Space65: Adding ESD protection, bypass capacitors, and repairing RGB LEDs

On my Space65, 4 out of the 6 RGB LEDs failed. I don’t know if it was due to an electrostatic discharge. Experts were saying that the PCB doesn’t have ESD protection and this could explain the LEDs getting damaged. So, I added an ESD protection IC to the PCB, and replaced all of the LEDs just to be safe. Here is the ESD protection chip I used:


I wonder if the issues have anything to do with the quality of the LEDs which were used in the space65?

Just an idea. Here is a comparison:

Could these be a cheaper clone like sk6812 (which are notoriously easy to kill)?


Hey, can you tell me where in the video you add the esd circuit? I tried scrubbing and can’t seem to find it. I’m thinking it should be around the 1:22 mark?

It’s the first thing I do after some blabbering

Starting at about 4:32 (4 minutes)

Others have suggested that I should also add 2 more protections:

  1. A resistor between the GPIO input and the first LED

  2. A bypass capacitor across +5v and Gnd for each LED

I plan to go back and add those 2 additional protections. Fortunately it shouldn’t require desoldering the switches.

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Here I go back and add bypass capacitors to protect the LED from brief voltage fluctuations that can damage them. These are standard on ws2812b RGB LED circuits and were for some reason missing from the Space65 PCB design, which may have led to the high rate of damaged and failed LEDs on this keyboard.Please note that I also have previously replaced all 6 of the LEDs with hew ones, as 4 of the 6 had already failed.

The capacitor I used was a 100nf SMD capacitor. Here is a gallery of the finished mod:

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This is honestly a great resource for anyone who has this keyboard! Keep up the great work and the help!

Any idea if they’ve considered adding capacitors in the Rev2 version coming up?

Yes, the news sounds promising. This is what Airpotter said:

“Demo has re optimized the circuit, added protection capacitor and replaced the new LED supplier.
And it is support USB-C>USB-C functional !”

He also said the new PCB will fit the round one Space65

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Wow. That’s a lot of good news.

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One last protection: Added a 510 Ohm series resistor on the data in line of the first LED: