Skip to content
Permalink
Branch: master
Find file Copy path
Find file Copy path
2 contributors

Users who have contributed to this file

@ai03-2725 @aa-tan
192 lines (106 sloc) 5.55 KB

Helix Beta Build Guide

Parts

The list below is for one half. To build both halves, you will need two sets of these parts.

Name Quantity Notes
PCB 1
Pro Micro 1
TRRS Jack 1
Tactile Switch 1
Spring-loaded pin headers 12-pin 2 Regular headers will also work
Plate (Acrylic or Stainless) 1 set
Display Cover Plate 1
M2 Spacer 4mm 6 For low-profile switches
M2 Spacer 7mm 6 For MX-style switches
M2 Spacer 8mm 2
M2 Screw 3mm 14
M2 Low Profile Screw 5mm 2
Rubber Bump-Ons 6
Diodes 32 SMD diodes are required for low-profile switches.
Keyswitches 32 Either Cherry MX or Kailh Low-Profile compatible
Keycaps 32 Whichever caps suit the switches
3.5mm Aux Cable 1 For the split connection
MicroUSB Cable 1
Insulating Sheet 1 For stainless steel plates (Optional)
WS2812B Strip (6 LEDs) 1 For underglow (Optional)
SK6812mini 32 For backlight (Optional)
OLED Module 1 For OLED display (Optional)
Socket, 4-Pin 1 For OLED display (Optional)
Headers, 4-Pin 1 For OLED display (Optional)

Necessary Tools

Name Notes
Soldering Iron If using backlight LEDs, it must be temperature-controllable.
Thin solder ~0.8mm diameter recommended
Tweezers For SMD part assembly

Selecting Options

Before beginning assembly, it will be necessary to decide on the options for the build.

Row Quantity (5 or 4)

By breaking away the bottom row, you can select the row quantity.

LED Selection (Underglow or Backlight)

Either the per-key backlight or below-PCB underglow may be selected.

Building the Helix

The guide will focus on the left half. For the right, simply flip the PCB.

Imgur

It is strongly recommended to read the ENTIRE build guide first before beginning work.

Preparing the PCB

If installing the optional OLED display, jumpers must be connected. Please solder the four jumpers on the upper side of the PCB on both halves. (Do not solder jumpers on both the front and rear.)

Imgur

Installing Parts

Diodes

Install diodes onto the bottom, whether through-hole or surface mount.

Make sure all diodes are installed in the correct orientation. Even when the silk label is invisible, all diodes face the same orientation.

Imgur

Imgur

Backlight LED (Optional)

Backlight LEDs are installed from the bottom of the PCB. Verify the orientation of the LEDs when installing - the largest pad should align with the corner marked with the circle on the silkscreen layer.

There are some places where this silkscreen is invisible; however, all LEDs of each row face the same orientation. However, not all rows share the same orientation.

Using a variable temperature soldering iron, solder the LEDs into place at roughly 220C (428F). Overheating the LEDs will destroy the LEDs.

Imgur

Imgur

An efficient method is to solder the largest pads on the entire row, then to do the rest of the pads.

TRRS Jack

Install from the topside following the silkscreen.

Imgur

Reset Switch

Install from the topside as marked by silkscreen.

Imgur

Pro Micro

Solder the spring loaded header to the pro micro, making sure that the bottom side faces upwards.

Imgur

The recommended orientation is the following.

Imgur

The smaller windows should be on the Pro Micro side. Also, install so both sets of headers have the small windows facing the same orientation.

Imgur

Imgur

Installing in the wrong orientation or applying significant force before soldering will lead to the pins ejecting. Also, the legs are easily bent; please take care when inserting and removing the Pro Micro from the PCB.

With the bottom side up, insert the header-loaded Pro Micro onto the through-hole pads. Even without soldering, it should lock into place.

Imgur

OLED Module (Optional)

Install sockets on the topside, and solder the headers onto the OLED module. Install the OLED module so it covers the Pro Micro below.

Imgur

Imgur

RGB Underglow Strip

After verifying orientation, either solder into place or solder using jumper wires.

Imgur

Switches

Install switches to the plate, then to the PCB, and solder. Be careful of solder bridges when other parts are close by.

Imgur

  • At this point, it is recommended to flash the firmware, and to verify that everything functions properly.

Final Assembly

Install two 8mm standoffs on the topside, and screw into place.

Imgur

Using 4mm standoffs on low-profile and 7mm for MX, secure the bottom plate into place as to sandwich the PCB.

Imgur

Install the display-protecting plate using the low-profile screws.

Imgur

Install bump-ons.

Imgur

The build is complete.

Imgur

You can’t perform that action at this time.