Sometimes, when you plug in your keyboard, one or more LEDs won't light up or they'll be in a different color than you'd expect. When that's the case, here's some information to help you out.
The steps in this guide apply to split keyboards that use WS2812B RGB LEDs or SK6812MINI-E RGB LEDs. This includes keyboards such as the Kyria and the Aurora series. This guide will also apply to other keyboards using these LEDs, and to keyboards using other LEDs that have an onboard processor and a sequential data line.
Finding the problem and fixing it
With the default firmware, the default RGB color will be red. All LEDs should light up red when you plug in your keyboard, provided that RGB is enabled in the keyboard and is switched on. If they don't all light up red, don't light up at all, or start flickering at some point, following the steps below will help you find and fix the problem.
To fix your LEDs, follow the steps below:
- Inspect and reflow the joints on the first LED that doesn't work: Check all connections on the first LED that does not behave correctly. Do all solder joints look okay? If not, try reflowing the joint by applying heat to it with your iron.
- Inspect and reflow the joints on the LED before it: Check all connections on the LED before the LED that does not behave correctly. So if RGB4 does not work, check the connections on RGB3. Check the solder joints, and rework them as needed.
- Replace the first offending LED: Does it still not work? Try replacing the first offending LED with a new one. Your kit should include several spares.
- Replace the LED before it: If that doesn't work either, check the first LED before the offending LED, and replace it.
If it then still does not work, check the connections on your microcontroller for bridges and proper connections, and rework as needed.
If the first LED in the chain doesn't work, marked with RGB1, the issue might be with a microcontroller pin. You can view the schematics for your keyboard in the Schematics category to see which pin might have a bridge or cold joint.
This is what the footprint for a WS2812B underglow LED looks like on a splitkb.com-designed keyboard:
Per-key RGB footprints for SK6812MINI-E LEDs look like this:
LEDs are chained. This means that the LED from RGB1 passes on its data to RGB2, RGB2 passes it on to RGB3, and so forth. What this means it that a problem in any LED can be caused by the LED itself, or the LED before it. This is shown in the diagram below:
Per-key RGB LEDs are often not chained according to the switch number! Check the schematics for the chain order!