Author Topic: USB Switch/Splitter to Connect One Keyboard to Two Computers?  (Read 2168 times)

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Offline haydoselefantes

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USB Switch/Splitter to Connect One Keyboard to Two Computers?
« on: Fri, 03 April 2020, 16:24:47 »
I usually keep my keyboard connected to my home gaming PC, and swap it over to my work laptop docking station when I work from home.  It was previously infrequent and no big deal to swap the plug.

Well, I've been working from home for 3+ weeks with no end in sight.  So, I'm looking for some device that would split or switch the USB signal from my keyboard so I don't have to move the plug between the two computers.

Ideally I'd have some black box that was powered and actively sent the signal to both computers all the time so I never had to press any buttons to switch it.

I'm old enough to have worked in data centers with giant KVM switches with VGA and PS/2 ports shared to racks of machines with long cables.  KVM seems the overkill for this.  Plus, my monitors are always connected to both computers and can autoswitch.

I see these usb switch boxes on amazon, but they seem kinda janky.  Plus, I only need one port.  I use a wireless mouse left handed for work and a wired right handed for gaming.

Anybody have a better solution?

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: USB Switch/Splitter to Connect One Keyboard to Two Computers?
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 04 April 2020, 12:21:41 »
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0042G49XM/ref=twister_B07G32CTT2?_encoding=UTF8&th=1

This is what you want, trust me,   it has the line with the button so you can put it anywhere and you end up with fewer cabling problems.

you don't need to get this exact one,  as long as it has a button line. you can get one without the vga cables as well. Or get this one, and cut the vga cables off.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: USB Switch/Splitter to Connect One Keyboard to Two Computers?
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 04 April 2020, 20:18:46 »
Symless Synergy would probably work for you.
It doesn't handle monitor, only keyboard/mouse but is completely software based.

Beware cheap KVMs,
I've had 3 ranging from cheap home garbage to low end enterprise stuff, not one functioned as well as it should.
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/hand milled Vortex case, custom feet/paint/winkey blockoff plate, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, Type C, sound dampened,  Thick PBT caps (o-ringed), Cherry Jailhouse Blues w/lubed/clipped Cherry light springs | HMMK TKL | Magicforce 68 | YMDK75 | KBT Race S L.E. | Das Pro (Costar model) | GH60 | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline haydoselefantes

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Re: USB Switch/Splitter to Connect One Keyboard to Two Computers?
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 05 April 2020, 01:20:31 »
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0042G49XM/ref=twister_B07G32CTT2?_encoding=UTF8&th=1

This is what you want, trust me,   it has the line with the button so you can put it anywhere and you end up with fewer cabling problems.

Thanks, I like the look of this one better than the one I linked.  I may really press my luck and try with with a hasu USB-USB between the keyboard and this kvm :)

Offline haydoselefantes

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Re: USB Switch/Splitter to Connect One Keyboard to Two Computers?
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 05 April 2020, 01:24:27 »
Symless Synergy would probably work for you.

Thanks, I didn't think there could be a software solution.  I've tried karabiner-elements on Mac and I was frustrated by the way the media keys and screensaver/lock shortcuts work, so I ended up with a hasu usb-usb.  So for me, it's gotta be hardware.

But this is great, thanks for the suggestion.  I didn't even know there was such a thing!

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: USB Switch/Splitter to Connect One Keyboard to Two Computers?
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 05 April 2020, 07:21:33 »


Thanks, I like the look of this one better than the one I linked.  I may really press my luck and try with with a hasu USB-USB between the keyboard and this kvm :)

Look for one with a 5v input as well if the device uses lots of power.

Offline darthg0d

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USB Switch/Splitter to Connect One Keyboard to Two Computers?
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 05 April 2020, 07:51:17 »
I’ve been using https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6GD9JO for about 8 months now to work from home and switch between work laptop and my gaming desktop. Had to power it with the included power adapter to support the Drop CTRL keyboard’s RGB LEDs. And my wireless mouse is connected to it too via Logitech nano adapter. Works well 99% of the time and when it doesn’t, I just press the button two more times to retoggle. In a happy camper for now.

Offline TacticalCoder

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Re: USB Switch/Splitter to Connect One Keyboard to Two Computers?
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 07 April 2020, 01:47:25 »
Plus, I only need one port.  I use a wireless mouse left handed for work and a wired right handed for gaming.

