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My epic journey to easily switch between two consoles (FAIL)  (Read 7255 times)

Offline piiwii

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I was getting paranoid that I was going to ruin the USB ports on my XIM or my consoles by having to regularly unplug the cables. I was constantly switching between my XB1 and 360 so I've always had this concern in the back of my mind. Not to mention it was just a pain in the butt. When I saw this thread it sent my paranoia into overdrive:

http://xim4.com/community/index.php?topic=38432.0

So I began looking for a solution that would allow me to switch between two systems without having to plug / unplug them all the time. The dream was to be able to just flick two switches and then I could continue on with another system. What I was really looking for was some type of USB Y splitter cable with an on / off switch so I could control the flow, but I couldn't find such a product. Thus started my painful journey to find a solution...

Now connecting my XIM to multiple consoles was easy enough, using this:



However, connecting multiple controllers to my XIM turned out to be an exercise in futility...


Let me show you everything I tried:



A) I tried using the same KVM that worked so well the first time (#4 above)

B) I then tried using a regular hub with switches (#6 above)

C) I then tried using a combination of a hub (#5) and two USB cables withbuilt-in switches (#1 and #2)

D) I tried another type of KVM (#3)

E) I then gave up and just used a regular USB hub (#5) - obviously it wouldn't have helped since you can't have two controllers plugged in at once, but my plan was to use it as simply an extension cable so that I wouldn't have to put too much strain on my XIM's ports. Surprisingly, this STILL didn't work most of the time. It would work at the beginning, but when I switched consoles it would act up and never work again, and could only be fixed when I plugged my controller directly into the XIM again.

Based on all this testing, and especially since (E) didn't work, I've concluded that it wasn't necessarily the switch / KVM failing to work, but rather it had something to do with having two flows of data - possibly draining too much power (?) or perhaps confusing the flow of data.

Long story short - you can connect your XIM to multiple consoles, but forget the controllers. Save yourself the time, money and agony!

*sigh*, I can't believe how much money I blew in search of a solution. Anyway hopefully this can help someone avoid the same headache in the future. If any of the XIM guys are reading this, I would love it if you could support KVM's in the future!
« Last Edit: 05:07 AM - 03/13/15 by piiwii »
Setup: XIM Apex, Titan Two, K780 keyboard, G Pro Wireless mouse, Logitech G440 mousepad, LucidSound LS30 headphones, Netduma router, Ubiquiti UniFi AP LR wireless access point

My RAINBOW SIX SIEGE Titan Two Mega Script: https://youtu.be/x-9NtxyySVM

What is a ballistic curve? Click here to learn more: https://bit.ly/2qzUAjg

Comprehensive guide on scissor style keyboards: https://goo.gl/UtkZyX

Find me on the ConsoleTuner (Titan Two) forums: pablosscripts

Offline tails72

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it seems so simple that it should work, i have been using short usb expension cords of about 5cm (2inchs) and i just plug and unplug into them so i don't plug and unplug from my xim, so if they break i only need to replace the extension cord and not the whole xim

Offline piiwii

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it seems so simple that it should work, i have been using short usb expension cords of about 5cm (2inchs) and i just plug and unplug into them so i don't plug and unplug from my xim, so if they break i only need to replace the extension cord and not the whole xim

Yup I'm going to have to settle for this.
Setup: XIM Apex, Titan Two, K780 keyboard, G Pro Wireless mouse, Logitech G440 mousepad, LucidSound LS30 headphones, Netduma router, Ubiquiti UniFi AP LR wireless access point

My RAINBOW SIX SIEGE Titan Two Mega Script: https://youtu.be/x-9NtxyySVM

What is a ballistic curve? Click here to learn more: https://bit.ly/2qzUAjg

Comprehensive guide on scissor style keyboards: https://goo.gl/UtkZyX

Find me on the ConsoleTuner (Titan Two) forums: pablosscripts

Offline willthetech

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I actually did this and got it to work. First those USB hubs with power switches, can be misleading. You need a USB A/B switch, usually refer as a printer A/B Switch. There are some tweaking with cables adapters to make it work but it can be done. I actually made my own with a 3 pull switch and a small project box I got from Radio shack. I donít have it anymore, I gave my PS4 to my daughter as it was just collecting dust and I misplaced  the switch.

