Getting Started with QMK Firmware

Out of the box, all kits of ANAVI Macro Pad 8 are powered by the popular open source QMK firmware.

ANAVI Macro Pad 8
ANAVI Macro Pad 8

QMK stands for Quantum Mechanical Keyboard and it is an open source community centered around developing various computer input devices. The project is hosted in GitHub. More than 1700 developers contributed to this open source firmware over the years. QMK supports more than 2000 keyboards and keypads brands.

Although QMK is very powerful and flexible, it might be a challenge to get used to it if you haven’t used it before. Over the next weeks and months, as part of efforts for increasing the documentation related to ANAVI Macro Pad 8, we will be rolling out updates related to QMK.

QMK Configurator loaded in a web browser with the default keymap for ANAVI Macro Pad 8

QMK offers several options to select, customize and flash a keymap for your keyboard:

  • Command-line interface – advanced but not very user friendly
  • QMK Toolbox – application for MacOS and Windows users
  • QMK Configurator – an online tool used for easily creating firmware files for keyboards supported by QMK.

You can use QMK on MS Windows, MacOS and GNU/Linux distributions. To get started with the QMK firmware please explore this tutorial from the official documentation and install all required software suitable for the operating system on your PC.

Keymaps for ANAVI Macro Pad 8

The QMK source code for ANAVI Macro Pad 8 is available as part of the main repository in GitHub. So far there are 5 keymaps available:

  • Default – with 2 layers for demo purposes
  • KiCad – free software suite for electronic design automation which as used to design ANAVI Macro Pad 8,
  • Kodi – for the free and open source media player application,
  • OBS – for the popular open source video recording and live streaming software,
  • Zoom – for the popular video communication software.

Over the time we plan to extend the list with keymaps for other popular software applications. Please feel free to submit your favorite keymaps for ANAVI Macro Pad 8 to the QMK repository in GitHub!

Compile QMK for ANAVI Macro Pad 8

After installing QMK software on your computer, from the command line you can compile QMK firmware with the default keymap for ANAVI Macro Pad 8 using the following command:

qmk compile -kb anavi/macropad8 -km default

Flash QMK on ANAVI Macro Pad 8

Follow the steps below to flash the compiled QMK firmware to ANAVI Macro Pad 8:

  • Connect ANAVI Macro Pad 8 to your personal computer with USB to micro USB cable
  • Execute the following command in a terminal to flash the default keymap:
qmk flash -kb anavi/macropad8 -km default
  • Press the RESET button on ANAVI Macro Pad 8 when asked:
Detecting USB port, reset your controller now.....
  • Wait until the firmware flashes successfully:
avrdude done.  Thank you.

The heart of ANAVI Macro Pad 8 is Microchip ATmega32U4. It is an 8-bit microcontroller part of the AVR family. QMK relies on avrdude as the utility to download, upload and manipulate the firmware of these microcontroller.

Microchip ATmega32u4
Microchip ATmega32u4 on ANAVI Macro Pad 8

ANAVI Macro Pad 8 is available at our distributors Crowd Supply and Mouser. Please contact us if you are interested in wholesale orders or if you prefer shipping directly from the EU.

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ANAVI Macro Pad 8 Developer Kit Assembly Guide

Please have a look at the video and follow the steps below to assemble ANAVI Macro Pad 8 Developer kit. Although you can do it with your bare hands, simple tools like a screwdriver, tweezers and a keycap puller might be useful.

ANAVI Macro Pad 8 developer kit comes with 8 Gateron mechanical switches and red leds. If you prefer another type of switches or color of the LEDs, please have a look at the Maker kit which requires soldering but allows to use different Cherry MX compatible switches or even make a hot-swap upgrade.

Step 1: Stickers

The first step optional. Each kit includes a set stickers. Feel free to add them to the translucent keycaps included in ANAVI Macro Pad 8 developer kit. You can do it with your bare hand or eventually with the help of tweezers.

You can place a sticker on the top or on the side of the keycap. If you like retro electronics you may find some similarities in this approach to the famous keyboard of the best selling personal computer of the 20th century Commodore 64.

