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_upswgg Nuko, Chris, and 73 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 with 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
stepsten
38
Aug 13, 2019
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ahh...okay, i'm using windows and was waiting for the port to be found before resetting. i reset after executing the command and the flash was successful. hopefully this will fix the issue. thanks..
Aug 13, 2019
saiforshort
27
Nov 25, 2019
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THANK YOU SO MUCH KIND SIR!! all caps for appreciation
Nov 25, 2019
Yosup
2
Feb 17, 2020
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I am having trouble with the online configurator compiling. It seems to just get stuck and load forever. I am only trying to change the led colors and it just gets stuck at compiling.
(Edited)
Feb 17, 2020
MericanShitposter
0
Feb 20, 2020
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Maybe the devs at Drop could help out the qmk team or give us a download source option to import into cli qmk config compiler
Feb 20, 2020
SuperKrog
9
Feb 20, 2020
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it would be nice... and drop configurator needs to import some stuff that is present in qmk configurator such as mouse emulation. I even asked in qmk configurator github if they can implement led configuration and they replied something like "maybe one day"...
Feb 20, 2020
MericanShitposter
0
Feb 17, 2020
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Deleted layers shows that the LED colors are still active. We can also not delete configs from the selection page
Feb 17, 2020
chosonminhang
3
Feb 10, 2020
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While using default hotkeys and firmware, how to save selected LED mode? It resets to "rainbow" effect after every computer shutdown. Thanks!
Feb 10, 2020
SuperKrog
9
Feb 20, 2020
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just change the configuration with the online configurator... if you don't wish to change the keys you can simply modify the led settings
Feb 20, 2020
briefbote
0
Feb 7, 2020
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How to print a greek letter (like capital omega) whenn pressing a key? I do not find a solution for this. A little googling says there is UC() but this is not supported within Drop's configurator nor the one on qmk.fm. So what I would like to achieve: send a unicode character when pressing 'O' on layer 1 without (a) recreating the current layout in qmk repository and (b) programming everything on my own. Anyone has a hint how to do this?
Feb 7, 2020
pyrobunny
273
Jan 31, 2020
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Helo, I just tried to flash the firwmare of my CTRL. The lights on the board went out, and it became unresponsive, and is no longer recognized as a USB device. I don't see a reset button on my version of the CTRL, and was wondering if anyone could help me out? I'm on Windows 10, if that helps.
(Edited)
Jan 31, 2020
SuperKrog
9
Jan 18, 2020
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Hi, I can't write a firmware on my ALT keyboard under linux. On windows it is fine, it works. On linux even with root access the scan never finds the keyboard. As i'm using root, there is no issue in permissions or groups. What else can I check?
Jan 18, 2020
c_m_m
0
Jan 28, 2020
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Apparently you have to reset the keyboard while the scan is running. Pretty stupid if you ask me, but whatever.
Jan 28, 2020
SuperKrog
9
Jan 28, 2020
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On windows I did this 1000 times. I reset the kb during scanning and it works. On linux even with root access (so, no permission issues...) nothing happens. I can post logs and whatever needed.
Jan 28, 2020
micimize
3
Jan 16, 2020
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Please add a "reorder layers" option to the editor
Jan 16, 2020
rvcjew
84
Jan 30, 2020
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I also want a button that will duplicate a layer to a new layer, or just have a default layout button so you don't have to manually click and add every main letter to each layer that's new before you you even mess with it.
Jan 30, 2020
jamal12
0
Jan 9, 2020
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Hi I'm having a problem where as everytime I restart my keyboard it will not light up again
Jan 9, 2020
Spaceookie92
0
Dec 30, 2019
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Hello, I have an issue with the USB C passthrough on this keyboard. The keyboard is connected via one port just fine, it works as expected, but when I plug in an other device to the second USB port nothing happens. Does this keyboard actually support power/data passthrough via the second USB port, or no?
Dec 30, 2019
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