Author Topic: Using a Corsair K70 Keyboard on a KVM under ArcaOS  (Read 1186 times)

Mark Szkolnicki

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Using a Corsair K70 Keyboard on a KVM under ArcaOS
« on: October 19, 2021, 11:34:20 pm »
Hi All!

Its been quite a few months (21 in fact) since I had any time to stop in to the OS2world forums, to participate, as between pandemic and forest fire response its been a busy time. Hope everyone remains well in what has become a rather extraordinary time in history.

Just thought I'd drop off a tip I learned today, related to getting a Corsair K70 keyboard on a Belkin KVM working with ArcaOS.

As background, I had worn out my keyboard late last year after years of typing, and was in the market for a new one - I wanted it for both use in a professional manner (purely for typing) and for gaming (in the odd time I have for such).

As a result I came across the Corsair K70 Mk. 2, which had very high marks - it is a very well made (aluminum frame) keyboard with a rugged Gold Contact Cherry MX mechanical movement. I've always preferred mechanical keyboards to membrane, but as with all things it runs to personal preference.

It also is an extremely attractive bright back lighted keyboard, in multiple colours in a variety of patterns, which looks good whether in daylight or at night.

Purchasing the keyboard last December I attempted to hook it up to first one computer directly, and then through my KVM switches, to my ArcaOS set-ups, only to be disappointed with the fact that the keyboard did not to seem to be recognized by either the KVMs or the system, under ArcaOS, although it functioned correctly in the Windows set-up (Windows 7 Pro) when directly connected on the computer I was using for test purposes.

I had little time to troubleshoot the problem, so I was forced to use another keyboard I then purchased for use with my KVM switchs, which worked, but was certainly not the same in either style nor quality.

Returning to the problem two days ago, I finally found a solution on a couple of forums where people had reported the same problems with Corsair keyboards and KVM switches, and a link to a blog by a Simon Fredsted:

https:/simonfredsted.com/1775

It seems that Simon found that some Corsair keyboards won't work in some computer's BIOS due to gaming optimizations -- any keys you press before booting an OS will not be recognized. The same is true for access through KVM switches.

The K70 has an option which is called "BIOS mode" which may be enabled by pressing the "WinLock" key (on the K70 this is located at the top left of the keyboard as a specialty key with a Lock symbol on it) for five seconds, when the keyboard is powered, and then holding down the F1 key (so both keys are pressed) for an additional 5 seconds.

After that release the WINLOCK key - the keyboard LED's go off then back on, and the Scroll Lock LED on the keyboard should blink continuously. After a second, release the F1 key.

Using that procedure the K70 keyboard is now recognized when I boot up ArcaOS, including the colour keyboard display which I had enabled.

From Simons blog, using BIOS mode limits some of the gaming optimizations inherent to the keyboard. To turn off BIOS mode when using them under Windows, he indicates that you simply perform the procedure again - the blinking Scroll Lock LED should turn off.

I've tested exiting and re enabling BIOS mode, as well as turning the KVM off and then on (the K70 seems to retain BIOS mode until it is disabled as above, possibly because of the keyboard onboard memory)

I have not as yet tried using the keyboard directly connected to one computer, or using it for gaming purposes under windows, but thought this tip might be useful for others here who were using this model or others in the Corsair line and trying to access ArcaOS.

Best to all and a fine day to you!

Mark

Martin Iturbide

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Re: Using a Corsair K70 Keyboard on a KVM under ArcaOS
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2021, 12:02:56 am »
Thanks for sharing Mark. Welcome back.

Is this the keyboard? Looks nice.

Can it be possible for you to post the Hardware USB ID of the keyboard so I can add it to the OS2World wiki?
Also if you can post the hardware report of the USB device using lsusb (I have an article on how to generate that report here)

Is this the manual of you keyboard?
https://www.corsair.com/corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/K70_RGB_MK2_LP_QSG.pdf

Regards
Martin Iturbide
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... just share the dream.

Mark Szkolnicki

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Re: Using a Corsair K70 Keyboard on a KVM under ArcaOS
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2021, 02:30:40 am »
Heh Martin!

Long time no talk.

| Is this the keyboard? Looks nice.

It is the keyboard, with the gaming caps attached (optional, and I don't use them), but the pictures really don't do it justice.

I've attached a picture of mine, fully lit in a dark room - quite striking, as well as extremely functional.

