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How to Configure your CTRL Keyboard!

Hey everybody! Thank you for purchasing your Drop 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.

Default Hot Keys Hold FN + listed keys to activate LED Keys
Fn + A: LED Pattern - Select previous Fn + D: LED Pattern - Select next Fn + Q: LED Pattern - Decrease scrolling speed (for animating patterns) Fn + E: LED Pattern - Increase scrolling speed (for animating patterns) Fn + Caps Lock: LED Pattern - Change scrolling direction (left to right, right to left, bottom to top, top to bottom, radial center to edge, radial edge to center) Fn + W: LED - Increase brightness Fn + S: LED - Decrease brightness Fn + Tab: LED - Toggle breathing effect Fn + X: LED - Toggle all LEDs off/on Fn + Z: LED - Toggle mode (keys + edge, keys only, edge only, all off) Fn + R: LED - Increase brightness of edge LEDs only (up to brightness of keys LEDs) Fn + F: LED - Decrease brightness of edge LEDs only Fn + V: LED - Toggle every other edge LED off 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) Flashing
Fn + B (hold for three seconds then release): Put keyboard into firmware flashing mode (also referred to as “reseting the keyboard”)
How do I configure my keyboard? 1. Create your keyboard configuration and compile it into a firmware file. For this, you can use our web-based configurator tool: . See “Drop Keyboard Configurator” section below for more information. If you are comfortable with programming and working with QMK code, you can manually create and compile your configuration by checking out our fork of the QMK repository: . Our keyboards are under the “keyboards/drop” folder, e.g. “keyboards/drop/ctrl”. As of August 2022, our fork uses features and keyboard support that have not yet merged to the main QMK repository. For additional details, see this comment: . 2. Flash the firmware file onto your keyboard. This will copy the firmware into your keyboard’s memory. See the “Flashing Your Keyboard” section below.
DROP KEYBOARD 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 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 file onto your keyboard. See the “Flashing Your Keyboard” section below. If you click the arrow next to the “Compile & Download” button, you will be able to customize the version of the compiled firmware. The “Modern” version is set as default and recommended for all users. If you are logged in to Drop, 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.
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:

FLASHING YOUR KEYBOARD 1. Download the Drop Keyboard Configurator application. 2. Launch the Drop Keyboard Configurator application. After the application launches, click “Flash Firmware”.
3. Follow the flashing instructions in the application. It will instruct you to select the desired firmware file followed by resetting your keyboard. Note: the Drop Keyboard Configurator application will automatically receive updates. We are currently working on adding configuration capabilities to the application.
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)

Aug 5, 2022
Hi all, we’ve made more firmware updates to the Modern version which we think will resolve all of the reported issues of the keyboard not turning on after PC start-up/restart. The Modern firmware version is also now available for SHIFT and Carina. Please recompile using our web configurator ( ) and flash your keyboard again. If you manually compile your own firmware, you can get the updated code here: . As of August 2022, that branch has features and keyboard support that have not yet merged to the main QMK repository, specifically SAMD51 support using RIOT-OS and the QMK XAP API. For flashing your keyboard, we have released a new desktop application to streamline the process. See the new “Flashing Your Keyboard” above.
Mar 5, 2023
Yea after reading another user's comments it hadn't occurred to me that I could load via or QMK onboard instead of Drop's firmware. Definitely gonna look into that.
Mar 14, 2023
jxliuFunny thing, I was going down the rabbit hole of figuring out how to write or modify GMK firmware for my Drop Shift keyboard to change keyboard layouts on the fly using VIA. Maybe try to build fun LED patterns, which I don't have the time for, but it might be a fun project. Then I realized you guys finally created some software for the keyboards. I'm glad you finally have GUI software to change keyboard layouts and add layering, but it doesn't look like you can control anything regarding LEDs. It's a huge letdown. The website configurator doesn't offer much when it comes to LED patterns. You have the default options and stagnant colors. It also doesn't look like anyone has merged the latest firmware with QMK Git repositories in case people want to go another route and try to do it themselves. Please, take the time to add some value to your brand by expanding the functionality of your keyboards. It would go a long way to convince others that you care about the user base.
May 5, 2023
Hi, I just got a Drop CTRL keyboard and am using it on a Mac. I cannot figure out how to map a key to the functions I used to have on an old Das Keyboard layout; namely the CMD key and an OPT/ALT key. I am using the ~mechanical-keyboards/configurator tool. I tried to search the community messages but came up dry. Could you please point me in the right direction? Thanks!
May 9, 2023
KoroshoHere, download this app... and you can make some changes and even update your firmware. There's ways to change / swap the functionality from the macOS system preferences as well if that's easier for you.

