KPrepublic XD87 TKL kit – Build Notes

So I built my first keyboard.

With so many options, I wanted something for my first build that was relatively available and accessible, so I landed on the KPrepublic XD87. Thankfully louwii has a wonderful build log documenting his build, which I used for the majority of my experience, however, I had a few items that tripped me up which may be useful for folks building this kit in the future.

Kit contents

I’ve heard that there are some advantages of purchasing from AliExpress rather than from the KPrepublic store, so that’s what I did. I did hear that the plate was back ordered and that it would take 1-2 weeks to restock, but six days later I received a shipment notice and 26 days after the original order I had boxes in hand.

Here’s exactly what I ordered:

I didn’t see how to specify the options for the kit when I placed the order, so I sent a chat message immediately after placing the order, and that seemed to work without incident. Also, don’t forget the stabilizers, as they’re not included and that’s strange.

Build Notes

The following will be more or less in the order that I encountered issues. Likely some of this was from lack of paying attention to louwii’s guide.

Soldering Iron

If you don’t have a soldering iron, the UY CHAN TS100 is fantastic. I had done a few smaller jobs with it, but for this assembly it was great.


My PCB came with the underglow RGB LEDs pre-soldered, which was helpful, but the reality is that the underglow effect is mostly non-existent with the current case design. I’m not young enough to be sold on all the RGB, so not a big deal for me.


Firmware did not appear to be loaded out of the box, so I loaded something to at least make sure the LEDs were working.

USB Module

The kit came with a Type-C module pre-installed on the back case. I ended up unscrewing it so I could leave it attached to the PCB while I soldered everything.

USB Type-C Cable

The included USB Type-C cable is only a little over 15 inches long, which for my needs is less than practical. I’m going to be trying my hand at a sleeved and coiled cable in a few weeks.

Neat, but too short to be useful for me.

Initial Assembly Mistakes

Pay attention to the orientation of the stabilizers. I attempted to install them the wrong way around, and almost broke one of the stabs. If you’re pushing too hard (which I was) they’re likely the wrong way. Also, I didn’t see notes on the orientation of the stem so I had to sort that out by looking at the photos on AliExpress. The notched side should point towards the screw hole.

Stabilizer Installation Highlight
The notch on the inner stem ‘thing’ should face the screw hole.

Put the plate on BEFORE putting the switches in. I had built a Macro Pad from 1up Keyboards before that used PCB mounted switches, so I started right in mounting the switches for this build on the PCB and soldered a couple in place while wondering why it was sloppy. Don’t do what I did.

DON’T INSTALL A SWITCH NEXT TO THE ESC KEY. I did this twice, once before I put the plate on, and once again after. This was stated in louwii’s guide, but it’s easy to miss. I ended up putting tape over this spot and the other two locations to help me out because I’m an idiot.

Don’t be like me. Skip these switch locations.

Get a tool to remove switches, or pay attention to how they release from the plate. I didn’t have a tool and used pliers before I realized that the little tabs on the top and the bottom are what release things, almost breaking a few of the switches in the process. A small flathead screwdriver was what I used later on. An appropriate tool would have been better.

Backlight LEDs

I didn’t do the SIP socket route, so I soldered LEDs through the hole in the switch. Make sure that the longer leg of the LED (positive/anode) lines up to the square pad on each point, which typically is on the left if you’re looking at the front of the board, however, there are a few important exceptions which I’ll get to below.

As I installed these, I would insert the LEDs and bend the pins outward slightly to prevent them from falling out when I flipped the PCB over. Flip the board over, check and make sure the square pad has the longer leg, and then pin the LEDs in place with a little bit of solder on that square pad side.

Next I’d go back through with one hand on the LED (on the underside of the board now that it’s flipped over) and reheat that same pad with the iron in my right hand while pressing gently on the LED into the board with my left hand. This would reheat and align the LED snug up against the switch.

Finally, solder the cathode/negative side of the LED and add solder if necessary to the anode/positive leg. Repeat for the section of LEDs and test.

Bottom Row and Caps Lock Switch Placement

The supported layout info on the XD87 page was confusing to me, and I didn’t realize what the layout of a standard bottom was (1.25x for all modifiers, 6.25x for the spacebar). All I knew is that I wanted to get the board built quickly and use the keycaps I purchased.