Offline antithesis

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HDMI switch + IOGear 4x4 USB switch...done.

I switch between PS3, PS4, XB1 and 360 at the touch of two buttons and a controller swap.
« Last Edit: 07:05 AM - 05/24/15 by antithesis »

Official Australian distributor for
XIM NEXUS, XIM APEX, Titan One & Titan Two at Mod Squad
XIM APEX demos on Twitch and YouTube. Follow Twitter for live stream alerts

Offline piiwii

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HDMI switch + IOGear 4x4 USB switch...done.

I switch between PS3, PS4, XB1 and 360 at the touch of two buttons and a controller swap.

I just looked up the price of this IOGear switch and...oh god, I think I'll stick to doing this manually...
Setup: XIM Apex, Titan Two, K780 keyboard, G Pro Wireless mouse, Logitech G440 mousepad, LucidSound LS30 headphones, Netduma router, Ubiquiti UniFi AP LR wireless access point

My RAINBOW SIX SIEGE Titan Two Mega Script: https://youtu.be/x-9NtxyySVM

What is a ballistic curve? Click here to learn more: https://bit.ly/2qzUAjg

Comprehensive guide on scissor style keyboards: https://goo.gl/UtkZyX

Find me on the ConsoleTuner (Titan Two) forums: pablosscripts

Offline PointBlankShot

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the ports on the XIM are a little frail IMO.

I too do not like the  idea of multiple plugins...it sucks. and the mini usb is already wobbled out some :(
Xbox One X + Orbweaver + G502 + XIM4/APEX

Offline antithesis

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I just looked up the price of this IOGear switch and...oh god, I think I'll stick to doing this manually...

$30 on Amazon. How is that expensive?!?

Official Australian distributor for
XIM NEXUS, XIM APEX, Titan One & Titan Two at Mod Squad
XIM APEX demos on Twitch and YouTube. Follow Twitter for live stream alerts

Offline Lord Of The Sith

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Can I just jump in here!?

So in the past I've used a couple different Keyboard and mouse Switchers, all have been a waste of money.

Mainly used them for switching between PC and PS4, my problems were with switching back to PS4, it simply wouldn't work.

I don't think I have had the IOGear switcher before, is this a general problem with switchers and PS4? Or have I just been unlucky?

I think I seen someone, may have even been OBsIV mention that there is a problem with KBM switchers working with PS4..
Click > Here < for my COD4:RM / BOPs3 XIM4 Setup.

XIM4: FAQ - Downloads - Hardware Compatibility

Offline abc123

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I had this working...
1x HDMI splitter with IR receiver
1x Optical audio splitter with IR receiver
1x USB Switch with IR receiver
1x Universal remote to make all change at once.....

enjoy?

Offline Rondizzler

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If you could give a little detailed writeup on how to setup something like that I'll love you forever.

Offline antithesis

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If you could give a little detailed writeup on how to setup something like that I'll love you forever.

It's dead easy...depending on the complexity of your setup. Mine is 4 x consoles, sharing 4 x USB devices including a Xim4 via a USB switch, along with an Elgato Game Capture HD, HDMI video switches & splitters, and an Optical audio switch. So let's call that the deeper end of the pool.

USB SWITCH - M,KB & XIM
----------------------------------


To share m/kb + Xim between the consoles, an IOGear 4x4 USB switch does the job.
Front of USB switch = Xim 4, BT-W2 Bluetooth Transceiver (for PS4 chat on Sound Blaster X7), USB HDD, Astro MixAmp
Back of USB switch = PS4, PS3, XB1, 360
Press a button to swap controls and devices between consoles.
Profit.

USB HDD & MIXAMP
---------------------------------


Where things get sticky is adding other power-drawing devices into the mix. For example, the USB HDD needs a constant power supply to remain in good health. The 4x4 IOGear switch has an optional 5V USB port for power, which I've simply connected to an iPhone charger and bung it into the wall socket.

The MixAmp slots into the switch downstream of the Xim, otherwise the consoles don't detect it as USB-based audio won't pass through the Xim. When the controls are switched between consoles, so too is the MixAmp.

