USB Sharing Switch Hub

scalf's picture

I am trying to send a signal with a controller to 2 computers. Rather than hardline in to the first computer and having the first wirelessly send to a second - I am trying to get a usb device (xbox controller in this case) to split into 2 identical cables. I figure this way, the computers would get the signal at exactly the same time.

I checked out his "splitter" - http://www.siig.com/it-products/usb/device-sharing/usb-2-0-switch-2-to-1... -

And I was wondering if anybody had tried such a thing or knows of another direct way to connect USB's in such a fashion

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jrs's picture
Re: USB Sharing Switch Hub

Whilst it says "It supports simultaneous USB 2.0 peripheral-sharing between PC and Mac systems" my very limited experience with usb programming says this should not be possible.

Also all the talk of device switching and manual switch buttons makes me think that "simultaneous" is a bit of an overstatement. If your still keen to continue down this path then maybe you could build a simple serial device (5 volt battery and some wire) and use the kineme serial patch?

dust's picture
Re: USB Sharing Switch Hub

Scalf

(eidt) that looks like what you need i just don't think it will work like you want it seeing that it is a switch, a usb unimux matrix is what you will be wanting or 1:2 demux switch if not a usb switch at all you need a passthrough. that thing is a usb 2:1 mux for sharing a printer between two computers. think demultiplexer patch in qc for usb. still you don't want a switch at all but something like this if your going with a switch.

http://www.newark.com/texas-instruments/ts3usb221erser/ic-usb-1-2-mux-de...

you need a matrix like this. its pricey

http://www.networktechinc.com/srvsw-usbvst-u.html

best to go to spark fun and build your own system.

For the same price you could buy osculator and hook pretty much any game controller to your computer and route midi or cat5 wires out to all ypur computers if you need to usea hardwired solution. or you could program your own osc or midi server with kineme stuff. If you need usb explicitly and can not find a matrix for a decent price you will pretty much have to hack your x box controler and plug it into a serial usb microcrontroller that is hardwired to a second microcontroller to be able to commu icate to two computers via usb serial. Its definatly possible but would require some requisit knowledge of serial usb programming.

scalf's picture
Re: USB Sharing Switch Hub

Well I may have not read the fine print correctly.

I could see how a switch would be different from something that sends simultaneously. And to clarify, I would like something that sends messages simultaneously, or similar.

I am really trying to just trigger events and actions over two or more computers synchronously.

I totally get what you mean about the demultiplexer patch. I am looking for the "splitter patch", or a way to configure one.

Thanks

jrs's picture
Re: USB Sharing Switch Hub

I just came across yet another OSC

"iOSC enables you to control multiple hosts simultaneously."

http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/iosc/id303604578?mt=8&ls=1

dust's picture
Re: USB Sharing Switch Hub

It may not be possible at all like I said without a huge matrix patch bay and been that is unimux so you will probably be switching all the same with one of those. I don't have one so can not say for sure. I see somee skimatics online for a pass thru type of thing but it's defiantly going to be serial hack. The way some explained it to me is that USB has a I guess a host client model or send and receive digitally. So although it is possible to communicate with device a and computer a and possibly configure computer b to observe USB a but without having a switch to go from observation to communication one connection needs to be cut as you need to the end point to community in both directions. You will have better luck with midi as it can use multiple end points via thru.

scalf's picture
Re: USB Sharing Switch Hub

I see. Does it have something to do with the fact that USB uses some sort of a differential, or non-linear data stream?

So without using a USB connection, would there be a different way to send synchronously, via a hardline?

I've tried the OSC network Sender provided, and the hexler, but there is still just that hair of a lag that puts 2 screens out of sync.

jrs's picture
Re: USB Sharing Switch Hub

I normally just put the delay into the sender so it waits a frame or two after sending the play to the other screen.

