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 Post subject: Wireless Keyboard that actually works? (last 13x sucked!)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:50 am 



Joined: 02 Mar 2017
Posts: 1233
Any suggestions for a WIRELESS Full-Size keyboard (like ~90% is cool too, built in trackpad is OK as well, actually preferred) that won't loose it's Bluetooth or 2.4g signal within 10 feet (3 meters)? Wired isn't an option. ALL of the below keyboards have failed within 3' line-of-sight (measured) before. 13 keyboards in total according to my Amazon history - from $10 POS to $120 Corsair mechanical keyboard. I usually stick to 2.4g as that's traditionally been more reliable, but if they had a BT mode I tried that as well.

Mouse suggestions welcome too, if the keyboard doesn't have a trackpad - the Logitech G602 "Lag-Free" (ha!) Wireless Gaming Mouse, with it's dongle literally 1' away ALSO lost friggin signal constantly and skipped across the screen all laggy.

To rule out my computer hardware as being the issue I've tried all of the below on a Lenova Yoga Win 10 laptop, my brand new HP work laptop, my mini-ITX GroovyMAME computer I built with ASRock H270M-ITX/ac motherboard (w/ BT v4.0) --this will be the main computer to use this on now, and 3x different Macs (Macbook Air, Mac Mini, Mac Pro from 2009 to 2016 models). ALL had issues with connecting, staying connected, and dropping button presses left and right (pun intended lol ;)

FAILURES:
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(and numerous other even smaller ones I use on my Raspberry Pi setups).


The 3' line of sight setup was in my server rack in my game room - if 2.4g I had the USB 2.4g dongle on a USB extender right on the front of the server rack 3' away from my desk I was typing on. If using bluetooth the actual computer was on top of the 7' tall rack, and it was 6' line of sight. With the laptops we're literally talking like 10-18" away... sometimes actually touching. All the retro consoles in the server rack are so old none have BT to interfere (and modern wireless controllers are all turned off).

The second common setup, and what I plan to use this new keyboard on now, is my living room. I'm 10' away from the computers sitting on my entertainment center while I'm on the couch. The only things turned on is the TV, Denon A/V receiver (which has BT capability but not using it), Mac Mini (media computer), and some lamps are turned on. I ALWAYS have my Mac "Magic" keyboard and touchpad on (these are the only ones that actually work fyi) but that's it. No tablets turned on, everything else in the entire house turned off, nothing else in use but my cell phone.

I do have WiFi in my house, it's on a stock Verizon router in the garage, ~25' away. My cell phone and Nest thermostat are connected via WiFi and that's it. Everything else in the entire house is hard wired ethernet (16-port ethernet switch in living room, 6-port in gameroom, 2-port 'ethernet over power line' in the upstairs bedroom, currently unused (oh, there's an ancient flatscreen upstairs with a Fire Stick using WiFi - I think it might be turned off when the TV is turned off as it usually is though).

Sorry for all the stupid detail, but I'm mentioning this kind of info to help troubleshoot and hopefully show that there shouldn't be enough interference in multiple areas of my home to make not a SINGLE wireless keyboard work (except the single Mac Magic keyboard). Like this is friggin crazy... THIRTEEN OF THEM, and NONE work!!! In two separate areas of the house. It's been a bane of my existence for 10+ years now (and WIRED, across a living room isn't going to work). Looking to finally start using my GroovyMAME computer (and it's crazy deluxe HyperSpin on its other partition my buddy built for me), but can't do this without a keyboard. I've been watching my brothers kid too much to have keyboard/mouse wires laying around the house for him to trip on, so again wired isn't an option.


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 Post subject: Re: Wireless Keyboard that actually works? (last 13x sucked!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:19 am 


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Maybe try a Topre made one?

Like this one:

https://www.hhkeyboard.com/uk/products/hybrid-type-s/


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 Post subject: Re: Wireless Keyboard that actually works? (last 13x sucked!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:40 am 


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Posts: 2069
If your computer has a "micro" USB port, you might try using a magnetic full size USB female to "micro" male adapter at the computer. Those disconnect easily. Stress on the cord would disconnect at the magnetic junction--and the cord would "harmlessly" absorb the force without pulling on the computer USB connection. The cord would still disconnect and fly across the room, but it wouldn't break your machine.

Download a wifi analyzer and look at the 2.4GHz traffic around you. If there's a lot of leakage coming into your home, that's your bluetooth issue. If your router has a "wide band" feature to increase potential bandwidth or it broadcasts/uses two simultaneous 2.4GHz channels, disable the additional usage. Bluetooth needs room to breathe. Use one channel. Disable automatic scanning and channel selection. Pick one. (1, 6, or 11) There are three options.