ANAVI Macro Pad 8 is powered by the popular open source firmware QMK which allows you to create various layouts. You can make a keymap with 2 or more layouts. A sticker on the side of the keycap might be useful as a visual aid to indicate the additional function of the key.

Step 2: Keycaps

Place all keycaps on 8 mechanical switches of ANAVI Macro Pad 8. You can easily do this with your bare hands. It takes just a few seconds.

As you can see in the video a keycap puller might be useful if you make a mistake and want to pull off a keycap and place it on another location.

Step 3: Peel Off Protective Films from the Acrylic Enclosure

Peel off the protective films from both sides of the two laser cut transparent acrylic parts. The removal of the protective films is quite annoying but once you get rid of them, the acrylic enclosure will be crystal clear and fully transparent.

Step 4: Assemble the Acrylic Enclosure

Assemble the acrylic enclosures. In the cardboard box you also will find M3 black plastic screws, nuts and standoffs. Although you can assemble them with your bare hands a screw driver might be handy.

First place 4 of stand-offs with screws to the bottom acrylic part. After that place ANAVI Macro Pad 8 on top of them. The printed circuit board has 4 mounting holes for this purpose.

Add the rest of stand-offs on top of ANAVI Macro Pad 8 to secure the printed circuit board to the bottom part as shown in the video. Place the top acrylic part and fasten it with the 4 M3 nuts. Finally add the silicon protective pads on the screws on the bottom.

Step 5: Mini OLED Display

Step number 5 is optional. The default open source QMK firmware for ANAVI Macro Pad 8 support mini OLED display connected over the communication bus I2C.

By default mini display in yellow-blue 0.96″ I2C OLED. It comes with 4 jumper wires which might be useful for debugging purposes or if you plan to make a custom 3D printed case. However for the default acrylic enclosure the wires are not needed.

Peel off the protected film and place the mini OLED display as shown in the video to ANAVI Macro Pad 8. Pay attention to the labels that indicated the pin connectors of the display. They must match the labels on the keyboard.

Step 6: Turn On ANAVI Macro Pad 8

Gently plug a USB to microUSB cable to connect ANAVI Macro Pad 8 to a personal computer. Please be careful with the microUSB connector because a harsh bending of the USB cable may damage the microUSB connector.

Thanks to the QMK firmware ANAVI Macro Pad 8 will be detected as human interface device and should work out of the box. Furthermore with QMK you have the freedom to fully customize each key.

ANAVI Macro Pad 8
ANAVI Macro Pad 8

Please note that a USB to microUSB cable is not included in any of the kits. Reuse a cable from an old electronic device or purchase a cable according to your taste. Make sure that the cable supports both power and data transfer over USB.

Thank you for supporting and using our open source kits. Stay tuned for more updates, including details for soldering ANAVI Macro Pad 8 Maker kit.

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ANAVI Fume Extractor is a smart, open source, solder smoke absorber. It is powered by ESP8266 with WiFi, 80 mm fan and supports various peripherals: mini OLED display, MQ-135 analog gas sensor for air quality, sensors for temperature, humidity, barometric pressure and light. The filters are replaceable.

Soldering fumes are dangerous, keep them away with ANAVI Fume Extractor

Furthermore out the box the open source firmware of ANAVI Fume Extractor works with the popular IoT platform Home Assistant over the protocol MQTT. This means you can gather sensor data and control the fume extractor remotely using your smartphone, tablet or personal computer!

Turning on and off ANAVI Fume Extractor from a smartphone using Home Assistant

After more than 10 months of development we launched a crowd funding campaign at Crowd Supply! We are ready for manufacturing in Plovdiv, Bulgaria and now we need your support. We hope you’ll jump in and help us bring this entirely open source project to life!

ANAVI Fume Extractor is a must-have tool for any maker!

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ANAVI Fume Extractor Is Coming Soon…

Stay safe while soldering with ANAVI Fume Extractor

ANAVI Fume Extractor is an entirely open source smart solder smoke absorber certified by the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) with UID  BG000060. ANAVI Fume Extractor is powered by a Wi-Fi development board with ESP8266, 80mm fan and a replaceable carbon filter. It has a dedicated slots for a mini OLED I²C display and MQ-135 gas sensor module as well as slots up to 3 additional I²C sensor modules. Furthermore, there are UART pins for easy flashing of custom software and an extra GPIO for connecting external peripherals.