It actually has a wave of changing colours slowly rolling from left to right across the keyboard in the current configuration - other modes are available.

| Can it be possible for you to post the Hardware USB ID of the keyboard so I can add it to the OS2World wiki?
| Also if you can post the hardware report of the USB device using lsusb (I have an article on how to generate that report here)


Will have a look tomorrow and see

| Is this the manual of you keyboard?
| https://www.corsair.com/corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/K70_RGB_MK2_LP_QSG.pdf


Yup, thats the one, Martin

Best!

M







Martin Iturbide

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Re: Using a Corsair K70 Keyboard on a KVM under ArcaOS
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2021, 04:02:20 am »
Hi Mark

I just created this wiki page for the keyboard.

Maybe the same technique can work for the "Corsair K55 RGB Gaming Keyboard" that was reported as not working, but I don't remember who report it to ask him to try it out.

Regards
Martin Iturbide
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Mark Szkolnicki

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Re: Using a Corsair K70 Keyboard on a KVM under ArcaOS
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2021, 04:42:29 am »
Maybe the same technique can work for the "Corsair K55 RGB Gaming Keyboard" that was reported as not working, but I don't remember who report it to ask him to try it out.


Very possible Martin, assuming the K55 has a "BIOS mode" switch function. This link may help in the Corsair forum as its directly related to BIOS mode and the K55 (although WINLOCK-F1 is indicated as not working as the key combination):

https://forum.corsair.com/forums/topic/170805-k55-rgb-pro-xt-bios-mode/

I myself got the idea from a post on the following web link:

https://superuser.com/questions/1558951/why-dont-gaming-keyboards-typically-work-with-kvm-switches

The writer was enquiring about not connecting through a KVM switch with a Corsair K95, and that's where I ran across the link to Simon Fredsteds blog. Simon was illustrating enabling BIOS Mode on a Corsair K63 Keyboard, so it would probably work as well. The WINLOCK key on that keyboard is on the right top side of the board, but it was the keyboard he used to come up with the instructions given, so the procedure is the same.

It seems most of the current Corsair keyboards have the WINLOCK switch at the top of the keyboard, but there also seems to be some models that have a BIOS Mode switch at the back of the keyboard beside the connector cable, according to some accounts.

The K70 keyboards also have a USB passthrough connector on the back of the keyboard and an auxiliary cable with a USB-A connector which may be connected to the host computer to enable it. Originally I read some posts about the K70 possibly requiring additional power from a cell phone charger which could be attached to this cable, if used on a KVM. I never tried that - having BIOS mode work for me, I never pursued the other possibility.

Best!

M
« Last Edit: October 20, 2021, 04:51:54 am by Mark Szkolnicki »

ivan

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Re: Using a Corsair K70 Keyboard on a KVM under ArcaOS
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2021, 01:07:46 pm »
The K95 keyboard is very simple to change to BIOS mode - there is a three position slider switch at the back.

I haven't tried it with a KVM switch - no need at the moment. 

I would like to get the 18 left-hand keys working but requires some programming and I am not a programmer even though there is linux program available.

Mark Szkolnicki

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Re: Using a Corsair K70 Keyboard on a KVM under ArcaOS
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2021, 04:19:46 pm »
The K95 keyboard is very simple to change to BIOS mode - there is a three position slider switch at the back.

I haven't tried it with a KVM switch - no need at the moment. 

I would like to get the 18 left-hand keys working but requires some programming and I am not a programmer even though there is linux program available.

Heh Ivan!

As the original tests I was doing last December were connecting the K70 directly with a test host computer, which resulted in it not being recognized or seen by ArcaOS, I was wondering if your K95 was recognized by ArcaOS, without enabling the BIOS mode switch?

I had a look at the K95 RGB Platinum XT currently available on Amazon and noted it has exactly the same configuration of specialty Corsair keys  at top, as the K70 (including WinLock), as well as 6 keys (G1- G6) on the left. Are the 18 additional left hand keys you referred to on your K95 in a bank on the left? If so, it must be one wide keyboard.

I had an Aula Gaming Keyboard prior to the keyboards I have now, and it had the same configuration of special keys G1 to G6, arranged on the left. I had them programmed under Windows with their Aula Keyboard Utility program, for use in games like The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, but could never get them to do anything under eCS or ArcaOS as well. I assume the key codes were non-standard.

Best!

M

ivan

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Re: Using a Corsair K70 Keyboard on a KVM under ArcaOS
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2021, 07:45:09 pm »
Hi Mark,

Like you I couldn't get any of the newer Corsair keyboards to work with OS/2 ArcaOS unless they are in BIOS mode. 