Although, from the sound of it, I don't think you're going to find a wireless solution.
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 Post subject: Re: Wireless Keyboard that actually works? (last 13x sucked!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:30 pm 



Joined: 02 Mar 2017
Posts: 1233
Lawfer wrote:
Maybe try a Topre made one?

Like this one:

https://www.hhkeyboard.com/uk/products/hybrid-type-s/


Thanks, and those look nice but def not dropping $300 on one (especially after I googled connection problems for them and people STILL post they have some issues... but that goes for anything I guess).




orange808 wrote:
If your computer has a "micro" USB port, you might try using a magnetic full size USB female to "micro" male adapter at the computer. Those disconnect easily.

Good idea (and actually saw that kind of adapter being used on 8BitDo controllers for charging - looked cool) but it's not just tripping, it's just as much that if ANYTHING is laying on the floor from a delicious floor nugget, to a USB cord the kid picks it up and messes with it... have to hide remotes and keyboards under the couch pillows lol... while still using them to control the TV and such so no good way to go about it but pure wireless.




orange808 wrote:
Download a wifi analyzer and look at the 2.4GHz traffic around you. If there's a lot of leakage coming into your home, that's your bluetooth issue. If your router has a "wide band" feature to increase potential bandwidth or it broadcasts/uses two simultaneous 2.4GHz channels, disable the additional usage. Bluetooth needs room to breathe. Use one channel. Disable automatic scanning and channel selection. Pick one. (1, 6, or 11) There are three options.


I'm in suburbia with thousands of houses around me, but have an OK size corner lot at 1/4 acre so we the houses aren't touching or anything (like 60' from 2x neighbors, 120'+ from the others) ...but can't really do anything about their wifi traffic.

What's weird is PS3/4 XB360/XBO controllers ALWAYS work perfect. All the new type retro controllers like Krikzz Genesis, RetroBit Saturn, etc. all work great. My Apple keyboard/trackpad (which is BT, not 2.4g) work 99.9% perfect. It's just any friggin other keyboard I've used on multiple devices will NOT work and I've tried a TON of them as you can see.

At some point I will try turning my WiFi completely off and see if it helps. 4G for my phone is just fine here, and the WiFi thermostat is still hard wired to the central air unit so that doesn't really need a connection either.


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 Post subject: Re: Wireless Keyboard that actually works? (last 13x sucked!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 2:51 am 


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Location: Montréal, Canada
It's gotta be your EM environment, though. I just took my Logitech K860 keyboard, whose USB receiver is connected to the *rear* of the monitor (so all that metal and circuitry is between the keyboard and the receiver), took the keyboard to 20 feet away and held it several inches above my wifi router, and still did not experience any interference. It uses the same "Unifying Receiver" transmission that your Logitech K400 does, and that particular type of receiver is rated for 10 metres. So if you're having issues line-of-site for 1 meters, it's definitely not the products themselves that are the problem. Unless every single one was defective, I mean. Which is absurdly improbable, but not actually impossible.

And just to correct a potentially mistaken understanding, while I don't know about the G602 (it's an older model), the current "lightspeed wireless" products like the G502 really are zero-lag when compared to wired USB. Sometimes they actually have slightly less latency than wired USB. It's something that's backed up in actual testing/benchmarking. So don't necessarily discard all "lag-free" claims, some of the claims are justified. Of course, some such claims really are bullshit.


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 Post subject: Re: Wireless Keyboard that actually works? (last 13x sucked!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:43 pm 


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Guspaz wrote:
It's gotta be your EM environment, though.


I agree. I've been using the same Logitech K400 keyboard shown in the OP for years at 10-12 feet without any issues at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Wireless Keyboard that actually works? (last 13x sucked!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:28 pm 


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I have a couple K400s for media PC use and while my bedroom one works fine, my living room one sometimes works fine from a slightly longer distance ~15' vs 12', other times its very laggy as hell, like the Keyboard / Receiver are trying to do a re-transmission of the commands such as moving the mouse, etc. This goes away as I get closer or raise the keyboard higher up in the air. My living room PC is sitting on the floor just like my bedroom PC.

I too am thinking some kind of RF interference. Are these models mostly 2.4GHz or are some 5.8GHz or mixed?


