Advantage Keyboard

Support Resources

Discontinued in 2016

KB500  |  KB510

Manuals

Original Advantage User Manual

Original Advantage Quick Start Guide

The original Advantage keyboard was discontinued in 2016 and replaced by the all-new Advantage2.

FAQs

Switching between Windows, Mac and PC mode on the Advantage keyboard

The Advantage keyboard has three different Instant Configuration Settings: Windows Mode, Mac Mode and PC Mode. Each mode changes the top four thumb keys.

  • To enter Windows Mode, press and hold the equals key and tap the letter “w” (=w).
    The top four thumb keys while in Windows mode, from left to right, are: Ctrl | Alt | Windows | Ctrl.
  • To enter Mac Mode, press and hold the equals key and tap the letter “m” (=m).
    The top four thumb keys while in Mac mode, from left to right are: Command | Option | Ctrl | Command.
  • To enter PC Mode, press and hold the equals key and tap the letter “p” (=p).
    The top four thumb keys while in PC mode, from left to right are: Ctrl | Alt | Alt | Ctrl.

How do I reset the keyboard memory?

Soft reset
Press Progrm + Shift + F10. Note you must first press and Hold PROGRAM, then SHIFT and as you’re holding those two keys down tap F10. You will know this was successful when the lights on your keyboard flash for several seconds after releasing the keys. (NOTE: For older PS/2 model keyboards, use the Ctrl key instead of Shift).

Hard Reset
Make sure the computer is turned off completely. Press and Hold F7. Continue to hold F7 and turn your computer on. Keep holding for about 10 seconds and then release. You will know this was successful when the lights on your keyboard flash for several seconds after releasing.

How do I reset a remapped key to its factory setting?

You can reset a key to its factory setting by “re mapping it to itself.” Entering remapping mode and press the key twice, then exit from remapping mode.

How can I erase a single macro without resetting the memory?

To erase a single macro, program an “empty” macro in the macro triggers place. Follow these steps:

1. Press and hold Progrm and tap F11.
2. Press the macro trigger.
3. Exit by repeating step 1.

Now the macro should no longer work.

How do you turn off the “beep” & “click” sounds of the keyboard?

The Advantage keyboard has two different audio sounds produced from the keyboard. A soft “click” noise when pressing any key and a louder “beep” noise when pressing Caps Lock, Scroll Lock, Num Lock or Keypad.

To disable the “click” noise, press and hold the Progrm key and tap the piples/backslash key (the key directly to the right of the letter “P”).

To disable the “beep” noise, press and hold the Progrm key and tap the hyphen/underscore key (the key directly below Progrm).

Where is the Windows key (or Command for Mac users) located on PS/2 models?

The Windows key (or Command for Mac users) is located in the embedded “PrintScrn” and “Scroll Lock” keys. If you would like to remap the embedded Windows key to the top layer, follow these instructions:

1). Turn Keypad ON.
2). Press and hold the Progrm key and tap F12 (LED’s on keyboard will flash rapidly).
3). Press and release the “PrintScrn” key. (LED’s will slow down).
4). Press and release the destination key, for example- Right Alt (LED’s will speed up).
5). Press and release the “PrintScrn” key (LED’s will slow down).
6). Press and release the KEYPAD key.
7). Press and release the SAME destination key, example- Right Alt (LED’s will speed up).
8). Exit by repeating step 2 (LED’s will stop flashing).

Now, in this example, the Right Alt key will function as the Windows/Command key when keypad is ON or OFF.

NOTE: For veryold PS/2 Contoured keyboards (Model 130/Essential/Classic & Professionals with serial numbers beginning with “3”), the Windows key is located in the embedded “h” and “n” keys.

 

How do I switch between the macro memory configurations of 24, 36, or 48 macros?

Your keyboard should default to 24 macros with a maximum of 56 (Advantage) or 142 (Advantage Pro) characters per macro. If you select the “36 macro” mode, the maximum macro size is 38 (Advantage) or 94 (Advantage Pro) characters, and with “48 macro” mode the maximum macro size is 28 (Advantage) or 70 (Advantage Pro) characters.

Important note:After selecting 36 or 48 macros, program a single simple macro and type rapidly for a while to be sure you don’t type faster than the keyboard can process. Fast typists will often lose keystrokes from certain common words with the 48 macro setting, and very fast typists may even lose keystrokes using the 36 macro setting.

To change the macro memory configuration, perform Program + Ctrl + F2(for 24 macros) or F3 (for 36 macros) or F4(for 48 macros). The keyboard lights will flash for several seconds as the memory is erased and reconfigured.

How should I clean my keyboard?

Unplug the keyboard and remove all the individual keycaps to gain access to the keywell, which can collect lots of dirt after time. Use the included keycap removal tool and grab two sides of the keycap and pull straight up. If you do not have a keycap removal tool you can purchase one on Amazon or use two paperclips bent into the shape of a “J”.

  • Soak the loose keycaps in warm soapy water lightly scrub to remove any gunk. Rinse the keycaps and let them thoroughly dry.
  • Use compressed air to remove any loose debris in the key wells and use cotton swabs with rubbing alcohol to remove gunk.
  • Use a microfiber cloth and a small amout rubbing alcohol to clean the outer plastic keyboard case.

Do not reconnect the keyboard to your PC until it is thoroughly dry.

Troubleshooting

The original Advantage keyboard was discontinued in 2016 and was replaced with the Advantage2 which features the same great form-factor and a new electronic architecture designed to work with the latest operating systems. The firmware of the original Advantage was developed prior to the advent of modern operating systems and USB 3.0. As a result, it is not uncommon for original Advantage keyboards to become unreliable when used on newer PCs and operating systems as they were not designed with these protocols in mind.

