linking kvm's - possible?

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I have an ATen 2-port KVM switch so I can control 2 computers via one
monitor, keyboard and mouse. Works great, but I just added a third
computer to my home network and wonder if I can 'extend' the KVM rather
than having to buy a new 4-port one.

By 'extend', I mean adding a further 2-port switch onto the ATen,
daisy-chaining switches in effect. The original Aten would then let me
choose between one computer and one of the other two, depending on the
setting on the second switch. For the second switch I would use a manual
switching box (eg from Maplins UK) rather than an auto switch like the
ATen. I'm guessing this may be a cheaper route than buying a 4-port -
plus it's more interesting :)

Anyone tried this and know if it'll work (before I spend the cash...)?

Many thanks.

Re: linking kvm's - possible?

aleX wrote:
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If the switch monitors keystrokes to know when to switch (as mine does,)
then daisy-chaining will not work.  There would no way to indicate which
switch is to be flipped on that keystroke.

This might not be a problem if:

1) Your KVMs are different manufacturers, and use different keystrokes.

2) You just want to use the manual switches.

One think I have noted with my KVM is there there is a latentcy in the
keystrokes, because of the monitoring it does.  I definitely would not
want that lag time doubled.

Re: linking kvm's - possible?

Grinder wrote:

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Thanks for the reply.
My ATen switch monitors the scroll Lock key - 2 clicks and it switches
between 2 computers.

I hope to keep my ATen as the first switch, and have one port going to
computer #1, and the second port going to a manual switch.

This manual switch will then connect to computers #2 and #3. There's a
simple A/B switch to select which computer to use.

One problem could be that the ATen switch needs to receive a signal from
a computer to both ports in order for the switching function to work
(just a guess), and that signal could be diminished or even blocked by
going through the manual switch.

Also, I should perhaps further check out the costs involved, i'd need a
manual switchbox, 2 monitor cables and 4 ps2 cables - maybe not as cheap
as I first thought...

Re: linking kvm's - possible?

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Look at the backpanel of the KVM.  Does it have an In and Out port
specifically to allowing chaining of more KVM boxes?  If not, no, you'll
have to get a 4-port KVM (don't remember any that have 3 ports).  If
further expansion is a possibibility, make sure the next KVM supports

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Re: linking kvm's - possible?

Vanguard wrote:
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Thanks for the reply Vanguard,

Earlier today I decided to take a chance and bought the parts.
And... it works! Though there are some minor issues, so you're right
that it won't work as well as a real 4-port KVM would.

I can use all 3 of my computers from one monitor, keyboard and mouse
now. Works perfectly once up & running and the picture seems perfect
from each computer - the 'minor issue' is as follows:

I have chained two switches (one ATen 2-port hotkey-enabled KVM and one
Manual Data Switch QV-KMMU2HR from Maplins Electronics), and the first
time I connected everything and booted all 3 computers I found that one
computer didn't recognise the keyboard and mouse.

I get around this by setting the manual switch to one computer before
booting, then set the switch to the other computer before booting it.
This lets both computers 'see' the keyboard and mouse when starting up.
The third computer is not a problem as it is connected directly to the
first KVM switch.

So it works, but it's not 'ideal'. Certainly cheaper than buying an
'Omniview' (or 'Omniport'?) and 3 sets of cables that aren't supplied
with it, but Maplins do a nice Sitecom 4-port KVM for around 70,
unfortunately none in stock when I visited.

The manual switch I got cost me 30, twice what I needed to pay but it
has USB input/output as well as ps/2 which may come in handy in the
future. With the cost of 2 sets of cables I had to buy I was up around
60 all-in, so I'd recommend anyone else look at the Sitecom 4-port. A
fun project though :)

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