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 Post subject: Re: Wireless Keyboard that actually works? (last 13x sucked!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:06 pm 



Joined: 02 Mar 2017
Posts: 1233
See, just like you guys my buddies ALSO had great luck with, and recommended the K400 or one of it's variants, they swore left and right they're great... then my 3x different ones I tried suck lol.

Is there really any point in trying to seek out what EM interference I have in my home? It's not like I can wallpaper my walls in tin foil or anything to reduce it... I already have everything ethernet hard-wired that I can – mostly for speed but that also cuts down on how many wireless devices I have running.

What's weird is my Apple Bluetooth (not even 2.4g which is usually better with connecting fast and staying connected in my experience) keyboard and trackpad (and Magic Mouse when I use that), are like 100% (well, besides their loose battery connection issues I fixed with small spacers). Every single Xbox 360/XBO, PS3/PS4 controller is likewise PERFECT (like thousands and thousands of hours on those and ZERO disconnects). Don't those also use the same exact BT/2.4g spectrum as everything else? What would cause every other non-Apple and non-Sony/Microsoft device to NOT work. Actually, one of the keyboards I tried WAS a Microsoft, and it still didn't work! I just don't get it...


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 Post subject: Re: Wireless Keyboard that actually works? (last 13x sucked!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:51 pm 



Joined: 01 Mar 2018
Posts: 640
Dochartaigh wrote:
See, just like you guys my buddies ALSO had great luck with, and recommended the K400 or one of it's variants, they swore left and right they're great... then my 3x different ones I tried suck lol.

Is there really any point in trying to seek out what EM interference I have in my home? It's not like I can wallpaper my walls in tin foil or anything to reduce it... I already have everything ethernet hard-wired that I can – mostly for speed but that also cuts down on how many wireless devices I have running.

What's weird is my Apple Bluetooth (not even 2.4g which is usually better with connecting fast and staying connected in my experience) keyboard and trackpad (and Magic Mouse when I use that), are like 100% (well, besides their loose battery connection issues I fixed with small spacers). Every single Xbox 360/XBO, PS3/PS4 controller is likewise PERFECT (like thousands and thousands of hours on those and ZERO disconnects). Don't those also use the same exact BT/2.4g spectrum as everything else? What would cause every other non-Apple and non-Sony/Microsoft device to NOT work. Actually, one of the keyboards I tried WAS a Microsoft, and it still didn't work! I just don't get it...


Like everyone else I have awesome success with the K400; 2 of them in 2 different areas of my house work great every time. The interference is likely something within the radius of use that's acting orthogonally rather than linearly parallel. If you power down everything (withing reason) in the room does the K400 work?


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 Post subject: Re: Wireless Keyboard that actually works? (last 13x sucked!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:28 pm 



Joined: 02 Mar 2017
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ldeveraux wrote:
Like everyone else I have awesome success with the K400; 2 of them in 2 different areas of my house work great every time. The interference is likely something within the radius of use that's acting orthogonally rather than linearly parallel. If you power down everything (withing reason) in the room does the K400 work?


There's really nothing extraneous I can power down (within reason like you said).

I literally have my TV on for video, receiver for sound (5.1. surround sound, hard-wired, and smaller size bookshelf speakers so no huge magnets), Mac Mini as my media computer - all 3x of those are hard-wired ethernet cable. Wireless Apple Keyboard and Trackpad for the Mac Mini. Cell phone next to me on WiFi. Nest thermostat on Wifi too. NOTHING else turned on in the entire house except a couple lights and the fridge. Oh, there's a 23TB ;) Mac Pro server in the garage, hardwired, that's behind the living room like 25-30 feet away (that's where the Verizon ISP wifi router is too).

The same issues persist in my game room too (20+ feet further away from the Wifi in the garage), which has a ~7' tall steel server rack with CRT video stuff and consoles in it, and a couple CRT TV's. When the server rack is on there's like 10+ devices automatically powered on (switchers, transcoders, etc.). Nothing using Wifi or 2.4g in there as it's all like pre-2000 stuff (unless I'm using new wireless controllers). Internet in there is over power lines so not even WiFi is in use, and any ethernet stuff (OG Xbox, Extron Crosspoint, PS2) is hard-wired with that.

House is on a concrete slab (no basement), new tile floor (i.e. no uranium glaze or anything), wood stud and drywall construction everywhere.


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 Post subject: Re: Wireless Keyboard that actually works? (last 13x sucked!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:25 pm 



Joined: 01 Mar 2018
Posts: 640
Dochartaigh wrote:
ldeveraux wrote:
Like everyone else I have awesome success with the K400; 2 of them in 2 different areas of my house work great every time. The interference is likely something within the radius of use that's acting orthogonally rather than linearly parallel. If you power down everything (withing reason) in the room does the K400 work?