There are a variety of mounting options on the bottom row, and I had originally tried centering them, but then testing keycap fitting I couldn’t get things to line up.

In short, what I determined was that for the bottom row, the modifier keys should be mounted towards the outside edges. So to the left of the spacebar, mount the switches on the leftmost point, and on the right side, use the rightmost point. This should allow the standard bottom row to fit, but test this out before soldering your switches in place.

This also means that the LEDs for the modifier switches to the right of the keyboard have the long leg (positive/anode) going the other way.

View from the back for the modifers on the right side of the spacebar; should be mounted towards the outer edge of the board, and the LEDs are backwards on this side.

For the Caps Lock switch, the switch should be mounted on the right, closer to the A key, if you want to use the keycap that comes with the standard set of modifiers. There’s another version of the keycap that has this cool bump on it but I realized too late that the mount is in a different place, so oh well.

Caps Lock switch mounted closer to A.
Also install the optional LED for Caps Lock light if desired.

Test Test Test

Test both the switches and the LEDs regularly. Aqua’S KeyTest seemed to work well enough for me for checking the switches, but testing the backlighting LEDs regularly is a good idea. I started by testing every four switches or so but eventually ended up doing rows or half rows as I got further into it.

Minus Top Case

Post-Build Thoughts

After getting through the initial set of mistakes (of which there were plenty), the rest of the assembly was pretty straightforward. Overall assembly was likely under 4 hours. I need to work through some of the firmware programming, but I typed this post on the keyboard and it’s been an enjoyable experience.

I don’t have much experience in the mechanical keyboard world, but compared to my currently daily driver (WASD CODE V2) here’s what I think:

  • I still like browns. I have them on the CODE (Cherry) and again on the XD87 (Gateron). Admittedly, I haven’t spent a lot of time with any of the other styles, but it feels good.
  • The F and J reference bumps don’t exist on these keycaps, and that’s a little weird but really only seems to matter when I’m bringing my hands back to the keyboard. I try and drive from the keyboard as much as I can already, but it does feel a little strange. (Edit: a coworker pointed out that the F and J keys are sculpted a little differently, and after realizing that it’s not so bad, and I can feel it. Also, those bumps are called homing bars.)
  • The spacebar is pretty noisy, especially compared to the CODE. I may try some o-rings on it and a few of the larger keys. I flipped it over too, so trying to join the cool kids to try that out.
  • Key height (SA Profile) doesn’t seem to have an effect on my typing, and I like the look.
  • I wish I had better information on the lighting effect options. It’s pretty unclear at the moment. I may try QMK as there appear to be some updates as of July 2020, so we’ll see. As mentioned before, the RGB underglow can barely be seen, and I feel like the only way that would be visible is with a different bottom case.
Obligatory photo with the other mechanical keyboard things.
Highlighting the oh-so-short Type-C cable.

Big thanks again to louwii for his actual build log. Go read that for actual good info on assembling this keyboard. And thanks to KPrepublic for making a delivering a kit for me to build!


Epicor 9 Phone Support Menu Tree (Updated Aug 2012)

We’re now using Epicor 9.05, and I’ve noticed that the phone tree has been updated slightly since last year. Sorry to you folks running on Vantage/Vista, but if someone wants to submit a phone tree for the 8.03 product, I’d be happy to put it up. So this is up to date as of August 13, 2012.

There’s been a few small changes in the sub-menus. Refer to the old menus if you really want to compare.

Common Options

  • * (star, asterisk) – return to the main menu from a sub-menu
  • # (pound, hash) – repeat options on the main menu
  • 0 – repeat options on a sub-menu
  • You can also leave a message for support after any of the menus.

