Closed DataSwitch for AMIGAs - Share your periph. w. multiple Amigas

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a.mi.goun

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Here I present my recent project DataSwitch for Amigas, which may be useful for all those, who have more than 1 Amiga at home :)

I have Amiga 600, Amiga 2000, Amiga 4000 and Amiga 1200 towerised sitting at one table, but there is not a place for 4 monitors, 4 mice, 4 joysticks etc.
So I wanted all my Amigas share only one Monitor, one mouse, joystick, keyboard, Audio Amplifier...
There are plenty of KVM solutions for PC but for Amigas - Nothing!
So I decided to build my own :)

As a base I selected Manual 25pin Data Switch, which has the ability to switch between up to 6 inputs.
The most boring and time consuming part was the making of the custom cables, standard cables modifications and soldering. I managed to put Mouse, Joystick, Keyboard and Audio on one custom cable.

Here can be seen the scheme of my situation: Amiga 600, 2000, 4000 and 1200T sharing one mouse, joystick, keyboard and Hifi Amplifier. Monitor is shared thanks to standard VGA switch (in my case it is great ATEN VS-881):
dataswitch4.jpg


Now I can switch between all my amigas with one single "click". No more annoying disconnecting-reconnecting of that many cables, no need to having multiple peripheries on table. This is manual, not electronic switch so running only 1 Amiga at a time is possible and switching between inputs must be done only when all Amigas are turned off.

Now some of the photos of my switch hardware:
Here is the DataSwitch for 6 inputs:
dataswitch1.jpg


And the ports:
dataswitch2.jpg


Here the custom cables. The first two are between Amigas and Switch - the left one is for A1200T (audio is jack because there is PCI soundcard in it), right is for A600 (does not need keyboard, and have its mouse-joy connectors modified to fit A600), the middle-down is the output cable (there you connect all your peripheries)
dataswitch3.jpg


If I inspired you to buld your own, why not stating you thank you in the thread :)

If someone is interested, I can offer the building of the complete DataSwitch system, prices are
13 € for 25pin DataSwitch (up to 4 inputs)
14 € for 25pin DataSwitch (up to 6 inputs)
Ask how much € for each fully equipped cable (Mouse, Joystick, Keyboard, Audio soldered), slightly less if you dont need keyboard - desktops like A600/1200/500s have their own keyboards
Currently not available (very time-consuming work and those multiple cables, that must be hi-quality can get quite expensive)

Please note it may take a few days to solder all the cables.
dataswitch1.jpgdataswitch2.jpgdataswitch3.jpgdataswitch4.jpg
 
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SkydivinGirl

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Really great job there! I can imagine soldering all those cables was a bit boring. :) It looks like a great solution for the Amiga.

Heather
 

timmie

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Nice!!! What would be possible for a combination like this:

A3000:
- Keyboard
- Mouse
- Joystick
- Audio (not really required, have a separate Audio switch)
- Video (not really required, have a monitor with multiple inputs)

A1200:
- Keyboard (not required)
- Mouse
- Joystick
- Audio (not really required, have a separate Audio switch)
- Video (not really required, have a monitor with multiple inputs)

PC
- Keyboard (PS/2 or USB)
- Mouse (USB)
- Joystick (USB)
- Audio (not really required, have a separate Audio switch)
- Video (not really required, have a monitor with multiple inputs)

Preferably one mouse for all 3 systems
Joystick can be separate for PC (USB) and one for both Amiga's (DB9)

But I guess it's better to use Lyra3 to PS/2 for A3000 keyboard and Rys DB9 to USB adapters for mice and keyboards and get an ordinary PC switch.
 

irix

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My problem starts with the keyboard.
I have an A1200 in an Infinity tower, uses ps/2 keyboard
An Amiga 4000 that uses a A4000 keyboard
An Amiga 2000 that uses a A2000 keyboard
A CD32 with SX1 that uses a PC DIN type keyboard

