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  1. #31

    Default Dual-PC testing

    Dual-PC Testing:

    I ran 2 of the included USB cables from the KM Synchronizer into both my Desktop and Laptop, and plugged in my Microsoft mouse and keyboard into the Synchronizer with my Razer devices plugged directly into my Desktop and the laptop's built in keyboard and trackpad still functioning. Basic tests seem fine, the switch button (left button) cycles the KM output to only the desktop or laptop as expected - both keyboard and mouse working on both devices as described above (basic keys all work - but neither PC nor laptop recognize an extra keyboard or mouse being plugged in. I cannot use either Razer or Microsoft mouse software to change button maps).

    Once plugged in and in switch mode (as opposed to synchronized mode) you can press "windows key+1" to switch the output to PC1, "windows key+2" to switch to PC2, etc. There's also an option to enable switching for "*" instead of the window key (so "* + 1", "* + 2", etc). Both options can be enabled at the same time. Ctrl+<left arrow> also switches down 1 portand Ctrl+<right arrow> switches up 1 port. All the switching seemed to work OK, but not great. I tried rapidly switching back and forth and I frequently missed some switches. It did not seem like there was an internal delay on the switching or anything, but just that the device was not great about picking up the commands. Some times I can slowly and deliberately try to switch outputs and the device just misses it, but then sometimes I can switch back and forth rapidly for a dozen tries in a row without error.

    Another complaint as a basic Keyboard and Mouse Switch is the KM synchronizer does not intelligently detect which outputs are possible, then limit switching to only those possibilities. Instead the Switch button advances the output to 1>2>3>4>5>6>7>8 then back to 1. So to go from 1 to 2 its 1 press of the button, but to go from 2 back to 1 its 7 presses of the button.

    There is a light to indicate which output is selected, but the LED's seem to be angled down, so its difficult to see the lights unless you bend down to the height of the switch to see.

    There's also no rubber feet on the bottom to grip the desktop - so pressing the button requires you to grab and hold the device while pressing the button to prevent it from sliding around while the button is pressed.

    The included USB cables (male-to-male aka USB type 1 to type 1) are only about 3' long. I would have preferred to put this on the left side of desk because when you grab it with your right hand you cover up the lights with your palm while pressing the buttons - but the cords would not reach across my desk.

    If all the rest of the testing works out OK, I'll need to look for some longer cords and well building a stand for this thing so I can see the lights and change is functionality more easily. I'm also bummed that I can't use my Razer Tartarus with this thing at all. But the 10-key worked, so maybe I'll see if I can find some more basic 1-hand only keyboards and see how those work.

    Dual-PC keyboard/mouse switch conclusion:
    As a basic keyboard & mouse switch it works OK. The functionality meets requirements, but could be improved upon. For $35 I got what I paid for - even if all you need a basic 8-port K/M Switch, this would be OK so long as you only have a basic keyboard & mouse and don't rely on functionality from the keyboard/mouse driver.
    Last edited by jak3676 : 11-08-2020 at 02:53 AM

  2. #32

    Default Synchronous Output (hardware broadcasting)

    Synchronous Output (hardware broadcasting):

    Short version is the broadcast feature works pretty well and is as simple as you'd expect. There's a button on the KM Synchronizer that when pressed lights up all the output ports and sends both your mouse and keyboard commands to every other PC at the same time. There's a keyboard shortcut to turn broadcasting on and off as well, but its not really convenient and I don't any way to change that key mapping from the default (double click scroll lock, then press 0).

    Once in synchronous mode I was sending every keystroke to both PC's at the same time. I could not notice any lag or delay between them. The mouse movement and clicks were also synchronized. I tested with 4 monitors - 2 on each PC - different sizes, aspect ratios and different orientation (landscape and portrait). The mouse broadcasting worked surprisingly well I thought. When mouse tracking did get off between different PC's & monitors I could easily just mouse into some corner of the screen to get both cursors back to the exact same spot.

    To turn off broadcasting you just one of the methods described above to switch outputs to a different client (e.g. Ctrl + left arrow). There is no option to partially enable/disable synchronous mode (multicast to some ports, but not others) - its either all broadcasting or in single-casting mode where you select which client to output to.

