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Multi-screen 4-port dual-monitor dual-link DVI KVM + audio + USB switch

Discussion in 'KVM' started by Zac, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. Zac

    Zac Member

    I'm looking to move away from an IOGear GCS1644. It worked for a while, but not without a lot of effort, and now it's getting flaky (keyboard and mouse flakiness that is not there if I connect the keyboard and mouse directly to the machines or even through a mechanical switch box) and IOGear will not cross-ship a replacement (so I'd likely be down for a couple weeks at best).

    Ideally I would like to find a replacement switch from a company who will cross-ship replacements when something goes wrong. Depending upon the price, I'm going to expect at least a one year warranty, but considering where I'm expecting to land here, probably a two-year or longer warranty.

    Outside of that, I have a few requirements (some of which the IOGear device did not meet without coercion).

    1) dual monitors at 2560*1600 60Hz 24bpp with emulated DDC + full HDCP support
    2) four machines:
    2a) Lenovo ThinkPad W700
    2b) Lenovo ThinkPad P70
    2c) ASRock X99-WS-E
    2d) Dell Lattitude E6520 (with an external nVidia GTX680TI video card so I can use the big screens)
    3) ability to have KVM, audio, USB focus on different machines, using hotkey or front panel switching
    4) allow keyboard and mouse to be removed and reattached without power cycle of KVM switch

    The biggest issue I expect to have is with the Lenovo and ASRock systems. The Lenovo systems are picky about keyboard (and the ASRock system about keyboard and mouse) during boot and in BIOS/UEFI setup -- the IOGear switch keyboard emulation would not work so I had to impose a contrivance where a USB sharing switch would either route the KVM connection straight to the machine or through a USB keyboard to PS/2 host dongle then PS/2 keyboard to USB host dongle then to the machine to use the keyboard during boot. It would be great if I could remove that complication.

    The final requirement above, allowing the keyboard/mouse to be removed and reattached is because I have a programmable keyboard and mouse (the mouse and keyboard -- on the devices rather than using a driver -- let me remap keys, build macros, and so on). I don't expect a KVM switch to allow this sort of thing to pass through, but I still want to be able to configure them without having to power cycle everything (all machines plus the KVM switch).
  2. KVMGalore Expert

    KVMGalore Expert Staff Member

    The "300-pound gorilla" in this segment is the AdderView 4 PRO DVI MultiScreen, Dual-Head, supporting resolution up to 5MP, with true USB emulation and a 2-year warranty included.

    Confirming the rest of your requirements - stay tuned!
  3. KVMGalore Expert

    KVMGalore Expert Staff Member

    AdderView 4 PRO DVI MultiScreen, Dual-Head is confirmed to support this requirement.

    AdderView 4 PRO DVI MultiScreen, Dual-Head is confirmed to support this requirement.

    We may be hard pressed to find a manufacturer that does this.
  4. KVMGalore Expert

    KVMGalore Expert Staff Member

  5. Zac

    Zac Member

    Would you recommend the Adder cables or the C2G cables or something else (what) for connecting everything? All of the PCs and the console will be within 2m of the KVM switch, though just barely for one of the machines.
  6. KVMGalore Expert

    KVMGalore Expert Staff Member

  7. Zac

    Zac Member

    I only got it set up last night. It worked for a little while, so I left it alone.

    I came back to it today. I stopped counting after six times in the last hour it has flaked out at least partially. It just turns off the keyboard and mouse (they have LEDs that are on as long as they receive power; even these LEDs go off). The only way to recover is to disconnect all upstream devices (so it can't get power that way), then unplug it from power. Wait a few seconds, then plug power back in, and finally plug the USB link to the PCs back in. If you don't unplug the upstream PCs, it seems to draw power from them at least enough to maintain the crapped out state.

    Very disruptive. Not only does it require a lot of plugging and unplugging, which is not meant to happen so often, cutting power to the KVM switch causes the desktops on every single attached PC to rearrange so everything that was open is crammed into some phantom resolution the OS seems to have chosen at random and only on the primary screen.

    Unplugging and replugging the keyboard and mouse in this state have them getting power for a couple seconds then getting turned back off.

    Plugging the keyboard and mouse directly to any of the PCs works fine.
  8. KVMGalore Expert

    KVMGalore Expert Staff Member

    Which device are you referring to?
  9. Zac

    Zac Member

    I set up the AdderView 4 Pro DVI Dual-Screen with the appropriate cables from the bottom of the same page, to the machines described in my original post.

    Changing the keyboard firmware to a 'special Linux version' (one has to ask/beg/demand it from the company) has it dropping the keyboard and mouse far less frequently, but it still happens under heavy typing load.

    Tried with another mouse and it still happens.

    Tried with another keyboard and it still happens.

    Tried with both another mouse and another keyboard and it seems stable.

    I'm left handed. I detest USB input devices, due to this kind of experience (and more). If I could find a PS/2 KVM switch that supported two dual-link DVI monitors (preferably also with the ability to switch audio), I'd jump on it! I can use a mechanical USB switch for the scanner and colour calibrator and monitor setup; those seem to work better than any electronic USB switch I have tried so far.

    The keyboard and mouse that seem to cause problems are Gamdias Hermes GKB2000, and Gamdias Erebos Laser GMS7510. The keyboard that works with it is a Gateway 2000 Anykey (yes, over 16 years old!) on a PS/2 K+M to USB host adapter (no mouse attached). The mouse that I tried that does work with it is an old Logitech mouse that I had to rewire so the buttons are where they should be (and stay that way in all applications instead of switching around between applications, screen modes, &c, as they do even with the Logitech driver loaded).

    Neither keyboard nor mouse requires special driver to operate; there is a configuration program on one PC that loads the configuration for the keyboard and mouse to them (I connect them directly to that PC for this purpose, then plug them back into the KVM afterward since the respective configuration is stored and implemented on the keyboard and mouse).

    Need to be able to use programmable keyboard (key remapping in the hardware) and high-resolution mouse with hardware button mapping. Since the ones I have seem to be incompatible, I'd appreciate recommendations for some that are known to work. No, I'm not looking for media keys or a few special buttons; I'm remapping much of the keyboard -- including the QWERTY space and some modifiers and some other keys.

    As for the mouse, there exists no software button remap that actually works consistently (an few that will work through a KVM since they mostly check to be sure they only apply to the specific brand or even specific model of mouse), so until this mouse my usual method was to buy a mouse, dismantle it, and if I could rewire the buttons as I see fit, I would buy several more and do so. Unhappily, I have yet to find any 'very' high resolution mice (3000DPI and up) that can be rewired in the appropriate way, so a programmable mouse is the alternative).

    Again, if you can recommend some options for replacing the keyboard and mouse with at least rough equivalents that are still programmable and both store and implement the configuration on the device rather than needing special drivers, I'm willing to try that.

  10. KVMGalore Expert

    KVMGalore Expert Staff Member

    We don't specialize in keyboard/mouse peripherals and carry only select few.
  11. Harry

    Harry Guest

    This looks like the kind of setup I need, with the exception that I'm in a mixed environment, Mac Powerbook Pro, Windows (7 and 10 on Lenovo and Dell), and a T60 running Linux. I need to drive a two HP monitors at 1920x1200, but will be upgrading to 4k soon. Your suggestions?
  12. KVMGalore Expert

    KVMGalore Expert Staff Member

    The beauty of a KVM switch is that it doesn't care what OS you're running. And so, if you're outputting DVI and your keyboard/mouse is USB on all your machines - the AdderView 4 PRO DVI MultiScreen will work for you.

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