I have a system with multiple keyboards, and one CPU. The problem is, if person 1 is entering a value from keyboard 1 and person 2 enters the value from keyboard 2 at the same time, the value entered is mixed up. What peripheral can be used so that only one keyboard is active at a time. For example, when keyboard 1 starts typing, keyboard 2 must be disabled until keyboard 1 presses a specific button. [Can a hardware device solve this? Or can it be controlled by using some code in my software?]

  • I think what you're trying to create is essentially a multihead system, and this is a question of correctly configuring the software, not the hardware. Look at SoftXpand and other multihead solutions for inspiration. Alternatively, if you're OK with the linux, multihead is already available on linux via SSH. Login via SSH from a terminal and go from there (you'll need a separate terminal machine, of course). – Adam Wykes Jul 11 '16 at 16:07
  • Having separate terminal machines will not solve my problem. I basically have a token display system. The token numbers are to be entered from various places but displayed on the same monitor. But when one is entering a token number, the other should not be able to enter. If I use multiple terminals, I will be displaying the result of each keyboard on a different monitor. – newBie Jul 20 '16 at 5:02

OK, I think I have a solution that will be very close to what you originally had in mind: a USB hub with individual port power switches.

By turning power on and off to two keyboards attached to this hub, you can have two keyboards attached to a single computer that don't get in the way of each other - they can be locked out from entering commands until power is restored to their port.


I know that this isn't a hardware answer but TeamPlayer4 (from Dicolab https://www.dicolab.com/) might do what you are looking for. With that, you can use several input devices for several users. So even if typing on keyboard A doesn't disable keyboard B, as far as it is not the same user, keyboard B won't mix up with A ;)

  • I've tried TeamPlayer4. But it doesn't solve my problem. The application I wrote has a single textarea. And both keyboards A and B are supposed to type in the same textarea. So one needs to be disabled when the other is active. – newBie Jul 11 '16 at 16:12
  • Oh ok thought that it could do that. However, I really can't see any way of solve it hardware side ;) – comicurus Jul 12 '16 at 6:49

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