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How to setup Vortex Race 3 keyboard for Mac and move Fn key to Home

How to setup Vortex Race 3 for Mac with latest (on 2020-01-05) firmare V1.02.05.

For better understanding we will use the following naming convention:

  [ L1 ][ L2 ][ L3 ][ Space ][ R1 ][ R2 ][ R3 ]
  1. Reset everything by pressing L3+R1 for 5 seconds. Left LED will blink white color while you're holding the keys. Release them after it stopeed blinking.
  2. Get into one of the programmable layers (R2+RShift) – I like red, the super bright laser LED is the least super annoying in red.
  3. Put the keyboard in Windows Mode (Pn+W), it's the least problematic one.
  4. We start by moving Fn from R2 to Home (it's right of Backspace). Press R2+L3 for 3 seconds, then release and both LEDs will shine blue. Press Home. Now R2 is right_gui, R1 remains Right_Alt.
  5. Check Karabiner EventViewer: L1 should be left_ctrl, L2 should be left_gui, L3 should be left_alt. R1 should be right_alt, R2 should be right_gui, R3 should be right_control.
  6. Now we swap L2 (left_gui) and L3 (left_alt), then R1 (right_alt) and R2 (right_gui). The keyboard can do that for you. Go into programming mode by pressing Home+R3 (not simultaneously, press Home and while holding it press R3), right LED should light up white, then hit the L2 (LED blinks red), then L3 (LED blinks red), then Pn (LED shines white) to finish first move. We're still in programming mode, now hit L3 (LED blinks red), then L2 (LED blinks red), then Pn (LED shines white) to finish second move. Now hit the R1 (LED blinks red), then R2 (LED blinks red), then Pn (LED shines white) to finish third move, now hit R2 (LED blinks red), then R1 (LED blinks red), then Pn (LED shines white) to finish fourth move, then Home+R3 to get out of programming mode (LED goes off).
  7. Check in EventViewer. L1 should be left_control, L2 should be left_alt, L3 should be left_gui. R1 should be right_gui, R2 should be right_alt, R3 should be right_control.

Thanks https://www.reddit.com/user/deathlyschnitzel/ for https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/9apq56/how_to_set_up_a_vortex_race_3_for_macos_and_turn/ which I used initally and adapted for my case.

@mmackowiak
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mmackowiak commented Jan 23, 2020

That works beautifully, thank you a lot!

@seanprashad
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seanprashad commented Apr 27, 2020

To those looking to update the firmware on their Vortex Race 3...

  1. Connect it to a computer running Windows OS (Virtual machine will work - see this comment)
  2. Browse to http://www.vortexgear.tw/vortex3.asp?show=2, ensuring you choose page 2
  3. As of April 26, 2020, the latest firmware to download is labelled New 75 (RACE 3) firmware V1.02.05
  4. Download the program, take note of your current firmware and click OK to begin upgrading
  5. Once the upgrade is complete, you'll receive a success message!

For reference, my firmware before updating was 1.02.00, which was before Mac mode (Pn + M) correctly put Cmd in its rightful spot:

image

Also this blog post is great: https://codingpackets.com/blog/vortex-race3-key-remap/

@juanjovn
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juanjovn commented May 17, 2020

Is there a way of a using a programmable layer getting rid of the annoying led bright? The layout fits perfect for mac but that light is a pain in the ass.

@arogulin
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arogulin commented May 17, 2020

Is there a way of a using a programmable layer getting rid of the annoying led bright? The layout fits perfect for mac but that light is a pain in the ass.

Yes, I put black insulation tape on top of both LEDs under Space key. There is nothing insulation tape can't fix.

@juanjovn
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juanjovn commented May 17, 2020

LOL you're a hackerman bro! I'll try it :)

@smykes
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smykes commented Jul 25, 2020

To those looking to update the firmware on their Vortex Race 3...

  1. Connect it to a computer running Windows OS (Virtual machine may work)
  2. Browse to http://www.vortexgear.tw/vortex3.asp?show=2, ensuring you choose page 2
  3. As of April 26, 2020, the latest firmware to download is labelled New 75 (RACE 3) firmware V1.02.05
  4. Download the program, take note of your current firmware and click OK to begin upgrading
  5. Once the upgrade is complete, you'll receive a success message!

For reference, my firmware before updating was 1.02.00, which was before Mac mode (Pn + M) correctly put Cmd in its rightful spot:

image

Also this blog post is great: https://codingpackets.com/blog/vortex-race3-key-remap/

Just letting you know attempting this on Parallels brings up the window, but no option to press the OK button.

@paskal
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paskal commented Aug 1, 2020

You can get it to work in the virtual machine using Virtual Box plus Windows 10 ISO, in the running VM window on bottom left you need to add your keyboard to list of filters and then you'll be able to upgrade the firmware on it. How it looks in the settings after you'll add it:
image

@mricolcol
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mricolcol commented Sep 15, 2020

@paskal when i go to add my keyboard as a filter, it doesn't show up. but i can see my keyboard in my Mac System Preferences. Any idea why? I haven't downloaded the firmware yet.

@paskal
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paskal commented Sep 15, 2020

@mricolcol You need to start the virtual machine and pick it somewhere in the left bottom corner to be detected, please post a screenshot when you'll figure this out.

@mricolcol
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mricolcol commented Sep 15, 2020

Screen Shot 2020-09-15 at 3 29 10 PM

@paskal these are my VirtualBox settings

@paskal
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paskal commented Sep 15, 2020

I think USB 1.1 should be enough (3.0 causes some problems as far as I remember), and it should be in already running machine bottom right small USB devices menu, not in the properties of the VM.

@mricolcol
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mricolcol commented Sep 15, 2020

@paskal i was able to figure it out-- thanks so much!

@paskal
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paskal commented Sep 16, 2020

@mricolcol please post a screenshot where you found and connected it, as otherwise, nobody else could learn from what you found.

@mricolcol
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mricolcol commented Oct 5, 2020

Screen Shot 2020-10-05 at 6 47 38 PM

@DaemonBSD66
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DaemonBSD66 commented Feb 7, 2021

Dear friends with vortex I can not enter the boot menu - MacMini don’t see “option” and I cannot boot from usb
I tried many combinations and Mac don’t see the option key pressed. Can anybody help pls?

@T-H-1
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T-H-1 commented Jul 1, 2021

Has anyone had any success updating firmware from Win 10? Device manager recognizes the keyboard, but the KB upgrade doesn't seem to (the Okay key is blanked out).

@arminbw
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arminbw commented Dec 1, 2021

I have successfully updated the firmware to V1.02.05 of my Vortex 3 Race (ISO-DE) using a macbook, virtualbox and a free win10 image.

Now I would like to use the online MPC to remap the FN key.
Using the online MPC I generated a Vortex.cys file. According to the instructions I should copy this file to the keyboard (unplug keyboard and press "Fn+D"). This does not work.

Am I pressing the wrong buttons? Do I need a different firmware? There is a dedicated CORE_MPC firmware…

@arminbw
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arminbw commented Dec 4, 2021

I asked Vortex customer support and they told me that Race 3 doesn’t support MPC and that I should "use the on-board mode to swap keymap". So I finally brought myself to go for the black-insulating-tape-hack… It works better than expected!

I also shamelessly copied this gist and added a few minor notes for myself.

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