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Need low cost CAT5 KVM Extender for dual monitors

Posted on 2003-12-06
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I have a RAID worstation that's really loud and annoying to myself and co-workers.  I want to relocate the workstation to the server room but have all the peripherals at my desk.  Running another CAT 5 cable to my desk would be easiest.  Looking for one like this that's not so expensive.  http://www.kvm-switches-online.com/crk-2p-aud.html Also, are there any CAT 5 KVM extenders that have USB also?  Any help would greatly be appreciated.
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Question by:madasczik
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LVL 18

Assisted Solution

by:chicagoan
chicagoan earned 300 total points
ID: 9891539
CAT5 KVM switches run IP or proprietary signalling over the wire.
Those that can extend USB are the latter type and must have a home run, they cannot be plugged into your switch or hub. (i.e. http://www.networktechinc.com/extenders.html )

Low cost in this arena is generally ~$300 US
You've thought about VNC, terminal services, etc?


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LVL 12

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by:public
public earned 100 total points
ID: 9892695
Cat 5 extenders cost as much as an ew pc. Get a quiet pc for your peripherals, and use the workstation as an application server.
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Author Comment

by:madasczik
ID: 9892777
Do I even need a booster for the monitors, can I just use 50ft extension cables from the video card?  How far will the signal go without requiring a booster?  Don't really want another pc as a terminal, don't want to loose any speed with network latency, and would most likely need to upgrade to gigabit network in addition.  I found a solution for the peripherals though and only costs $125.  USB repeaters, looks like the way to go for the peripherals http://www.cablesdirect.com/usb/usbext.asp  It'll reach up to 150ft with Cat5 cable.  If 50 foot cable are too long from the video carf, it'll probably be cheaper to get 4 25ft vga cables and but a signal booster in the middle.  Any recommendations on just a signal booster, would need either a dual single booster or two individuals ones.  Trying to keep the price down.
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LVL 18

Assisted Solution

by:chicagoan
chicagoan earned 300 total points
ID: 9892825
>50ft extension cables from the video card
no way
even a 6ft extension requires premium cables for a decent picture
30 feet maybe at low resolution or text mode

why can't you use VNC, terminal services, pcanywhere, etc?

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Author Comment

by:madasczik
ID: 9892837
Even better, for the USB i can use active extension cables.  Four linked together will get me a distance of 64 feet for $55 http://www.sewelldev.com/UsbExtensionCable.asp  Now I just need help finding a reasonably priced vga signal booster for 2 monitors.  Any suggestions?  Points will be split on this question, everyone's comments are helping me figure out the cheapest way to get the job done.
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LVL 18

Assisted Solution

by:chicagoan
chicagoan earned 300 total points
ID: 9892851
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Author Comment

by:madasczik
ID: 9892868
Chicagoan, that's a link for headphones?
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Author Comment

by:madasczik
ID: 9892869
Chicagoan, i can use terminal services no problem, just don't want another pc in the mix for hundreds of dollars, plus the time to build it and install the needed software.  Should be able to get away with USB extenders, long vga cables and a signal booster for two monitors.  Need help finding a vga booster.
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LVL 69

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Callandor earned 100 total points
ID: 9893375
VGA signal boosters are not very cheap, if you want image quality.  I use a Kramer VP-300 distribution amp to split and amplify my 50-ft cable for a projector, which can be found at http://www.markertek.com (the price difference between 2, 3, and 4-way splitters is small).  Extron 208 units can also do the job for single display amplification, and you can find them used on eBay for a slightly lower price ($75).
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Author Comment

by:madasczik
ID: 9940349
Went with 2 Belkin F1D088 OmniView Monitor Extenders, only $38 each on sale here, http://www.shopharmony.com/product.asp?i=999183  Thanks to all for your comments.
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