Epicor 9

  •  4 – System Down Issue (No users can login into your live environment or completely unable to use the software)
  • 1 – Production issue/Application Support
    • 1 – Sales Processing Modules – Orders, RMAs, Security, Shipping and Receiving, MES, and CRM
    • 2 – Production Processing Modules – Quoting, Engineering and Jobs, Purchasing, Inventory, Quality Assurance, Advanced Inventory Management, and Advanced Materials Management
    • 3 – Advanced Production Modules – Product Configurator, Scheduling, Advanced Planning and Scheduling, and MRP
    • 4 – PLM (Product Lifecycle Management)
    • 5 – IQS or Advanced Quality Modules
  • 2 – Financial Issue
    • 1 – Accounts Receivable (AR), Accounts Payable (AP), and General Ledger (GL)
    • 2 – Cost Accounting, WIP Reconciliation, Capture Post Process, and Epicor Payroll
    • 3 – Add-On Modules – Open4 and Payroll and Human Resources
  • 3 – Technical Issue
    • 1 – Installation, Upgrade, or Database Performance Issues
    • 2 – Crystal Reports or ODBC Assistance
    • 3 – Tools – Sonic, Customer Connect, Mobile Connect, or Sales Connect
    • 4 – Customization, Personalization, Dashboards, and BAQs
    • 5 – Third-Party – Service Connect, Corview, PLM, FRX, Open4, APM, and others

Installing Crystal Reports 2008 Developer for Epicor 9.05 and Label Format Issues

Here we are now running Epicor 9.05. This release brings with it an upgrade of Crystal Reports from XI to 2008. I’m not entirely sure what advantages this upgrade gives me, but I need to use it, for better or worse.

As of April 2012, the current recommended runtimes from Epicor are Crystal Reports 2008 SP3 (, but of course what they ship on the media is the RTM release for CR Developer ( And it turns out that it’s not unusual for folks to have trouble installing the RTM release.

What to do?

Answerbook # 13177MPS has some notes about installation best practices, but they suggest patching up from RTM through to SP3.

Forget that.

Head on over to SAP’s Business Objects Support Downloads and download yourself the full build for SP3. Choose Service Pack as the Software Type and it should show up. Install using your key and worry less.

Crystal Reports 2008 Label Formatting Issues?

We had some problems with Crystal Reports 2008 formatting our labels incorrectly, which caused us all kinds of weird problems. We’ve got 2.25” wide x 1.25” tall labels and it was having some orientation issues.

If you also run into a similar problem, what solved it for us was moving our Crystal Reports runtimes to SP4. You can grab them directly from SAP. It’s not an officially supported solution, but it works. SP5 is out too, and it even has a full installer. I’ve been running the Developer on my workstation for three months without any issues to speak of.

The runtimes can be found again on SAP’s Business Objects Support Downloads page, choosing Utility as the Software Type and they’ll be listed as a Redist Install. At the time of this writing, I don’t see the SP5 files on that site, but check the links below or Google and they’ll appear.

More information:


Epicor 9 and Vista/Vantage 8 Phone Support Menu Tree

With so many modules to choose from, navigating the Epicor phone support menus can be a daunting task. A full listen through all of the options takes almost 3 minutes!

Here’s a textual representation of the phone trees for my reference and yours. Should be accurate as of October 12, 2011. If I detect a significant change in the menus, I’ll try and update this. A Google search doesn’t return the actual support phone numbers, so I’ll leave those behind EpicWeb, but I’m sure that everyone knows what number they call.

Common Options

  • * (star, asterisk) – return to the main menu from a sub-menu
  • # (pound, hash) – repeat options on the main menu
  • 0 – repeat options on a sub-menu
  • You can also leave a message for support after any of the menus.

Epicor 9

  •  4 – System Down Issue (No users can login into your live environment or completely unable to use the software)
  • 1 – Production Issue
    • 1 – Estimating and Quote Management, Sales Management, Customer Shipping and Receiving, Field Service, Customer Relationship Management, Production Management (including MES (Manufacturing Execution System), Work Management, and Jobs)
    • 2 – Product Data Management (including Bill of Material and Routing), Engineering Changes and Revision Control, Supply Chain Management (including Purchase Management, Quality Assurance, Inventory Management, Advanced Material Management, Vendor Shipping and Receiving, and Warehouse Management)
    • 3 – Advanced Production Modules (including Product Configurator, Scheduling, Advanced Planning and Scheduling, and MRP (Manufacturing Resource Planning))
    • 4 – PLM (Product Lifecycle Management)
    • 5 – IQS or Advanced Quality Modules
  • 2 – Financial Issue
    • 1 – Accounts Receivables (AR) and Accounts Payables (AP)
    • 2 – General Ledger (GL) and Posting Engine, Cost Accounting, WIP Reconciliation, Capture Post Process, and Epicor Payroll
    • 3 – Third-Party Products (including Open4, Payroll, and Human Resources)
  • 3 – Technical Issue
    • 1 – Installation, Upgrades, Performance, Replication, Database, or Admin Console
    • 2 – BPM (Business Process Management), BAM (Business Activity Management), Crystal Reports, or Printing
    • 3 – Demand Management and EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), Win2Web Client, Sonic, Connect, or Pyramid
    • 4 – Tools (including Customization, Personalization, Business Activity Queries (BAQ), Dashboards, or Styles and Themes)
    • 5 – Third-Party Products (including Service Connect, PLM, IQS, Open4, APM (Advanced Print Management), Altec, and others)

