Build My Acrylic Case Clueboard

The process for building a Clueboard is similar to the process for building other custom keyboards. If you have built other custom keyboards you can apply the same knowledge when building your Clueboard. If you have not built a custom keyboard before you can use this checklist as a guide. Click on any of the headings to get more details.

If you have any problem or difficulty the quickest way to get help is to hop onto slack. You can also use any of our other methods for support. See all the ways you can get your question answered here:

(Click on any heading below to expand it for more information.)

+ Check over contents

  • Make sure everything you ordered is there.
  • Look for any defects in the parts.
    • It is normal for acrylic plates to have a slight knurl (evenly spaced vertical lines) around the edge
  • If you are using MX switches, make sure you have stabilizer parts before installing switches into the plate and PCB.

+ Test the PCB

  • Open Notepad or TextEdit
  • Using a MiniUSB cable, plug the PCB into your computer's USB port. It should be recognized as a standard PC keyboard.
  • Using tweezers, a piece of wire, or some other conductive material, make contact between the two pads of a single switch location
    • Your computer should register that keypress
  • Repeat for several switch locations

+ Install Cherry PCB Mount Stabilizers

If you'd prefer you can watch a video of the process here:

  • (optional) Clip your stabilizers for a crisper feel.
  • The stabilizer consists of 3 different parts; the Wire, the Frame, and the Insert.
  • The Frame is the piece that clips into the PCB. On one side of the Frame you will find a hole that the wire inserts into.
  • The Insert goes inside the frame. One side of the Insert has 1 hole. The other side has two holes. The wire inserts into the side with two holes.
  • Place the Insert into the Frame, orienting the Insert so that the two holes line up with the hole in the Frame.
  • Insert the Wire into the lower of the two holes on the Insert. Clip the Wire into the Frame
  • Repeat for the other side.
  • If desired, apply a small amount of silicone grease where the Wire meets the Insert

+ Solder in the LED resistors (optional)

  • There are 7 total resistor locations: 4 above the arrows, 1 in the upper right corner, 1 in the upper left corner, and 1 under capslock.
  • These are only needed if you will be using LEDs
  • You do not have to install any of them, or all of them. It's OK to install only the ones you want to use.
  • Use a resistor appropriate to your LED. Common LED voltages and the corresponding resistor are below:
    • 3.0-3.3 volt: 100 Ohm
    • 2.0-2.2 volt: 150 Ohm

+ Prepare the PCB and Plate

  • Place Reinforcing Plate on top of PCB (if using one)
  • Place Switch Plate on top of Reinforcing Plate or PCB
  • Install switches on each of the 4 corners
    • Start with the ESC key. Insert the switch into the plate and make sure it clicks in.
    • Place the switch plate back onto the reinforcing plate (if using one)
    • Line the switch up with the PCB and press firmly until the switch is completely inserted.
    • Repeat the last 3 steps with the PAGEUP, LCTRL, and RIGHT keys, in that order.
  • Solder these 4 switches into place
    • Double check to make sure the switch is inserted fully before soldering
    • Solder each switch leg in place
    • When complete, you should have a solid assembly.
    • Be careful with the acrylic plates, they are very fragile at this stage.

+ Install remaining switches.

  • Starting with the number row, install the rest of the switches.
  • After installing each switch, carefully pull the switch plate up to ensure the switch is seated fully. You should hear a click.
  • Complete the entire row before moving on to the next row.
  • Note that the backslash and right shift switches are oriented upside down compared to the others.

+ Set the assembled piece on the table with the switches down

  • Using slow, firm pressure, press down on PCB to ensure that all switches are fully installed

+ Solder the remaining switch contacts

  • You'll develop a rhythm here.
  • Make sure to clean your tip periodically. I find I can do ~10 switches between cleanings.

+ Install LED's (optional)

  • Note the orientation of the LED. Before soldering, ensure that the longer leg is poking out of the hole marked +.

+ Assemble the remaining case layers and screw it together

  • Congrats! You have an assembled keyboard!