I've got touchscreen which has a VGA output and a USB (or alternatively, serial) connection which acts like a mouse (for the resistive touch part).

I've got Cat5E cabling in my house, and would like to run this screen remotely in my living room connected only to some sort of KVM switch, driven by a computer upstairs in a different room across the Cat5E ethernet cabling, i.e.:

+--------+        +-------+                            +--------+          +------+
| Touch  +--USB---+ Magic +--Ethernet--||  ...  ||-----+ Magic  +---USB----+  PC  |
| Screen |        | Device|                            | Device +---VGA----+      |
|        +--VGA---+-------+                            +--------+          +------+

Is this possible to do? What is the the "magic device" I need - an IPKVM? I don't want to spend too much. (I could buy a new PC for $200!) I'm quite happy to get my hands dirty with some hardware hacking if necessary.

If it is possible, is it realistic to display (non-HD) video over this link?


EDIT: noticed the screen can take serial (RS-323) instead of USB if that helps.

  • actually, you still need a computer for the touchscreen, the screen on it's own is rather useless as you cannot assign an IP address to a monitor, the only way would be monitor and USB extensions (with the appropriate range booster). – Molly7244 Dec 30 '09 at 11:31
  • I don't understand your point about assigning an IP to a monitor. I mearly want to bridge a monitor and USB connection simultaneously over a single ethernet connection - I don't need the monitor to act as an IP address. – Ash Dec 30 '09 at 11:44
  • I guess it would be the magic device which had an IP, do you also use the ethernet cable to internet connection to the PC or would it be just to get the video to the touchscreen? – Jonathan. Dec 30 '09 at 11:45
  • ethernet connections require IP addresses in order to work and if you're thinking about some sort of adapter to use the USB and the VGA signal over the ethernet cable, doesn't work either, it's only 8 leads in a cat5 cable. – Molly7244 Dec 30 '09 at 11:48

You'll find VGA extenders and USB extenders using Cat5e cabling. But it's not cheap and might go above your $200 limit. Not sure you can combine both on 1 Cat5e cable though.

If you don't mind hacking it yourself, Instructables has many tutorials for building your own cables, like the 5++ in 1 Multi Cable, or Make your own VGA cord of CAT5 cable! for instance.

  • These are useful links but it'd be even better if there was some way of feeding VGA and USB simultaneously over cat5. – Ash Jan 3 '10 at 16:49
  • 1
    cat5 only has 8 leads, which is exactly how many you need for VGA. The only way you are going to fit USB on there too is if you digitize both over some higher protocol(e.g. TCP/IP). If there's some box out there that does it plan on spending more then $200. – prestomation Jan 3 '10 at 17:18

I don't know of such a device, and I can see it costing more than $200 if it did exist.

It might be simpler to buy a low spec silent PC and control the upstairs computer via remote desktop. If you don't have the space (as indicated in your comment) how about a tablet PC - or are those just too expensive?

Another approach would be to run a long length of VGA & USB cable - but depending on the actual length you'll need to install powered repeaters to keep the signal strength up.

  • unfortuantly, I haven't the space to squeeze in a PC near the living area – Ash Dec 30 '09 at 11:59

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