Building Clueboard 66% With The Round 2 Fix Kit

These instructions cover building your Clueboard 66% with the Round 2 Fix Kit. It corrects a problem where the spacebar stabilizer contacts the case to cause binding. Please read this guide in its entirety before you build your Clueboard 66%.

If you are already familiar with building custom keyboards the only difference between this guide and other guides are the PCB Insert and PCB Switch Inserts. Most of the steps documented here are performed for all keyboard builds.

Table Of Contents

  1. Collect Your Parts
  2. Optional: Clip And Lubricate Stabilizers
  3. Install Spacebar Stabilizer
  4. Install ANSI Enter Stabilizer
  5. Install Remaining Stabilizers
  6. Place The PCB Insert On Top Of The PCB
  7. Install The 4 Corner Switches
  8. Install Most Switches
  9. Install Switches Requiring Individual Inserts
  10. Install Remaining Switches
  11. Check Everything Over
  12. Solder The Switches
  13. Install The Acrylic Spacer
  14. Assemble The Case Halves
  15. You're All Done!

1. Collect Your Parts

 
Figure 1: The parts and tools needed for a Clueboard 66% build.

Figure 1: The parts and tools needed for a Clueboard 66% build.

 

Start by collecting the parts for your Clueboard 66% together. You will need the following parts to build your Clueboard:

  • Case Top
  • Case Bottom
  • Acrylic Spacer
  • PCB Insert
  • PCB Switch Inserts
  • PCB
  • Switches (66-72, depending on build layout)
  • Stabilizers

You will also need the following tools:

  • #0 or #1 Phillips Screwdriver
  • 3mm Hex Driver
  • Soldering Iron (not pictured)
  • Sponge or Brass Wool for tip cleaning
  • Isopropyl Alcohol

2. Optional: Clip and Lubricate Stabilizers

Some people like to clip their stabilizers to make the action more crisp feeling. You can also apply dielectric or silicone grease to make the action smoother. The video below demonstrates how to do both. Installation of the screw-in stabilizers is similar to the snap-in stabilizers shown in the video, except you will not snap them into place.

 
 

3. Install Spacebar Stabilizer

Begin by installing the spacebar stabilizer. Using switches and keycaps you can determine which set of holes to use for your layout, as shown in the Figure 3a. The stabilizer wire aligns with the larger set of holes, and you insert the little hook through the hole in the PCB so that it can hook under the bottom, as shown in Figure 3b.

After screwing the stabilizer in place, as shown in Figure 3b, temporarily install the spacebar and a switch to check operation of your spacebar. It should move freely without contacting the cap to the left, and without binding against any part of the stabilizer.

Remove the switches and keycaps once you are happy with the stabilizer installation. 

Figure 3a: Using switches and caps to locate the proper stabilizer position.

Figure 3a: Using switches and caps to locate the proper stabilizer position.

Figure 3b: Inserting the hooked end of the stabilizer foot.

Figure 3b: Inserting the hooked end of the stabilizer foot.

Figure 3c: Screwing the stabilizer into place.

Figure 3c: Screwing the stabilizer into place.

4. Install ANSI Enter Stabilizer

The installation process is the similar to the spacebar, but note that the orientation is flipped compared to the spacebar. There is only one location the Enter stabilizer can go, so you do not need to use switches and caps to locate the correct position.

To avoid a short that can occur when installing the ANSI stabilizer, use a bit of masking tape to insulate the stabilizer screw. Simply place a bit of tape over the screw hole as shown in Figure 4a, poke a hole with the tip of a pen, then screw in the screw as shown in Figure 4b. With the screw snug in place you can safely tear the masking tape off, leaving a small ring of tape between the screw and the PCB.

Figure 4a: A small piece of masking tape covering the stabilizer hole.

Figure 4a: A small piece of masking tape covering the stabilizer hole.

Figure 4b: The screw installed and screwed down snug.

Figure 4b: The screw installed and screwed down snug.

5. Install Remaining Stabilizers

Next you will need to install the remaining 2U stabilizers for the Left Shift, Right Shift, and Backspace keys, if you are not splitting them.

Figure 5: The 2U stabilizers installed.

Figure 5: The 2U stabilizers installed.

6. Place the PCB Insert On Top Of The PCB

We are now ready to install the primary component of the fix kit- the PCB Insert. Carefully remove the protective film by holding the plate on a flat surface and peeling the film away, as shown in Figure 6a. Do not allow the thin acrylic to bend while you are doing this, it is fragile and may break. Repeat the process for the other side.

Place the PCB Insert on top of the PCB so that the holes align with the holes on the PCB, as shown in Figure 6b.

Figure 6a: Removing the film from the PCB Insert.

Figure 6a: Removing the film from the PCB Insert.

Figure 6b: The PCB Insert placed on top of the PCB.

Figure 6b: The PCB Insert placed on top of the PCB.

