Maximum cable lengths for monitor, keyboard, mouse

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

I read an article yesterday about NORAD's use of blade PCs, and it
described putting the PCs in a secured area, with only cables leading to
to the monitors, keyboards, and mice at the user stations. I was
surprised because I thought there were tight constraints on the maximum
length of cabling for keyboards, mice, and monitors--especially
monitors. Anyone know how this is done?

From time to time I've toyed with the idea of putting several PCs in a
rack or at least in a secured or soundproofed enclosure and then just
running long cables to a desk or workstation area for the monitor and
keyboard and mouse, but the concern about cable lengths has stopped me.
What are the maximum lengths, and is there a way to extend them?

What might be even more cool would be a CPU stashed away in a hidden,
soundproof enclosure, with only the monitor on the desk, accompanied by
the keyboard and mouse, and with separate, small boxes for the CD drive
and various other peripherals that you have to be able to get to while
you are sitting at the desk. But I'm not sure about cable-length
restrictions for that, either.

I've gotten used to the constant whirring of PC fans on either side of
me, and the looming beige boxes in my peripheral vision, but I'm still
curious.

Also, I presume that blade PCs are physically small. Are they still
expandable and/or easy to open and maintain?

--
Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
4 answers Last reply
More about maximum cable lengths monitor keyboard mouse
  1. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    For what little it's worth (fairly little, in fact), I've successfully
    used extension cords for both monitor and keyboard that would've been
    long enough to put the computer into a relatively close, yet
    physically secured, area.

    Anecdotal evidence is no replacement for scientific analysis. Maybe I
    was just lucky.

    On a related -- but not necessarily relevant -- note, many years ago I
    used to attend an annual "computer fair" at the University of
    Washington (AFAIK, they stopped holding it back in the mid-90s), and
    one of the regular vendors was a company that sold really long
    parallel cables. IIRC, they used to have a long one looped back and
    forth and around their booth, and they had a contest to see who could
    most-accurately guess the length. They made a big deal about breaking
    the myths of maximum parallel cable lengths.

    --
    S. Whitmore (usenet-bounce@just-stuart.com -- sans -bounce)
    Free science fiction, pretty models, and more:
    http://www.just-stuart.com/
  2. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Mxsmanic <mxsmanic@hotmail.com> writes:
    >I read an article yesterday about NORAD's use of blade PCs, and it
    >described putting the PCs in a secured area, with only cables leading to
    >to the monitors, keyboards, and mice at the user stations. I was
    >surprised because I thought there were tight constraints on the maximum
    >length of cabling for keyboards, mice, and monitors--especially
    >monitors. Anyone know how this is done?

    The guy who provided all my cables used to say "want it cheap?
    or want it good?, up to you." He had produced svga video cables
    for trade show booths that were 75 feet and showed no problems.

    But the $4 video cables you buy won't do that.

    20 foot quality cables are no problem, from a good supplier.

    Unfortunately he is gone, now I don't know what I'll do for good cables.
  3. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    In article <8hr861hjpgfbmang6kmv49u8hbqmagsqmk@4ax.com>,
    Mxsmanic <mxsmanic@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >I read an article yesterday about NORAD's use of blade PCs, and it
    >described putting the PCs in a secured area, with only cables leading to
    >to the monitors, keyboards, and mice at the user stations. I was
    >surprised because I thought there were tight constraints on the maximum
    >length of cabling for keyboards, mice, and monitors--especially
    >monitors. Anyone know how this is done?
    >
    >From time to time I've toyed with the idea of putting several PCs in a
    >rack or at least in a secured or soundproofed enclosure and then just
    >running long cables to a desk or workstation area for the monitor and
    >keyboard and mouse, but the concern about cable lengths has stopped me.
    >What are the maximum lengths, and is there a way to extend them?
    >
    >What might be even more cool would be a CPU stashed away in a hidden,
    >soundproof enclosure, with only the monitor on the desk, accompanied by
    >the keyboard and mouse, and with separate, small boxes for the CD drive
    >and various other peripherals that you have to be able to get to while
    >you are sitting at the desk. But I'm not sure about cable-length
    >restrictions for that, either.
    >
    >I've gotten used to the constant whirring of PC fans on either side of
    >me, and the looming beige boxes in my peripheral vision, but I'm still
    >curious.
    >
    >Also, I presume that blade PCs are physically small. Are they still
    >expandable and/or easy to open and maintain?
    >
    >--
    >Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.


    There are all sorts of ways of connecting a kbd, monitor and mouse to
    one or more computers at a distance. This is generally referred for a
    KVM. Some run over CAT5 (ethernet) so the can owrk over standard
    office cabling. Other solutions run vis TCP and can run over the
    Internet. IME they tend to be business-grade products and not cheap.
    If you only wnat to control one computer there is probably something
    for you.

    If you go to newegg.com and search for KVM you'll find a bunch of
    products. Most of them will be for switching between 2 or more PCs
    but you might find something.

    You can extend the video and PS/2 cables 10 ft or so. If you have a
    high-end Monitor you need to buy a premium video cable or accept lower
    refesh rates or fuzzy image.


    --
    a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m

    Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.
  4. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    In article <8hr861hjpgfbmang6kmv49u8hbqmagsqmk@4ax.com>, Mxsmanic
    says...
    > I read an article yesterday about NORAD's use of blade PCs, and it
    > described putting the PCs in a secured area, with only cables leading to
    > to the monitors, keyboards, and mice at the user stations. I was
    > surprised because I thought there were tight constraints on the maximum
    > length of cabling for keyboards, mice, and monitors--especially
    > monitors. Anyone know how this is done?
    >
    Its NORAD. THat means it won't be the shitty unscreened cable used on
    normal gear.


    --
    Conor

    "Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most." O.Osbourne.
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