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  1. #1

    Lightbulb Part 1. How to make direct slot swapping usable with the ShuOne 8 port KM Synchronizer

    Update 11/15/2020 - I'm including an additional shortcut (#9) I have not been using but others may find helpful. I am also going to include some new information in Part 3 regarding what I've learned while testing different peripherals with this device.

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    If you're focusing on hardware based multiboxing like I am, you probably have heard of the device I'm going to talk about or have bought one already. If you have not heard of it, the ShuOne synchronizer is available on Amazon in the US with the Amazon stock identification number (ASIN) of B07NZSZFL8. Search for that and you'll find the device right away.

    As far as 8 port KM sync devices go, so far this one seems like the most affordable option that is readily available from a reliable seller and has many of the features we need. It supports syncing a keyboard and a mouse to all 8 ports, a single port and an arbitrary number of ports. By default mouse sync happens with "absolute positioning" which is another way of saying "This device is going to reset your mouse cursor position if it thinks one or more clients has a mouse cursor in a different position from the rest". This is important to talk about in-depth and I'll get to it in more detail later in this post.

    With that said, there are some challenges involved in making it work efficiently if you want to run a full party in World of Warcraft. First off you should know that almost every KM Synchronizer is going to obscure the input devices that are connected to it. This is not a pass through connection. When you plug your Keyboard or Mouse into the device, all of the PCs are going to see a generic HID compliant mouse, not your Razer, Steel Series, Logitech, Corsair or any other brand of device. This means that if you need to set things up with software (DPI, key bindings, macros, lighting etc...) you need to plug the peripheral directly into your PC, do that configuration work and plug it back into the ShuOne when you're done.

    On to the device itself! I'm going to start off by just covering the keyboard shortcuts that the device responds to. I am only going to cover the keyboard shortcuts.


    I'll end up referring to these a lot in the future, I'd guess. From now on if I refer to "Shortcut #1" or "Shortcut #3", I'm talking about this numbered list.


    1. Tap scroll lock twice and hit the 0 key - This turns on synchronization to all devices
    2. Tap scroll lock twice and hit any other number key - This does something differently depending on if full sync is on or off
      • If sync is on - The PC on this port will be removed from the sync pool. If you want to sync to every port except 2, you'd press the following keys: SCRLCK, SCRLCK, 0, SCRLCK, SCRLCK, 2
      • If sync is off - Switch directly to the PC on that port

    3. Hold down CTRL and press left or right arrow - This will cycle to the next or previous port on the device. If the system is in Sync mode, CTRL RIGHT ARROW will always jump to port 1
    4. Hold down the windows key and press a number key - This switches directly to that port regardless of the sync state. *This is not useable while multiboxing by default* (I'll cover how to address this later) - (11/15/2020) See Shortcut #9 for another option.
    5. Tap scroll lock twice and hit F12 - Turns on absolute mouse positioning mode
      • This is the default mode, and not what we want in some cases. It works great for interacting with NPCs and clicking buttons for quest items, opening chests, gathering and clicking your action bar buttons
      • Trying to move and steer while all ports are synced will result in wild camera adjustments randomly

    6. Tap scroll lock twice and hit F11 - Turns on relative positioning mode
      • This mode prevents wild camera angle adjustments when all ports are synced, which is what we want
      • Relative mouse positioning mode is locked to the Y axis for mouse tracking. If you want full range of tracking (X and Y axis) you have to hold down ` (tilde key).

    7. Tap scroll lock twice and hit R - This resets the KM Sync device in case you get something a little messed up
    8. Tap scroll lock twice and hit M - This enables serial screen switching with the mouse
      • If you are on port one and you move the cursor far enough to the right to be off screen, you switch to port 2. Keep going right and you hit port 3, port 4, etc...
      • Tap scroll lock twice and hit M again to turn serial screen switching off

    9. Hold ALT and hit K - This will change Shortcut #4 so that you can use the ALT key and a number to switch to a slot instead of the windows key. You can avoid the workarounds with PowerToys or RegEdit by switching this setting. You lose the ability to use ALT 1 through 5 (or however many numbers you need for how many PCs you run).


