BYO Keyboard Assembly

Safety First

  • Never Leave the Soldering Iron Unattended
  • Wear Safety Glasses
  • Soldering Produces Lots of Heat – Be Careful what You Touch
  • Solder in a Well Ventilated Area


Review Required Learning Topics

Here are some other resources you might want to check out beforehand or have open while following this tutorial.

How to Solder

This tutorial assumes you already know how to solder. If you don’t know how to solder, it is highly recommended you start here.

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On the main menu of this site, under Social, you’ll find a link to Discord. This is the place to go to ask questions and get the quickest answers.


Any bolded term below can be found in the Glossary. You should have it open while you’re working through the tutorial. If you discover a term you need help with, ask in the Discord chat!


[ Tools Here] breadboard. Link through here


[Parts Here]

Soldering Time!

First we’ll solder the Adafruit ItsyBitsy M0 Express. To make soldering easier, we’ll use a breadboard to hold the male header pins in place. Place the header pins into the breadboard, long side down, and space them so that the Adafruit ItsyBitsy M0 Express can sit on top.

Place header pins in breadboard then rest Adafruit ItsyBitsy M0 Express on top

Bend the Diode wires at 90 degree angles to form an U shape. Pass the diodes through the breadboard. Be sure the black notch on the diode aligns with the black notch on the PCB or else your circuit won’t work.

Align Diode Correctly

Bend the wires on the bottom side slightly so that they hold in place.

Bend wire to hold diodes in place

Solder diodes and trim the excess wire.

Solder and Trim

Check the mechanical switches and make sure the metal pins coming out of the bottom of them are sticking straight out. Press each of the Mechanical switches into the PCB. The mechanical switches should be flush with the surface of the PCB – you might have to push a little bit.

Only solder the metal pins.

Only solder the metal pins. Do not solder the black plastic parts. You’ll need more solder than you used for the diodes.

Place the female header pins into the PCB. For stability, place the Adafruit ItsyBitsy M0 Express’s header pins that you soldered earlier into the female header pins.

Solder the female header pins.

Push the keycaps down onto the mechanical switches.

If you have a case attach that now.

Place the pads onto the bottom of the keyboard.

Congrats, you’re all done! Be sure to turn off your soldering iron.