Vista/Vantage 8

We’re currently running Vista 8, and technically there’s a separate number listed for Vista versus Vantage users, but the menus sound the same, and from what I can they route to the same people. I always call the Vantage support number.

  • 4 – System Down Issue (No users can login into your live environment or completely unable to use the software)
  • 1 – Production Issue
    • 1 – Sales Processing Modules (including Orders, RMAs, Security, Shipping and Receiving, MES (Manufacturing Execution System), and CRM (Customer Relationship Management))
    • 2 – Production Processing Modules (including Quoting, Engineering and Jobs, Purchasing, Inventory, Quality Assurance, Advanced Inventory Management, and Advanced Material Management)
    • 3 – Advanced Production Modules (including Product Configurator, Scheduling, Advanced Planning and Scheduling, and MRP (Manufacturing Resource Planning))
    • 4 – PLM (Product Lifecycle Management)
    • 5 – IQS or Advanced Quality Modules
  • 2 – Financial Issue
    • 1 – Accounts Receivables (AR), Accounts Payables (AP), General Ledger (GL)
    • 2 – Cost Accounting, WIP Reconciliation, Capture Post Process, and Epicor Payroll
    • 3 – Add-On Modules (including Open4, Payroll and Human Resources)
  • 3 – Technical Issue
    • 1 – Installation, Upgrades, or Database Performance
    • 2 – Crystal Reports or ODBC (support has told me personally that BPM issues should go here as well)
    • 3 – Tools (including Sonic, Customer Connect, Mobile Connect, or Sales Connect)
    • 4 – Customization, Personalization, Dashboards, and Business Activity Queries (BAQ)
    • 5 – Third-Party Products (including Service Connect, CorVu, PLM, FRX, Open4, APM (Advanced Print Management) and others)

Star Wars Mafia

Mafia (or Werewolf or Assassin) is one of those party games that almost inevitably arises when there is a good group of more than five people (probably tending towards the geeky) get together with not a whole lot to do.  It’s a socially engaging game that can easily burn up an hour or two of an evening.

If you’ve never played, check out the Wikipedia article on Mafia to get some background information, or this Wikihow article on how to play.

The following is one of the many variants of Mafia, which happens to use everybody’s favorite Star Wars characters instead of the mafia or werewolves.  It was introduced to me by Peter and David Lindstrom, and the information here is more or less verbatim as I got it from them.  I’m posting it as a reference to myself and anyone else who might be interested to play this version of Mafia.

If anyone has any questions about the Star Wars Mafia variant, please post them in the comments and if I can’t provide insight, I’ll get a hold of Peter and David and find out from them. Enjoy!

The Force is the equivalent of the Narrator or Moderator in the standard Mafia game. Depending on the size of the group, the last few characters on the Rebel Alliance side may not be used.

