westcott

Need Kvm Recommendations!

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I would like to operate two machines sharing a (1) ps2 mouse, (1) ps2 keyboard, (1) VGA Monitor, and (1) USB Cable Modem. I have found a couple of units that have USB outputs but no input.

Any user suggestions. I have an old analog switch but the picture quality was terrible. I have to assume the newer quality units have taken care of such problems.

Thanks

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Your better option, would be to string a network cable between the 2 boxes, and buy a normal kvm...

If you manage to swich the usb device, then the internet connection will get dropped for the machine that has gotten switched away from

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I have to disagree on this one. If you power up the pc with the device connected and active, you should have no problem disconnecting after boot up and reconnecting without any issues. I do it all the time now when I run a benchmark (USB is a big hit on resources!). I boot up with the modem connected, disconnect before I run a benchmark, reconnect after the benchmark, and publish my benchmark results without any issues.

Second, it is a pain to set up a network on every machine that I work on. You have to install a card and drivers, setup a network, do what you need to do, uninstall , etc. etc.

Not the way I want to go.

Does anyone else know of such a creature. I do not want to have to buy two separate switches. I am partial to the Belkin SOHO 2 station unit with sound system sharing but it does not have the USB function I described.

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is the modem USB only?

I agree that setting up a network is a better option... NICs are $10 each.. a small switch or hub are another $30... if you need a router you can ditch the hub and get one for $60.

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westcott, I think what Occupant was saying is this.

Say you're on PC 1, connected to the internet and downloading a large file. Now if you switch to PC 2, with a switch such as you are suggesting, you'll lose the connection to the internet on PC 1.

If you usually only do some browsing, email, etc then losing the connection when you switch wouldn't be such a problem.

Do you have front USB ports on both systems? Why not just get a normal switch and you could easily swap it over manually when needed.

Also, be aware that many cheaper PS2 KVM switches aren't very good. In the past (although things may have improved these days) they didn't maintain a signal properly to the PS2 ports on the system not being used, so switching to another system effectively was unplugging the mouse and keyboard, which usually causes problems.

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Westcott,

most USB modems (cable or adsl) normally require you to use the "unplug or eject hardware" function on Windows XP and 2000. You get a warning if you disconnect without doing this. Using a switch will disconnect the modem in an uncontrolled fashion with unpredictable results. I am afraid a network is the only really viable way to maintain a continuous connection to the internet between two machines.

I have a company supplied laptop and home PC. Following recent virus and trojan disasters, it is now against company policy to allow me to network the two but I have them on an excellent and cheap Linksys KVM. Never had any problem with either mouse or keyboard and am running my laptop at 1024x768 and home PC at 1280x960 on a 19" Iiyama without any degredation of signal quality. It requires no software to be loaded, I just press ScrollLock twice to toggle betweeen them. KVM Switch

I have the internet connection attached to my home PC and if I need to copy files over I have a USB cable connection. This is not a network but allows me to copy individual files or groups of files from one machine to the other using a "Trust USB2 Easy Share" cable and proprietory software loaded on each machine. It runs at the highest USB2 speed (about 480Mbps) which is actually faster than most networks! Cable

This is a European company but I am sure the cable will be available in the US under a different brand name. Good luck!

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@TheLastMan:

You are the first! :)

I have checked your Linksys KVM. It looks good. Very compact, and comes with the cables integrated, and switching is done with the keyboard.

What about this one?

http://us.daxten.com/overview.cfm?prodID=56

(daxten=dakota)

I have checked one of my favourite shops, and it costs only 50 euros.

My question is: is the 2D quality good? I mean, is the image crisp?

how can it be, for only 50 euros?

The specs say 2048x1536 at 85Hz, but I know many graphics cards with that same specs, but fuzzy even at 1280x1024.

My goal is 1280x1024.

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It is easier to give clear text on a kvm switch than on a video card. I think that we have some at the office and they are ok. I am using a far more expesive one myself.

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http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...223126?v=glance

only $34??

It is easier to give clear text on a kvm switch than on a video card

something I don't have clear: is the kvm a pure transparent switch, or does it "process the VGA signal"?

I think that we have some at the office and they are ok.

at what resolution?

anyway the VGA cables look very thin

http://www.linksys.com/products/product.as...cid=45&prid=502

click on hi-res image.

I have had ghosting in my TFT monitor because of a thin VGA cable...

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QUOTE 

something I don't have clear: is the kvm a pure transparent switch, or does it "process the VGA signal"?

I have only seen one that processes the vga signal and it is an incredibly expesive rack mount system that allows you to switch multiple racks of systems. No one buys this one for the video quality.

at what resolution?

Don't know. I do now that software testers in my department don't complain

about them, but most of the monitors on those systems aren't typically very good.

I am using an Avocent 180DX. I don't expect that most people here need an 8 KVM switch. Its better than the monitor that I use on it switch, but I normally TS to the boxes.

