Wires for MX Switches

Get the wires and Cherry MX switches ready. Use the following wire lengths.

Wire Lengths

  • 3x 4-pin JST cable – 116mm
  • 1x 2-pin JST cable – 116mm
  • 2x 10-wire ribbon cable – 305mm

Tin 4-wire JST cables

Use wire strippers to remove a bit of insulation from the tips of each wire from the 4-pin JST cable. Tin the strands of wire by adding a bit of solder.

Tin 2-wire JST Cable

Use wire strippers to remove a bit of insulation from the tips of each wire in the 2-pin JST cable. Tin the strands of wire by adding a bit of solder.

Tinned JST Cables

Repeat the tinning process for the remaining JST cables. Pieces of heat shrink tubing will keep the wires bundled together.

Plate for MX Switches

Get the neck-top.stl part ready to install the Cherry MX switches.

Installing MX Switches

Cherry MX switches are press fitted into the square holes through the top of the neck-top.stl part. The MX switches can be oriented in any orientation – Use the orientation with the most optimal placement for the wired connections. 

Install MX Switches

The switches are placed so the pins are following a consistent orientation. 

Installed MX Switches (Bottom View)

Double check the placement of the switches once they're all installed into the neck-top.stl part. If any of the switches are out of place, they can be "popped" out.

Installed MX Switches (Top View)

The top of the switches feature the Cherry MX embossed labeling. They can be used to visually see if they're all following in the same orientation. Note: a combination of "Blue" and "Silver" switches are used here unintentionally due to components on hand. 

Wires from Shared Ground

Peel off a single wire from the 10-wire ribbon cable. This single wire is cut into several pieces that will be used to connect all of the ground pins together. The switches will share a common ground.

Each wire is about 35mm in length.

Soldering Ground

Secure the neck-top.stl part so it's doesn't move around while soldering. A Panavise or third helping hands can be used. Tin one of pins on the first Cherry MX switch. 

Shared Ground

The second Cherry MX switch has two wires soldered to the ground pin. The second wire will be connected to the third switch. A pair of tweezers can be helpful in handling the wires while soldering.

Ground Wired

Repeat this process for nine of the remaining Cherry MX switches. The last switch (the 12th) in the arrangement will need a third wire for connecting to the ground pins on the Adafruit Grand Central M4.

Check Ground Wiring

Take a moment to inspect your wires to ensure the solder joints are solid. 

Tin Longer Ground Wire

Measure and cut a 2-wire piece from the 10-wire ribbon cable. Use the following wire length.

  • 2-wire ribbon cable – 117mm

Solder JST Connector

Solder the 2-wire ribbon cable to the 2-pin male JST connector. Add pieces of heat shrink tubing before soldering

Solder Last Ground MX Switch

Solder the 2-pin ribbon cable to the ground pin on the last mx switch.

Wired JST Ground Cable

Double check the wiring in the MX switches.

Wiring 4-pin JST Connectors

Split the 10-wire ribbon (305mm long) cable so there's 3x 4-wire ribbon cables. These will be used to solder to the 3x 4-pin JST connectors

Tinning 4-pin JST Cables

Repeat this process for the remaining 4-pin JST cables.

Wiring First Key

Wire up one of the 4-wire ribbon cables to the first MX switch.

4 Keys Wired

Proceed to wire the next three MX switches. Note, the wires are shortened in length inline with the MX switches.

8 Keys Wired

Proceed to solder the next 4-wire ribbon cable to four more MX switches. Follow the same process and shorten the wires per switch.

12 Keys Wired

Proceed to wire the third 4-wire ribbon cable to the last remaining 4x MX switches.

Wired MX Switches

Thoroughly inspect the wires and double check all of the solder joints are solid.

Group Wiring

The 3x ribbon cables are layered and bundled together. This keeps the wires nice and neat.

This guide was first published on Mar 18, 2020. It was last updated on Mar 18, 2020.
This page (Wiring MX Switches) was last updated on Oct 20, 2020.