    My only real complaint with the broadcast feature is that I'd really want to change that keybinding to something else - something I could turn off and on quickly and easily.

    I haven't tried this device with WoW at all yet, and I probably won't get to that this weekend (I have a ton of real world work to do). As much as it really is a hardware broadcaster and not software like Blizzard just banned, I do think the jury is still out on whether this sort of solution will be OK, or if this violates the "spirit of the law" such that they'll ban users for this also. But the device does what it says it does.

    I have not received any sorts of warnings on my account. I do plan to just do some basic multiboxing over the next few days without this device (or any software), just to do my regular crafting. If all that is going OK, I may try running a few dungeons with this device later, but I still need to get 5 PC's and a different monitor solution set up.

    But for $35 I think its worth experimenting with. Any other questions I can answer or things I need to test?
    Last edited by jak3676 : 11-08-2020 at 04:52 PM

  3. #33

    Default

    I think ISBoxer loaded onto something like a Raspberry Pi would work as a hardware broadcaster? Sure same program and functionality but if it's external to the Computer and in some hardware then it becomes a hardware broadcaster not software? The way ISBoxer has an addon surely it could be made to work?

  4. #34

    Default

    Not sure I understand what you're suggesting - hooking 1 keyboard to a raspberry pi then developing a way from within the raspberry pi to push that signal to multiple PC's over additional USB connections with 1 copy of wow on each pc? If you push to multiple PC's - sure you just turned the pi into a keyboard broadcaster. I don't know how you'd push multiple outputs from the pi to your other PC's, but I'm sure someone could figure it out. I think that'd work, but it seems like a more difficult way to make a keyboard broadcaster.

    If you're thinking about pushing that signal from the pi over 1 USB connection to 1 PC with multiple WoW clients running at the same time, I don't know of any way to split that input and direct portions of it to each window/wow client. You'd still need some sort of software to do that splitting & direction from within your PC. Even if we had that software (assuming it didn't also prove problematic to Blizz's rules), you still used a pi to make a device similar to the $35 broadcaster I'm trying.

    Neither approach seems simplier/easier/cheaper than the approach I'm trying. But if you're good with programming something to run on linux on the pi, you may be better able to program in better support for things like the tartarus or even ways to more effectively pass through the connection such that windows will still recognize the device.

  5. #35

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiny_d View Post
    I think ISBoxer loaded onto something like a Raspberry Pi would work as a hardware broadcaster? Sure same program and functionality but if it's external to the Computer and in some hardware then it becomes a hardware broadcaster not software? The way ISBoxer has an addon surely it could be made to work?
    I was thinking exactly the same. Instead of a Pi I would take an Intel NUC (better performance and more important Windows running on it to run ISBoxer).
    Now instead of targeting a running World of Warcraft instance ISBoxer is giving it's output to an output device which is emulating a keyboard via USB to another device. From a technical point of view maybe taking keyboard controller and put some logic behind it instead of the physical keyboard so the target machine is recognizing a real keyboard.
    I think five computers would be the easiest solution (or VMs) as I am not aware howto assign a keyboard to a specific application when multiple are attached to one computer.

  6. #36

    Default

    Jak,

    Really appreciate you sharing all the research and testing.

    Very good details and helps give everyone considering going down this path realistic expectations, insights into tips/tricks/idiosyncrasys, and likely saves wasting $ as well as time if they don't like what they learned.

    Being able to toggle on/off hardware broadcasting easily seems pretty key (pun intended) so it is kinda sad that they made it a weird combination (double press scroll lock, then press 0). Instead of multiple sequential key presses it would have been better to have made it a multiple simultaneous key presses like Cntrl-Shift-A (or whatever is easy and not typically used elsewhere) or even better would have been to make it user configurable/programmable.

