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Configuring Your Paragon PCB with VIA

05.11.2023 Update:

  • New hex files have been created for the Paragon PCBs which now provide support for customizing the encoder out of the box!


Flashing the PCB

  1. Locate the appropriate hex file for your PCB. Make sure the file extension remains as .hex.

  2. Open QMK Toolbox.

  3. Set the PCB into DFU mode. Note: the PCB must be connected to your device to be set into DFU mode.

    • DFU mode can be enabled through the following methods:

      1. Press the RESET button, located on the back of the PCB near the JST connector.
      2. If you already built your PCB, hold down both SHIFT keys (left and right) and press B.
        • Note: We do NOT recommend building your PCB without testing it first.
    • QMK Toolbox will tell you if the PCB is in DFU mode with the following message:

      Atmel DFU device connected: ATMEL ATm32U4DFU (03EB:2FF4:0000)
  4. In QMK Toolbox, click Open and load the downloaded hex file for your PCB.

  5. Click Flash. A successful flash will provide the following message:

    Attempting to flash, please don't remove device
    > dfu-programmer atmega32u4 erase --force
    > Erasing flash... Success
    > Checking memory from 0x0 to 0x6FFF... Empty
    > dfu-programmer atmega32u4 flash --force /Users/<your_user>/Downloads/paragon_<PCB_type>_via.hex
    > 0% 100% Programming 0x5A80 bytes...
    > [>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>] Success
    > 0% 100% Reading 0x7000 bytes...
    > [>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>] Success
    > Validating... Success
    > 0x5A80 bytes written into 0x7000 bytes memory (80.80%)
    > dfu-programmer atmega32u4 reset
    Flash complete
    Atmel DFU device disconnected: ATMEL ATm32U4DFU (03EB:2FF4:0000)

Configuring your PCB through VIA

  1. Locate the VIA JSON configuration file for the Paragon. It is titled paragon_via_config.json.

  2. Go to the VIA website.

  3. Click the Authorize button and select Paragon from the pop-up dialogue that appears. Performing this action will not change the webpage.

  4. Click on the Settings icon on the far left side of the header tab.

  5. In the Settings tab, enable the Show Design tab.

  6. Click on the Load icon and select the paragon_via_config.json file you previously downloaded. Upon loading the file, VIA will ask you to authorize the Paragon PCB again.

  7. You should now be able to head to the Configure tab and start manipulating the keymap for your PCB.

Configuring the Encoder

  1. To configure the behavior of the encoder, head over to the Configure tab in VIA.

  2. Click on the encoder button located in the top right corner of the layout schematic.

  3. Two options should appear:

    1. Rotate Counterclockwise
    2. Rotate Clockwise

    By default, the Rotate Counterclockwise setting will be set to KC_VOLU (volume up). The Rotate Clockwise setting will be set to KC_VOLD (volume down).

  4. To change the settings, click on the field associated with the turn direction, and enter your desired QMK Keycode. A list of QMK Keycodes can be found here:

    • Keycode Examples:
      • Brightness Up: KC_BRIU
      • Brightness Down: KC_BRID

Common Issues

  • My left Alt key isn't working.

    • Make sure you flashed the PCB with the correct hex file and loaded the JSON in VIA to configure the layout.
  • The VIA application/website is stuck at "searching for devices". The layout configurator is not appearing.

    • Make sure you loaded the JSON file into VIA under the "Design" tab.
  • I received the following error when flashing my PCB:

    erasing flash success.
    checking memory 0x0 to 0x6fff empty.
    error reading line 1.
    atmega32u4 reset
    flash complete
    • Make sure to download the hex file correctly and save it with the .hex extension.