If there's a way to just use the A4000 keyboard for all 4 (and maybe switch mouse/joy as well) that would be great.
Audio/Video has it's own switches already. It's just having the 4 keyboards isn't that great.
 

a.mi.goun

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My problem starts with the keyboard.
I have an A1200 in an Infinity tower, uses ps/2 keyboard, An Amiga 4000 that uses a A4000 keyboard, An Amiga 2000 that uses a A2000 keyboard, A CD32 with SX1 that uses a PC DIN type keyboard
If there's a way to just use the A4000 keyboard for all 4 (and maybe switch mouse/joy as well) that would be great. It's just having the 4 keyboards isn't that great.

Yes, you can use A4000 keyboard for all your systems without problem. Only needed is to make
the cables with the proper wiring - I can do the cables for you, if you want :)

- - - Updated - - -

Impressive solution!
Really great job there! I can imagine soldering all those cables was a bit boring. :) It looks like a great solution for the Amiga.Heather

Thank you m8s!

- - - Updated - - -

@ timmie: Mouse / Joystick switch between Amigas is not a problem. If you want to switch also the PC you need the adapters you mentioned.
 
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irix

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If that's possible it would be a great solution, I'll contact you in a while in order to see what's the best route to go.
 

johnim

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Nice work there I have used them for switching between serial devices eg midi sampler sernet cable
 

a.mi.goun

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Nice work there I have used them for switching between serial devices eg midi sampler sernet cable

Yes, these DataSwitches are primarily made for switching ser-par cables, I used 9pin serial for switching mouse/joy before. But recently I had the idea for switching all the cables by single click.
 
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Hello.

I find this great, and it certainly would prove most useful in my home !
Now a question : would it work to connect (and thus share) an EZ-Mouse or similar mouse adapter on the "output" cable, and not on the actual machines ?

Also I guess all your machines are scandoubled, if they are all connected to a vga box.
I'm personally adamant in having my PAL RGB output to CRT TVs when it comes to games and demos, but also enjoying RTG Workbench screens for system friendly software and games.
Thus, some of my Amigas do have 2 outputs (VGA+PAL) while other have only one (VGA or PAL).
But all consume a lot of space because of multiple screens !

Therefore, maybe a custom, Amiga oriented, vidéo switchbox could also be envisioned, one that would cover those bases by accepting both VGA and PAL RGB (scart) on each input.
Would this be something you might consider ??

Thanks.
 

a.mi.goun

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Thanks for your input.
1 - If you have mouse adapter in all your amigas it is no problem to modify the switch to use that signals.
2 - All my Amigas are equipped with scandoubler and connected thru Active SVGA Switch ATEN, so I have only one monitor for both scandoubled PAL or VGA from Graphics card.
3 - I will definitely try connecting output of Amiga RBG thru the manual switch to the BenQ BL 15kHz compatible monitor. Just to see how good the picture will be if not using active switch. For higher resolutions from graphics cards I think the active switch is required to have the best picture quality. But imagine that setup with the active switch and BenQ monitor, you do not need scandoubler, just AVGA adapter or modified cable and it works.
 
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@a.mi.goun: Thanks for your very informative answer.
1. I only have one working EZ-Mouse. So my question was really to connect it to the "output" set of cable in order to share it among the various Amigas connected to the switchbox. Dunno if it makes sense.
2. would the ATEN VS-881 VGA switchbox accept a 15khz input, e.g regular RGB output with db23 to vga15 adapter ?
3. good to know about the benQ screens. for their price it's definitively a bargain !

Though I still prefer my oldschool CRT display for games and demos :)
But for a general purpose Amiga usage, those benQ screen looks great.
 
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a.mi.goun

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@Sautebroussailles: You are welcome.
1. Yes, this will work.
2. Yes, ATEN accepts 15kHz input so no problem here.
3. Yes, I like them for that great 15kHz capability. And you are right, CRT is great for their not-limited response.
 

alan.turner

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Interested - will send pm about availability


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