Troubleshooting the Moonlander

Troubleshooting the Moonlander

I have bought ZSA's Moonlander keyboard a few months ago. (I will write more on that sometime soon.) It's been great. However, there were a few hiccups while customizing it  that I couldn't answer by googling and had to contact support.

I'm writing them down here, in case I need them again, or in case you're googling for them as well.

Did I brick it? Where is the reset button?

I have made many modifications to my layout during the first day... then I bricked the keyboard. Because of course I did. 🤦🏻‍♀️ It no longer worked, responded, or would let me flash a new version of firmware using their Wally program. What to do?

It did occur to me to try pressing the hardware reset switch. There was just one minor problem: I didn't know where it was. And it wasn't anywhere in the docs, reddit threads, or anywhere.  
There was one hole near the number row on the left that very much looked like it should house the reset switch... but the keyboard also has a beeper. If that was the thing under the hole, shoving a wire into it might be very dumb. So I contacted support. Aaaand yes, that was the reset hole. I needn't have worried. Oh, well.

In case you want to make sure as well: yes, it is this one.


Here are the instructions I got from support:

  1. If Wally is open, close it, and unplug your keyboard.
  2. While the keyboard is still unplugged, using an un-bent paper clip, press your keyboard's reset button and keep it pressed while plugging the keyboard back in.
  3. Keep the reset button pressed for another 3 to 4 seconds before releasing it. (The keyboard will not function at this point; this is expected.)
  4. Open Wally and see if you can go through the flashing process.

That worked like a charm. I had to do it once more since then. 😁

Layer switching makes a mess of keys

When switching from one layer to the next on my layout, I'd noticed weird behavior: when I switched from the Game layer to the Media layer, to pause music or something, everything got messed up; the layer didn't switch back as it should have and the keys' functions became a jumble of a few layers together. And there also clearly were rules that prevented me from placing the layer switches however I wanted, but I didn't understand them.

There are 2 groups of layer switches - the first is the 'TO' switch, which just switches to the layer specified by number; and the other group contains all the rest - the momentary switches, oneshots, toggles.

Turns out the TO switch can be placed anywhere, while the others can only go to higher layers. Since my Gaming layer was #4 and Media was #3, I'd encountered those issues, manifested most visibly on keys that used the Transparency feature. One recommendation from the support was that if I needed to use those keys often, I could create a new, higher layer and switch to that one instead. My solution was even simpler: I switched the two layers. There were no other dependencies this move would break and it worked perfectly. That's why the Media layer is #4 now.

Hope this helps.