7. Install The 4 Corner Switches

You are ready to install the first 4 switches, as shown in Figure 7a. Once the switches are installed solder a single pin on each switch, as shown in Figure 7b. Do not solder both pins, as you may want to de-solder these to adjust everything later.

Figure 7a: Four switches installed in the corners.

Figure 7a: Four switches installed in the corners.

Figure 7b: A single pin soldered to allow easy desoldering later. The left side pin is hard to see due to lighting, but I can feel it poking out with my finger.

Figure 7b: A single pin soldered to allow easy desoldering later. The left side pin is hard to see due to lighting, but I can feel it poking out with my finger.

8. Install Most Switches

Install, but do not solder, most of the remaining switches as shown in Figure 8. These are the switches that are easiest to install.

Figure 8: Most switches installed.

Figure 8: Most switches installed.

9. Install Switches Requiring Individual Inserts

Anywhere that your Clueboard supports stabilizers requires the use of individual PCB Switch Inserts. You should have received a small bag containing 6-12. Remove the protective film from each insert before installing. If you have PCB mount switches you can simply install the PCB Switch Insert onto the switch, as shown in Figure 9a, and then install the switch into the plate/pcb. If you have plate mount switches you will need to place the PCB Switch Insert onto the PCB, as shown in Figure 9b, and then install the switch without disturbing the PCB Switch Insert.

When you have installed all the switches required for this step you should only have the keys to the right of the spacebar remaining.

Figure 9a: PCB Switch Insert installed on a PCB mount switch.

Figure 9a: PCB Switch Insert installed on a PCB mount switch.

Figure 9b: PCB Switch Insert placed and ready for a plate mount switch.

Figure 9b: PCB Switch Insert placed and ready for a plate mount switch.

10. Install Remaining Switches

Using your spacebar as a guide, as shown in Figure 10a, place the switch for the spacebar into place. Don't forget to install the PCB Switch Insert!

Using more caps and switches locate the correct switch positions for the remaining modifiers, as shown in Figure 10b. At this point every single switch should be installed on your keyboard.

Figure 10a: Locating the correct switch placement using the spacebar.

Figure 10a: Locating the correct switch placement using the spacebar.

Figure 10b: Using keycaps to correctly place the last switches.

Figure 10b: Using keycaps to correctly place the last switches.

11. Check Everything Over

At this point look everything over and make sure it works the way you expect. Do the stabilizers move freely? Are all the switches in place? Does the PCB sit flat without having to push it down? Now is the time to make sure everything works the way you want it to, because it will soon be harder to fix problems.

 

11a. Check Everything Again

Seriously, make sure you checked everything. :)

12. Solder The Switches

Solder all the switches in place, starting with the top row, left to right, and working your way down. If you are using PCB mount switches do not apply any downward pressure on the PCB, simply solder it where it sits. If you are using plate mount switches apply a small amount of downward pressure near the pin you are soldering to ensure it's firmly in place, but do not apply so much that you depress the switches. When you are done you should have all of the switch pins soldered, as shown in Figure 12.

Due to the added thickness from the PCB Insert you may notice that your solder blobs are rounder than usual. Some amount of this is to be expected, but you do not want the domes to be overly large. If you find that you have an excessive number of domed joints try applying less solder.

Once everything is soldered you can install the keycaps and make sure everything works correctly. If you find that your spacebar is sticking when installed, but the stabilizer moves fine when not installed, you are probably pushing the spacebar down too far overall. Remove it and reinstall it with less force to correct the problem.

Figure 12: All switches soldered.

Figure 12: All switches soldered.

13. Install The Acrylic Spacer

The Acrylic Spacer fits between the two halves of the case. It provides the extra room the USB connector needs since the PCB Insert moves it.

Remove the protective backing as shown in Figure 13a. The Acrylic Spacer can only go in one orientation, use the protrusions to align the Spacer with the USB cutout as shown in Figure 13b.

Figure 13a: The protective backing partially removed from an Acrylic Spacer.

Figure 13a: The protective backing partially removed from an Acrylic Spacer.

Figure 13b: The Acrylic Spacer oriented to match the USB cutout.

Figure 13b: The Acrylic Spacer oriented to match the USB cutout.

14. Assemble the Case Halves

The final step is to assemble the two case halves. Simply place the top half down onto the bottom half, ensuring that the USB connector is properly centered in the hole, as shown in Figure 14. Install the M4 screws and use your 3mm Hex Driver to install the screws halfway. Before tightening the screws down ensure that the spacer and the two case halves are properly aligned.

Figure 14: The USB connector properly aligned within the hole.

Figure 14: The USB connector properly aligned within the hole.

15. You're All Done!

Your build is complete! You're ready to type on it, flash a custom layout, post pictures of it, or whatever else you want to do. While your build is complete, your custom keyboard journey is just beginning!

IMG_9145.jpg