Why I'm Not Happy With My PI Engineering Y-Mouse

I bought PI Engineering's Y-Mouse adapter for USB a few months ago to hook my Apple Macintosh G5 into my PS/2-VGA KVM and the results have been deeply frustrating.

For many years now I have been running multiple machines over the same PS/2-VGA KVM with no problem. When I bought my Apple Macintosh G5 I wanted to hook it into the KVM but the G5 only takes USB peripherals. I thought of buying a USB KVM but the reviews of the various ones I found weren't encouraging both on price and reliability. So I was very excited when I found PI Engineering's Y-Mouse adapter for USB. I found a number of reviews that said it worked really great. Sure at $50 it was a bit more expensive than it's competitors but the price was worth paying for higher quality.

Since buying the adapter a few months ago I have experienced the following behaviors:

  • At least once or twice a day the ALT key will think it's being held down when it is not and refuse to release so both the mouse and keyboard stop working correctly
  • At least once every two days when I hold down the arrow keys to quickly scroll down numbers like 4 and 6 will appear in the text, this is especially fun when writing code
  • At least a few times a month the Shift key will get confused and think it's held down which creates LOTS OF FUN
  • At least once a month number keys, especially the number 2, will get confused and think they are held down when they are not

Fixing the first three problems usually requires me to hit lots of keys until the computer gets unconfused, although cycling the KVM can sometimes also help. Fixing the last problem just requires hitting escape. I am reasonably confident that the problems are not caused by my keyboard as I use the keyboard via the KVM with my work machine and have never had any problems.

When I contacted PI Engineering about the problem they responded promptly that it was a problem with my KVM. I find that an odd answer since I have used this KVM with at least three different PCs running both Windows and Linux without any problem. I have used different mice, different configurations, etc. Whatever my KVM's problems are many other machines and peripherals have handled them without any issue what so ever. So I would respectfully suggest to PI Engineering that the balance of the evidence would favor a conclusion that the Y-Mouse adapter has a problem. It would not appear able to replicate the normal behavior of a PS/2 based mouse and keyboard.

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