Trouble bootstrapping the human

I am one of the very latecomers to the model01 party, and am finding it hard to know where to begin in terms of plugins, firmware, kaleidoscope etc. It feels like there is either a lot of tribal knowledge or I’m missing some docs…

I’ve been writing software for 40 years, so, all I’m looking for is maybe a quick overview of the key concepts (layers, modifiers, modules, plugins, …), a walkthru of the install process, manual of built in featured, and maybe a top 10 of cool plugins, or the like.



Hi, I’m somewhat in the same boat and taking advantage of The COVID to finally transition over to the Model 01 (which is absolutely worth the learning curve.

My personal quickstart has included:

  1. Downloading Chrysalis,
  2. Using Chrysalis to flashing the Model 01 with the experimental firmware which includes a couple popular plugins:
  1. Using Chrysalis to begin customizing my key layouts

Biggest adjustment is beginning to actively think about how I interact with a keyboard, and realizing that I can customize most of my frustrations away and make typing much more efficient.

Good luck!

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I am starting with a Model 01 as well and found to be a good overview.

Hello @plumitt,

Some of the plugin like Qukeys en SpaceCadet can be used through Chrysalis but most still require a custom sketch. There is some information on the github page which should be enough to get you started making a modified sketch, however I would agree some more in depth explanation of the concepts would help.

There is a section describing how to setup the Arduino IDE which you will need if you want any of the advanced features.

Also I’d recommend checking the plugin documentation on the github and see what peaks your interest;

I would suggest you start using your Model01 with the latest stock firmware and get used to typing on it. When you find you want to change some of the behavior you can try using Chrysalis first and if you require extra plugins you will need to make your own sketch using the Arduino IDE.

*You can still use Chrysalis for changing keymaps and stuff when running a custom firmware if you leave the focus plugin alone.
** also you might want to disable some led effects to free up some of the memory.

I use the quantum key plugin to make both shift buttons function as Home and End buttons when tapped. I also use this plugin on the FN key, when held it operates like normal, but when tapped it locks the function layer, I experienced some discomfort when having to hold the FN key for a long time.

And last I am using tapdance on the Led and Any key

  • pressing led once = (
  • pressing led twice = [
  • pressing led three times = {

And the best addition I have done is add mouse vertical scroll on the Q and E keys of the function layer.

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Also check out

I’m not sure it’s what you’re asking for, but I made a short screencast of how I make updates using the Arduino app and a map .ino file. It is not well explained since I find it a bit abstract and don’t know the proper terminology, but the upshot of that fact is if I can make this work anyone has a chance! I don’t touch on the concepts you list, but I will make a git commit of some code comments of how I think that works, you’d probably rather hear from someone with more skills in this area!

In the video I reference these two links:

  1. The Keyboardio Firmware docs:

  2. My own firmware, for version 1.23


Once you figure out flashing the firmware, my layout could be an example of what you can do while hopefully being not too hard to understand. All the plugins have descriptive comments next to each import. It also has a large setup of qukeys as an example, I think that’s one of the best plugins.

Feel free to ping with questions.

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Thank you all for the input. Im up to about 30 WPM and getting more and more comfortable on the keyboard. about to undertake making a slideout tray to replace the drawer on this desk… then, onto the firmware as time allows… work is taking extra effort what with the covid and all…

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