Reverb Build Guide

Reverb Build Guide

The pictures are for the MX version but the choc build order is exactly the same but with slightly different component locations.

Required tools

  • PH0/PH1 Screwdriver

  • Tweezers

  • Soldering iron

  • Side cutters

Kit contents

Anyways getting started you should have the following PCBs and components.

PCBs from top to bottom, base, main and plate.

Hotswap sockets, switch diodes, LEDs (SK6803 mini-e), LCD, Pico layout compatible controller, A separate diode, 500mA hold polyfuse, bag of standoffs and screws and stick on feet.

Close up of the separate diode (left) and fuse (right) these may be inside the bag.

It's important that this separate diode isn't mixed with the switch diodes as they are different.

Assembly order

The assembly order in the guide was chosen so you could test as you go and may not be the simplest method. In particular you may want to skip fitting the LCD when the guide recommends as this will make installing the switch plate easier.

Flashing the controller

As with any build I highly recommend you flash the controller first, this ensures the controller is at least somewhat functional before you solder it in place.

Entering bootloader

Flashing requires the controller be in bootloader first, you can do this by holding the button labelled BOOT and plugging in the USB cable.

If done correctly you should have a USB drive appear on your computer labelled RPI-RP2 with a couple of files.


Flashing a RP2040 based controller doesn't require any external tools, it's a simple drag and drop procedure.

The firmware can be obtained from the via website with the filename dasky_reverb_via.uf2

This file just needs copying to the USB drive.

It's not uncommon to get some sort of file transfer error while doing this, it can usually be safely ignored.

To test the flash worked correctly we can use the VIA web application, this allows for rebinding of the keys without flashing the keyboard.

open in google chrome or a supported browser, click authorise device, reverb, connect.

That should then present you with the following page

This is as far as we need to go and confirms the firmware was successfully flashed.


Now onto the fun part of soldering the keyboard, I've grouped together how to orient the various surface mount components and then a basic method of soldering them. Please ensure the keyboard isn't connected to the USB cable while soldering.

Component orientation

If this is your first kit it's likely not obvious on how to correctly orientate the surface mount components.

Switch diode

The diode footprint on the PCB has a white U shape around the 2 pads and the diode has a line to one side of the T4 text. The diode needs to be orientated like pictured above with the line pointing towards the bottom of the U. (this might be quite difficult to see without magnification or correct lighting)

It may be preferable to leave the diodes in the tape as they are orientated in the same direction. The tape can be fixed down at the ends with some sellotape and the diodes removed without checking the marking each time.


The LEDs have a corner cut from one of the leads; it should match up with the white triangle marked on the footprint.


The fuse's position is marked as F1 on the diode and has no orientation.

Separate diode

The separate diode's position is marked D55 and needs to be orientated exactly like the switch diode above. It will have a different label, in this example SL, so ensure you are not fitting a diode marked T4 in this position.

Surface mount soldering method

This is just a brief overview of a simple method to solder some of the surface mount components. There are various ways you could tackle this but I believe this is one of the most simple.

Start by pre-tinning the pad, this is just heating the pad with the soldering iron and applying a small amount of solder.

The left pad has a small amount of solder applied.

You can now bring the component in with some tweezers ensuring the orientation is aligned correctly. This positioning of the component doesn't need to be perfect.

Once you feel you have the component positioned you can heat the pre tinned pad with the soldering iron while you slightly adjust the component with tweezers.

Once the solder has gone molten and you feel the component is positioned correctly you can remove the soldering iron. Continue to hold the component in place while the solder cools (a couple of seconds).

If all went well the component should be stuck in place. Soldering the other side is essentially the same as pre-tinning the pad, it's only a small amount of solder required.

A couple of things to note here, you shouldn't need to heat for any longer than a few seconds as this risks damage to the pad on the PCB or the component you're soldering. This is especially important when doing the LEDs. It is always best to move on or let it cool before trying again.

Switch diodes

First we're going to tackle soldering the switch diodes, this will give you some experience soldering small surface mount devices before tackling anything further.

