Epiphan KVM2USB is a USB device that connects between your (portable) Linux or Windows PC and a headless VGA/XVGA enabled computer, turning the PC as Keyboard, Video Mouse (KVM) of the headless system. The following two pictures illustrates a typical usage:
You can use your portable PC to connect both to your company’s Intranet using Wi-Fi and on the headless industrial computer that you are working with. You do not need to carry a keyboard, screen and mouse with you anymore.
In my earlier Epiphan KVM2USB evaluation I found the first generation KVM2USB’s processor a bit sluggish. It could not follow up the different boot phases fast enough (BIOS, splash-screen, boot-loader, login-screen, GUI). It was spending too much time in synchronizing so that you missed important milestones in the boot process and you could not (easily) enter into the BIOS settings.
The second generation KVM2USB device got it right with its much more powerful processor. The synchronization to ever changing video modes is now much more faster and reliable and you can enter into the BIOS settings without too much difficulties. The price to pay is increased power consumption and it is recommended that you plug in either the PC’s power supply or KVM2USB’s power supply. KVM2USB can work without its own power supply, however by drawing its power from the portable PC.
The installation works out of the box – nearly. I modified some settings. For example, there is no reason to use CPU resources to capture more than 25 frames per second. This can be set in Options:
With Trenton and IPO industrial computers, the VGA2USB-utility starts to flickr quite badly with the default settings.
Epiphan’s technical support suggested to change the offset to 31 from default, and to set gain to 135 from default. This was done in Device Configuration:
The proposed values resolved the problem:
The conclusion is that the second generation Epiphan KVM2USB is a tool that I can recommend to power users who are constantly carrying around a keyboard, screen, mouse and maybe a portable computer (or who are constantly looking for a free computer screen to be able to log on IBM/Tivoli on a PXE server or other similar service). The price tag of the new Epiphan KVM2USB is quite high and you better check their web site before start thinking that this is a solution for all your problems!