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A bit OT: Wireless computer keyboards

 
 
Roger Mills
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      12-29-2010, 01:13 PM
I use a laptop as my main home computer, but like a full size keyboard -
so use a wireless jobbie made by Targa GmbH and sold in the UK by Lidl
under the Silver Crest brand.

I've had this keyboard for nearly a year and, a couple of days ago, it
suddenly stopped working - in the middle of typing a sentence! A
wireless mouse is part of the same setup (both talking to the same USB
dongle) and the mouse still worked ok but the keyboard was completely
dead. I checked the batteries, which were ok - fitted some news ones
just in case - still nothing.

Since the thing has a 3-year warranty, I rang the Silver Crest/Targa
helpline (London number, but sounded like a German who answered) for advice.

They said that the keyboard probably needed resetting, and to remove the
batteries for 12 hours and then replace them and try again. My reaction
was a bit like Naaman's (in the Bible) when told to bathe 7 times in the
Jordan to cure his leprosy. Anyway, what the hell - I decided to give it
a go. When I put the batteries back in 12 hours later - blow me, the
think burst into life again - and I'm using it to type this.

Has anyone got any clues as to what was wrong with it, and why removing
power for 12 hours fixed it? Could I have speeded up the process by
shorting the battery connections? If this is a common problem, shouldn't
the makers fit a re-set button of some sort, and refer to it in the user
manual?
--
Cheers,
Roger
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jgharston
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      12-29-2010, 01:46 PM
Roger Mills wrote:
> Has anyone got any clues as to what was wrong with it, and why removing
> power for 12 hours fixed it? Could I have speeded up the process by
> shorting the battery connections? If this is a common problem, shouldn't
> the makers fit a re-set button of some sort, and refer to it in the user
> manual?


The keyboard crashed and needed power-cycling. 12 hours seems
excessive
but it's probably to absolutely utterly ensure all the capacitors have
discharged. My DigiBox recommends five minutes. Yes, it should really
have a reset button on it.

It's depressing how much consumer equipment is so highly processorised
that they are so prone to this now. I got used to my TV crashing, but
my *telephone* crashed some months ago.

JGH
 
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BillW50
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      12-29-2010, 01:53 PM
In news:(E-Mail Removed),
Roger Mills typed on Wed, 29 Dec 2010 13:13:18 +0000:
> I use a laptop as my main home computer, but like a full size
> keyboard - so use a wireless jobbie made by Targa GmbH and sold in the
> UK by Lidl
> under the Silver Crest brand.
>
> I've had this keyboard for nearly a year and, a couple of days ago, it
> suddenly stopped working - in the middle of typing a sentence! A
> wireless mouse is part of the same setup (both talking to the same USB
> dongle) and the mouse still worked ok but the keyboard was completely
> dead. I checked the batteries, which were ok - fitted some news ones
> just in case - still nothing.
>
> Since the thing has a 3-year warranty, I rang the Silver Crest/Targa
> helpline (London number, but sounded like a German who answered) for
> advice.
> They said that the keyboard probably needed resetting, and to remove
> the batteries for 12 hours and then replace them and try again. My
> reaction was a bit like Naaman's (in the Bible) when told to bathe 7
> times in the Jordan to cure his leprosy. Anyway, what the hell - I
> decided to give it a go. When I put the batteries back in 12 hours
> later - blow me, the think burst into life again - and I'm using it to
> type this.
>
> Has anyone got any clues as to what was wrong with it, and why
> removing power for 12 hours fixed it? Could I have speeded up the
> process by shorting the battery connections? If this is a common
> problem, shouldn't the makers fit a re-set button of some sort, and
> refer to it in the user manual?


Hi Roger! The majority of wireless keyboard/mouse combos does have a
reset. Either on the dongle or on the keyboard and mouse.Although a lot
of them I have seen, these are not really a reset, but all it does is to
scan to the next clear channel. And it is sometimes labeled as Connect.

And while they told you to leave the batteries out for 12 hours, I
seriously doubt it needed to be anywhere that long. This Micro
Innovations KB985W only needs to be disconnected for half a second and
all is well again for example. Maybe yours won't reset that fast, but I
seriously doubt it really needs 12 hours. ;-)

Why do you sometimes need to reset them? Oh lots of reasons... firmware,
hardware, transmit, and receive glitches to name a few.