Start by pre-tinning the one pad on each of the switch diode positions, the diode positions are marked by the white U shape around 2 pads.

you can see I've pre tinned the pads closest to the bottom of the white U shape

I'd recommend just doing the first side for all diodes as per the soldering method above, you can finish up the second side for all of them at once. This means you aren't constantly swapping between tweezers and solder, this can save some time but the choice is ultimately yours.

slightly covering the pad with the solder wire

then applying the iron to the pad and diode lead to flow the solder correctly.

all diodes fitted and soldered


Now we can move on to fitting the controller.

Flip the board over so the top side is visible.

Place the pin headers with the long side down.

Place the controller ensuring the components are facing up like the picture below.

Solder 2 opposite corner pins, in the below picture it's top right and bottom left.

Ensure your controller is sitting flat on the pin headers. You can adjust by reflowing the pin on the corresponding side.

Solder the rest of the pins starting at the corners not solder and check it's still level with the header pins.

Flip the board over, the controller will be loose so be sure to hold it in place while flipping. You can see in the below picture the long legs sticking out and the yellow pin header touching the pcb.

Solder 2 opposite corners.

Check the controller is flat to the PCB, it doesn't need to be perfect.

Solder the rest of the pins.

Trim the legs sticking out the bottom side with some cutters, I don't recommend using nice flush cutters for this as the steel pins could damage the cutting blade.

All pins trimmed.

Testing switch positions

As the controller is soldered in place, you can now test if the diodes are fitted correctly by using tweezers like below.


You may want to skip fitting the LCD at this point until the switches are fitted but if you're eager it can be fitted now.

The LCD is fitted with the pins already, just insert it into the seven below the controller.

Flip the board over while holding the LCD, you should see the pins slightly sticking out of the holes.

Solder 1 pin.

Check the position of the LCD, ensure there's some clearance between the controller pins and LCD back. If you're not happy you can reflow the 1 solder joint and adjust the position slightly. Once happy, solder the rest of the pins.

You can now plug in the USB and test the LCD. You should be greeted with this on plug in.

Fuse and diode

Solder this fuse and diode like the switch diodes before.

Pretin a pad on one side.

Ensure the orientation is correct.

Solder them into position.

Solder the other side.


Soldering the LEDs is a little trickier then the diodes but the practice you got will help. It's important to not heat these too long as they are easy to damage and can result in some odd behaviour.

The LEDs can be soldered one at a time and tested as each has been soldered. They are connected in a big chain that snakes from the position pictured below.

Ensure orientation is correct.

Solder one lead first using the method from before, then solder the second lead as normal.

Solder the two other leads.

If it looks like this you should be good to go, if the white casing has melted it may be fine. If you have joined two leads this can sometimes be solved by reflow with a clean iron tip and swiping away.

You can now test the first LED by plugging in the USB.

First half soldered and tested.

All LEDs soldered and tested.

Hotswap sockets

The hotswap sockets are much more straightforward to solder, just ensure that the solder is flowing on both the PCB pad and hotswap socket lead.

I hold the socket in place with my finger while soldering the first connection. This isn't required but ensure the socket is flush after soldering the first side.

First side soldered.

Second side soldered.

Continue soldering the rest, they can be done with any order.

Soldering complete

You should now have a PCB that resembles this. You could retest the switch positions work at this stage by using tweezers on the hotswap sockets but it's likely unnecessary.

Switch plate and switches

If you decided to fit the LCD later this is a little simpler but if the LCD is already fitted the switch plate needs sliding under the LCD like this and then rotating into position.

Switch plate in position.

While fitting the switches it's important to ensure the pins are not bent like the picture below. This can damage the hotswap socket.

I'd recommend fitting these switches first as it helps lock the plate in place. Ensure the hotswap sockets are supported from the back when inserting the switch.

All switches fitted.

If you decided to skip fitting the LCD earlier now is the time to do it instead.


Fit the standoffs to the base/bottom like this.

You can hold the brass standoff with your fingers while you tighten the screw. It doesn't need to be very tight.

You can now position the top and bottom sections and install screws into the remaining places.

Attach the stick on feet.

Fit keycaps and enjoy your keyboard.

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