Wires for MX Switches
Get the wires and Cherry MX switches ready. Use the following 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.