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. 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.
(Edited by moderator Elbert)
thumb_upWatziznehm, Kiefofpolice, and 83 others
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Elbert
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Mech Keys
Aug 6, 2019
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Download the appropriate loader application for your computer's OS here: https://github.com/Massdrop/mdloader/releases

Windows users: Download mdloader_windows.exe and applet-mdflash.bin and put them in the same folder. Linux users: Download mdloader_linux and applet-mdflash.bin and put them in the same folder. chmod u+x mdloader_linux to make it executable. Mac users: Download mdloader_mac and applet-mdflash.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.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you flash your firmware configuration file and not the applet file. Example of what not to do: "mdloader_windows.exe --first --download applet-mdflash.bin --restart". Flashing the applet file will show as a successful flash, but the keyboard will be unresponsive. To resolve this, simply put the keyboard back into DFU mode (press the reset button) and flash a valid firmware file. If the keyboard you are attempting to flash is your only input device, you'll need a second keyboard to type the correct command given that a keyboard flashed with the applet file will be unresponsive to inputs.
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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)
Has this been resolved for Mac yet? Qmk toolbox has the latest, 1.04, and it still does not work
biernico
0
Oct 22, 2020
would be awesome to have in configurator the ability to map keys to mouse actions
Kynacio
0
Oct 19, 2020
Hey, I just bought this keyboard and the white led has a pinkish hue to it. Is there anyway to fix this or did I get a defective unit.
Sounds defective if it's very noticeable. Feel free to contact customer support and exchange it for a different unit. Keep in mind these are RGB LED's, so their production of "white" is a close approximation by combining the three. The white LED's that are used for example, home lighting, are typically much more of a clean "white" because they're only made to create white(ish) light. Also "white" has a lot of different temperature/hues, but that becomes a whole story about color theory that we aren't going to get into!
northst
2
Oct 6, 2020
Hello! I am currently having issues with configuring my keyboard. I have followed your steps and am receiving this error in the Command Prompt: "Error:  Could not open applet file: applet-flash-samd51j19a.bin". I do have the two files you told us to download and have them in same folder. I am using Windows 10. What could be causing this? Thanks
Please try now with this release: https://github.com/Massdrop/mdloader/releases
northst
2
Oct 7, 2020
It works now! Thank you! :)
WAR1975
1
Oct 4, 2020
Hi, new Drop Alt owner here. Does anyone know what the latest/correct steps for configuring the LED lights on the keyboard are? The above steps are not working for me on my MacBook air. When I download the file from the configurator with my desired LED pattern, it downloads a file with a Bin.Cpgz extension. I get a 'command does not exist' message after replacing the File_Name syntax with the actual name of the file. Any help would be helpful.
A custom LED configuration replaces the default patterns. Currently, you cannot have both. What is the exact command you are submitting? Are all 3 files (mdloader, applet file, and your downloaded configuration) all in the same directory? Are you navigating to said directory before trying to run mdloader?
(Edited)
WAR1975
1
Oct 10, 2020
Hi Elbert, I was able to fix it and add the configuration that I wanted. I deleted all the file versions that downloaded and just re-downloaded everything and executed the syntax. It worked perfectly. Thanks for all your help!
jasonladuke0311
0
Oct 1, 2020
Please handle configuration errors in a more informative and graceful manner, e.g., don't silently fail with a 4XX error and make the end user debug the failure (with a potentially misconfigured keyboard, while we are at it). Turns out that not assigning a key to a multi-function command (like with a hold/press dual function) will cause a compilation error.
surjical
8
Sep 29, 2020
Is there any way to do an echo key press with qmk? Like the Logitech kb's where you can set a base color on the board and when you press a key it lights up and different color and slowly fades back to the base color.
ebartlett
1
Sep 17, 2020
Is there an easy way to switch, on a daily basis, between using this keyboard for a Mac and a PC?
bartlett
12
Oct 13, 2020
Hmm, that might just work! It seems like Control, Option, and Command are the only three keys on a 60% keyboard to worry about between Mac and Windows?
I believe so. I am not a Mac user myself.
diegolin04
1
Sep 16, 2020
hiii, sooo the leds on my drop alt dont work on my pc but in my laptop it does anyone know why this is?
SuDoDie
2
Sep 6, 2020
Hi, could you make the sourcecode for the keymap downloadable? Background: When I create a keymap with the configuator everythink is finde. However, when I compile for instance the defauld massdrop/ctrl kemap from qmk, my keyboad interprets often one keypress as multiple. This is why it would really help me to look into the keymap-sourcecode, in order du debug this behavior.
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