There's really nothing extraneous I can power down (within reason like you said).

I literally have my TV on for video, receiver for sound (5.1. surround sound, hard-wired, and smaller size bookshelf speakers so no huge magnets), Mac Mini as my media computer - all 3x of those are hard-wired ethernet cable. Wireless Apple Keyboard and Trackpad for the Mac Mini. Cell phone next to me on WiFi. Nest thermostat on Wifi too. NOTHING else turned on in the entire house except a couple lights and the fridge. Oh, there's a 23TB ;) Mac Pro server in the garage, hardwired, that's behind the living room like 25-30 feet away (that's where the Verizon ISP wifi router is too).

The same issues persist in my game room too (20+ feet further away from the Wifi in the garage), which has a ~7' tall steel server rack with CRT video stuff and consoles in it, and a couple CRT TV's. When the server rack is on there's like 10+ devices automatically powered on (switchers, transcoders, etc.). Nothing using Wifi or 2.4g in there as it's all like pre-2000 stuff (unless I'm using new wireless controllers). Internet in there is over power lines so not even WiFi is in use, and any ethernet stuff (OG Xbox, Extron Crosspoint, PS2) is hard-wired with that.

House is on a concrete slab (no basement), new tile floor (i.e. no uranium glaze or anything), wood stud and drywall construction everywhere.


Haha, exceptionally detailed description. What else could it be if not interference though? Chances are it's not 13x bad wireless keyboards, all by different manufacturers, right? Bring one device to your garage or outside and try it out. It's gotta be something!


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 Post subject: Re: Wireless Keyboard that actually works? (last 13x sucked!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:17 am 


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If you can't figure out the wireless issue, you're just going to have to fall back to more extravagant installed wired solutions. For example, run the wire up the wall and along the ceiling, then hang it down to the couch: no more wire on the floor to trip on. Or run a flat cable under a carpet. Or use a cable cover to remove the tripping hazard.

Another alternative is to just use your Magic Keyboard/Mouse with your PC. It's just Bluetooth, if it works fine with the mac, use it for the PC too. There are keyboard layouts you can install on Windows to make them work better, similar to how Apple installs a Windows keyboard layout for the Magic Keyboard when you use Bootcamp on a Mac.


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 Post subject: Re: Wireless Keyboard that actually works? (last 13x sucked!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:05 am 


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A long video/audio run is going to be more reliable than an extended USB cable setup. If you're going to run cord under carpet or wall fish it, moving the PC should be the easiest option. There are plenty of reliable solutions for long video and audio runs. When I looked into it years ago, USB hubs/extenders for long runs added latency. If you do it, I recommend a magnet tool to fish cords through walls and ceilings.
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 Post subject: Re: Wireless Keyboard that actually works? (last 13x sucked!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:46 am 


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If the concern is that running cables to the couch is problematic, it's far easier to run a single USB cable (or an ethernet cable with a USB adapter) than it is to run power, audio, video, network, and all the other stuff you might want plugged into a PC. No special extenders should be required to get a USB 2.0 cable 10-20 feet, which is all that's required for mouse/keyboard use.


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 Post subject: Re: Wireless Keyboard that actually works? (last 13x sucked!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:38 pm 


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Guspaz wrote:
If the concern is that running cables to the couch is problematic, it's far easier to run a single USB cable (or an ethernet cable with a USB adapter) than it is to run power, audio, video, network, and all the other stuff you might want plugged into a PC. No special extenders should be required to get a USB 2.0 cable 10-20 feet, which is all that's required for mouse/keyboard use.


I don't remember what the maximum run is for USB. :( Although, I am almost certain 20 feet would be out of spec.
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 Post subject: Re: Wireless Keyboard that actually works? (last 13x sucked!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:44 pm 


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For USB 2.0 (which is what you need for mouse/keyboard), it's 5 metres (~16.5 feet) by spec, but looking at PrimeCables, I see 25ft extension cables, so a good cable can probably sneak a bit past the spec's maximum. For USB 1.1, you can get passive extenders rated for 150-200 feet, and that may still be enough for mice/keyboards, as some of them still don't use even USB 2.0. That would enable you to use flat ethernet cables to go under a carpet, for example. Beyond that, there are active extenders, some of which are bus-powered and built into a single cable. I've never heard or seen anything showing significant additional latency on an active cable, but I've not looked too deeply.


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