    The image below is for a section in Part 2.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Wootenblatz : 11-15-2020 at 02:28 PM Reason: Adding shortcut #9

  2. #2

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    I've scanned the useful pages from the the ShuOne Manual as a PDF. It is available on OneDrive here:
    https://1drv.ms/b/s!ArDE4RsKAnrMgp8x...78xkQ?e=L01lAe
    Last edited by Wootenblatz : 11-15-2020 at 08:29 PM Reason: Sharing PDF Manual

  3. #3

    Lightbulb Part 2. Problems and workarounds

    So before I get into all of the caveats with how everything above works, I want to communicate my level of understanding for the above as it pertains to playing WoW. I have mostly used this device for keyboard sync only. Most of what I know about the absolute/relative mouse positioning issues I learned while using a different device which I am not going to cover in this post. I have not tried playing WoW with mouse sync and relative positioning with this device yet. I know what themanual says and I know how crazy absolute positioning was before I had a dedicated synchronizer setup for mouse movement.

    When I only had one KM Sync setup (this one) I opted for using two mice. The second, non-synced mouse was attached to my desktop directly. While I was testing out questing with 4 PCs I would usually have all ports synced so DPS keys, follow, assist and IWT keys would go to everyone. The mouse attached to the synchronizer would be moved to the side so I wouldn't touch it. I would drive the main toon with the second mouse (not synced). Playing like this means you will probably need to unbind your movement keys on all followers and replace them with a modifier+ movement key instead (i.e. SHIFT+W for forward, SHIFT+S for backward ,SHIFT+A, SHIFT+D for left and right).

    Now lets get into the caveats! These are my personal observations in relation to how I want to play. Some of these may not matter to you or you may care about things I do not cover. Ignore what you aren't worried about and I guess ask questions about something I do not cover.

    There is not a good way to jump directly to a slot in a way that works with windows "out of the box". - Update, See Hotkey #9. If you're OK with losing ALT+1 throught ALT+5 (or 8 if you go that high), these sections do not apply.
    While shortcut 2seems to contradict this, I've covered how the behavior works differently depending on whether or not the device is switching (using one port) or syncing(using all ports). If you have sync on and use shortcut 2 to jump to PC3, you will simply remove PC3 from the sync pool.

    Using CTRL left/right involves relative movement between the ports. Jumping to a specific port with a keyboard macro would require you to always start from the same port. You could accomplish this with a macro that fires shortcut #1 (sync on),shortcut #3 (ctrl left arrow) and then one or more CTRL RIGHT ARROW presses move to port 2 and up. While I am not saying this will not work, it adds complexity to your keyboard macros and involves pressing many keys in quick succession. In the spirit of abiding by the WoW ToS, you should try to avoid this whenever possible.

    That leaves us shortcut #4 as our only option. Here we use the WINKEY+1, WINKEY+2 ... WINKEY+5shortcuts to jump to a specific port regardless of the sync state. The problem for us is that Windows already does something when you hold down the windows key and press a number. Try it out! This is a way to jump to a specific program in the task bar. If we do not work around this, windows will pull you out of WoW on all PCs if you're in the sync state and just on the PC you were controlling if in the switched state. However, there are two workarounds for preventing this behavior.

    Workaround #1, Disable all Windows Key shortcuts by editing the registry - If you do google search for "regedit disable windows key shortcuts" you can find a number of sites telling you how to do this. Editing your registry can be dangerous for the health of your PC if you are not careful. Personally, I use a number of WinKey shortcuts daily. I went this route and found that while it worked for playing WoW, it was a real drag during the day while I was working.

