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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.
Oct 13, 2022
jxliuI did this just now to try and fix the persistent keyboard chatter. Tried the modern firmware and the accompanying configurator. My keyboard is longer being detected. Lights up and just dies. How do I reset?
Oct 16, 2022
jxliuOn the modern firmware, after powering up a PC connected to a CTRL we sometimes need to repeatedly disconnect and reconnect the USB-C cable for it to be recognized. This is inconvenient and causes unnecessary wear. When can we expect a fix?
Nov 1, 2022
Installed the modern firmware on my SHIFT. It won't wake up my PC now when it goes to screensaver or when the screens go to sleep. I have to click one of my mouse's buttons now to wake the PC.
In the Configurator, is there any way to rearrange or duplicate layers? I've screwed up layer precedence and it would be nice to not have to fix everything by hand.
Oct 6, 2022
Hi All, Please anyone, for the CTRL keyboard, once I adjust the LED pattern I like how can you save it? Every time my computer restart or shutdown the default Rainbow animation patterns comes on again.
Oct 4, 2022
Updated Windows 11 to 22H2 and now keyboard is frozen when starting my computer. I have to unplug then plug it back in for it to work. I am also getting a diver error when windows starts up.
Oct 4, 2022
Using the modern version it doesn't appear to always resume from sleep properly (sometimes). I have my work laptop which I take back and forth, keyboard remains at work plugged into usb hub. Keyboard still has power, but wouldn't type until I unplugged it and plugged it back in. I have not had this problem using the old firmware, and went back too old for awhile to resolve some issues until this had been worked on further. Otherwise it's been working well so far. Sometimes I get ghosted keypress (2 o's 'oo' ), so I'm not sure if there is a configurable parameter you can add around that. I might try and swap out that switch too.
Sep 29, 2022
I flashed my ALT with a slightly older configurator firmware (from May 2022), and now it will not connect to any PC. If I use the reset button, instead of going into a mode that mdloader can flash, it is recognized as a USB serial device. How can I flash a working firmware onto it at this point?
Sep 11, 2022
This is ridiculous that I have to do coding just to change the rgb lighting on my keyboard.. Will not be buying another keyboard from drop.
Aug 9, 2022
Greetings jxliu and the rest of the Drop team. I recently got my hands on a CTRL and so far I am enjoying it on the stock firmware without any extra configurations. Before I dive into creating my own layers to trying out the "modern" firmware I had two questions I was hoping someone could explain to me.
  1. I've noticed that the LEDs on this thing seemingly glow brighter when I have the bottom ring "zone" turned off. Conversely if I have the LEDs set to white and turn off all but the bottom ring zone, instead of white the light turns a purple-ish hue. This happens regardless of which USB cable I have in use or which USB port I plug it into on the board itself. Is this normal behavior?
  2. I noticed that in the latest version of QMK made available for the CTRL, it makes mention of "XAP". What exactly is that and what benefits it brings to the table? There is a lot of mixed information out there that ranges from VIA replacement to a new standard for RGB control.

Jul 28, 2022
Why are there no updates for the Shift? The keyboard still randomly stops working if you press to many keys on it while gaming. Also not QMK  configurable like it says on the sales page.
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