If you are experiencing problems with your original Advantage, this page includes some tips and tricks that may get it back in good working order. If these tips don’t address your issues, you can submit a Trouble Ticket using the link below. We regret that, depending on the age of your keyboard, we may not be able to address all of your issues to your satisfaction.

Windows 7 Problems

Original Advantage keyboards currently do not work on most Windows 7 computers which have USB 3.0 ports, even if they also have USB 2.0. This problem does not exist in other operating systems, including Windows 8 and 10, Mac & Linux.

Possible work-around: If your Windows 7 computer only has USB 3.0 ports available, enter the BIOS of your computer during bootup. Look for “USB Configuration” section in which there may be a checkbox or option for “Enable USB 3.0 Controller”. Uncheck the box or disable USB 3.0, reboot,and test keyboard. If that is not there, or you don’t want to do disable 3.0, try “enable USB debug.” Another possible option is to disable the “Intel xHCI Mode”.

For user’s with Windows 7 computers that have a USB 3.0 USB port we advise to purchase the new Advantage2 model that is fully compatible with Windows 7 and USB 3.0 ports.

Individual key not working

Determine if the key is producing the wrong character or if it is electrically dead. If it’s the wrong character, try remapping the key to itself:
1). Press and Hold the Program key and tap F12 (lights on keyboard will begin to flash rapidly).
2). Press and release the non-working key (flashing lights SHOULD slow down in speed. If they do not, this indicates that the key is not being registered and is likely damaged. If this is the case, repeat step 1 to exit remap mode & contact tech support. If the lights do slow down, continue to step 3).
3). Press and release the non-working key a second time (flashing lights will speed up).
4). Repeat step 1 to exit.

If the key seems electronically dead, you can try removing the individual keycap (if you have a USB keyboard it should have came with a “keycap removal tool.” Use this to remove the keycap. If your keyboard did not come with the tool, use two paper clips- bend them in the shape of a hook or “J” and pull the keycap straight up) and spray canned air inside the key switch to remove any dirt/debris. If there appears to be any sticky residues on the keycap or on the key switch, try to clean the area as best as you can (usually a damp paper towel is good enough).

If the problem continues, it is likely that the individual key switch is damaged and may require a repair.

Right side of keyboard is typing numbers

The Advantage keyboard has an embedded numeric 10-key on the right side of the keyboard. When the keypad layer is toggled on, and Num Lock is enabled, the keys on the right side will produce numbers. Simply press the Keypad key (upper right function key) to toggle on and off.

Row or cluster of keys not working

It could be possible that the connector which connects the keywell to the main circuit board has become lose. If you submit a Trouble Ticket we can provide step-by-step instructions on how to reset the keywell.

Function keys not working on Advantage Keyboard

It’s possible the “Multimedia” features of the keyboard have been enabled, which changes some of the function keys.

To check, open up some kind of text editor and press and hold the equals key and tap the letter “s” (=s). You should see some text on the screen. If you see any of the function keys listed inside the brackets [F3 F4 etc.,] then you know the Multimedia features are active.

Normally, this is turned on by holding down the equals key and tapping the letter “n.”

To disable the Multimedia feature, enter the Instant Configuration you’re currently in.

So for example, if your keyboard is in Windows Mode, select Windows mode by holding down the equals key and tapping “w” (=w). (=m for mac mode and =p for PC mode).

This will clear the settings and your function keys should behave as expected.

Ctrl, Alt/Option, or Windows/Command keys are not working correctly
The Advantage keyboard has three different Instant Configuration Settings: Windows Mode, Mac Mode and PC Mode. Each mode changes the top four thumb keys.

  • To enter Windows Mode, press and hold the equals key and tap the letter “w” (=w).
    The top four thumb keys while in Windows mode, from left to right, are: Ctrl | Alt | Windows | Ctrl.
  • To enter Mac Mode, press and hold the equals key and tap the letter “m” (=m).
    The top four thumb keys while in Mac mode, from left to right are: Command | Option | Ctrl | Command.
  • To enter PC Mode, press and hold the equals key and tap the letter “p” (=p).
    The top four thumb keys while in Windows mode, from left to right are: Ctrl | Alt | Alt | Ctrl.
Computer won’t boot

Check keyboard connections. Make sure the keyboard is connected directly to a PS/2 or USB port on the computer, depending on which model you’re using. If you’re using a PS/2 to USB adaptor for older PS/2 model Kinesis keyboards, it may not be compatible. The adaptor must be an Active adaptor, not a Passive adaptor. If you cannot find an adaptor that works, contact Kinesis tech support for suggestions.

If you have ruled out the adapter cable, try connecting to a different computer (preferably a different brand and/or model) if possible and see if you can reproduce the problems or not.

Stuck modifer key

Sometimes a computer misses the upstroke from keys that are held down in key combinations. “The result is a “virtually stuck” key, usually a modifier (shift, ctrl, alt), and most often shift. The OS thinks it is still pressed even though it has been released.

The Advantage keyboard has a minor timing incompatibility with some computers and operating system versions which causes this to happen more frequently than normal. While there is no known way to prevent this problem, an easy solution when it happens is to tap the stuck key, which will instantly release it. Since it is often hard to know which key is stuck, you can just tap shift keys. If that doesn’t fix it, tap the ctrl and alt keys.

 

Warranty

Kinesis Advantage keyboards were sold with a two year limited warranty

Submit a Trouble Ticket

Not finding your answer?

Submit a trouble ticket and a tech support agent will respond to you within one to two business days

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