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Hardware Thread, Wireless interactive whiteboard in Technical; Hi everyone We've recently had installed a large number of interactive whiteboards for our science department. Trouble is, the connectors ...
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    sdc
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    Wireless interactive whiteboard

    Hi everyone

    We've recently had installed a large number of interactive whiteboards for our science department. Trouble is, the connectors (e.g. VGA, audio and USB) are in a block on the wall just under or next to each whiteboard, and the teachers want their laptops at a desk or demonstration station which is not close to these points. Long cables are out of the question because of health and safety (they'd have to go across the floors etc) and also because of aesthetics (this is a new building).

    I'm therefore thinking either of connecting the equipment via CAT5 (there are a myriad of CAT5 points in each lab) using something like this which costs US$83 plus import/shipping from China, but I must admit to being a little skeptical about it. Can VGA, audio and USB all run through the same CAT5 cable without any problems?!

    Alternatively, I've thought of going wireless using this which provides a WAP, wireless audio and VGA all in one device, but leaves me with the USB connection for the interactive whiteboard still to work out.

    Any thoughts on this would be appreciated! Whatever we do, it has to be simple - teachers don't have the time to fiddle around with a number of connectors (and if we had multiple CAT5 extenders I can see it being confusing as to which one connects what!) - and reliable. As wireless network coverage is not currently 100% in the building, I'm thinking about trialling the second solution outlined above along with a CAT5 USB extension. However, this means that the teachers would always have to go to the same location for the USB connection, which sort of defeats the point of being wireless, I guess!! Does anyone have any experience with wireless USB (which I've seen sporadic reference to on the web)?

    Thanks!
    Stephen
    Last edited by sdc; 26th February 2009 at 04:31 PM. Reason: Typo

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Looks good I was looking for something for the same reason and didn't find anything.

    Ben

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    FYI

    We can supply the INLITESHOW2 3WORK BIG INSTREAM DEVICE

    Price 108.80 With FREE Delivery - In stock

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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    Looks good I was looking for something for the same reason and didn't find anything.

    Ben
    Hiya Ben ,

    We have the INLITESHOW2 Wireless adapter in stock for 105.00+vat free delivery , info shown below,



    The InFocus LiteShow II Wireless Presentation Adaptor connects directly to any projector with a VGA connection, making that projector wireless-enabled. Not only can users send standard slideshow presentations from their laptop, but advanced hardware actually enables LiteShow II to receive both audio and video simultaneously. You won`t have to worry about the annoyance of video or audio lag, with onboard 802.11 b/g connectivity each presentation will be smooth. As display technology evolves and higher resolution content is integrated in presentations, LiteShow II is designed to support and adapt to these changes. Operating on the WiFi standard with ample memory for upgrades, your future presentations will be as brilliantly cable-free as those you make today with LiteShow II. Zero cables to present, no more software to pass around! LiteShow II features onboard memory which holds the necessary driver and management software. Any new user can connect to the LiteShow II wireless signal, install the software and begin a presentation in a matter of minutes. Impressive new technology from InFocus is so easy to use it will change the way meetings are run.



    Features

    4-digit access code

    WEP 128 and WPA-Personal (PSK)

    802.11b/g standard

    Access Point+

    VGA Pass-Through

    Onboard Software Host

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    Quote Originally Posted by sdc View Post
    Trouble is, the connectors (e.g. VGA, audio and USB) are in a block on the wall just under or next to each whiteboard, and the teachers want their laptops at a desk or demonstration station which is not close to these points.
    Get a small and/or cheap PC, nail it to the wall under the connectors block, hook it up to the projector and whiteboard and control it from the teacher's laptop via VNC. Could also throw in a decent wireless keyboard and mouse so they can walk around the room typing / mousing.

    --
    David Hicks

  6. Thanks to dhicks from:

    sdc (27th February 2009)

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    I thought about that option as well dhicks.

    That device only does the vga connection though not the usb for the interactive side of things as well.

    Using vnc to push the laptop screen to the desktop I presume the interactive software would work as well?

    Ben

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    We had the same problem here and got longer cables with the rubber protective matting encasing the cables on the floor.

    Nobody has tripped up to now... touch wood!

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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    Using vnc to push the laptop screen to the desktop I presume the interactive software would work as well?
    No, wrong way around - control the desktop with the laptop. The desktop is connected directly to the projector and should be easily able to handle any video or whatever the user wants to show. If there's not enough bandwidth to render video over a wireless connection from the desktop to the laptop then it doesn't matter, VNC will just show a blank space and the user will still be able to control the screen. This way you also rely on your existing (hopefully managed) wireless network points, you don't have to have any other potentially conflicting wireless devices around (these wireless whiteboards, keyboards and mice all seem to want to use the same bit of bandwidth that 802.11 wireless wants to).

    --
    David Hicks

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    Could you get a set of cables long enough and then feed them into the wall and them pop them out to a block at the lab desk or get a company in and move the block?

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    sdc
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    Hi all

    Thanks for the ideas and suggestions. Due to the look of the new building we would like to avoid the rubber matting covering the cables (although we did suggest it). Similarly, having the connection points moved would be quite a nuisance and probably require redecoration.

    Personally, I'm still keen on the Infocus solution, and in fact telephoned their US office yesterday evening to see if they'd thought of incorporating USB connectivity for interactive whiteboards etc, as this could be quite a promising market. The answer, however, was no. Ah well, back to the (interactive?) drawing board!

    The VNC remote control idea is a possibility, however - we'll look into that; thanks!

    Stephen

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    My thnking was that if you push the laptop to the desktop then the desktop can be always on during the day and auto logged on.

    Thus the teacher is logged on to her laptop as her and then when she wants to use the board just pushes her laptop screen to the desktop.

    If you remote control the pc then you need to log on to it as the correct person so that your documents and stuff are available.

    Ben

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    Does any flavour of vnc do video/audio particularly well?

    It seems ultravnc doesn't support remote audio?

    Ben

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    Also usb over ip is possible.

    USB over Network Solutions - FabulaTech

    and

    USB/IP Project

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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    If you remote control the pc then you need to log on to it as the correct person so that your documents and stuff are available.
    Good point. I suppose it depends how you organise the system. You could have the desktop PC always logged on to a "whiteboard user" account, with access to a shared file location that teachers can write their whiteboard presentations to (or your VLE, of course). Then the teacher could control the desktop PC with their laptop and have any other stuff they wanted on their laptop screen too (class register, notes, whatever).

    --
    David Hicks
    Last edited by dhicks; 27th February 2009 at 10:16 AM.

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    Ok I've just tried the fabula tech software and it rebooted both client machines I tried it on.

    Looked promising because before it rebooted it had seen the remote device as a promethean board.

    RDP does audio so how about if you scripted the remote desktop to connect to the console rdp session of a laptop next on my list to try.

    Ben

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