Magicforce 68 MF68 PCB Replacement Build Guide
So you've got yourself one of these awesome PCBs so you can replace the original board and make it reprogrammable, now what? Let's get to work and start by taking off all the keycaps.
Now, it's time to flip the board over and unscrew the 6 screws. There's stickers and pads covering up each screw.
After removing the screws, remove the bottom of the case, and unhook the cable that connects the Mini-USB breakout board to the PCB.
Time to desolder all of the switches. It goes very quickly if you use the desoldering iron as seen below.
The desoldering iron works similarly to a desoldering pump. Press down on the black circular piece to compress the spring. Then put the iron on top of the pad you want to desolder. Wait about 4-5 seconds for the solder to melt fully and then press the button to suck up the solder.
Be careful when you press down on the pump after removing some solder, as hot, melted solder will usually shoot out of the tip.
It took about 15-20 minutes to remove all the switches from the board using this tool. Highly recommended if you do a lot of switch desoldering! Goes way faster than using a regular iron with a desoldering pump.
Flip the board over and remove the switches.
(Optional) If you're going to paint the top plate or apply some kind of vinyl wrap on it, remove the stabilizers. Here, the logo on the plate has been filled with wood filler and sanded down in preparation of being spray painted.
I like Pulse SA, and I happened to find a matching spray paint.
Paint job complete. Not totally smooth, but good enough for my tastes.
Now let's work on the PCB. First, on the bottom side of the board, solder on the two resistors that sit underneath the space bar.
Flip the board over to the top side and solder the other resistors, diodes, and MOSFET. If you are not adding LEDs, then you can omit the resistors and MOSFET.
Next, add the reset button and header pins for the Pro Micro.
Once the header pins have been soldered on, pry off the plastic on the header pins. I normally use a pair of cutters to get them off. Here, I've placed a sheet of paper in between the cutters and the PCB so as not to damage it.
Solder the Pro Micro to the header pins. It's recommended to test the Pro Micro before installing it, since it's a real pain to remove once soldered on.
Reinstall the stabilizers onto the board if you removed them earlier.
Add the switches to the board and solder them. If you're into modding switches, make sure you've reassembled the switches before putting them on the plate, as the plate does not support switch top removal.