Mar 10, 2023
For those complaining that VIA should be available for the CTRL (and ALT, etc.): it is. I've had it running on both my CTRL and ALT keyboards for a couple of weeks now and it's stable. It works both via the downloadable app as well as the web interface (at least in Brave - I don't use Chrome *spit*). Only downside is that I can't custom-color each LED as I would like. But the list of presets in Drop's boards (for lighting) are more comprehensive than others (Keychron V3 and Novelkeys NK87 EE). Worth the upgrade.
Mar 4, 2023
I've had no issues using this guide to modify my LED colors, but I cannot get the configurator to allow my chosen colors to do anything other than enable/disable the breathing pattern or stay solid. It will not do the scrolling pattern at all - how can I do that? Or is it not possible?
May 9, 2023
audreliSadly animations / effects can't be accomplished through the configurator. Pretty lame when it comes to that type of functionality. I keep asking for it but their slow to innovate.
Mar 1, 2023
Modern firmware causes my keyboard to not work when PC is being powered on from sleep or shut off state. I need to disconnect my usb and plug it back in every single time to make it work again. Flashed back to original firmware and the issue is solved. From the comments this seems to not be an isolated incident, so would hope it would be addressed and fixed.
Feb 14, 2023
Really wish drop with get rid of this "keyboard configurator" program and just let us use VIA like literally every other keyboard. Nothing about this program works at all. Port errors even when using the old firmware.
Feb 20, 2023
Last response to myself... There is currently no LED control b/c there doesn't appear to be any Draft Definition for the ALT (and I didn't see one for CTRL, either). I suppose that will arrive in due time. But at least a) there are far more LED modes and b) the keyboard remembers which mode you selected across power cycles (something the previous QMK firmware was a fail at).
Feb 21, 2023
MagnusTTLoaded Via on my CTRL and it works well. So far. And there is a frame in Via that allows for cycling through all of the LED patterns. Sadly, I still can't set my own fixed colors yet. But otherwise the firmware is working and is much more pleasant to use than base QMK.
Feb 12, 2023
Hello, I'm trying to use the configurator to change the led color when Caps Lock is engaged, but I was unable to find where I could do it (and I'm not familiar with QML). Does anyone has an idea on how I could proceed? Thanks!
Feb 21, 2023
Cancer_PrimeYou can't. I tried to make it work as well in the keyboard configurator. There is just one set value for the lighting when CAPS LOCK is engaged and I have yet to find a way to change it. I don't know if there is a way to do it in VIA on other keyboards, but I've updated my CTRL to use VIA and there isn't a way to change it there, either.
Feb 8, 2023
As others have put it, I don't like how I have to take a class on how to properly configure the LEDs on this keyboard. Wish there were an easier way to do that.
Jan 21, 2023
I've just tried flashing a firmware with some LED config changes, and there seem to be an issue with "modern" firmware, as the moment I flash that, the LEDs blink in the rainbow pattern and then turn off. The keyboard works, however I can't get the LEDs to turn on in any way. If I use the "original" firmware, then the LEDs work.
Jan 14, 2023
I made a custom configuration for key alt around two years ago. Today I wanted to make some changes to it but found out that the "save" for my configuration isn't there anymore. Is there any way to recover that? I also have the .bin file that was created too if I can somehow recover and change from that as well.
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