If you want to hardline it and you don't want to use the serial method I mentioned before then you have two other possible options that I can see

1) Buy two ardino's or something similar like a phidget - share one button (https://www.adafruit.com/products/367) between two of the digital inputs (one on each board) and then write a plugin for qc (if you use a phidget I have some plugin code already)

2) If your happy to pull a joystick apart why not pull two apart and graft one of the buttons onto the other? in this way when you press the button it should trigger both joysticks - does that make sense?

scalf's picture
Re: USB Sharing Switch Hub

I could see the joining the two buttons together, I have soldered button layouts before, I would imagine you just have to integrate the innards of two controllers so that there are two serial outs?

As a side bit - how would "the pros" do this. Not that we aren't, but there must be some method to trigger events on different computers/screens in 'absolute' simultaneity. Or am I seeing a multiple screen performance setup in a backwards manner?

jrs's picture
Re: USB Sharing Switch Hub

As a side bit - how would "the pros" do this. Not that we aren't, but there must be some method to trigger events on different computers/screens in 'absolute' simultaneity.

Ouch - cmon I've even got 100 posts under my belt now ;)

Out of interest whats wrong the methods I've suggested? ok the soft delay isn't what you asked for but if you have a good search on these forums its what the real pros suggest. As for the serial method its a hack, as is the combination of two joysticks via a shared button.... but you were going down that path and I assumed your not comfortable coding.

Whilst the ardino is often seen as a hacker/hobby/prototyping tool its the most professional and clean approach your going to get for what your asking. If your not comfortable coding up a plugin there are some tools out there for sending midi/osc data from an ardino or use the kineme serial patch - http://kineme.net/FeatureRequests/Arduino

Also I'm intrigued as to what you define as a pro? Whilst I consider myself far from a pro I would like to know how to get there - ie could the quality/detail of my posts be improved? feel free to go all out as I see criticism as a good thing (as long as its constructive)

scalf's picture
Synchronous Video/Events

Oh dear, I surely didn't mean any offense by the 'pro' distinction! I meant it in more of a extropersonal sense, for I do not consider myself a pro, as I have not been at it long.

I know this is still a developing field, but I felt that some of the larger video mapping groups would not be soldering together hacked parts (not that there is anything wrong with that!) And when I read of installations using multiple (5,10,17!) projectors, I wonder how it is that they can sync them up correctly?

As I am starting to use my 2 projectors in unison, I come to this dilemma. I could see the controller hack working out, in combination with the arduino as well - I thought perhaps there was a known solution as easy as the "splitter" in Quartz.

Well I guess pro could be literal, as in it was one's profession. But it was more of an ambiguous reference in this case. Denoting more of a distant, yet attainable realm for me. Surely there are professionals among us, hopefully someone may have encountered this dilemma as well. Thanks for your help, I'll be looking into it.

jrs's picture
Re: Synchronous Video/Events

lol - I always knew that despite my ;) this would be taken the wrong way (so I guess I was a little bit jilted).....maybe there is some value in you tubes video comments system, as I always seem to be unable to convey the tone of a statement in email/sms.

How much delay are you seeing between your videos? as in my one and only project of this nature the soft sync option wasn't a problem - Note the artifacts you see in the first image are not due to bad sync but an imperfect blending calibration (it was very hard to get exactly right due to projectors not being exactly in the center of the curved screen).

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scalf's picture
Re: Synchronous Video/Events

The blending on the top picture is quite impressive. I am experiencing less than a second, but a discernible amount - that is, when on a wireless network. Maybe a half of a second lag

jrs's picture
Re: Synchronous Video/Events

I'm getting the feeling you haven't tried a wired connection and soft (either time or frame based) delay?

dust's picture
Re: USB Sharing Switch Hub

I have not had many issues using a soft sync. There are examples here on kineme as well as an app called quartz composer visualizer that let you use multiple displays etc... I think most people in a 2 display set up use a dual head video card but it's certainly possible to sync up multiple displays with different computers. Think of it like a master and slave system. Let's say you have computer a and he is the master and computers b and c are slaves. If you set your slave patches to external time and send just a syncrounus time clock from the master computer to the slaves then the slaves will both be running off the same clock and in sync. The harder part is getting your projectors calibrated to look the same color wise.