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How to send inbound USB data to two computers

Posted on 2016-08-04
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Last Modified: 2016-08-05
The user has a Symbol LS3578 bluetooth scanner, which is paired to a dock, and when he scans a barcode, the data is sent from the dock to the PC via USB cable.  That works great.  I think the PC sees the dock or the scanner as a HID keyboard, but note that we never have to install drivers.  Win7 apparently just "sees" the device and understands how to handle it.

But now he is adding a second PC with a separate app, and that app needs the same barcode data--without him having to scan twice and flip a USB switch, etc.  I'm trying to find something like a USB Y splitter that will allow that inbound data from dock to PC to go to BOTH PCs simultaneously.  So far I can't find anything like this.  Is there any such thing available?  Or is what I need to do even possible?  TIA
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Question by:sasllc
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7 Comments
 
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by:Scott C
Scott C earned 50 total points
ID: 41743003
Do such cables exist?  Yes.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-Y-Cable-Power-Enhancer-Y-Splitter-Cord-1-A-Female-to-2-A-Male-BRAND-NEW-/322017161438

Will it work like you want it to?

Unknown...Spend $6, roll the dice and see.
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dbrunton earned 150 total points
ID: 41743046
That cable won't.

One of those leads is an extra power supply cable and NOT a data cable.  Useful for portable hard drives where insufficient power may not exist at computer.

I don't believe they exist as you need signalling both ways and such a splitter cable would give spurious signals.
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by:garycase
garycase earned 150 total points
ID: 41743147
As dbrunton noted, you can't do what you've asked.   You can't connect a single USB connection to 2 different hosts.

However, you said it's a Bluetooth scanner.    Does the 2nd PC have Bluetooth support?   If not, you could add a USB Bluetooth adapter to that PC; and then pair the scanner with that.    You'd still have to choose which device to pair with before doing a scan - but there wouldn't be any cable swapping or physical switches to deal with => you'd just select the host, scan; and then change the host, and scan again.
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by:Scott C
ID: 41743198
Ah, I see what you mean.  Agreed.  The cable I suggested won't work.

I agree with the other two EE.  What you are trying to accomplish probably can't be done and if it could you would have inconsistent and unreliable results.
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by:sasllc
ID: 41743210
Can one scanner be paired to two PCs?  I know the LS3578 scanner can pair to a PC and send data while completely bypassing the dock and USB cable.  It seems like if I could pair the scanner to *two* PCs (with Bluetooth support) at the same time, that should work...unless that is another one of those things that is not supported in the world or Bluetooth.  Does anyone know for sure whether this setup has a prayer of doing what I need it to do?
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 41743402
You can pair a device with multiple hosts; but only one will be active at a time.    But once you've done the pairing, switching between the two should just be a "point and click" operation on the scanner ... so you could Scan; Switch; Scan to send the same barcode info to both hosts.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 150 total points
ID: 41743728
you could automate a small program to copy all input in a certain folder to that 2nd pc
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