    To make toggling hardware broadcasting on/off easy (and for other reasons) you may want to look into getting a keyboard and/or mouse that has the ability to store the macros on the hardware side and thus not have to rely on interfacing with software running in the OS's to launch macros. My recollection is that the Corsair series at least used to have that functionality in the K90/K95/M40/60/M65 series though I am not sure if they still do or not but I would think that some solutions still exist. Note that hardware macros due have some limitations in things like launching OS commands and apps but should work fine in game key bindings & macros and maybe can make the "double press scroll lock, then press 0" easier. There are more links and pages out there regarding hardware based macros but these are the ones that seemed decent when I was double-checking my memory to write this reply to you and figured I might as well share them in case they save you or others time:

    https://superuser.com/questions/4202...-macros/845824

    https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/9wj48123

    https://www.reddit.com/r/keyboards/c...ature/cusjnwi/

    Thanks again. Amazing write ups. Mine should arrive today and you saved me a ton of time.

  7. #37

    Default

    "If you can find a technical trick that allows you to physically use 5 keyboards at a time, then yes there is no problem . What is forbidden here is the software side which is used to duplicate keystrokes to multiple clients at the same time. If you can do this without any software other than World of Warcraft, then it's completely legal."
    Here is the answer of a gm that answer me. It is a google trad cause i am french but his answer his quite clear huh? So question. Kvm is a software or a hardware solution?

  8. #38

    Default

    Burst mode - I won't get into how to do it, but this device does have an option to turn on "burst mode" for any given key. If this mode is enabled for any given key, pressing and holding that key down will fire multiple triggers of that key multiple times a second until the key is released (I have not tested if this "key down", "key up" or a full "key down, then up"). This sort of automatic repeater functionality is common on many programable keyboards, but it is explicitly prohibited by Blizzard. I only mention that here as a warning. I wish I could disable that functionality entirely just so there was no possible option to accidentally enable it.

    Modifying device PID/VID - The device also has some ability to change PID/VID (product ID, Vendor ID). PID/VID for USB devices is analogous the 1st 1/2 half of the MAC address on the network interface on your motherboard. PID/VID appear in the details under device manager and in the Windows event logs when a USB device is plugged in as shown here: https://gyazo.com/670f8e9b7b1a68e758d2374c8ee8f8a8. I don't really understand why someone may want to change this?

    Cascading multiple KM Synchronizers - the device does specifically support daisy chaining multiple devices together and it provides ways to directly switch between single PCs even when cascaded together (although the keyboard shortcuts to do that get even more complicated). I only have the single device, but it says you can connect up to 9 of them together, for the ability to control up to 72 PC's. So if you need to control more than 8 PCs, it still seems like a workable option.

  9. #39
    Rated Arena Member daviddoran's Avatar
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    Default

    Does Synergy or Input Director work with mouse movement in game? I use Microsoft Mouse Without Borders regularly with 2 PCs, even before trying to hardware box, and for 99% of what I use it for, it works fine. It does have a 4 PC limitation, so I am looking for an alternative.

    With Mouse Without Borders, it doesn't seem to be able to "hold" the mouse button in a down position, it seems to just send one click and that's it, making looking around with right click or moving with both buttons held not functional.

  10. #40

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by orgeracine View Post
    "If you can find a technical trick that allows you to physically use 5 keyboards at a time, then yes there is no problem . What is forbidden here is the software side which is used to duplicate keystrokes to multiple clients at the same time. If you can do this without any software other than World of Warcraft, then it's completely legal."
    Here is the answer of a gm that answer me. It is a google trad cause i am french but his answer his quite clear huh? So question. Kvm is a software or a hardware solution?
    Many of us have said that we think Blizzard is signaling that from now on they are wanting 1 human input to do 1 action in 1 wow client (period)...

    This GM is saying the same thing:

    https://postimg.cc/NLgnSxNN

    I am all for some cool hardware solutions like a keyboard that sends keys to multiple different clients (but one at a time) but anything other than that is really just asking for it.

    To me the ideal hardware device is a keyboard like this Launchpad where each key send an input to one and only one WoW client but is able to have buttons flexibly designed for multiple WoW clients:

    https://i.gyazo.com/ab172a7a596229d8...02fe12a6a5.png

    The problem may end up being that this technology may also support multi-casting of 1 human input to more than 1 WoW client and if people start doing that with it then Blizz may add it to the forbidden usage list...

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