AVS Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
544 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My htpc is going to be about 20 feet from my seating in my ht. I would like to have a rf keyboard and mouse but I can't seem to find ones that work over more than a couple of feet. I like the logitec ones but they have about 3 feet max.


Has anyone pulled these apart and looked to see if they can be modified to boost their signal? The $99 mouse and keyboard combo would be perfect for my use if the signal was stronger.


Thanks,

Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,182 Posts
That's an interesting idea... I bet the way to do it would be to add some kind of antenna wire extending from the RF receiver. Another idea might be to just extend the mouse/keyboard cables from the receiver so you can put it closer to the seating area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
I've tried the Cordless Trackman FX, the Cordless Trackman with Wheel, and the Trackman Live (I think I've got all the names right), and they all seem to give between 6' and 20' depending on the room, and my luck that day. In fact, the Trackman Live! seems to have worse range than the others, despite claiming a 30' range to 6' for the others.


I've been using the Gyroremote, and it seems to have a better range than the rest, though it's a bit temperamental at times. Also, their Gyrotools software seems to crash eJukebox. If it's range you're after, I'd forego the Gyroremote next time, and get the regular Gyromouse Presenter. It'd probably have the same totally decent range as the Gyroremote, but it wouldn't have the function buttons so I wouldn't care so much about not using the flaky driver software that doesn't work with eJukebox. That, and it comes with a rechargeable base. Sure, it's pricey for a mouse, but I'd hate to dissect a whole nest of Logitech mice only to find that prying them open only makes them angry, and doesn't improve the range at all.


That said, let me know how you make out!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
I too need to extend the range of both the logitech mouse and keyboard....i will start with tearing apart the receiver to attempt to attach a small antenna...then ill get brave and open up the keyboard...there is bound to be an output filter stage which attenuates the rf signal...this could easily be removed.....

good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,129 Posts
I have the Logitec optical/rf keyboard/mouse set as well. My receiver is near the top of the wall about 10 feet away. The receiver wire snakes over the wall to the control room on the other side where all my gear lives (silently). I have another cheapo wireless lap kbd/mouse whose receiver is inside the control room and has no problems regardless of where in the room I am. The biggest problem with the Logitec unit though is that the mouse goes through batteries like they're candy. I bought a recharger and several batteries to curb the cost (ok, and be a little ecologically aware).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,015 Posts
Hi Matt,


I have been using the Logitech corless (el cheapo) unit for about 2 years now and have had great success at ranges over 20 feet. My receiver is buried behind the HTPC deep inside a cabinet, totally obstructed and it still works great. I guess I'm wondering why your range is so off what I get.


The only time my range drops is when it's time to pop in a new set of AAA batts into the mouse.


:confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
I, too, have an RF Logitech setup (the black mouse/kb, iTouch?). I also need to extend the range. I haven't had much luck yet, but here's what I've done:


The moment I recieved the thing, I tore the receiever apart (never even used it whole). I replaced the USB cable with one that terminates on my motherboard USB headers. I've mounted the receiver board to the front of my HTPC (without its case), behind the plastic bezel, using nylon standoffs. With the front bezel on, I get about 5' range; not good enough.


Upon inspection, it appears the receiver antenna is a looped trace on the PCB (both sides). There's a small, plated through-hole in the loop, so I soldered a length of solid 24 gauge copper wire (one strand from an old CAT5 4-pair cable). I started with about a two foot length and proceeded to test the range while cutting off 1/4" segments of the wire. From my old EE experience (before I changed majors; I found I hated the anaolog world, and went digital), I remembered something about the length of an antenna needing to be related to the desired frequency of reception (1/4 wave, 1/2 wave?), but I can't remember enough, evidently. I think I found evidence that the frequency was in the 900MHz range. I was able to get up to about 8' range, but I don't recall how long the wire was. Still not good enough.


I removed the wire, and plastered the inside of the bezel with aluminum foil (held on with contact cement), making sure it didn't contact the metal chassis (which results in about a 2" range). I connected a short wire between the same hole in the PCB and the foil. I get a range of about 8'-9'. Still not good enough.


I'm still unhappy, but I've given up on this project for now. I'm working on other things HTPC related currently, but I'd like to solve this problem too. I'd welcome anyone's insight and will gladly help in any way that I can.


