Vivienne Encarnacion


Part 2 of 2: How I built my first DIY mechanical keyboard in less than 2 hours

Software Configuration. Also read PART 1.

This tutorial is meant to be a continuation of Part 1: Building the keyboard.

We left Part 1 with a half keyboard case, soldered diodes, switches, and pro-micro. The pro-micro also is receiving power, so we are ready to continue with the software configuration before attaching the base.

Step 1. Create config file

To create my numerical pad configuration file, I used QMK Configurator which can be found here. Make sure that the keyboard layout settings are properly chosen. I chose snagpad, because my PCB is a snagpad PCB, and since I’m making a numpad I chose LAYOUT_numpad_5x4.

Fill the design layout with the proper keycodes.

Compile, then download config file.

Step 2. Format keyboard using the config file

For this step, you need to download, and install QMK Toolbox from the QMK Config website.

Open the created config file using QMK Toolbox. Put Auto-Flash on to enable overwriting of keyboard configuration. And choose atmega32u4 in Microcontroller setting.

Connect keyboard to your PC, then reset by connecting GND (Ground) and RST (Reset). Since I ticked Auto-Flash, QMK Toolbox will automatically overwrite the configuration of the detected keyboard. Checkout the layout’s source here.

Resetting by connecting ground and reset through a metal object
Left — PCB layout, Right — console after connecting keyboard

Step 3. Test keyboard

I used an online keyboard tester (link) to visualise if my keyboard is working. Feel free to use notepad, or any editor for this matter.

Step 4. Complete the hardware part of the keyboard.

Disconnect the keyboard with your computer, and add the remaining parts — keycaps, base, and keyboard feet.

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