Introduction: Make Your Keyboard Shine Again in RGB

Picture of Make Your Keyboard Shine Again in RGB

My Roccat Ryos MK Pro Keyboard started to fail. It has been a few good years to the keyboard is no longer covered by the warranty. A total of 11 LEDs lost their illumination, and while the keyboard remains totally usable, missing LEDs are a bane to my OCD. Roccat’s new devices sporting full RGB highlight, but I just don’t have that kind of money. It was time to fix things up and go full RGB!

You can read more about the stuff I do here: www.notenoughtech.com .

Also if you like what you see, and this guide helped you in any way, hit the vote button in the FIXING STUFF contest as thank you!

Best thing is - the RGB zone upgrade will cost you about $3 and 45min of your time!

You will need:

  • soldering iron
  • solder
  • LEDs
  • screwdriver
  • tweezers

Step 1: Getting the Right LEDs

Picture of Getting the Right LEDs

I have contacted the Roccat’s customer support which has provided me with the LED specification. I wanted to make sure the LEDs I get are compatible. Fortunately, the keyboard punches enough power to power up all the colors, not only the blue LEDs.

If you are lucky enough, you get the reply, otherwise, you will have to browse the internet for a bit to find the matching parts.

LEDs come in different shapes and sizes so taking your keyboard apart and removing a single LED may be required to identify the parts needed.

These worked for me, and will probably for many other keyboards:

http://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/neQV3Bm ($3 for a selection of different colours)

Step 2: Taking the Keyboard Apart

Picture of Taking the Keyboard Apart

The process was fairly straightforward. A few extra screws are located under the sticker and the rubber pads. Your design may vary, but keyboards due to their size are fairly simple to be taken apart.

Before you start taking things apart, take the picture of the keyboard. It will be your backup plan if you forget what caps goes where. You are almost ready to start.

Disconnect the thumb keys and unscrew the additional screws keeping the keyboard attached to the case. Be careful of the cable connecting the keyboard to the controller. To do the Roccat Ryos MK Pro – Keyboard Mod you will need a soldering set. A solder sucker is a very handy tool. It costs next to nothing and it made all the difference!

Step 3: Creating RGB Zones

Picture of Creating RGB Zones

Unless your keyboard comes with RGB support, you won't be able to change the colour dynamically, but you can add colour zones to keep things interesting.

Draw a plan. My plan was:

  • 1 – 0 10 orange LEDs
  • M1 – M5 5 orange LEDs
  • Q,E 2 orange LEDs
  • WASD 4 red LEDs
  • Win,FN – 2 red LEDs
  • Dpad 1-0 9 white LED’s

Once you have a layout sorted (Less is better unless you want your keyboard to double as a tree for Christmass) you can start with the unsoldering. My advice is to do this colour by colour. This way you won’t get confused.

Locate the LED’s pins. They are placed above the switch. To use a solder sucker to remove the solder from the board. Once the excess of solder has been removed, heat up both pins at the same time while pushing it down with a flat screwdriver. When the pins go through the board, use the screwdriver to push them out from the other side.

Check the orientation of the LED, and test the LED as well. They all face the same direction on my keyboard. Power the keyboard for a moment and touch the contact points to establish the orientation of the LED.

Push the LEDs in and bend the excess pins in random directions. The LED will stay in place. Don’t solder until you get all of them done this way. It will speed things out.

Use a little solder to get the pins secured. Make sure there are no shorts. Test the keyboard every few moments. It will save you from making mistakes.

Once all the LED’s are soldered onto the board, use clippers to trim the pins. All you need to do to put all things together is to reverse the opening up process. Once you are done you can enjoy an extremely nice Roccat Ryos MK Pro – Keyboard Mod.

Comments

Al-IraqiA (author)2017-10-01

Nice Idea

HarrisCreekCentral (author)2017-09-28
Make Your Keyboard Shine

Can you add Led's to any keyboard or do I have to have the

Roccat Ryos MK Pro. Very interesting project. Now you have my brain teaser in high gear. Thanks.

C

What NikyN2 said - plus LEDs has to be driven somehow, it would be more expensive than simply buying a cheap single colour illuminated one and modding the colour zones in.