Most of their mechanical keyboards have a very similar layout and key positions.  Yes, it is wide but It is what I am used to.  I got it because my old workstation keyboard that finally fell apart had the same key layout and I assumed (silly me) I would be able to use the 18 extra keys in the same way forgetting that most new keyboards of this type are designed for windows use only and I don't use windows.  I have tested it with the linux ckb software and it works.

It appears that there are 3 separate data sections in the firmware with the two that interface with the special keys and the LEDs  neither of which our usbkbd.sys know anything about.  The bank of 18 keys have very odd keycodes which are used by the keyboard firmware and do not appear to the outside world.

Mark Szkolnicki

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Re: Using a Corsair K70 Keyboard on a KVM under ArcaOS
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2021, 03:03:28 am »
Hi Mark

I just created this wiki page for the keyboard.

Maybe the same technique can work for the "Corsair K55 RGB Gaming Keyboard" that was reported as not working, but I don't remember who report it to ask him to try it out.

Regards

Heh, Martin!

After getting home this afternoon, I decided to try connecting the keyboard directly to a test computer, with ArcaOS installed.

I connected both the Keyboard USB-A connector to the computer USB port (still in BIOS mode, which had not been changed - probably due to the on-board memory?) and the passthrough connector to a second USB connector - and the host computer did not recognize the keyboard!

Trying both the use of an external cell phone power block (5.0 V 2.0 amp) to the USB cable, the auxiliary USB connector to another USB connector  as well as connection to the keyboard cable, I was able to get ArcaOS to recognize the keyboard.

I will say that I'm not sure what happened, or whether that could be reproduced - so I'm not quite sure if it is relevant. After that, it did not matter whether an external connector was powered or whether it woke up the BIOS but the keyboard is recognized on the keyboard cable on both direct connection to one computer and through the connection to a KVM switch.

Regardless, whether directly or through a KVM, I was able to control functions through ArcaOS through the K70 Keyboard, with BIOS Mode enabled.

BTW, I'm still having a look at what reports your wiki on the subject can produce:

https://www.os2world.com/wiki/index.php/Extracting_Hardware_Information_from_ArcaOS_and_OS/2#lsusb

At the moment, I downloaded lsusb from Paul Smedley's site but there are a few items I have to evaluate as to what goes where ( most notably usd.ids, based on Paul's explanation)

I do have the following Vendor and Product ID's which may be appropriate to your wiki:

idVendor           0x1b1c Corsair
idProduct          0x1b38  K70 RGB Keyboard (don't know if it refers to MK 1 or MK 2)

These were derived from the Internet PCI ID lists, not from the tools like PCI.exe, DMICode.exe or lsusb.exe, so I'm not sure how relevant they would be to your wiki.

Best!

M
« Last Edit: October 22, 2021, 01:47:49 am by Mark Szkolnicki »

Mark Szkolnicki

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Re: Using a Corsair K70 Keyboard on a KVM under ArcaOS
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2021, 08:30:59 pm »
Hi Mark

I just created this wiki page for the keyboard.

Maybe the same technique can work for the "Corsair K55 RGB Gaming Keyboard" that was reported as not working, but I don't remember who report it to ask him to try it out.

Regards

Hi Martin!

I was having a look at your Wiki's today and noted that the pages for the K55 Keyboard and K70 keyboards were not in the summary table listings under the Mouse / Keyboards section - don't know if that means you haven't added a link update to the table.

Just a couple of additional items.

For the K70 - have been using it successfully for a few weeks now and it is indeed a sweet keyboard

A couple of things you might want to add to the Wiki for the Corsair K70:

1) The actual designation of the keyboard (name) is Corsair K70 RGB Mk. 2 Mechanical keyboard

2) You might want to bump up the Rating from Good to Very Good

3) I suggest you add in the comments that it works fine connected through both a KVM switch (I have 8 port Belkins) as well as directly connected to a host computer, under ArcaOS.

A couple of things you might want to add to the Wiki for the Corsair K55:

1) I can confirm that the current Corsair K55 RGB Keyboard (CH-9206015-NA) does have a BIOS mode function, enabled in the same way as the K70 however the WINLOCK button is located on the upper right side of the board instead of the upper left side on the K70.

2) You might want to add the links to Simon's blog there about enabling BIOS mode as well.

If somebody has a K55 and wants to try it, to confirm it works for that keyboard they're welcome - I don"t have one myself.

