Getting Started

Our Build, PCB, and General Resources:


What are the essential parts of a mechanical keyboard?

Keyboards vary in terms of components, but generally, our keyboards will require the following components:

1. Keyboard Case (ie. Sequence or Portal).
(Please note, all case purchases include a 35A O-ring, FR4 switch plate, feet, DB+JST set, and Hi-Chew)
2. Printed Circuit Board (PCB) (ie. Hotswap or Solderable)
3. O-Ring (mounting system)
4. Daughterboard + JST Cable (DB+JST)
Switch Plate
Keyboard Switches
8. Keyboard Stabilizers

You can get everything you need for a full build with one of our Keyboard Kits and Component Kit!

How to assemble the Portal/Sequence/Array

Our friend, Captain Sterling, has created a short video demonstrating how to assemble both our Sequence and Portal keyboards, including a sound test with our Pewter switches!

If you would like a more comprehensive guide, please visit the video above by Alex Otos! Here, Alex demonstrates how to assemble the Portal using a solderable PCB, but the build only differs for hot-swap PCBs in that you will be able to directly insert your switches without a solder.

Assembly for the Sequence keyboard is nearly identical to the Portal keyboard, excluding the weight installation.

How to properly mount your assembled PCB

We made a short video showing how to properly insert your Hot-Swap/Solderable PCB into your Parallel keyboard case. Take a look!

PCB / Customization

Using VIAL for 60% PCB keymapping.

For our 60% PCBs, including the one for Snake, we use to offer the smoothest keymapping experience. No downloads are required! The site should detect your 60% PCB, where you can then edit the base and secondary key layers to your liking.

How to configure your Parallel PCB Keymapping, some default keymapping info, and known VIA issues

(note: VIA users have been reporting issues related to the app that may block VIA as a viable option for some users)

Parallel PCBs come preloaded with a keymap pictured below, but you can use either VIA configurator or QMK Configurator + QMK Toolbox to customize your own key mapping! Between the two, we recommend using QMK!

Base Keymap (Layer 1) (Note: Apple logo translates to the Windows key for Windows)

Base Keymap (Layer 2) (When holding either of the keys labeled "MO1" in Layer 1, you are then accessing the second layer pictured below)


1) Here are our layouts hosted on QMK:
Parallel 65% Hotswap Keyboard Default Layout (ANSI)
Parallel 65% Solderable Keyboard Default Layout (ANSI)

a) You can customize your layout for your board using the menu below in QMK Configurator:

b) After clicking the "COMPILE" and download "FIRMWARE" button, you should have the hex file necessary to flash your PCB with QMK Toolbox! (pictured below)

2) (To put your Parallel PCB into DFU (Bootloader) mode to flash with QMK, either hold ESC before connecting to your computer or press the button on the backside of your PCB)

You can find some community generated guides below by Austin V (VIA) and MechMerlin (QMK).

Why is QMK Toolbox returning "dfu-programmer: no device present" when you try to flash your PCB/Keyboard?

Some users may run into issues with QMK Toolbox when attempting to flash their PCB/keyboard with a customized keymapping. 

It may be the case that you assembled your keyboard, held ESC to put your keyboard into DFU mode, and, instead of recognizing your keyboard, saw the text shown in the picture below in the QMK console:
Link to Github Issue

In order to solve this issue, you will need to:

1) Navigate to the Tools tab in the menu bar of QMK toolbox

2) Click on Install Drivers... (shown below), this will reinstall the drivers
3) Now, you should be able to flash your keyboard normally


What are Pewter Switches optimized for?

Pewters are designed to be the "least tactile" tactile switch. They're great for people who'd like a little bit of tactile feedback when typing without the "bump" being too overstated.

Check out filled types video below to see how they sound!

How to lubricate your keyboard switches

We at Parallel and the enthusiast community almost always lubricate their switches in order to acquire a desired sound and smooth action. However, we believe that our Pewter switches sound great both stock and lubed!

Please note that lubricating your switches (66-68 switches with our 65% keyboard PCB) is a time-intensive process so it is important to know if it's right for you! Take a look at Taeha Types in-depth video detailing why and how to lubricate your switches!

How to lubricate your keyboard stabilizers

Keyboard stabilizers are components of your keyboard which are required for the longer keys as they are more prone to "rattling". We recommend lubricating your keyboard stabilizers as this will improve the smoothness and sound of the longer keys (SPACEBAR, SHIFT, ENTER, BACKSPACE).

Take a look at Taeha Types video below for more info and how to do it yourself!