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  1. #1
    Platinum Lounger
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    KVM switch for USB mice/keyboards?

    With the disappearance of the PS/2 keyboard and mouse sockets from modern PCs, I am faced with having to use a KVM switch which cope with a USB mouse and keyboard shared between four PCs, as well as the usual VGA-interface screen (no, not DVI ones -- yet).

    Someone has told me that USB KVM switches are unreliable, don't work, major disaster area, etc.

    Has anyone used these successfully?

    Thanks

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

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  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: KVM switch for USB mice/keyboards?

    Yes. Me.

  3. #3
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    Re: KVM switch for USB mice/keyboards?

    Good! Any recommendations for a manufacturer?

    Thanks

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

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  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: KVM switch for USB mice/keyboards?

    Me? No.



    To be honest, the one I had is currently buried under a load of baby stuff. I only needed it for a few months and it seemed to work fine, but I'll have to unearth it in a few weeks when I reconfigure the servers at work. I'll see if I can get to it in the next day or two.
    From memory, it may have been Belkin, but I can't be really sure - sorry.

  5. #5
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    Re: KVM switch for USB mice/keyboards?

    There are only a few makes that I can find, Belkin being the main one. Also D-Link and (gasp!) Maplin!

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: KVM switch for USB mice/keyboards?

    Can't you get a PS2 to USB converter and use a standard KVM switch?

    StuartR

  7. #7
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    Re: KVM switch for USB mice/keyboards?

    I have troubles with mine, but when I don't, it's a god-send. Sort of (see "malcolm" below).
    I have the BigBeigeBox with its LCD screen and old keyboard and mouse. Love them.
    I have the Laptop with its 2GB/2GHz, screen that seems about 2" high, silly touch-pad thingo and a keyboard that only a mother could love.

    Malcolm gave me a used USB/PS2 converter for Christmas; I was paying for lunch.
    I bought a brand new KVM $Cdn50 at what used to be Radio Shack. Plugged it all in, didn't work on LapTop, so I bought a new mouse, black, two buttons, wheel, blue light like the ones under the cars of drug-dealers.

    Symptoms: Once everything is working I am deliriously happy. I have a real keyboard, real mouse, real big (for me) LCD screen, and a Scroll-Scroll-UpArrow flips me from one machine to the other and back again.
    <font color=red>At boot time, the laptop doesn't recognise the USB about 50% of the time.</font color=red>
    I've tried plugging in the USB before the laptop is powered on, while the laptop is booting, after the laptop has booted, long after it has booted. Of these only long-after seems to have any real chance of success.
    I've tried re-booting the laptop after both machines are up and humming. I've tried powering off and repowering the laptop after both machines are humming.
    I've even tried replacing the new mouse with the Old Grey Mouse. Darn! It WASN'T the mouse that was the problem. It was the KVM.
    I've tried unplugging the USB and replugging it into one of the other four (I have five) USB ports on the laptop; I've tried it "immediately" and after a wait of about ten seocnds. makes no difference.
    This week I'm experimenting with powering up the laptop before the BBB to see if the laptop can grab hold of the USB before it gets weird are-you-there signals from the KVM.

    Scroll-Scroll-Up always transfers me to the BBB and the keyboard and either mouse always functions there, so I reason that it isn't the KVM, keyboard or mouse at fault; the worst I could say is 'incompatible", but hardly "at fault". The mouse is brand new, as is the laptop. Well, Dec-2004.

    I've considered posting a question on the lounge but have resisted up until now because it wasn't the biggest problem in my life. I'm only posting this because it might look like I'm offering help/information instead of asking for help, again.

    Again, once it is settled in, it is in for the entire day. No problems, no hiccoughs, smooth and a wonder to (be)hold.
    If I could just work out how to get it awake every time I'd be happy.

    (signed) "Willing to Experiment" of Toronto.

  8. #8
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    Re: KVM switch for USB mice/keyboards?

    Stuart

    It would be the exact opposite that I would need; converting both a USB mouse and a USB keyboard to PS/2 connections.

    Are these converters bi-directional?

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

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  9. #9
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: KVM switch for USB mice/keyboards?

    Since Stuart doesn't seem to be online, you should check the link he provided. He labeled it backward - it does point to what you need, unless I'm dyslexic this morning. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

  10. #10
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    Re: KVM switch for USB mice/keyboards?

    I'm a bit wary of too many connections and conversions! It seems rather like converting between analogue and digital when sending video data to an analogue screen.

    I would be happy if it were just USB connections which got switched, reliably, because it seems to my naive way of thinking that there would be fewer things to go rong...!

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  11. #11
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    Re: KVM switch for USB mice/keyboards?

    John,
    Yes, multiple conversions of a signal can make one uncomfortable, and not just analog to digital conversions Although there are numerous undesirable effects that can occur, some common multiple conversion processes provide quite remarkable results. Take the case of going from a scene outside your window to an image of that scene on a TFT/LC display via a

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