Ah that's interesting: I'm "mouse ambidextrous" too! It's not something commonly seen!
HHKB Pro JP (daily driver) -- HHKB Pro 2 -- Industrial IBM Model M 1395240-- NIB Cherry MX 5000 - IBM Model M 1391412 (Swiss QWERTZ) -- IBM Model M 1391403 (German QWERTZ) * 2 -- IBM Model M Ambra -- Black IBM Model M M13 -- IBM Model M 1391401 -- IBM Model M 139? ? ? *2 -- Dell AT102W -- Ergo (split) SmartBoard (white ALPS apparently)

Offline haydoselefantes

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Re: USB Switch/Splitter to Connect One Keyboard to Two Computers?
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 07 April 2020, 17:38:23 »
I’ve been using https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6GD9JO for about 8 months now to work from home and switch between work laptop and my gaming desktop. Had to power it with the included power adapter to support the Drop CTRL keyboard’s RGB LEDs. And my wireless mouse is connected to it too via Logitech nano adapter. Works well 99% of the time and when it doesn’t, I just press the button two more times to retoggle. In a happy camper for now.

Thanks, this was the first thing I saw on Amazon.  Glad to hear it's working for someone.  I like that it's USB3 so it's a little future proof.

Offline haydoselefantes

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Re: USB Switch/Splitter to Connect One Keyboard to Two Computers?
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 07 April 2020, 17:41:33 »
Ah that's interesting: I'm "mouse ambidextrous" too! It's not something commonly seen!
I'm not quite ambidextrous, I can only shoot right handed :). Left hand is only good for cursor work.

I started having RSI issues in my right hand from 8+ hours at work plus gaming after work. 

This was the easiest solution for me without losing years of FPS muscle memory :)  I don't flip the buttons when I mouse left handed, keep them at default.  That way if someone else uses my mouse (or I use it right handed) it doesn't surprise anyone.

Offline TacticalCoder

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Re: USB Switch/Splitter to Connect One Keyboard to Two Computers?
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 08 April 2020, 08:05:14 »
I don't flip the buttons when I mouse left handed, keep them at default.  That way if someone else uses my mouse (or I use it right handed) it doesn't surprise anyone.

Exactly the same here.  Funnily enough I kinda started using my mouse as a leftie because back then I had a full sized keyboard, with the numpad at the right of the full size keyboard... And reaching for the mouse "beyong the numpad" was quite a reach and didn't make much sense to me. Now I use a 60% so the point is kinda moot but it's by now an old habit: I'm mostly using my mouse as a leftie (without inverting the buttons).
HHKB Pro JP (daily driver) -- HHKB Pro 2 -- Industrial IBM Model M 1395240-- NIB Cherry MX 5000 - IBM Model M 1391412 (Swiss QWERTZ) -- IBM Model M 1391403 (German QWERTZ) * 2 -- IBM Model M Ambra -- Black IBM Model M M13 -- IBM Model M 1391401 -- IBM Model M 139? ? ? *2 -- Dell AT102W -- Ergo (split) SmartBoard (white ALPS apparently)

Offline haydoselefantes

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Re: USB Switch/Splitter to Connect One Keyboard to Two Computers?
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 08 April 2020, 14:59:49 »
back then I had a full sized keyboard ... Now I use a 60% ...

I had a full size Model M, and now a Realforce R2 with 30g domes swapped in.  I concentrated on decreasing force instead of size :)

Offline TacticalCoder

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Re: USB Switch/Splitter to Connect One Keyboard to Two Computers?
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 09 April 2020, 03:59:40 »
Quote
I had a full size Model M
Same for me!!!  I still have my army of Model M.  From regular ones to industrial (real one) + several NOS industrial shells in which I swapped regular Ms.  M13 too, Ambra, and whatnots.  But I don't use them anymore: sometimes one is hooked to a Raspberry Pi or something.
HHKB Pro JP (daily driver) -- HHKB Pro 2 -- Industrial IBM Model M 1395240-- NIB Cherry MX 5000 - IBM Model M 1391412 (Swiss QWERTZ) -- IBM Model M 1391403 (German QWERTZ) * 2 -- IBM Model M Ambra -- Black IBM Model M M13 -- IBM Model M 1391401 -- IBM Model M 139? ? ? *2 -- Dell AT102W -- Ergo (split) SmartBoard (white ALPS apparently)