And finally, after Ivans post and because Corsair was having a sale on Amazon.ca, ($50.00 off) I purchased a new Corsair K95 RGB Platinum Mechanical keyboard, as I missed the macro buttons on the left side that were on my Aula board for games like Oblivion (the newest one has 6 macros keys as opposed to Ivan's 18 in an older model).

The key layout (with exception of the extra 6 macro keys) is exactly the same as the K70, including where the WINLOCK button is located, but the tactile feel is a lot softer (uses Brown MX gold contacts instead of the Cherry ones - and I can confirm enabling BIOS mode uses exactly the same procedure.

So I have both keyboards plugged into the KVM array - will use the K70 for my professional work as I like that snappy "click" and the K95 for gaming.

This keyboard is different than Ivan's as mentioned, so don't know if you want to create a separate Wiki but, if so,  it also should be added to the summary table, as this may help out a lot of people, as these Corsair keyboards are probably the best I've used since my original IBM PC XT keyboard, O so many moons ago ........... !

Best Sir as always!

M

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Re: Using a Corsair K70 Keyboard on a KVM under ArcaOS
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2021, 02:07:25 pm »
Hi Mark

Thanks for the feedback. I had updated the wiki of the K55 and K70 with your suggestions.

About the K96 keyboard you got, if it is a different model I prefer to create a different Wiki page about it, even if it is the same hardwareID.
Can you please post the hardware report of it and the HardwareID? and the website link.

Regards
Martin Iturbide
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Mark Szkolnicki

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Re: Using a Corsair K70 Keyboard on a KVM under ArcaOS
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2021, 04:58:10 pm »
Hi Mark

Thanks for the feedback. I had updated the wiki of the K55 and K70 with your suggestions.

About the K96 keyboard you got, if it is a different model I prefer to create a different Wiki page about it, even if it is the same hardwareID.
Can you please post the hardware report of it and the HardwareID? and the website link.

Regards

Good Morning Martin!

Will do on the hardware info,

Your reply was about a K96 keyboard which I assume was a typo - actually K95

Will try to get to that later today and Best!

M

Mark Szkolnicki

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Re: Using a Corsair K70 Keyboard on a KVM under ArcaOS
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2021, 05:12:58 pm »
Hi Mark

Thanks for the feedback. I had updated the wiki of the K55 and K70 with your suggestions.

About the K96 keyboard you got, if it is a different model I prefer to create a different Wiki page about it, even if it is the same hardwareID.
Can you please post the hardware report of it and the HardwareID? and the website link.

Regards

Hi Again Martin!

Well that was quick and easy for Hardware ID, having time to set things up on my systems.

The Hardware ID is indeed different than Ivan's board. The K95 RGB Platinum ID is 1B1C:1B2D

Ivan's was 1B1C:1B11

Hardware Report to follow.

M

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Re: Using a Corsair K70 Keyboard on a KVM under ArcaOS
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2021, 11:02:30 pm »
Hi Mark

Thanks for the feedback. I had updated the wiki of the K55 and K70 with your suggestions.

About the K96 keyboard you got, if it is a different model I prefer to create a different Wiki page about it, even if it is the same hardwareID.
Can you please post the hardware report of it and the HardwareID? and the website link.

Regards

Hi Martin!

Attached is the Hardware report for the Corsair K95 Platinum RGB Keyboard.

I didn't send one about the K70 Mk.2 as when I attempted to use lsusb to identify the keyboard there seemed to be no listing for Hardware ID 1B1C:1B38. LSUSB identifies the keyboard as a generic PS/2  keyboard for some reason

It could also not locate it using the ID for the Vengence K70 which I believe is an older model. Browsing the newest usb.ids file which I downloaded today it does not list 1B1C:1B38 in the listing under Corsair, so that may be the problem.

Anyway, a fine rest of the day and weekend to you, Sir and Best!

M

Mark Szkolnicki

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Re: Using a Corsair K70 Keyboard on a KVM under ArcaOS
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2021, 08:14:34 pm »

Can it be possible for you to post the Hardware USB ID of the keyboard so I can add it to the OS2World wiki?
Also if you can post the hardware report of the USB device using lsusb (I have an article on how to generate that report here)


Hi Martin!

Got the Hardware Report for the K70 Mk2 keyboard finally.

The hardware ID I gave you first for this K70 board is incorrect - for the Mk2 - it should be 1b1c:1b49, so it is different from the Mk1 version.

The hardware report is attached below and Best!

M