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Re: [CQ-Contest] KVM Switch

To: <PaulKB8N@aol.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] KVM Switch
From: "J. Edward Muns" <w0yk@msn.com>
Reply-to: w0yk@msn.com
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2006 13:40:27 -0800
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
I just installed a two-port KVM cable (IO Gear brand) on two of my shack
computers.  It has worked flawlessly so far with no apparent RFI problems.
I only use it to swap a single keyboard and trackball between two networked
computers, each dedicated to a radio.  I use two side-by-side 19" LCD
monitors, one on each computer.

I'm not yet convinced that KVM swapping the keyboard/mouse between two
networked computers for SO2R is practical in contesting.  The problem is
having to double-tap the Scroll key to swap between computers.  One more
distraction during the contest.  And it prohibits typing on both keyboards

The alternative is to use two mini-keyboards ... the ones without the number
pad on the right.  Two of them almost fit the space of a normal keyboard and
the quality is pretty good.  Still an issue with where to conveniently
locate the mouse/trackball.  In the past, I've arranged the two
keyboard-mouse pairs one in front of the other, perhaps skewed sideways a
bit to help me remember which goes with which radio and monitor.  But, no
matter how you arrange them, it is not as convenient as dealing with one
keyboard-mouse always in the same place ... and, ergonomically located to
reduce fatigue and injury.

Ed - W0YK

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cq-contest-bounces@contesting.com [mailto:cq-contest-
> bounces@contesting.com] On Behalf Of PaulKB8N@aol.com
> Sent: Sunday, March 12, 2006 11:48 AM
> To: CQ-Contest@contesting.com
> Subject: [CQ-Contest] KVM Switch
> I was wondering if anyone had experience using a KVM (Keyboard, Video,
> Mouse) switch with their ham computer.  I have a small home office
> associated with
> my shack, and it would be advantageous from a space standpoint  to
> consolidate all my computer resources via one keyboard, monitor and
> mouse.
> These switches allow you to hook up a keyboard, mouse and monitor to the
> box
> and then switch between up to four computers.  This really is  appealing,
> as
> I have two desktops and two laptops in the shack.
> I'm concerned about RFI in both directions.  Has anyone used these and
> had
> any good or bad experiences?  I have a very nice KDS monitor that seems
> to be
> fairly quiet from an RF standpoint and I'd like to use the same keyboard
> for
> all my applications, as it will help with logging accuracy.
> I appreciate any inputs.  I am looking for these at a site call
> Buyexytras.com, which I've found to be a good source of low-cost PC
> peripherals.  (No,
> I'm not associated with them in any way.)
> Paul, K5AF
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