    Aside from that, there is a minor issue you'll run into while playing if you go this route. While the ShuOne will respond to a WinKey+2 command and switch to port2, as you let go of the key combination (via manual pressing OR a keyboard macro) the device will leave behind the number press. The device does not "intercept" the keystroke. With WinKey shortcuts disabled windows will see that you've pressed 2 on the port you're leaving and if 2 is bound to an ability, WoW will use that ability. If sync is on, all devices will press 2.Not great. I worked around this by changing my action bar so that 1-5 wasSHIFT+1-5 instead. This works during combat, but if you're lets say editing 5GSE macros in sync mode, you have to use shortcut #3 to move between ports or your macros will end up with numbers in the macro wherever your cursor was. Example if I jump from all ports to port 2: /cast [nochanneling]Unstable Affliction2

    Workaround #2, using the Keyboard Manager in Microsoft PowerToys - PowerToys is an open source tool from Microsoft that allows you to modify and "tweak" various aspects of windows. It is available to download on GitHub https://github.com/microsoft/PowerToys/.

    In PowerToys, the keyboard manager lets us remap specific shortcuts in Windows, which means you can keep WIN+E, WIN+D, WIN+SHIFT+S but disable WIN+1..5. The way you do this is to remap that key combination to another key for all apps. While "DISABLED" is an option you can pick, it did not work for me.

    I ended up going with mapping WIN+1 through WIN+5 to just press SHIFT instead. If you set this up on all of your PCs you can keep your action bars as is and edit macros without leaving behind numbers as you swap ports. Ultimately, I consider this the best way to jump directly to a port on this device. Until one of you proves me wrong, you should try this out if you have a ShuOne.

    My keyboard manager shortcut remapping section looks something like this (this image ended up on the first post, here is the link)
    https://www.dual-boxing.com/attachme...1&d=1605199468



    Last edited by Wootenblatz : 11-21-2020 at 01:55 PM Reason: referencing hotkey #9

  4. #4

    Lightbulb Part 3. Mouse Positioning and Making it work smoothly

    Mouse positioning modes - As I eluded to above, the ShuOne uses absolute positioning mode for the mouse cursor while in the sync state(shortcut #5 above). As the mouse cursor moves on all clients the system will reset the cursor on all devices if it gets out of sync. This is fine while interacting with NPCs but problematic while moving the game camera.

    Relative positioning(shortcut #6) allows the cursors to be out of sync but only works on the Y axis(up and down) by default. This allows full sync mouse movement without wild camera movements. However, use of the X axis (left to right) is only possible while you hold down the ` key. I found this limitation of relative positioning mode a non-starter for my use case, which is why I was using two mice.

    To be fair there are very rare instances where you need to move the mouse on all clients while in combat. Unfortunately absolute positioning mode has the tendency to reset your camera when you're only controlling one PC.

    However if you only have one KM sync, you will be in full sync mode while in combat so you can DPS. If you want to use any of the buttons on your mouse while issuing commands to all PCs with your keyboard, relative mouse positioning is a requirement if you intend to keep your camera pointed at any direction other than "randomly where you do not want it".

    Important when plugging another KM Sync into the ShuOne
    If the KM sync you plug into the ShuOne is using Absolute Positioning, you're not going to be able to move your mouse very far. That was my experience with the AIMOS into the SHUONE. If you change to relative positioning mode on the KM sync plugged into your SHUONE, you should be able to track the mouse properly. I have not tested this extensively so I am unsure how reliable it is.


    For most situations, maybe holding down ` will be fine but I have not tested how WoW handles other keyboard actions if you have that button held down at the same time. I have already moved on to a single mouse setup with a second KM Sync (different brand),so another person is going to have to do the leg work on resolving this shortcoming of the ShuOne.

    Making it really work for you
    Finally, lets talk about some of those shortcuts.

    • Turning Sync On - Scroll Lock is not in a convenient place for me. When I first started using this device, enabling full sync meant taking my hand off the movement and DPS keys to go all the way to the top right section of my keyboard. You will end up doing this a lot as you have to turn keyboard sync on and off for various reasons.
    • Swapping directly to a port - While the WINKEY+# port swapping is ideal after you work around the Windows behavior, I've always preferred to swap slots with a single keypress in ISBoxer (F1..F5). More keys to press means a higher likelihood of pressing the wrong keys. Remember you can switch this shortcut to ALT+# by using Shortcut #9.



