January 11, 2017

MiniVan Programming

Tags: Keyboard, How-To Permalink: minivanprogramming Date: January 11, 2017 13:00

✖︎ MiniVan Programming Guide -for Mac

I recently received a MiniVan Mechanical Keyboard and since it was only my second mechanical keyboard and first that needed to be programmed through a computer, I struggled a lot to figure out how all the steps actually translated into what I needed to do. I apparently wasn’t the only person as Ben Brooks spoke about his troubles and I offered some assistance knowing how frustrating it can be if you just misunderstand a single step in what is provided by The Van Keyboards programming guide. I decided to put something together that goes into a little more detail than those tweets so hopefully anyone can do it without too much trouble.


  1. The first thing you should do is download CrossPack. Download the most recent driver and follow the installation instructions just like you would have with any Mac application from the web.
  2. After that you will want to download dfu programmer.
  3. Then, in terminal, you need to navigate to that folder. The easiest way to do this is to place the dfu folder you just got from the download and place that on the desktop. In order to save some time and follow the next steps exactly, change the name of the folder to: dfu
  4. In terminal, type out: cd ~/Desktop/dfu
  5. Press enter
  6. Now that you have navigated to the dfu folder execute the installation by typing: ./install_dfu_programmer.sh
  7. Press enter
  8. Then you will be prompted for your login password, type that in and press enter. Next, press q’ to exit the manual.
  9. Now you can use the GUI provided by the Van Keyboards here to setup the various layers however you would like.
  10. Once you are happy with your setup, click the Make .hex!” button and drag that over to your desktop as well.
  11. Rename the file: keyboard.hex
    • This step isn’t necessary but will allow you to follow the steps under 13 exactly.
  12. Now we will go back to Terminal, and navigate to the desktop by typing: cd ~/Desktop
  13. On your MiniVan keyboard, you will need to press the reset button found on the underside. This can be found through the opening underneath the L SHIFT.
  14. Now we will type out the following commands each followed by the enter key in terminal:
    • sudo dfu-programmer atmega32u4 erase
    • sudo dfu-programmer atmega32u4 flash keyboard.hex
    • sudo dfu-programmer atmega32u4 start
  15. You are all set. If you have any issues let me know on twitter @kevinkortum.

This is just a simplified, and compiled version of what can be seen here and here.

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