NikyN2 (author)quintaar2017-09-30

honestly, you can get a few meters of rgb led strip for like $10. or, a usb piece (around 30cm) for the same money. then just drill some holes for the leds to show below the keys - and there you are.

the full strip means either a separate power source, or a 5to12V boost converter (not too hard to do, and the components are worth a few bucks at most), but, you're limited by the usb power output.

I tried to go that way once (already had the leds installed and everything), but getting them powered was a challenge for my former self who didn't know about boost converters and how cheap they sell them on ebay. (still max power output IS an issue, but another kind of issue).

I think, powering the inidividual leds at 5V - putting them in series of 3 or 4 since each one needs about 1.5V would work. but it would be a real pain to mod (WAY too many connections, and I'm still not good at soldering, lol).

hey, I may even try this if I get bored. backlight is still better than no light, after all :)

quintaar (author)NikyN22017-09-30

something tells me that by that point you will end up with costs nearing 50% of the cheap keyboard with illumination, but as an educational excercise - totally worth it :)

there are ways to illuminate non-illuminated keyboards, but it won't be as easy.

first, keys are not transparent so most you'll get is backlight.

second - there are no leds already in there, so you have to find a way to power them (and a standard usb probably won't do this - at least not with led strips, which are my whole "let's try to get a backlight on this KB" experience). also, connections aren't gonna be as easy as "de-solder this, solder that".

bmiller91 (author)NikyN22017-09-29

You could replace a few select keys such as WASD with transparent labelling but you'd quickly get to point where it would be cheaper to buy whole new keyboard. https://m.newegg.com/products/9SIA0U02KJ4744

NikyN2 (author)bmiller912017-09-30

first I'd need to have a mechanical keyboard... and that in itself is a big investment (I've never paid more than €30 - for a keyboard plus mouse, hahaha).

someday I'll be able to afford a full-RGB mechanical keyboard, I swear. but, that day is not today (sad face).

icemanfrost (author)2017-09-28

Love this fix! Wish I had a lit keyboard to do this to. Oh well.... soon maybe! I was a little surprised that they used through hole LED's instead of surface mount, but that would have made the soldering more difficult! Anyway,, great job!!

quintaar (author)icemanfrost2017-09-29

Frankly speaking, I was expecting this as well, there is plenty of space inside of mechanical keyboards, so perhaps this is the reason? I'm sure the flat keyboards (scissor switches) would use SMD technology instead.

Thank you

DavidP190 (author)2017-09-28

Some earlier led keyboards were lit by led strips surrounding the clear plastic base those are easy to do with rgb led strips but i would get the 5050 rgb led strips because each led has 3 colors built in. just wrap around plastic base. note if you want get them in 5v strip and you would have to make 2 holes on backside for the inline controller so you could change color and patterns

quintaar (author)DavidP1902017-09-29

It could be possible to add it, it would be an independent circuit tho, plus not all the keyboards have space inside. Mechanical 'gaming' ones have enough space inside to fit a tank :)

NikyN2 (author)2017-09-28

I was all hyped thinking I would be able to turn my cheapo into a backlighted keyboard.... (I'm a sucker for lights, you see).

turns out you start with an already lighted one. oh, well. I'll keep saving.

quintaar (author)NikyN22017-09-28

Sadly, not the case, but if you end up buying a single colour backlight, you can add your own RGB zones.

RobertZ7 (author)2017-09-28

Cool

quintaar (author)RobertZ72017-09-28

thanks

DougZ1 (author)2017-09-28

Serious question- RGB LED keyboards can be had for $50 now. What are the advantages to building one?

quintaar (author)DougZ12017-09-28

It's a 'repair guide', costs around $3 to perform and turns a single colour highlight into RGB zones as well as actually fixing illumination issues of the broken keyboard. In a nutshell, why throw out a perfectly working otherwise mechanical keyboard?

rpotts2 (author)2017-09-24

Olde School hacking at it's finest. good on ya!

quintaar (author)rpotts22017-09-24

Appreciate it! :) Keyboard will stay for some time to come! :)

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2017-09-24

That is probably the most impressive light up keyboard that I have seen. Does it get warm from all the current needed to power it?

The current in LEDs is similar regardless of the colour. There are small changes in voltage between the colours, but i suspect most keyboards should be able to handle it. The LEDs actually emit very little heat as waste (unless we are talking about extra bright LEDs.)

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