Components are identified as follows:

Step 1: Controller

If you are using the ATmega32A, skip step 6.

If you are using the Proton-C, skip to step 6.

All components except for R4, R5, and R8 may be soldered on with the Proton-C, for a more complete look. Soldering on the reset switch will be helpful for initial flashing.

First, solder on the controller. For the ATmega32A, you can use the optional 40-pin socket, or solder the chip directly to the board. The ATmega32A/Socket is soldered to the lower position pins, with the half-circle mark next to "U1" indicating orientation. The "ATMEGA32A" text should appear upside-down.

Step 2: Resonator and 22pF Capacitors

Controller, Crystal Resonator, and 22pF Capacitors

These components are nonpolar. Place the 16mhz crystal resonator into the footprint labeled Y1. The two capacitors are placed in the C1 and C2 footprints. Solder them from the bottom and trim the legs off.

Step 3: Switches and Resistors R1, R8

Pushbutton switches, Resistors R1 and R8

The two momentary switches are placed at PB1 and PB2. They are directional, the legs should be coming out the sides. The 1.5k resistor is placed in R8, and a 5.1k resistor is placed in R1. All the resistors are nonpolar. Solder them from the bottom and trim the legs off of the resistors.

Step 4: Resistors R2-R7

22Ohm and 5.1kOhm resistors

The two 22Ohm resistors are placed in R6 and R7. 5.1kOhm resistors are used for R2, R3, R4, and R5. Solder and trim the legs.

Step 5: Zener Diodes and 100nF radial Capacitors

Zener diodes and 100nF radial capacitors

The Zener diodes are placed in ZD1 and ZD2. These are polar, and the black mark on the diode must be aligned with the mark on the PCB. Positions C3, C4, C5, and C6 use the 100nF Radial capacitors. Solder and trim the legs.

Step 6: Proton C

If you are using the Proton-C, you do not need to solder on the following components:

  • "Boot" switch

  • 16Mhz Crystal Resonator

  • DO-35 3.6V Zener diode

  • 5.1kOhm Resistors

  • 22Ohm Resistors

  • 1.5kOhm Resistors

  • 22pF Capacitors

The Proton-C does not include pin headers, you may use standard 2.54mm pitch headers or other wire. Solder the controller with the USB-port facing down and to the right, into the top position pins.

R1.2 boards have an issue with the right encoder not being connected to the Proton-C pins. Solder 2 patch wires to the emply ATmega32A holes as shown below.

R1.3 fixed this issue.

Step 7: USB Port

Choose which USB port you wish to use. If you want to use 2 rotary encoders, you must use one of the center-mount ports (USB1 for type-C, USB2 for mini-B). The type-C port is difficult to solder, but can be done a narrow tip soldering iron and patience. Take care to not bridge any of the pins. If the narrow soldering is too difficult, you may use an optional Mini-B connector.

If you don't plan on using the left rotary encoder position, you may solder a USB-C port in the left position labeled USB3.

Step 8: Test the PCB

Proceed to the flashing page to connect the PCB to the PC, before you solder in anything else.

Step 9: Spring-pins

Positions P1, P2, and P3 use the spring-pin contacts. I recommend soldering these in from the top. If you want a cleaner look, you can solder from the bottom, but make sure not to get any solder into the moving parts.

Step 10: Encoders and WS2811's

If you don't plan on using RGB encoders, solder the SJ1 and SJ2 jumpers. Otherwise, you must solder the WS2811 into positions U4 and U2. Even if you're using just one RGB encoders These components are directional, and the circle mark on the PCB must match the circle mark on the component. Check the image above for the correct orientation.

RGB encoders are soldered with the pins on the top and bottom. Non-RGB encoders are soldered with the pins on the left and right.

The RGB encoder configuration you choose must be configured in the firmware, to ensure the animations are correct.

Step 11: Diodes

All the diodes are directional. They populate D1-D62. Like the zener diodes, the mark on the diode must match the PCB. You can now test the switch positions while plugged into your computer.

Step 12: LEDs and capacitors

For SMD soldering, I recommend the following process:

  1. Melt a small amount of solder onto one pad.

  2. Hold your iron to the solder to re-melt it, and place your SMD component with tweezers.

  3. Release the iron and allow the solder to cool, while holding the component in place.

  4. Solder the remaining pads on the component.

First, solder in all of the capacitors. For the LEDs, make sure the corner mark on the LED matches the one on the PCB. The LEDs do not follow the same direction across the board. Follow these steps:

  1. Row 1: For ergo (12 keys with 1.5u edges), populate B1-B11, A13, and solder R1BYPASS1.

    1. For staggered (13 keys or 2u spacebar), populate A1-A12, and B13.

  2. Row 2: Populate all positions.

  3. Row 3: Populate all A positions. If you are using ISO enter, use B12 instead of A12

  4. Row 4: For ergo, populate B1-B11, A13, and solder R4BYPASS1.

    1. For staggered, populate A1-A12, and B13.

  5. Row 5: For ergo, populate B1, B2, A3-A10, B11, and A12.

    1. For staggered, you'll need to figure out which positions fit your layout best. Choose either A or B for each number. A1/B1, A2/B2, and so on for 5,6,7, 11, and 12. There must be only one LED per number.