Build My Aluminum 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:

https://clueboard.co/support

+ Check over contents

  • Make sure everything you ordered is there.
  • Look for any defects in the parts.
  • 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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-HYNmtP1Hc

  • (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

+ Locating the spacebar stabilizer

  • Place your bottom row caps on switches
  • Insert the assembled stabilizer into the spacebar
  • Place the left 3 keys
  • Put the spacebar in place and note which stabilizer holes align with your assembly
  • Remove the stabilizer assembly from the spacebar and install it into the PCB in the location you noted
  • Place the spacebar onto the stab to verify placement
  • Carefully remove the switches from the PCB. Leave the keycaps installed, you will use them later.

+ 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

  • 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.
    • Repeat with the PAGEUP, LCTRL, and RIGHT keys.
  • Place the PCB onto the switch and press it into place.
    • If you have plate mount switches you should solder these 4 switches now.
    • Double check to make sure the switch is inserted fully before soldering
    • Solder one leg and ensure your switch is straight before soldering the other.

+ Install remaining switches.

  • Starting with the number row, install the rest of the switches.
  • Complete the entire row before moving on to the next row.
  • Note that the backslash is oriented upside down compared to the others.
  • When using split shift pay close attention to which set of holes you use. If you want a 1U on the left use the left set of holes. If you want a 1.25U on the left use the right set of holes.
  • When it is time to install the bottom row proceed carefully.
    • Use the capped switches you prepared when installing stabs
    • Place each switch one by one ensuring that your caps are evenly spaced.
    • Note that some configuration require switches to be flipped. If you are having a hard time installing a switch in a particular location try rotating it 180 degrees.

+ 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
  • Inspect each switch location to make sure you have 2 pins poking out

+ Solder the remaining switch contacts

  • The ideal time per pin to prevent cold solder joins is about 2 seconds.
  • Touch the iron to both the switch pin and the pcb pad. Apply solder to the pin, remove solder and hold the iron for a quarter second, then remove the iron.
  • After a few switches you should have developed a rhythm that will keep you going down a row.
  • Make sure to clean your tip periodically. I find I can do 5-10 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 case and screw it together

  • The bottom half of the keyboard can simply be lowered into place from here.
  • Use a 3mm hex hey to tighten the screws
  • Before tightening your case down completely ensure that the halves are square to each other.
  • Congrats! You have an assembled keyboard!