KVM Switch - for PS2 2-Port


S

Steve Schooler

Looking for reliable, inexpensive (under $60) 2-Port KVM Switch for PS2.
Want:

1. Switch via switchbox button as well as keyboard hotkey.
2. Accommodate Linux, Win 9x, Win 2000, Win XP
3. Reliable re:
a. I've read that some KVM switches use the keyboard (only) for switching
and that they may not accommodate Linux.
b. I've read that come KVM switches require a special adapter to run with
Linux.
c. I've read that some KVM switches are susceptible to the order that the
2 PC's boot, or which PC (if any) is turned on.
d. I plan on running 1024x768. I've heard that higher resolutions
require higher quality (shielded) KVM video cables. I'd prefer a unit
whose default video cabling is shielded (et al).
e. 1 to 2 second keyboard/mouse freeze between switches is okay, but
significantly longer is not.

Unsure whether to get KVM Switch that includes audio. I plan to normally not
have the audio connected to the KVM switch. This way I can listen to a CD on
1 PC, and still get the sounds from the other PC. However, I may
occassionally wish to connect audio on both PC's to the KVM Switch.
Therefore, since the extra cost is only moderate, I'd prefer that the KVM
Switch optionally allows the user to includes audio in the switching.

I'm considering:

BELKIN 2-Port KVM Switch with Audio Support and Built-In Cabling,
PS2, Model F1DL102P

BELKIN 2-Port KVM Switch (no Audio), PS2, Model F1DB102P

StarTech 2 Port StarView KVM Switch with Audio, StarTech.com ID: SV211KA

The StarTech model is more expensive, but if feedback says that is much more
reliable than Belkin, then this is what I'll go with.

Request feedback, references to website reviews et al, and recommendations on
other (alternative) KVM Switches.
 
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R

Robert Downes

I use a Belkin 2-port KVM Switch (no audio) but the model name on mine
is F1DJ102P-B.

It happens to appear in a review on my site:

http://www.bobulous.net/imho/shuttleSB51G.html

I'm pretty happy with it, given the low cost and its usefulness, but I
don't think anyone considers KVM switches perfect.

Being a PS/2 port device, Windows will not detect a keyboard or mouse
unless the switch points to Windows during the entire Windows boot
process. Which is frustrating. FreeBSD (and I imagine Linux, but you'd
better check) couldn't care less where the switch points, it'll still
find the devices.

Screen output quality seems very good for me at 1280x1024 @ 85Hz, but
above that frequency starts to look poor.

Very occassionally the switch will send a keystroke or mouse-click
twice. This is only irritating for me, but could be dangerous for use in
critical applications.

Overall, though, a switch proves invaluable for users with several old
systems lying around that they still use. In fact, my only problem with
this one is that I need a 4-port switch now. (And they tend to be more
expensive than I can stretch to.) Of course, you should look for reviews
on the Web for yourself, to find out which features you feel are most
valuable to you.
 
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K

kony

I use a Belkin 2-port KVM Switch (no audio) but the model name on mine
is F1DJ102P-B.

It happens to appear in a review on my site:

http://www.bobulous.net/imho/shuttleSB51G.html

I'm pretty happy with it, given the low cost and its usefulness, but I
don't think anyone considers KVM switches perfect.

Being a PS/2 port device, Windows will not detect a keyboard or mouse
unless the switch points to Windows during the entire Windows boot
process. Which is frustrating. FreeBSD (and I imagine Linux, but you'd
better check) couldn't care less where the switch points, it'll still
find the devices.

That may be true for your KVM, but isn't the case with all PS/2 type, some
do emulate a PS/2 keyboard and mouse to the extent that windows is fooled
when those devices aren't switched to the booting system, though I often
disable "detect PNP monitor" so when the monitor isn't detected, windows
doesn't revert to using a PNP monitor INF (driver) instead of continuing
with the correct model-specific INF.

Screen output quality seems very good for me at 1280x1024 @ 85Hz, but
above that frequency starts to look poor.

True, I can get around 100Hz pretty good though it seems that if you're
looking carefully the extra cable length affects all of them... might not
be as bad if any used very high quality integrated cables opposed to
plug-in type, but it seems that those with integrated cables are only
low-end, less than best cables possible.
 

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