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keyboard used on 2 PC's

Posted on 2013-06-27
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Last Modified: 2013-06-29
Hello,

i am looking for a way to connect the same keyboard to 2 different PC's
solutions can be usb, wireless, PS/2 - or other

suggestions?
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Question by:nobus
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15 Comments
 
LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 39280932
Use a KVM switch. That also allows you to use the same mouse and display on both PC's.
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:David Atkin
ID: 39280999
A KVM would be the best solution.

I can recommend the Belkin KVM's but they aren't cheap.
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LVL 58

Accepted Solution

by:
Joe Winograd, EE Fellow 2017, MVE 2016, MVE 2015 earned 1000 total points
ID: 39281297
Hi nobus,
The standard recommendation for this is a KVM switch, but I have tried numerous KVM switches, and none has worked well for me. They'd often freeze up and I'd have to unplug all of the cables to bring them back to life. They all had VGA...some had USB keyboard and mouse...some had PS2 keyboard and mouse...some some had audio/some didn't. I gave up on all of them and went with a device that can switch only one USB port...that's all it does, but it does it perfectly! I plug a keyboard into the device and a mouse into the keyboard (which has a 2-port USB hub)...it has never failed! I now switch the monitors via the controls built into the monitor. Here's the device:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I96BL0/

They can be daisy-chained...at least to one level, which is what I'm running now. I suspect you can daisy-chain as many as you would like, but switching to seven computers suits me for now (not eight, because one port is taken up for daisy-chaining).

It doesn't stand up well on its base (the cables tend to knock it over), so I lay it on its side and put a label above each button with the computer name. I have two of them in one location (daisy-chained) and one of them in a second location...none of the three has ever failed to switch the keyboard/mouse and I've never had to disconnect any cables to unfreeze any of them. Regards, Joe
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LVL 93

Author Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39281462
Joe, that looks more like what i need (a KVM is not very handy here, isnce the idea is to gain room on the desktop)

anyway - keep the suggestions coming in
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LVL 58
ID: 39281586
nobus,
I used a little Velcro to secure it to the stand of one of my monitors, so other than the cables running out the back, it takes up no additional desk space (one of the advantages of laying it on its side, rather than the upright stance, is that it fits nicely between the monitor's stand and the lower bevel). Regards, Joe
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 39281632
I'm using several KVM's, and they don't waste my desktop space (I have them behind the displays, or sitting somewhere else out of the way). But you'd have to make sure you get one that you control with keyboard shortcuts (with one of mine you change the PC by pressing "Scroll Lock" twice, and then the numeric key for the port you want to change to, or on another it is pressing the left "ctrl" key twice, and then also the numeric key).

Using those shortcut keys means you can place the KVM really out of the way as you don't need physical contact to them.
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LVL 93

Author Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39281644
ok - good suggestions
joe, i believe i saw somewhere a 2 port usb switch, but can't find it
i even believe it was yesterday on EE
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LVL 58
ID: 39281727
nobus,
The same folks who make the 4-port one I use also make a 2-port one:
http://www.amazon.com/USB-Device-Switch-Printer-Scanner/dp/B000I97N4O/

Regards, Joe
0
 
LVL 58
ID: 39281731
Oh, wait, did you mean two USB ports...that is, switch two USB devices?
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LVL 58
ID: 39281784
If you meant switching two USB devices, you could use either of the two switches I've suggested (the 2-port one or the 4-port one, depending on how many computers you're switching to) and make the device that's being switched a small, 2-port USB hub, such as this one (but you must be switching low-power devices, as both the switch and the hub are bus-powered):

http://www.amazon.com/Plugable-USB-2-0-Port-Hub/dp/B005HKIDF2/

I haven't tried this, but I see no reason why it wouldn't work (other than power and the usual issue of some devices not liking USB hubs). Regards, Joe
0
 
LVL 93

Author Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39286590
for some reason - my answer was not posted
see the original Question :
the guy has 2 PC's - and wants to use only 1 keyboard (i assume USB)
so what type of switch is needed?
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LVL 88

Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 1000 total points
ID: 39286606
Something like in the link below, as it supports hot-key switching, which means that you can place it somewhere where you have enough room and out of the way, as you don't need to physically reach it when you switch between the PC's:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817403047
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LVL 58
ID: 39286614
> he guy has 2 PC's - and wants to use only 1 keyboard (i assume USB)

OK, then the first two I mentioned. If he wants some room for growth (a third or fourth PC in the the future), then this one:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I96BL0/

If he's confident that it will never be more that two PCs, then this one:
http://www.amazon.com/USB-Device-Switch-Printer-Scanner/dp/B000I97N4O/

Regards, Joe
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LVL 93

Author Closing Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39286962
thanks guys
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LVL 58
ID: 39286982
You/re welcome.
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