How Does a Keyboard PCB Work? [Explained]

There are many things to understand about a keyboard PCB. It has two main parts, the plate, and the PCB. This article will explore the common materials used in the PCB as well as the signs to look out for if your keyboard isn’t working.


A PCB-mounted keyboard is a type of keyboard where the key switches are mounted directly on the printed circuit board. This is a more cost-effective and efficient way to build a keyboard and provides greater flexibility. However, it is also more challenging to work with. The process can be time-consuming and requires a lot of soldering.

Some of the best features of a PCB-mounted keyboard are less flex during heavy typing and the smoother rebound of the keys. Depending on your needs, a plate-mounted keyboard may be a better choice.

The key to a plate-mounted keyboard is that it adds rigidity to the entire keyboard. For smaller and cheaper keyboards, this may not be necessary. But if you are looking for a larger keyboard with more customization options, a plate-mounted keyboard will do the job.

Using a metal plate above the PCB provides stability. It also prevents the keyboard from bending. Typically, this is done with brass, aluminum, or carbon fiber.

Several companies manufacture keyboard PCBs. These include Rush PCB Inc. and KBT Vortex. If you decide to go this route, be sure to buy from a reputable manufacturer. You can use a new or used keyboard PCB.

The PCB is the brain of the keyboard. It sends the electrical signal from the keys to the computer. Since the keyboard is an electronic device, it is important to choose a reliable PCB manufacturer. With so many manufacturers competing for your business, you want to choose wisely.

Choosing a PCB-mounted switch is not an easy task. They are typically known for their 5-pin structure, but this does not necessarily mean that they are the best. Also, if you are buying a used keyboard, you should be aware of the fact that the PCB can be damaged. This can lead to LEDs not turning on or staying on.

In addition to PCB-mounted keyboards, plate-mounted switches are also a popular option. While these are more expensive, they offer more rigidity and provide a more satisfying experience. Unlike the PCB-mounted version, they are difficult to work with because the switch housing is separate from the PCB.


Choosing the right type of PCB for your keyboard is a key decision. Various styles of PCBs offer unique features. The material used on your plate can change the rigidity of your keyboard. A few common materials include aluminum, carbon fiber, and brass. These three are mainly used in keyboards, but there are other more expensive materials to choose from.

In addition to a plate, a plate mount is another option to consider. This allows for a more rigid plate, but also provides greater flexibility for users. Adding a plate mount to a larger keyboard can also help provide more stability to the keys.

Generally, the PCB is the heart of a computer or other electronic device. Using the plate mount, a PCB can be placed on top of the metal plate. It can also be used with a plate that has hot-swap sockets.

Plates can be made out of a variety of materials, such as polycarbonate and carbon fiber. Aluminum is the most common. However, other materials can be a little more difficult to find. Despite the cost, these materials can provide a great sound.

Plates are easy to cut, and they are durable. If you are using a non-metal board, you may want to add a reinforcement plate to the keyboard. You can also get plates that have flex cuts, which allow your keyboard to flex when typing. Flex cuts are important to provide a more singular sound.

One of the most important decisions you can make when building your own keyboard is the mounting style. Whether you decide to use a plate or a through-hole PCB, choosing the right mounting style will improve the quality and feel of your finished product.

Typically, a plate-mounted keyboard is higher in quality. The design is more flexible, and the keys are easier to install. They’re also much cheaper to build. Plus, the keys are easier to remove when it comes time to modify your keyboard.

Compared to a through-hole PCB, a plate-mounted switch is more durable. The material that’s used to make a plate-mounted switch isn’t quite as durable, but it will last for a longer period of time.

Common materials used for a keyboard PCB

The PCB of a keyboard is the core component of the entire device. It provides the foundation for the key switches to function properly and transmit signals between the keyboard and the computer. However, the board can be made from many different materials.

Most commonly, PCBs are made from aluminum. This material offers a reasonable level of stiffness and flexibility while also preventing the onset of high-frequency noise. Other types of plates can also be used.

Steel is another common material. These plates are often colored to match the keys of a keyboard. They can be used on both entry-level boards and more complex mechanical keyboards. But they can exhibit strange acoustic properties.

Aluminum is also an alternative option. While it does offer some rigidity, it is not quite as flexible. Therefore, it does not provide the same typing experience.

Brass is the second most common material for PCB plates. These plates tend to be louder than aluminum and can tarnish over time. However, they offer a deeper acoustic profile.

If you want a keyboard that’s more bouncy, you can choose a polycarbonate plate. Alternatively, you can purchase a carbon fiber plate.

If you’re looking for a good middle ground, you can select a brass plate. However, be warned that it may tarnish if not treated correctly.

The bottommost layer of a PCB is composed of printed conductive traces. These traces are used to activate the switches of a keyboard. You can opt for linear, optical or tactile switch types. Linear switches are the least expensive and work well for typing. However, they are more difficult to use.

For larger keyboards, you can choose a PCB plate. These plates offer additional support for your keyboard. Also, they can keep your switches in line.

You can also choose a Cherry-style stabilizer to mount your keyboard directly to the PCB. These stabilizers can have pros and cons, but they will ensure your keyboard’s smooth operation.

Another option is a through-hole PCB. This type of PCB allows you to install a keyboard without soldering. Because it does not require soldering, it is perfect for beginners and advanced builders. Some even come with build guides.

Signs that your keyboard isn’t working

A keyboard can be unresponsive due to a number of reasons. It could be a hardware or software problem. Sometimes, it is even caused by a virus. The most common troubleshooting advice is to restart the computer. This will bring the computer back into a state free of issues. However, it is not always necessary to reboot to fix your keyboard.

The first thing you should do if your keyboard is not working is to check for a faulty cable. Some keyboards use a PCI cable to connect to the PC. If the connector is bent, a new cable may be needed. You can also try disconnecting and re-connecting the keyboard to see if that makes a difference.

If your keys are still not working, you might want to try cleaning the area underneath your keys. Dirt can obstruct the key’s movement and prevent it from properly pressing the switch. Also, a clean keyboard will make it more likely to work properly.

Another possible reason your keyboard is not working is a broken key switch. You should be able to easily identify a faulty switch by looking for debris or dirt between the keys. To clean the switch, you can use compressed air and a Q-tip.

Another issue that can cause your keyboard to be unresponsive is that it is plugged into a port that is not compatible with it. Try connecting it to a different USB port to see if that fixes the problem.

You can also check to see if your device drivers need to be updated. Sometimes, outdated drivers can interfere with your keyboard. Check the manufacturer’s website to find out whether you need a new driver.

Lastly, you should turn off any background programs that may be using up your PC’s resources. These programs could be slowing down your system, and that can affect your keyboard.

Once you have ruled out a faulty cable or other hardware, it is time to fix your keyboard. You should be able to get your keyboard working again in no time. Before you go out and spend money, however, you should try to solve the problem yourself.

Brandon S. Lee

Hi, My name Brandon S.Lee and I am a professional Gamer, I also worked with the keyboard making company called Logitech. I was the quality check manager of the Logitech keyboard department. Here we have a team of people who researched on the keyboards, talked with keyboard users and analyzes the user reviews and then write the product reviews.

KMG Advice
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