TITAN ONE
---------------------------------


Upstream of the USB switch is a Titan One, attached via a 5m active USB extension cable. I use the Titan mostly to share last-gen arcade sticks, flight sticks and steering wheels...stuff generally not well-supported by Xim. Titans seem to cause more than a few people grief in combo with a Xim 4, which is plugged into the T1. Given the USB switch is powered, I'm feeding juice into the loop upstream of the console ports, which keeps the T1 happy.

The only two issues I've had with the Titan One are -
1. the XB1 controller (on XB1) needs its battery removed, and
2. the DS4 (on PS4) needs to be fully charged.

Otherwise, the Xim fails to authenticate the controller and my m/kb won't light up - remove the controller and they light up fine, which pointed to the controllers as the problem. 
@Dale: I isolated the under-charged DS4 as the problem with the PS4, rather than the USB switch. Full charge = happy PS4.

POWERED USB HUB
---------------------------------


Even further upstream, the mouse is plugged into a powered USB hub, and the hub is plugged into the mouse port of the Xim. A Stinkyboard also hangs off the powered hub. If I don't use the hub, my mouse (a power-hungry Razer Ouroboros) won't detect while wired, or the Xim's BlueTooth fails when the mouse is wireless.

The Xim also needs to be connected to the Titan One using the supplied Xim cable - for some unknown reason, I was using some random USB 2.0 cable, which caused occasional issues, but only on PS4. Subbing in the real deal resolved those minor niggles.


The final setup looks like this -

Mouse-----------\        Keyboard---------\                                        USB HDD---------\      /-----PS3
Stinkyboard-----|------USB Hub------XIM 4-----Titan One-----USB extension------USB Switch-----PS4
                                 Controller--------/                                            BT-W2---------/      \------XB1
                                                                                            MixAmp 5.8 ---------/         \-----360


Most console setups using a USB switch will look like this -

Keyboard---------\                           /-----PS4
Mouse-----------XIM 4-----USB Switch-----XB1
Controller--------/


Most PC / console setups using a USB switch will look like this -

Keyboard---------\          /-------PC
Mouse----------USB Switch-------Xim 4------console
                      Controller----------/



If any gaming setup is going to fail hard, it's going to be mine, but it's been nothing but smooth sailing for all 4 consoles, once I worked out the kinks. The hardest part was figuring out the Razer mouse needed a powered hub plugged into the Xim (Hallelujah moment), the XB1 controller needs the battery removed (T1 + Xim on XB1), and the DS4 controller needs a full charge (T1 + Xim + USB switch on PS4). If not, the Xim 4, Titan One, or the PS4 will have kittens.

I could go one step further and share m/kb between my gaming rig and consoles by slotting in another IOGear 2x2 USB switch, connected to the PC and Xim 4. But my poor old PC gets very little love these days, so I've yet to find the need. But that little add-on will happen in the near future, for no other reason than to see if it'll work.

Done. See two posts down.

VIDEO
---------------------------------


To address the "V" part of the KVM equation - video is handled via a Yamaha receiver (used as a HDMI switch) connected to 5 consoles (the Wii-U gets in on the action here), through 2 HDMI splitters to 2 HDTVs and an Elgato Game Capture HD. One of the splitters strips HDCP, primarily so the Elgato can record PS3 over HDMI rather than component cable. It also means NetFlix etc on PS4 / XB1 can be recorded via the Elgato onto a PC or Mac.

To take things to the nth degree, a second PS4 is streamed over Remote Play via ethernet using PSTV from a second gaming setup at the back of the house to one of the TVs in my main setup, so my son and I can play online MP with / against each other while sitting in the same room rather than opposite ends of the house. Neato.

AUDIO
---------------------------------


Audio was originally fed via HDMI, but that caused more than a few headaches. The ultimate solution was to use a ViewHD 2x4 TOSlink matrix connected to the 4 Sony & MS consoles and fed through a MixAmp 5.8 & A50 MixAmp (optical pass-through) to a Creative X7, X2 headphones + V-Moda BoomPro (needed the BT-W2 here for chat on X7), Logitech 5500 5.1 speakers and Astro A50s. The MixAmps aren't needed - they pre-date the X7 + BT-W2 and I haven't bothered to remove them...if it ain't broke, don't fix it.



