Classicamiga Forum Retro Edition
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Thread: Two computers sharing a VGA monitor
Puni/Void 21:39 2nd May 2010
Hi guys,

I'm looking to connect two computers to the same VGA monitor. I presume I need some kind of split-cable to accomplish this.

The main computer is a SAM440EP with a DVI-port, but I have an adapter that makes it possible to hook it up to a VGA monitor. The other one is an Amiga 1200 with a VGA-connector from an IndivisionAGA card. I also have a laptop I might connect from time to time.

Is it possible to just use a split-cable for this or do I need some kind of switchbox? Would be great if you could help me out on this one.

Thanks in advance for your help.
AndyLandy 21:43 2nd May 2010
I suspect your best bet is a KVM switch, I don't know if a split-cable solution exists.
Puni/Void 21:44 2nd May 2010
Originally Posted by AndyLandy:
I suspect your best bet is a KVM switch, I don't know if a split-cable solution exists.
Thanks for the tip. Is there a significant difference in picture quality between the various models? I'm then thinking of pricing.
Stephen Coates 04:49 3rd May 2010
I am also interested to know about picture quality in KVMs as I am interested in sharing a monitor/keyboard/mouse between an A1200 and a PC.
AndyLandy 07:47 3rd May 2010
Of the KVMs I've used, I've never noticed any particular issues with image quality. Given that VGA is an analogue signal, anything like a switchbox or a long cable is going to cause some signal degradation, but I doubt it'll be much.
Phantom 12:08 3rd May 2010
Andy is right. I use a Level One KVM switch for my peecee and Sam, and I never had any problems. I've used it also with my A4000.
J T 09:39 4th May 2010
If you want to be really cheap and ghetto, just get an adaptor to have a female connector at the end of the cable coming out of the monitor and wedge it behind the desk just out of sight but in easy reach, and have the two input cables dangling close by also, and physically swap the connection over. It's a crappy, inelegant solution and is admittedly only just better than going behind the monitor, but it'll cost you pence and has that jury-rigged charm.

You could also make use of our old favourite computer component, sticky tape
Harrison 10:40 4th May 2010
The 2 solutions are a switcher box, or a full blown KVM solution. If you want to also get rid of the extra keyboard and mouse and just have one of each for both systems too then get a KVM. I would however recommend looking to see if you can find one with a manual switch between the 2 systems, as auto ones require a keyboard shortcut, which doesn't always work.

If it was just the monitor you wish to switch then a simple switch will work. These are just a metal box with 3 VGA connectors on the back, and a A/B switch dial on te front. You connect the monitor to the middle VGA connector on the back, and 2 VGA cables to the other 2 ports going to each system.

With these systems, long cables will cause ghosting on the screen, so make sure you use short cables if you can.

You can get cheap KVM setups for 2 systems that have the cables all combined into an all in one molded soluton. They are not too much money, and shouldn't suffer from the ghosting. Belkin make these, as do others.

For the basic switcher boxes, I bought mine from Maplin.
Puni/Void 21:42 7th May 2010
Thanks for your help guys. I've now managed to purchase a switch. Looking forward to get it up and running.
Phantom 21:42 7th May 2010
Good luck m8.
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