ANAVI Fume Extractor

We are preparing a crowdfunding campaign to support low-volume manufacturing in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Learn more about ANAVI Fume Extractor and subscribe for updates at Crowd Supply.

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Events in March 2020

Image from Pi Wars 2019

Unfortunately a lot of high-tech events worldwide have been recently cancelled due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Hopefully soon the humanity will figure a way out and everyone will return to business as usual. In the mean time ANAVI Technology will sponsor several local events for makers and open source enthusiasts in Bulgaria, Turkey and the UK:

Image from Pi Wars 2019

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Hey, Google Turn On The Christmas Tree

Happy New Year! May the open source be with you!

The Christmas tree is among the most popular symbols of the holiday season. Decorating it is always fun, especially for a maker.

Andrey Kozhevnikov a.k.a. CODeRUS, a talented software engineer and a very skilled maker, used ANAVI Miracle Controller and addressable (digital) LED strips to decorate his Christmas tree and to control it with voice commands through Google Assistant and Home Assistant. Home Assistant is a popular open source platform for home automation. Google Assistant is an artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant that recognizes speech and voice commands. CODeRUS shared a short video in twitter with the amazing result!

ANAVI Miracle Controller

ANAVI Miracle Controller is an ESP8266-powered, open source, Wi-Fi development board to control two 5 V and or 12 V LED strips.  It supports popular LEDs including Neopixel, WS2811, WS2812B, TM1809, etc. A crowdfunding campaign is running right now at Crowd Supply to fund mass production of the board.

As a small gift for the leading contributor to the Arduino sketch for another of our open source projects, ANAVI Light Controller, we sent one of the first stable prototypes of ANAVI Miracle Controller to CODeRUS. We were sure that he will make something interesting with it. His amazing creativity is always inspiring!

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CODeRUS is also well known in the open source communities because of his numerous contributions over the years to Maemo, MeeGo and Sailfish OS. These names ring a bell in any die-hard open source fan as they were/are brands of GNU/Linux distributions for smartphones, most notably Nokia models like N900 (Maemo) and N9 (MeeGo Harmattan) made a decade ago.

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ANAVI Miracle Controller

ANAVI Miracle Controller is an open source hardware Wi-Fi development board powered by the ESP8266 and designed to control two 5 V or 12 V addressable LED strips simultaneously.

ANAVI Miracle Controller supports popular addressable LEDs including Neopixel, WS2811, WS2812B, TM1809, etc. It also has a dedicated slot for a mini OLED I²C display and slots for up to three additional I²C sensor modules. The default firmware is available at GitHub as an Arduino sketch implementing Home Assistant MQTT Light component.

Back in 2018 we created ANAVI Light Controller for low-cost 12V RGB LED strips. Inspired by a lot of people asking for open source hardware dev board for addressable LEDs strips we created ANAVI Miracle Controller.

Last week we launched a crowdfunding campaign for ANAVI Miracle Controller at Crowd Supply. Learn all the details here. We are ready for manufacturing and now we need your support. We hope you help us bring this entirely open source project to life!

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Share Your Experience to Win!

Together with Crowd Supply we successfully completed several crowd funding campaigns over the past two years. Thanks to these efforts people all over the world are using our open source hardware developer boards and kits for their awesome projects.

Do you have a cool project with any of our products? Would you like to share your story?

No matter what you did, Crowd Supply and we would like to learn more. Send a Field Report of 100 words or so along with any supplemental pictures or other resources. If it is suitable, Crowd Supply will publish it as an update and reward you with a $25 Crowd Supply credit! Furthermore, all publishable entries received before Nov. 15 will be entered into a random prize drawing for more cool ANAVI gadgets:

  • 1st prize: ANAVI Miracle Controller and ANAVI Light Controller
  • 2nd prize: ANAVI Infrared pHAT and ANAVI Play pHAT
  • 3rd prize: ANAVI Thermometer

Please submit your entries here. May the open source be with you!

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