Posted On 07/10/2015 By In How-To

HOW-TO: Adding LED’s to the KC60

For all intents and purposes this will be a fairly short guide with the assumption that you have very basic soldering skills. If you have never used a soldering iron before I’d strongly recommend checking out a few Youtube vidoes on it before attempting something like this. That being said, this is one of the easiest possible projects to do with a soldering iron and a fantastic place to start. You really can’t mess to much up with this little project.

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The KC60 sample unit that I have came without LED’s installed. Due to the unique backplate on the KC60 that I’ve already gone over (it allows you to remove the switch top without desolering the switches), I would strongly encourage you to order this keyboard without any LED’s pre-installed. This will give you the opportunity to tune your switches easily. I installed 67g springs in place of the stock 45g springs on the space bar and all of the alpha keys. After you get the switches exactly how you want them, you can start installing the LED’s. I should point out that the KC60 does not support RGB LED’s.

For this project I bought 120 2x4x4mm square LED’s from ebay for ~$7. The larger round 1.8mm LED’s should fit fine as well, but the smaller ones guarantee that I won’t have any issues with any keycaps hitting the LED’s down the road. To begin you simply need to thread the LED’s in the slots at the front of each switch. Be sure to check the back side of the PCB to see which terminal is positive, remembering the longer leg of the LED is the positive lead. I went one row at a time, and after threading a full row I’d bend the legs back to hold it in place when I flipped to PCB over to solder them in place.

The entire process took around 30 mins for me, 45 if you count the spring swapping. After I finished I plugged the keyboard in just to check that everything was working before clipping the legs off the LED’s. Pro Tip: Hold on to the legs as you trim them or they will fly all over the place, and you will be randomly finding on them for the next few months. Now that the lights are installed, take a second to grab a beer (or juice, depending on your age) and admire your handiwork.

If you have LED’s that aren’t working the first thing to check is that you got the polarity correct, after that check to make sure that your joints are soldered correctly, and that they are making a solid connection. Once installed you will have 3 brightness levels and a pulsating mode, much like the V60 has.  Again, this is an extremely easy project, even if you are a complete novice with a soldering iron. I personally left 2 keys without LED’s on them just in case I needed to easily demonstrate how to remove the switch tops again. This is going to look quite nice in that acrylic case I just ordered…

 

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3 Responses

  1. First sentence. Edit: intents and purposes

  2. livingspeedbump

    Good catch. That was a pretty bad late night mistake haha.

  3. Can you do this out of the box with this PCB? No soldering of diodes/resistors needed?

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