Belkin F1DK102U USB KVM switch: A piece of crap

Got a chance to try out the Belkin F1DK102U USB KVM switch last night. I’m having trouble thinking of a time where I hated a product so quickly after removing it from the packaging. It took less than 5 minutes for me to be ranting and raving about this thing.

The first thing that is immediately apparent is that the switch button itself is a thin little bar and feels really cheap
and not sturdy. I also discovered quickly that because of it’s thin bar shape, it easily gets stuck. The next thing I noticed is that it has some kind of circuitry for auto-switching when it doesn’t detect a proper signal on the input. However, the circuitry is over-zealous because it will switch in the middle of a GRUB boot menu or the Ubuntu 6.06 live CD menu, which is actually when you most need it to be working. Then one notices that upon switching, the video switches over right away but then there’s a good 4 or 5 second delay for the keyboard and mouse to become functional. Frustrating. Next one notices that the switch button often does not work – it isn’t clear to me whether it works every 1 out of 3 times or if it’s just that once you switch there’s a delay of several seconds before you can switch again. Either way, I don’t care. It sucks.

This is going back to the store tonight and hopefully I can find something better, though I’m not optimistic as there doesn’t seem to be very many options at Central Computer and I’ve noticed that KVM switches in general tend to get really bad reviews on Amazon and Newegg. I’m not sure why it’s so hard to make a good KVM switch.

Anyone have a KVM switch that they would recommend?

9 thoughts on “Belkin F1DK102U USB KVM switch: A piece of crap

  1. in this very moment im going to trash my belkin F1DJ102P switch that, first made go crazy 1 of the 2 mouses and now the monitor is recognized just as a 640×480 monitor by my OS – so i guess i’ll ‘switch’ to IOGEAR too cos, as chimpoid wrote, I see that it is well reviewed around the web.

  2. Hehehe,

    All I can say is, I got mine a year ago and I can’t believe it but everything you said about yours is the same with mine.
    It has some auto-switching CRAP that is so annoying in un*x or L*nux you just want to smash it.
    And they don’t have drivers out for linux at all.
    I managed to get it working somehow so it didn’t auto-switch in the middle of the session but I haven’t used it for yonks.
    Anyways, I couldn’t have written it better myself, especially that little sticking bar ‘thing’ on the top, so annoying.

  3. wow i thought it was my set up but I’m getting all the same annoying things too. I run a recording studio and use it for my second screen on my mac and main screen on my pc. I swop over constantly between the both and its every 4th or 5th time it sticks or won’t work. The worst thing is that must have the pc either running or in standby for the mac to see the keyboard and mouse. Randomly it will work but if don’t wont to boot up the pc i then have to unplug the keyboard and mouse then plug directly into my mac ahhhh. Have you found anything more reliable yet??

    stu , ckproductions brisbane OZ

  4. Glad i googled before i clicked “BUY” on pcshopper. Like stu i have a studio in Brisbane, Australia, and need a KVM solution… unfortunately i need a hardware KVM solution so the usual amazing software shared desktop/system solutions arent applicable, not even on a lamer RDP scale. Will hunt some more then…

  5. A switch hotkey combination that works for me is whacking 4 x ScrollLock, the original poster said 6 x, but 4 works for me. Running it on 2 PCs, Windows 2000 and Windows XP Pro, sometimes keys repeat, so I have to switch away and back again to get the keyboard to be re-detected. A plus is that the Logitech SetPoint software does work, in spite of what Logitech says, so I can use the extra keys & functions on my mouse.

    Perhaps no cheer for Apple & Linux users, sorry!

  6. lol – I just googled “KVM – not the crap out there!” and your site came up high on the first page :-)

    my local PC guys likes Iogear as well. What I can’t understand is how long it is taking for “them” to come up with a dual DVI *and VGA KVM!

    I am certainly not the only one running dual monitors out here!

    doh!

  7. Ditto here. The belkin switch sucks. Sometimes the monitor connects to the left computer and the mouse/keyboard connect to the right computer.

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