    These are two of the areas where you are going to want to consider increasing efficiency. To that end, I hope you have a keyboard and mouse that can store macros on the device itself. Please recall what I mentioned earlier about how input types get turned into the generic keyboard or mouse.

    I highly recommend you record a macro for each of the following shortcuts:
    Shortcut #1, you'll press this one a lot, put it somewhere near your DPS keys if you can
    One shortcut #3 macro for each PC - WIN+1 and WIN+2 if you are dual boxing, for instance. You'll want these near your DPS keys as well
    Shortcut #5 and #6 if you plan to use relative mouse movement. This way you can swap between the two modes as absolute positioning is great for when you're not in combat.

    In my testing I found that I could only put the keyboard shortcuts for the ShuOne on an actual keyboard. I tried making a mouse macro to send the keyboard shortcut for Sync On (#1), it did not work. The ShuOne saw the input coming through on the mouse(there are indicator lights for this), it did not respond like it would when the key strokes came from the keyboard. I did not go out of my way to troubleshoot this one so if someone else has a different experience it is entirely possible my attached mouse was somehow to blame. Please share if you do.


    Should you buy one? Maybe. Should you buy two? Depends on your mouse.
    Over the last couple days I have been doing additional testing with this device and have established some limitations you should know about. ***
    The single most important thing I have learned is that it will not allow keyboard input to come from a mouse***. I used a windows program called "Show Off" to verify this. Show Off displays key presses in the top left part of the screen.

    I originally ran into this issue with my Razer Naga Trinity at first and thought it was a problem with that mouse. I did not realize it was a limitation of the device itself.

    I have since tested a Utech Venus Pro MMO mouse and the Red Dragon M990 Legend. In all cases the ShuOne would ignore any mouse button press that was sending input that should come from a keyboard. It seems to allow modifiers (such as CTRL) but no keys (A-Z, 0-9) or the numpad will be sent to attached PCs from the mouse. If a macro contained modifiers and keyboard keys, the modifiers were displayed by ShowOff, but no letter/number keys were.

    The ShuOne is best suited as a KM sync where you're using a keyboard and two mice (one sync'd and one not sync'd). Furthermore you should know that the ShuOne will ignore all of the keyboard shortcuts shared in Part 1. I was not able to get the device to turn Sync On or jump to a port from my MMO mouse.

    If you want to go for a dual KM sync setup where one KM handles keyboard sync and another handles mouse sync, you should probably NOT buy two ShuOne devices if you need any functionality on your mouse that is considered "keyboard input".

    Is there a better option?
    As it happens, there probably is. Unfortunately, there is not a better option that is as affordable as the 8-port ShuOne that does not ship from China. If you only need 4 ports, you are in luck. Search for B07R33HQNV on Amazon.


    The AIMOS device uses the Numpad for most of its shortcuts and is easier to deal with in general. This device is far less heavy handed with how it attaches devices to windows. I believe this is because that unlike the ShuOne, the AIMOS manual does not mention a feature to fake the Vendor ID and Product ID of the attached input devices. The ShuOne has this feature and I have not found a way to turn it off. While this means the ShuOne may be safer to avoid an as yet unlikely HW multiboxing ban, it lowers its usefulness for using mice with programmable buttons in the short term.


    Lack of VID/PID faking means you can actually use mouse configuration software from your vendor through the AIMOS USB sync. I tested this with the Red Dragon M900 Legend anyhow.


    The 8-port AIMOS is not available from a supplier that ships via Amazon Prime. Delivery dates generally start 3 to 4 weeks. Search for B087QB51XG. The vendor has a 76% positive rating.