It all plays friendly and I can easily swap video, audio and controls between all 4 consoles at the touch of two buttons (switch & Harmony remote) and a controller swap, while recording it on my Mac @ 1080p for whichever console I'm using at the time. It was @#$% fun putting it all together and having a plan come to fruition. Happy to post photos, if anyone's interested.
« Last Edit: 09:43 PM - 04/12/16 by antithesis »

Official Australian distributor for
XIM NEXUS, XIM APEX, Titan One & Titan Two at Mod Squad
XIM APEX demos on Twitch and YouTube. Follow Twitter for live stream alerts

Offline MindControlZombies

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« Last Edit: 08:52 PM - 01/05/16 by MindControlZombies »
If I can make a Good map in 1 month why cant these clowns make a good map in 3 years ?


Offline antithesis

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I've got all my gaming gear back out of storage and have added another link to the chain for sh!ts and giggles.

Another 4x4 IOGear USB switch was slotted in to share a G410 keyboard, G303 mouse, Stinky Board, Z-Board Fang and XB1 wireless adapter between Xim4, PC and Mac, with a few spare USB slots to add more gear.

The USB setup now looks like this -


                                     /----Mac     
Mouse---------\              |-----PC            /-----Mac                       |---USB HDD        /---PS3
Keyboard------USB Switch-----XIM 4----T1-----2m USB ext-----USB Switch-----------|----PS4
Apuri Hub ----/                          \----Controller                           |---BT-W2            \----XB1
       |---Fang                                                                            |---USB stick         \---360
       |---XB1 Wireless Adapter                                                           
       |---Stinky Board


In a nutshell, mice & keyboards plug into a USB switch. USB switch plugs into PC, Mac and Xim4. Xim4 plugs into Titan One. Titan One plugs into a PC VM on Mac and the 2nd USB switch. 2nd USB switch shares Titan One+Xim4 and USB storage between PS3, PS4, 360 and XB1. BT-W2 is for PS4 only, but it's on the switch to keep a spare USB port on PS4 for other stuff.

Everything works perfectly to share keyboards, mice etc between PC, Mac & 4 consoles. Surprisingly, it doesn't look like cable hell, with most of it tucked away out of sight. The setup is awesome, plays friendly with all devices with no noticeable input lag and the custom RGB lighting zones on the G410 work on Xim4. I'll be adding a G900 alongside the G303 shortly, which will slot straight onto the 1st USB switch.

Video now goes through a 2x4 HDMI matrix to a 32" HDTV on my desktop and an Elgato Game Capture HD connected to the Mac. This removes a couple of HDMI splitters from the old setup and hopefully cleans up any display lag caused by the splitters.

Audio pipes via a 2x4 TOSlink matrix into both a 2011 MixAmp and a Creative X7. The MixAmp plugs into the X7's line-in via 3.5mm jack to double-up positional cues (theoretically...needs more testing, but there's definitely something going on). Mac also pipes to X7 over USB. X7 goes to Fidelio X2 cans via V-Moda BoomPro, and to Logitech Z5500 speakers.

The only issue I have is Xim Manager can't detect key bindings through the USB switch that shares kb/m between Xim4, Mac and PC. Plugging the kb and mouse straight into the Xim4, binding buttons, then moving them back to the switch solves that problem - once mapped, all kb/m buttons work fine through the switch.

A 5m active USB extension cable has also been removed, which would frequently bomb the Xim4's BlueTooth on power-up. The 2m USB extension is short enough that BlueTooth initialises on every Xim4 boot.

The Apuri USB hub and two USB switches no longer need to be powered - there are no more power issues since shortening the USB cable and making the switch from Razer to Logitech mice.

-------------------------------------------

The point here is not to win a dick-waving contest, it's to demonstrate that it's relatively easy to share video, audio and kb/m between numerous devices, both upstream and downstream of a Xim4. A HDMI matrix, TOSlink matrix and USB switch or two will cover just about every scenario.
« Last Edit: 03:43 PM - 04/13/16 by antithesis »

Official Australian distributor for
XIM NEXUS, XIM APEX, Titan One & Titan Two at Mod Squad
XIM APEX demos on Twitch and YouTube. Follow Twitter for live stream alerts

Offline flst81

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Holy crap man. My head hurts just looking at it. Props for getting it to work.
Xim 4| Logitech G13 | Logitech G502 | Glorious Extended mouse pad| Razer Vespula | Asus MX279H monitor |  ROCCAT APURI Active USB Hub | XB1