Multiple keyboards / mice

November 5, 2009 at 13:12:12
Specs: Windows XP
I'm trying to run a single computer from 3 different stations. A new video card solved the monitors issue. I've got one mouse and keyboard that works (USB) but two others that don't. I have two thermal data collectors plugged in to 2 more USB ports. Since I have long runs for the 2 secondary keyboards and mice I've got the mice plugged in to USB ports on the keyboards and the keyboards plugged into the computer. Since these are long runs I've got 2 x 50' Cat 5 cables with USB extenders on them (one is a male USB the other is female). The computer doesn't recognize them whatsoever. It just calls them "Unknown Devices"
What's a mother to do?

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November 5, 2009 at 13:20:42
USB can only go 15ft without a repeater because it uses D.C. Power. You have to buy USB repeaters or Hubs that have external power connectors.

That aside what the heck are you doing again?

What is the problem you are trying to solve by hooking three keyboards with long cables?

You realize that only one person can use the computer at a time unless you setup virtual computers using VMware or Terminal Services?
Even then you need Thin Clients or dumb terminals.

You may want to consider setting up a Wireless Router then download VNC which will alow you to remote control a computer from any computer on the Wireless network...

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November 6, 2009 at 04:45:30
We have three different stations for running tests where we need to log temperature vs. time. The computer can handle tracking multiple tests even though we can only set them up one at a time (in LabView). We had this working when we were using PS2 keyboards and mice (those units are still in place but non-functional). That setup used "Y-Key" and "Y-Mouse" adapters.

It's interesting to note, when I plug the mice into the end of the long cable runs, the optical laser lights and the computer recognizes them as mice but does not register the input (the cursor doesn't move).

So the next logical step is to plug both secondary keyboards / mice into a powered USB hub that then plugs into one USB port on the computer? These two keyboards have two USB ports on them. I've got each mouse plugged into one of those ports on each keyboard (trying to minimize the number of cables we'd have to run).

Come to think of it, I'll try connecting the secondary keyboard / mice setups directly to the USB ports on the computer to see if that's the issue. If it is, a powered USB hub may be the answer.

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