The Rebel Alliance

  • Jedi Knight—Once per night the Jedi knight may either question or challenge. To question, point to a person. 10 challenge, make a sign like you are fighting with a light saber, and then point to a person. If the Jedi Knight elects to question, the Force will tell him whether the person he indicated is good or bad. A thumbs up means good. Thumbs down means bad. If the Jedi Knight elects to challenge a character, he will win if the character is bad. The bad character will be dead the next morning. However, if the Jedi Knight challenges a good character, he will die.
  • Obi Wan Kenobi—Can talk after he is dead.
  • Chewbacca—Once per game Chewbacca may interrupt discussions or a trial and eat anyone he chooses. If he tries to eat Han, Han may reveal his card and say “Will somebody get this big walking carpet out of my way?” Chewy can then choose to eat him or not. Night falls immediately thereafter.
  • Thermal Detonator—If the thermal detonator is killed during the day, he kills the person to his left. If he is killed at night. he kills the first Sith to his left.
  • Lando Calrisian—Lando may elect to smuggle once per game, during the night. If he elects to smuggle, the Force will exchange the identities of two people during the night. Only those people whose identities have changed will be aware of the switch.
  • Princess Leia—If Princess Leia is on trial, she may reveal her card, and say “Will somebody get this big walking carpet out of my way?” Han Must then reveal his card and save her.
  • Han Solo—Must save Princess Leia if she asks. If Chewy tries to eat him, he may reveal his card and say “Chewy, you stupid walking carpet.”
  • Bounty Hunter (I know, he’s not really a Rebel, but for the sake of the game he’s on this side)—Picks one person during each night to be his death buddy. If the bounty hunter dies during the night, his death buddy also dies.
  • Yoda—Raises somebody from the dead once per night.
  • Owen & Beru Lars—Die the first night.
  • Salacious Crumb—Must vote as Jabba votes.
  • Jabba the Hut—Controls Salacious Crumb’s vote
  • Jar Jar Binks—Once his identity is revealed by the probe droid, he must speak in a fake Jamaican accent. Once per night he points to someone else. Then they also must speak with an accent.

The Dark Side

  • Darth Vader—Conspires with the Emperor to kill one person each night.
  • The Emperor—Conspires with Darth Vader to kill one person each night.
  • Apprentice—Takes over for the Emperor if the Emperor dies.
  • Probe Droid—Reveals one identity per night. Everyone knows what character has been revealed, but only the probe droid knows which person has that identity.
  • Storm Trooper—Can never die. He just keeps reappearing. He doesn’t need to be killed for the good side to win.

First Night

  • Salacious Crumb and Jabba see each other.
  • Darth Vader and the Emperor see each other.
  • Darth Vader, the Emperor, and the Probe Droid see each other.
  • The Apprentice and the Emperor see each other.

Every Night

  • Yoda may bring someone back to life.
  • Lando may smuggle (if he has not already done so)
  • Jedi Knight may question or challenge
  • Bounty Hunter picks his death buddy
  • If Jar Jar has been revealed, he picks somebody to speak fake Jamaican
  • The Sith kill somebody
  • Probe Droid reveals an identity


I finally won myself the Random Crap (affectionately known as the Bag of Crap, Bandolier of Carrots, etc.) from during the last Woot-Off!  If that last sentence doesn’t make any sense to you, it’s quite alright, but rest assured that my almost year-long quest to purchase about the most useless thing in the interwebs has come to a close.

A few days later I was greeted a box on my front porch which contained the elusive Bag of Crap.  Below is the unboxing, for anyone that cares.  It’s a little surprising that I care more about this unboxing than I did when I got my MacBook.

The box.  You know it’s good when it says Woot! on the box.

Unopened Box

Opened to see what $3 + $5 shipping buys!

Opened BoxFirst out of the box: 3 x Brothers in Arms Hells Highway Action Figures. Apparently I know so little about video games that I didn’t realize that Brothers in Arms was a video game series.

Brothers in Arms Hells HIghway

FX Adventure Deep Sea Monster handheld game. My brother tried playing it and it reminded me of a little game I bought from Radio Shack when I was a kid.

FX Adventure Handheld Game

Motorola Bluetooth Adapter. Comes with a handy pocket clip so you can carry it around with you.  Or something.

Motorola Bluetooth Adapter

3 x Bacon Salt! This is probably my favorite thing and well worth the $8 spent.  The only thing better would be some Baconnaise.  But the name Bacon Salt just makes me think that it’s something you put on bacon.  As if bacon needs more salt.

Bacon Salt

And finally, a Xyron Carry and Storage Bag.  For carrying around the Personal Cutting System that I don’t own.

Xyron Carry and Storage Bag

All in all, a pretty spectacular Bag of Crap.  On April Fool’s Day they were selling Random Crap again and I almost got another one, but Woot may have a mechanism that prevents a person from getting too much crap too soon.