Friday, May 1, 2015

Replace the LEDs in a CM Storm QuickFire XT Mechanical Keyboard

About a month ago I bought a CM Storm QuickFire XT mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX brown switches. It had everything I was looking for except for the red LED indicator lights. I put a sticker over them but it was a pain when I accidentally hit the Caps Lock key and there was no indicator. It was very easy to replace the LEDs to a more suitable light blue.

Equipment Needed:

  • 3mm LEDs (any color works)
  • Soldering Iron
  • Solder
  • Solder sucker
  • Solder Wick
  • Pry Tools
  • Tape

Take the keyboard apart
Three screws hold the keyboard together.  The two other ones are located under the feet and the third is under a sticker in the upper middle of the keyboard.

Use a metal or plastic pry opener to separate the top over and base.There are 8 plastic tabs you need to unhook to open the keyboard.

Locate the LEDs
Flipping over the board, you'll find the Num Lock, Cap Lock, and Scroll Lock three rows down in the upper left corner of the board. The Super/Windows Key Lock LED is the two solder points my the printed F9 in the middle of the board.

Unsolder the LEDs
Using the solder wick and solder sucker remove the LEDs from the board. You don't need solder wick but it may make the process easier. The Num Lock, Cap Lock, and Scroll Lock keys will have a black sleeve protecting the leads, the Super/Windows Key Lock is soldered directly through the F9 key.

Re-sleeve the new LEDs
The black sleeves used with the Num Lock, Cap Lock, and Scroll Lock LEDs are not glued to the board or LED. slide the off the old red LED and onto your new LEDs.

The the Num Lock, Cap Lock, and Scroll Lock LEDs have the positive and negative terminals marked on the board.

Resolder the LEDs to the board
You need to resolder the LEDs with respect to the polarity. The longer end of the LED is the anode (+) positive end. Feed the longer lead into the positive terminal in the board. Before you flip the board over to solder the connection use a piece of tape to secure the LED in place. If you do not secure the LEDs in place with tape the case will not fit and the lights will not sit flush in the holes.

The F9 key positive and negative terminals are not marked. The positive end is on the right side of the key.

Test the Lights