Ghost keys or why is my keyboard broken

I’m not sure what to call it so I’m going to go with ghost keys. It is like someone else is typing with me. Every once in a while I get a space between some characters or I get a letter that is typed many times with one click. Just a …bit ago I got 3 g’s in a row.

It doesn’t stop there. Sometimes I’ll be typing away and the keyboard will get into what I think is a bad state. I will get a period and space after every character I type. Just before coming here I was getting a space before every character. I can usually fix it by unplugging and plugging back in the keyboard.

My firmware is at

There aren’t a lot of changes, but there are a few. This is starting to drive me crazy. Please help.

I would suggest adding back the TestMode to the list of plugins, as that is one of the easier ways to figure out if something’s wrong. To do that, add #include "Kaleidoscope-Model01-TestMode.h" to the top of your sketch, and &TestMode as the first (or at most second, after &BootGreetingEffect) entry in the Kaleidoscope.use list in your setup() method.

Flashing a firmware with this, you can enter the test mode by holding Prog + LED and the left Fn key. Then, you will have to press a key (any key, and you can press different keys each time) four times (if I’m counting right) to enter the matrix test stage. Here, press each and every key exactly once, and note down what color they light up with. If you can post a photo of the keyboard at the end of this, that would be great, and we can proceed from there.

You can also email, which is what Jesse’s been suggesting to people who saw similar problems.

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sorry that it is sideways, but all are blue.

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I am guessing you are seeing two things:

There is a known (minor and fixable at home) hardware issue that caused sticky keys. Ask @jesse for details on hiw to fix it. He’s keeping careful track of the number of affected folks, so I will let him follow up.

You are running your macro that turns multiple taps on space into period + space, and your space key (weird not to say space bar!) is sticking, along with some other keys.

So it’s a hardware problem being complicated by the smartest keyboard in the world. :slight_smile:


I think I have this working. There was a combination. I don’t know why but sometimes when I had tap dance on other keys would start to get spaces and periods after them. Cleaning is helped with the multiple letters. I still think it might be happening a little, but I’m watching it closely.

If you can reproduce it with the default firmware, definitely email us. If it’s only with custom firmware and you can figure out a reproduction recipe, we can take a look.

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This seems to have come back. Sometimes my e will hit twice with one press. It is starting to make me crazy. I tried the cleaning technique from the emails. I’m hoping that I’m just not cleaning it right. Can you post a video of cleaning out the switch?

I’ve actually got a significantly improved debouncing algorithm that I’m in the process of cleaning up for publication. It appears to be dramatically better at stopping chatter.


Did you ever get this completed? I am going to be required to switch back to the apple keyboard. I’d offer to help, but I’m not sure where you are in any of it. One key is about to end me at the moment.

Amos, can you drop us mail at I’ve got new firmware for you to test.

Hi Jesse,

I’ve been looking for updates on the debouncing/ghost keys issue. Have you released the updated firmware you were describing? I’ve also seen chatter about a hardware/lubrication issue that might be causing this - was that specific to the test models or did it affect production models as well? It seemed like there were known ways to improve the stuck keys, but I couldn’t find the actual solution listed anywhere.

Any update would be helpful - I’m having trouble with my I (and occasionally J) keys being written in duplicate.


The lubrication thing affected MP1 models. I think mine may be sensitive to cold temperatures, but it’s also been recurring much less frequently as time goes on.

Hi Luke,

Cleaning is going to be a much more effective solution than the firmware. has the current instructions.

Sorry to post here, but replying in the other topic is closed.

Could you post a picture of the place where the alcohol should go in, namely this step:

Put 5-6 drops of isopropyl alcohol into the switch, just behind the stem. (You should see the switch fill with the alcohol.)


Thank you for the instructions!