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I have only seen one that processes the vga signal

well, if they are totally transparent, they should not specify a maximum resolution/refresh for the video signal. But they do.

For example, this one has 1600x1200 limitation:

http://www.dlink.com/products/resource.asp?pid=162&rid=624

I am only going to use 1280x1024, but I want good video quality, crisp text.

All the modern graphics cards specify on paper, great resolutions at high refresh rates, but in practice, they are blurry even at 1280x1024 x 75Hz.

I don't know about the KVMs

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well, if they are totally transparent, they should not specify a maximum resolution/refresh for the video signal.

Not true. Impedance, capacitance, and all the other evil analoge thingys can still mess with the image. I got sick of it and switched to a DVI KVM....

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Not true. Impedance, capacitance, and all the other evil analoge thingys can still mess with the image. I got sick of it and switched to a DVI KVM....

this is the kind of reply that I was expecting... and fearing.

Yes, my experience with VGA cards says that it is very difficult to get a good image quality. That is why Maxtor cads still survive even if they are very slow for gaming.

And that is why I fear that these KVMs could degrade the signal.

yes, a DVI KVM can be a solution.

my TFT is not DVI though...

maybe I will have to order an analog one, and return it if not satisfactory.

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Arqa & Westcott,

I found no difference in the image quality on my Monitor regardless of whether I was using the Linksys KVM or not.

My Video Card is a Nvidia GForce 420 128mb running at a resolution of 1280 x 960. My monitor is an Iiyama Visionmaster Pro 19" CRT screen running at 85 mhz at all resolutions. I have not specifically looked for differences at higher resolutions, but have happily used it for some photo editing at the maximum resolution of 1600 x 1200 at 85hz without noticing any obvious distortion.

The Linksys KVM is simply a "pass through" switch and does not process the signal.

The reason for a resolution limit is that the more cabling and switches any analogue electrical signal has to pass through the more the signal will degrade. Any resolution limit will be more a recommendation rather than a statement that the KVM will stop working in any way.

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Westcott,

you can buy USB switches that effectively allow you to use USB peripherals with more than one computer - but they only work for certain types of devices. Printers and scanners will generally work, but modems and plug in "mass storage devices", such as USB CD-Roms and hard drives, do not work through these switches. The only way to find out is to try one and see. Belkin do a couple. Never tried one though.

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I have to disagree on this one. If you power up the pc with the device connected and active, you should have no problem disconnecting after boot up and reconnecting without any issues. I do it all the time now when I run a benchmark (USB is a big hit on resources!). I boot up with the modem connected, disconnect before I run a benchmark, reconnect after the benchmark, and publish my benchmark results without any issues.

Second, it is a pain to set up a network on every machine that I work on. You have to install a card and drivers, setup a network, do what you need to do, uninstall , etc. etc.

Not the way I want to go.

Does anyone else know of such a creature. I do not want to have to buy two separate switches. I am partial to the Belkin SOHO 2 station unit with sound system sharing but it does not have the USB function I described.

Belkin so a SOHO 2 & 4 port unit which not only has audio, but also USB. This seems to fit your requirements, however it's a bit pricey.

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you can buy USB switches that effectively allow you to use USB peripherals with more than one computer - but they only work for certain types of devices.

Thanks a lot for your response. I wanted to ask before I started plugging away.

My monitor has a built in USB hub with dual inputs and three outputs. If there was a voltage issue plugging two computers into one hub, I wanted to to ask.

I think I will purchase the Belkin SOHO 2 channel and try to use my hub to share the network connection.

Thanks again!

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I have to disagree on this one. If you power up the pc with the device connected and active, you should have no problem disconnecting after boot up and reconnecting without any issues. I do it all the time now when I run a benchmark (USB is a big hit on resources!). I boot up with the modem connected, disconnect before I run a benchmark, reconnect after the benchmark, and publish my benchmark results without any issues.

Second, it is a pain to set up a network on every machine that I work on. You have to install a card and drivers, setup a network, do what you need to do, uninstall , etc. etc.

Not the way I want to go.

Does anyone else know of such a creature. I do not want to have to buy two separate switches. I am partial to the Belkin SOHO 2 station unit with sound system sharing but it does not have the USB function I described.

Belkin so a SOHO 2 & 4 port unit which not only has audio, but also USB. This seems to fit your requirements, however it's a bit pricey.

I forgot to add the link. On their you can see they have solutions

http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatSectionView...ction_Id=201729

The one that would suit your needs is on:

http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage...oduct_Id=160570

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The Linksys KVM is simply a "pass through" switch and does not process the signal.

The reason for a resolution limit is that the more cabling and switches any analogue electrical signal has to pass through the more the signal will degrade. Any resolution limit will be more a recommendation rather than a statement that the KVM will stop working in any way.

ok, thanks. I guess I will have to try one ... :)

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