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    PS2 to USB converters: Breathing new life into old peripherals Review
    Author: Lorenzo Outar aka Renz
    Date Posted: November 13, 2003
    Kingwin UPS2C - SLRating: SLRating: 4/10
    Smart Adapter Ez-PU21 - SLRating: SLRating: 4/10
    Pi Engineering Y-mouse - SLRating: SLRating: 9.5/10
    Bottom Line: Whats the best way to have a PS2 keyboard and/or mouse converted to USB? We tested 3 products to find out and found a great way to convert existing PS2 devices to USB. If price is a big consideration then you may be better off with a new keyboard and mouse, read on to find out more......

    Find the lowest price for this product
    Pages: 1 2 3 4 5
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    Testing:

    In the overview you would notice I didn't touch on the mouse usage. That's because I am going to use it as the method of comparison between these 3 devices since I couldn't find some reliable way of measuring keyboard response.

    Constants:
    Mouse: MX500
    USB Tracking: 125 Mhz.
    PS2 Tracking: 97 Mhz


    DeviceTracking (Hz)
    Kingwin UPS2C 40
    Smart Adapter Ez-PU21 40
    Pi Engineering Y-mouse 61
    Mouse on PS2 alone (USB to PS2 converter) 97
    Mouse on USB alone 125

    Kingwin UPS2C

    Smart Adapter Ez-PU21

    Pi Engineering Y-mouse

    A little more on the Y-Mouse:

    Pi Engineering takes nothing for granted, not only do they supply the device in a well packaged box but they also provide a comprehensive manual to accompany their product. A manual? Why? Donít you just plug it in and go? Yes and No. Yes itís fully plug and play compatible, but the manual is there to tell you about the special capabilities of the device, like an enhanced scroll rate and USB power off feature, even support for Scandinavian ď*í key code (more for UNIX workstations). Once configured, your setting are stored on the deviceís own built in memory allowing it to keep your settings even if you unplug, power down or move the unit to another machine. Accessing these functions is relatively simple, after the device is installed, assuming you have a keyboard plugged into it, open notepad, hold down escape and hit the S key.

    One other thing worth mentioning about the Y-Mouse is its ability to use multiple Y-Mice in a sort of a daisy chain fashion, e.g. using the Y-mouse USB, add 2 Y-Mice PS2 and you could have 2 keyboards and 2 mice all working together.

    Note: you would only see the first part (v3.12[q] etc), the rest is there just to illustrate what the functions are.

    Response form the Pi Engineering

    Since Pi Engineering is the only manufacturer I an in direct contact with I decided to forward them the question as to why special functions donít transition over when using their converter; admittedly this is not fair to the other manufactures, however, the response is understandable enough that it should transition to the others.

    Here is their response:

    ďThe Y-mouse PS/2 to USB converter has an on board microprocessor. This processor boots and manages the PS/2 devices. It collects the data and converts it to the appropriate USB codes for a standard mouse or keyboard. It also manages some other USB requirements such as sleep and power issues.

    It can read all the standard keyboard keys (the main 104 and a few standard variations) and several standard mouse formats. It supports up to 5 mouse buttons and the scroller function as defined by Microsoft. The difficulty with the "extra" buttons on the keyboard and some mice is that there is no well defined format for these. In PS/2 the manufactures often chose their own format and then their driver would support the translation of the buttons to a function. As there is no standard, it was not possible to code this into the micro.

    We chose to concentrate on reliability of the standard formats and not to support the non-standard additional buttons. Our unit will just ignore any non-standard commands and not cause any problems.Ē


    I verified their claims with both a Logitech MX500 and a Microsoft Intelli Mouse Explorer (more in the Downside section).

    Downside:

    The downside to these devices is the lack of full support for special buttons. The keyboards were converted into a standard HID Complaint Keyboard and on the Kingwin and Smart Adapter there was no functionality for the extra mouse buttons; they were converted into the standard third mouse button or ignored.

    On the Y-Mouse, however, there was almost full functionality reproduction when it came to the additional buttons on the two mice I used (MX500 and Intelli Mouse Explorer). The only button not supported was the quick switch button on the MX500. Understandably you will loose some functionality when using these converters.

    I donít particularly mind the loss of the extra features on the keyboard, however, the loss of the back and forward (side) buttons on the mouse is unforgivable. I am too used to them when surfing to go back to the back and forward on the navigation tool bar.

    One thing I noticed when using the Kingwin and Smart Adapter is their somewhat finicky hot swapping support. When switching the MX500 with the Intellipoint Explorer they refused to detect the new mouse; I would have to remove the device and plug it back into the USB port before the other mouse was usable. Switching keyboards was flawless, unplug one plug the other one in, done.



    Conclusions Go the the next page
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    1. Introduction
    2. Overview
    3. Testing
    4. Conclusions
    5. Gallery

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