Another problem with the whole RF thing (for me), is that I'll ultimately be using an all aluminum HTPC chassis and fascia. I haven't figured out how to deal with any antenna in this case, but I've considered a wire attached to the bottom of the case. My goal is to build an HTPC with only a few cable connections (power, video, digital audio). I don't want ugly boxes outside the case, I don't want cables out the front. I didn't want to go with IR because of the stories I've heard about slow response (I want to play games). I have an Logitech RF setup on my main box and it's response is more than adequate for my gaming needs.


I've searched the Internet for ways of incresing the range of these beasts, but I haven't found anything. The answer might be to make changes on the tranmission end, but I don't know where to start. Like I said, I'll help if I can; I want this solved too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
In my experience, the variability in receiving distance is primarily affected by where you place the receiver unit. Two rules: Place it far away from other equipment, and place it lower than the mouse/keyboard. If the receiver is near a computer, monitor, receiver, etc. it will not work well at all. Also, if the receiver is horizontal with or above the keyboard, it will not work well.


I have mine on the floor right under the edge of the couch. Works great. I tested the range at 17 feet through two walls. If I move the receiver one foot closer to the equipment rack and up two feet, range drops to 3 feet or so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
207 Posts
I use an Aopen wireless mouse, range is about 15' and uses 2 AAA about once every month but I use NiMH so who cares. I've found the best placement for the receiver is under the floor in the middle of the room. This requires having a basement or crawl space for access but works great. You also need a 6' or 15' extension and since the Aopen wireless uses ps2 instead of USB this is very cheap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
I simply pruchased 2 sets of keyboard/mouse extension cables and ran them from the PC, along the wall, to the receiver. May not be the most elegant solution, but it does allow me to move the receiver to within 4 feet of my sitting position. The cables are beige and blend in well enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,460 Posts
I use the logitech RF keyboard & mouse.


I have also found that the horizontal distance is important, like The Swarm posted - the receiver likes to be lower than the mouse & keyboard.


Another thing not mentioned yet is the orientation of the receiver - mine likes to be on its side for the best reception. I am ~14 feet from the receiver.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
I also have a Logitech cordless keyboard & mouse combo. Like "frdfsnlght" I tried placing the receiver behind the plastic front bezel of my HTPC and got crappy range at first (about 3'). I removed the receiver's plastic cover and tried different positions/orientations, and finally found one that worked. It is very sensitive to orientation. I noticed that the reception for the keyboard and the mouse was somewhat independant, and it was tough to find a position that worked well for both. The orientation that worked for me was upside down and partway inside a hole used for case ventillation (metal grate cut away for better airflow, and fan offset 3" inside with a shroud). You'd think this wouldn't work, since there should be lots of interference from unsheilded internal components, but I have yet to find a better position. I get about 9' of range, and it's sensitive to direction (less range in other directions), but it works for my setup. I did find that placing the receiver away from the equipment was better, but I wanted to keep it inside the case if possible. So my suggestion is try different orientations as well as positions, since it's sensitive to both.


- Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,631 Posts
I have a separate Logitech Mouse and Keyboard (they were out of the combo units) and I am always trying to get better distance. Particularly for the mouse. Keyboard has a bit more range.


I was getting about 7 feet with the control unit under the mouse and fully stretched out at a 90 degree angle.


Encouraged by what I read here about postioning the receiving unit, I just gained another 4 feet! I turned the receiving unit down on it's face, button down and label up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
this is the great thing about these forums...hobbyists sharing ideas...i was able to increase my range on the logitech i-touch from a mere 5 feet to about 10 simply by locating it on the floor and well away from the computer...next i will mess with the inside of the receiver....

thanks guys
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
I too have the optical combo. One thing to be noted is that via USB both the mouse and keyboard work. You can get a 15 foot USB extension for real cheap on ebay (or wherever). With my setup I have noticed that altitude has something to do with it. I've tried keeping it up high on shelfs or surround sound speakers with a lot of luck. But recently I discovered that atop my center channel I'm getting the 9-10' I need.


The weird oval shape of the receiver looks a bit peculiar standing up in the center of my center channel, and often raises the same question over and over. But it's a way to avoid buying an extension and possibly getting the range you need.


HTH,

Rosco
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
If you think that mouse only is good enough to control your HTPC remotely, I suggest you buy Logitech SurfMan.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top