Mar 15, 201715664 views

Programming KBD Keyboards via Bootmapper Client (TMK guide getting added soon here!)


I'm used to paying $350+ for custom aluminum keyboards, but was totally shocked when I received my $160 KDB75. The keyboard was packaged extremely well and arrived from China with no flaws, and weighted far more than I was expecting. It weighs more than my RS96. I never was really into the 75% layout, but I was never into the 96 key layout until I tried it, so I figured I'd give it a try since the price was definitely right.
But enough of the "review" part, lets get on to programming this guy. I always like to do guides because I know that being intimidated by programming a custom can often lead to people skipping buys they would otherwise join. This is a very easy one to program, so nothing to be afraid of here!
The first step is to simply download the Bootmapper client found here:
After downloading it and running the .exe (I'm on Windows, there is an OSX version as well) you should see something like this:
The very next thing you will need to do is press the "Download" buttom:
This essentially grabs the layout that is currently on the keyboard and imports it into the Bootmapper program. You should see something like this now:
This is showing you the current matrix. Don't worry, you don't have to edit the layout by finding the key you want to change directly from here, there is a much more intuitive way. Simply click the "Toggle bootmapper" button:
Now that the bootmapper button is active, you will not be able to type normally. So during this process you can't swap back to browsing the web or typing in Slack, etc.
Once this is active you will press the key you want to remap, and it should get highlighted in red within the matrix. Simply click on the key you want to change it to from the selection of keys at the bottom. It should look like this, using Caps Lock as an example:
Make sure you uncheck "Apply to all layers" if you are doing anything on one of the FN layers! Otherwise this will change the key on every layer!
Now, speaking of FN layers you have up to three available, as you can see in the top left corner. This works just as programming any layer, simply click the layer button first, and then while in bootmapper mode hit the key you want to reprogram. Just be sure toset a FN button on your main layer so that you can access it. Bootmapper gives you easy toggle buttons for layers 2 and 3 (meaning hit it once and it stays on, hit it again to turn it off). This can be very useful for alternate layouts like DVORAK or if you want to set up a full layer of macros for a particular game.
One more very important thing to point out is lighting controls. You will probably want to put these on the normal FN layer. RGB mode controls the SMDs on the PCB for underglow, and LED mode, LED BrUp, LED BrDN only affect in switch LEDs. the LED on/off affects both.
Moving on to lighting!


To access the lighting features (both under PCB SMDs and in-switch LED's) go to Options from the main tab selection. You should see this screen:
At this menu the left side is all for controlling the SMDs for underglow. There are five effects: Fading, Immediately, Sequential, Static, and Flow. In-switch LEDs only have a Fading effect, or on/off at adjustable brightness levels.
Now lets head back to the main tab to flash the new layout to the keyboard. Make sure "ps2avrGB & ps2avrGB_split" is selected as the target:
After you have everything set just as you want, return to the main tab and click the "Upload" button. Make sure to have "Reboot after uploading" checked. This will now flash the new layout to the keyboard, and immediately restart it, leaving no need to unplug and replug the keyboard in.

Hopefully this got you off to a good start programming your keyboard! As always there is more that Bootmapper is capable of and I will document some of the more advanced features soon! Fow now feel free to ask any questions you may have though and I'd be more than happy to lend a helping hand!
jamesma, MarVet85, and 38 others

Hi All, I'm interested in KBD75 keyboards. I'm using MBP with OS and Win10 as well (Boot camp). Could you tell me if there is any option to program this keyboard with two programs - first for Mac OS and second for Win10 and switch them using only two keycaps? Thanks
I am KBDfans :P
Thanks for your tutorial! I've never programmed a keyboard befor... sorry if this is a stupid question: Can I use a nordic layout with bootmapper too, let's say to use "Umlaute" like äöü? Is it possible to use one key for different functions without changing the layer? For example: Capslock+i for pageUp, Capslock+k for pageDown?
Anyone who just got the latest round of KBDFans75 boards - I wrote a half-ass "How To" guide to get the keyboard programmed. Find it here -
Has anyone who recently bought a KBDFans75 run into trouble with trying to download the initial keymap? Some of us are running into an error of: "Error opening ps2avrGB device: The specified device was not found"
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Rad, thanks again! **scurries off to program a keeb**
same problem mate
Hi, any chance you can provide me with .hex layout file for the KBD75 for bootmapper? I accidentally deleted my layout pressing upload instead of download. Silly me! Just an brick of aluminium ATM... :(
How do I go about updating the KBD75's firmware? Just click Firm Up and select the file? Or do I need to (somehow) enter bootloader mode first?
Has anyone attempted to run the programming software via wine on *Nix?
I will be updating the linked guide with a new section about using TMK to program the KBD75 as s can. I will leave the old section to help those that have older variants like I do. It will definitely be updated by the time orders ship to help anyone that needs it!
Well, thanks a lot now I want one...jerk.
When is the next GB?
This might come in handy someday. Which (other) kinds of custom keyboards can be programmed with this piece of software?
Nice. I wonder if I can make this version work with my Gen 1 Octagon.
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O2D gives me nightmares haha.
Care to do an O2D tutorial? :)
I bought this too! It's super sturdy right? I haven't got around to building it tho… glad someone has done the programming part already, thanks!
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I know! Def going to be getting one!
I am still trying to decide, the kbd75 was definitely impressive enough to swing me that way, but I already have four 68% boards.... The only real difference would be the frame.
Awesome keyboard! Thanks for sharing this with us! :D
Excellent write-up Andy! The masses will find this to be invaluable!