A few important notes before we begin.

  • This is a soldered, sandwich-case design. Unlike other sandwich designs with screws and standoffs, you cannot disassemble this keyboard easily. Flash the pro micros and check each switch socket with a paperclip before you solder the switches in. Check that the RGB layer works by putting the PCB in place and pushing the RGB pins to the side. If you are done and one of your diodes is in the wrong direction or a pad on an LED wasn't soldered, you can't go back without desoldering a lot of pins.

  • When using the keyboard, be careful to not remove or connect the TRRS cable while the board is plugged in. The RGB LEDs are sensitive, and there isn't really a way to avoid having the contacts within the 3.5mm connector brush against the plug.

  • The RGB LEDs pull a lot of power. So much so, that if you set the color to white by reducing saturation, the voltage to the right arduino will drop too low and it will fail. If this happens, simply unplug the USB, then the right half, and set the saturation back up with the left half only. If you really want white backlighting, you will need to set the brightness down.

  • Watch this SMD soldering video

    • You don't need to use flux, but flux-core solder will help.

Build overview

Use this task list to keep track of your progress

  • [x] Solder Diodes, Pro Micro, and TRRS jack to the middle board
    • [x] Check direction of diodes, all components on top side
  • [x] Solder LEDs and capacitors to bottom board
    • [x] Check direction of LEDs, all components on top side
  • [x] Program pro micros and test both boards
    • [x] Test each key by shorting out the two pads
    • [x] Test RGB by holding the header pins to the side
  • [x] Solder top board, switches, pins, and middle board together
    • [x] Install your stabilizers first!
    • [x] Do a fit-check with your keycaps on
    • [x] Use the animation for a visual of how it all fits
  • [x] Finish soldering with the bottom and optional base plates

Here's an animation of the stackup

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