    This device is also available on Newegg for a bit more money but with slightly faster shipping estimates. Search for 9SIANRBBZS3626. I have ordered the 8 port from Newegg and it is still in transit. Note that if you’re Midwest or East Coast, you’ll probably be told your item has “shipped” but the location is the customs facility in Jamaica NY. It’ll just sit there till whatever boat from China unloads your item.
    Last edited by Wootenblatz : 11-21-2020 at 02:00 PM Reason: Daisy chained KM sync mouse update

  5. #5

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    This is awesome, thank you.

  6. #6

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    Nice writeup. Only think I noticed is that neither mouse nor keyboard plugged in through this device are recognized at all - you do not see a generic "HID compliant mouse". But instead the machine picks up a single "USB Composite Device" as soon as its plugged in - whether or not you have a keyboard or mouse plugged into the synchronizer.

    I've had no luck plugging my razer mouse and keypad directly into my PC, programming them, then plugging them in through the KM Synchronizer - soon as they go through the KM Sync its as though they aren't programed at all.

  7. #7

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    Amazing job. I haven't been able to fully digest this yet but very impressed and looks very useful to get the most out of our switches. Big +1 thumbs up to you!

  8. #8

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    Do I actually need 5 machines to use this method or can I use 1-2 and setup to VMs?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Celosar View Post
    Do I actually need 5 machines to use this method or can I use 1-2 and setup to VMs?
    I'm not sure on the rules regarding virtual machines with WoW, you may want to read up on that before trying this out. With that said I have never tried to plug a USB switch (or sync) into a host PC twice so that your Hypervisor can provide distinct connections to the VM.

    The only way I see this working out (and I'm no expert here) is if your host machine had a PCI add in card that provides additional USB ports. In terms of allocating physical hardware to one VM and not another, you might be able to plug 1 USB cable from the KM sync into the onboard USB and a second USB cable from the KM sync to the PCI USB card. In the configuration for the VM you'd make sure that one VM can only use the add in card and the other VM can only use the onboard USB. I have no idea if this would work or not and if WoW's ToS does not look kindly on playing in a virtual machine we may not want to even try.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Celosar View Post
    Do I actually need 5 machines to use this method or can I use 1-2 and setup to VMs?
    Quote Originally Posted by Wootenblatz View Post
    I'm not sure on the rules regarding virtual machines with WoW, you may want to read up on that before trying this out. With that said I have never tried to plug a USB switch (or sync) into a host PC twice so that your Hypervisor can provide distinct connections to the VM.

    The only way I see this working out (and I'm no expert here) is if your host machine had a PCI add in card that provides additional USB ports. In terms of allocating physical hardware to one VM and not another, you might be able to plug 1 USB cable from the KM sync into the onboard USB and a second USB cable from the KM sync to the PCI USB card. In the configuration for the VM you'd make sure that one VM can only use the add in card and the other VM can only use the onboard USB. I have no idea if this would work or not and if WoW's ToS does not look kindly on playing in a virtual machine we may not want to even try.
    My understanding is that Blizz has only spoken against Cloud Computing... Cloud Computing typically does involve virtualization with but it is with "VMs hosted in the Cloud" (not your home). Cloud Computing is not the same thing as using virtualization technology at your home...

    After reading multiple great threads with many great contributions regarding hardware based options with tools/utilities (especially from Jak, bpkdasbsaum, & Ellay) I think a 5 physical PC 5box setup could be replicated possibly very inexpensively without buying 4+ more PCs (maybe only spending ~$170 to ~$400 total) by leveraging virtualization. The viability of this depends in part on what your current multi-box system is capable of and what your current monitor setup is...

    In my head I can see this all working and put this down on "paper" quickly to get the word out so sorry in advance for any mistakes:

    https://www.dual-boxing.com/threads/57967-So-hardware-multiboxing?p=433463&viewfull=1#post433463

    Note that I haven't had time to really double check all of the above let alone try to set up a test lab but I have decades of experience with virtualization experience in large complex enterprise environments and believe I spec'ed it out in my head correctly...

    I figured it best to share the info ASAP before folk consider buying 4+ PCs.
    Last edited by nodoze : 11-14-2020 at 06:56 AM

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