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  1. #1
    Platinum Lounger
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    Ganged KVM switches

    Has anyone experience with multiple (banked, ganged) KVM switches?
    I love the KVM I bought from Radio Shack/The Source a year ago. I flip happily between the Laptop and the Big Beige Box with a Scroll-Up-Up.
    I know the KVM can be customised to recognise other keyboard sequences.
    Now that I have three machines (an IBM server), I'm wondering whether I can't use a single monitor, keyboard and mouse to access all three machines.
    I contemplate augmenting the current setup by placing a second KVM switch to split between the Big Beige Box and the IBM server.

    A scroll-up-up would select between the laptop and the Big Beige Box; a second sequence would select between the Big Beige Box and the infrequently-accessed IBM server.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Ganged KVM switches

    Assuming you are directly linked to KVM #1 and you say you want PC #2, it'll switch to KVM#2.
    You then say you want PC#1 on KVM#2, but your instruction is read by KVM#1 and it'll switch to PC#1, which is the first output on KVM#1, not the first output on KVM#2.
    No?

    I think it would be a lot simpler to get a 3 or 4-way KVM!

  3. #3
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    Re: Ganged KVM switches

    Thanks for the response.
    >but your instruction is read by KVM#1
    I'm not sure of this.

    I recall when I purchased the KVM that it recognises Scroll-Up-Up (and Scroll-Down-Down) by default, but that the sequence can be changed.
    That made me think that if I programmed KVM#2 to recognise, say Alt-Up-Up (Alt-Down-Down) then (takes a deep breath) "Scroll-Up-Up" should flip/flop between the PC1 and PC2; as long as I am on the PC2, "Alt-Up-Up" should flip/flop between PC2 and PC3.

    Of course, if I have flipped to the PC3, I'd anticipate that Scroll-Up-Up would then flip-flop between PC1 and PC2.

    >I think it would be a lot simpler to get a 3 or 4-way KVM!
    True, especially if I could have my life all over again. I know the little 2-way works; I can't see why (logically) it shouldn't be extendable in a binary-tree fashion.
    Perhaps I can get my local store to warrant it, and return the KVM if it won't co-operate (literally!)

  4. #4
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    Re: Ganged KVM switches

    If you're not looking to replace the KVM with a beefier unit, why not install something like VNC to take control of the server from either of the two KVMed devices?
    Christopher Baldrey

  5. #5
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    Re: Ganged KVM switches

    >why not install something like VNC
    Probably because it seems like an extra complexity in my life right now.
    I have set up my new office with two 10-foot benches, and the plan was to have them against parallel walls. That would mean a 15-foot extension for K, V and M.
    This morning I realised that i could put my "clean" (paper) desk along the end wall, making an L-shape and obviating the need for a 15-foot extension.
    Simple works right now.

  6. #6
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    Re: Ganged KVM switches

    My take on this is that the least complex, least expensive (considering your time) and most error-free solution is a 4-way KVM switch, as suggested by Leif.
    Check some out here http://www.kvms.com/4-port-kvm-switch.asp . Your computer hardware setup has evolved so too should your connection technology.

    Paul

  7. #7
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    Re: Ganged KVM switches

    Thanks, and a Good Take.
    Except that I already have spent $45 on one KVM, so for another $45 I'd be all set.
    The computer hardware is somewhat archaic. The IBM server is ~2002; the Big Beige Box is variously ~1995-~2002
    I figured that for $45 I'm done. I can't see me buying a fourth computer (shades of Bill Gates, I know...).

    If I were starting from scratch, a 4-way would probably make most sense.

  8. #8
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    Re: Ganged KVM switches

    For less than the $45 dollars, you can find many selections on this loaded ebay.ca search for KVMs shipping from Canada. I saw a few with buy it now prices around $15. Many, within the City of Toronto.

    Most also ship with the required cables.

    Get a 4-port KVM, and sell the 2-port. You could come out ahead on the deal.
    Christopher Baldrey

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