Using --first, you can submit the flashing command with your CTRL keyboard and then press the reset button---no second keyboard needed. Press Enter.
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3) Press the reset button within 60 seconds of submitting the flash command (i.e. during the "scanning for device" message). The reset button is in a hole on the underside of the keyboard. After pressing the reset button, all the LEDs will turn off. Your keyboard should flash and restart.
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P.S. Yes, the images show an ALT, but the process is identical.
(Edited)
Aug 6, 2019
vuther
0
Apr 1, 2020
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I updated to the latest firmware, and it did seem to help my key chatter, but "r" and "g" key seems to still be chatting from time to time. It isn't near as bad as before the firmware upgrade though.
Apr 1, 2020
125lbstank
8
Apr 12, 2020
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when is macros coming?
Apr 12, 2020
Le24
0
Jun 29, 2020
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Hi! Quick rookie question - if you create a new LED pattern on the web-based configurator and then flash it onto the keyboard, will the keyboard then lose all the preset factory LED patterns that were originally there?
Jun 29, 2020
Theberge43
6
Jun 16, 2020
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Hi, so my CTRL does not keep it's led setting if I disconnect it. Is that normal.
Jun 16, 2020
Ariella322
0
Jun 16, 2020
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Could you please add possibility to assign KC_GESC to a key in the web configurator? Krunker io
Jun 16, 2020
JoshX
0
Jun 14, 2020
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Is anyone aware of an repository/collection of additional community made-LED patterns?
Jun 14, 2020
EDCaddict
0
Jun 7, 2020
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Will I have issues if I just configure my keys using QMK Configurator. Then I'll compile. But for the loading process, I'll just use mdloader_windows.exe. Will I potentially brick my keyboard?
Jun 7, 2020
geekyPony19
7
Jun 6, 2020
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How can I change the default blue color. How can I do that?
Jun 6, 2020
casciom
4
May 21, 2020
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Is there any intention to simplify the keyboard customization process with an application in the future?
May 21, 2020
WilliamCCT
3
May 25, 2020
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Ikr, even a lot of cheap budget keyboards have some sort of basic customization software, some with even more options than Drop's configurator does, like macros. Surely it wouldn't kill Drop to work on an application, even if it's just a barebones drop-down list for you to select key functions/lighting effects from.
(Edited)
May 25, 2020
casciom
4
May 25, 2020
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Exactly, this was a lot of money spent, and while they keyboard itself is great, I assumed that there would be some sort of software release down the line to replace the tedious firmware loader that they have now... I get that QMK is fun for more hardcore keeb enthusiasts, but I think most people would appreciate some sort of UI.
May 25, 2020
badogski29
13
May 13, 2020
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My keyboard is double typing, any fix on this?
May 13, 2020
JonnyAwesome
11
May 16, 2020
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mine is also double typing letters
May 16, 2020
geekyPony19
7
Jun 6, 2020
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Same here. I cleaned with canned air and it helped but keeps happening
Jun 6, 2020
Jerome45R
6
Apr 15, 2020
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Specifically for mac terminal users will share the direct instructions from @LastContinue here. instructions are clear and straightforward for first time users https://drop.com/talk/9382/talk/2204880?utm_source=linkshare&referer=ZLY583
Apr 15, 2020
Jerome45R
6
Apr 22, 2020
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yep i agree with the drag and drop method. but im very used to using brew and command line tools due to my occupation. Thanks anyways, hopefully this will help other mac users in future :)
Apr 22, 2020
LastContinue
141
Apr 24, 2020
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I hope I wasn't being too patronizing. When these things first hit, there'd be questions like "where's the terminal?". That's a completely valid question, but it means that there's going to be a lot of things that I might just toss off hand that mean absolutely nothing to somebody else. It's been a good learning experience.
Apr 24, 2020
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