--
Bill
Gateway M465e ('06 era) - Centrino Duo 1.83G - 2GB - Windows XP SP3


 
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pete
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      12-29-2010, 02:33 PM
On Wed, 29 Dec 2010 13:13:18 +0000, Roger Mills wrote:
> I use a laptop as my main home computer, but like a full size keyboard -
> so use a wireless jobbie made by Targa GmbH and sold in the UK by Lidl
> under the Silver Crest brand.
>
> I've had this keyboard for nearly a year and, a couple of days ago, it
> suddenly stopped working - in the middle of typing a sentence! A
> wireless mouse is part of the same setup (both talking to the same USB
> dongle) and the mouse still worked ok but the keyboard was completely
> dead. I checked the batteries, which were ok - fitted some news ones
> just in case - still nothing.
>
> Since the thing has a 3-year warranty, I rang the Silver Crest/Targa
> helpline (London number, but sounded like a German who answered) for advice.
>
> They said that the keyboard probably needed resetting, and to remove the
> batteries for 12 hours and then replace them and try again. My reaction
> was a bit like Naaman's (in the Bible) when told to bathe 7 times in the
> Jordan to cure his leprosy. Anyway, what the hell - I decided to give it
> a go. When I put the batteries back in 12 hours later - blow me, the
> think burst into life again - and I'm using it to type this.
>
> Has anyone got any clues as to what was wrong with it, and why removing
> power for 12 hours fixed it? Could I have speeded up the process by
> shorting the battery connections? If this is a common problem, shouldn't
> the makers fit a re-set button of some sort, and refer to it in the user
> manual?


Congratulations! You have just won the 2010 Usenet prize for the most
obscure reference - treat yourself to a beer.
As to why the support person told you to do that, I can think of 2
reasons.

1.) They had just started a 12 hour shift and wanted to get you off
the line ASAP, with no possibility of taking your call when/if
you called back to say that the remedy hadn't worked.
2.) Like the prisoner teaching the horse to sing, there was a chance
it might work. Luckily it did (though as others have pointed
out, a shorter time (5 minutes? 10 seconds?) may have been enough.

--
http://thisreallyismyhost.99k.org/29...1249015020.php
 
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Roger Mills
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      12-29-2010, 05:10 PM
On 29/12/2010 14:33, pete wrote:
> On Wed, 29 Dec 2010 13:13:18 +0000, Roger Mills wrote:
>> I use a laptop as my main home computer, but like a full size keyboard -
>> so use a wireless jobbie made by Targa GmbH and sold in the UK by Lidl
>> under the Silver Crest brand.
>>
>> I've had this keyboard for nearly a year and, a couple of days ago, it
>> suddenly stopped working - in the middle of typing a sentence! A
>> wireless mouse is part of the same setup (both talking to the same USB
>> dongle) and the mouse still worked ok but the keyboard was completely
>> dead. I checked the batteries, which were ok - fitted some news ones
>> just in case - still nothing.


etc.
>
> Congratulations! You have just won the 2010 Usenet prize for the most
> obscure reference - treat yourself to a beer.


The title does say "A bit OT" - what's your problem?

> As to why the support person told you to do that, I can think of 2
> reasons.
>
> 1.) They had just started a 12 hour shift and wanted to get you off
> the line ASAP, with no possibility of taking your call when/if
> you called back to say that the remedy hadn't worked.
> 2.) Like the prisoner teaching the horse to sing, there was a chance
> it might work. Luckily it did (though as others have pointed
> out, a shorter time (5 minutes? 10 seconds?) may have been enough.
>


I don't know how long it really took - but I went along with the 12
hours (not really expecting it to work!) so that they couldn't say that
I hadn't left it long enough when I rang back.

10 seconds was definitely *not* long enough because the batteries were
out for longer than that when I was checking them.
--
Cheers,
Roger
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Adrian
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      12-29-2010, 07:39 PM
Roger Mills <(E-Mail Removed)> gurgled happily, sounding much like
they were saying:

> I use a laptop as my main home computer, but like a full size keyboard -
> so use a wireless jobbie made by Targa GmbH and sold in the UK by Lidl
> under the Silver Crest brand.
>
> I've had this keyboard for nearly a year and, a couple of days ago, it
> suddenly stopped working - in the middle of typing a sentence! A
> wireless mouse is part of the same setup (both talking to the same USB
> dongle)


Bluetooth?

Does the laptop have internal BT?

> If this is a common problem, shouldn't the makers fit a re-set button
> of some sort


I've never come across a wireless mouse/keyboard that didn't have.

> and refer to it in the user manual?


<wipes tear of laughter away>

Seriously - "They do that sometimes". It's one of the reasons I hate them
so much. Give me wired. Predictable stuff, wire. I had a Bluetooth
keyboard the other day that was beyond even just a reset (reputable - a
Logitech), and needed to be de-paired from the PC and re-added.

Check for firmware and driver updates for the BT as well as keyboard -
they can make all the difference.
 
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Roger Mills
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      12-29-2010, 07:57 PM
On 29/12/2010 19:39, Adrian wrote:
> Roger Mills<(E-Mail Removed)> gurgled happily, sounding much like
> they were saying:
>
>> I use a laptop as my main home computer, but like a full size keyboard -
>> so use a wireless jobbie made by Targa GmbH and sold in the UK by Lidl
>> under the Silver Crest brand.
>>
>> I've had this keyboard for nearly a year and, a couple of days ago, it
>> suddenly stopped working - in the middle of typing a sentence! A
>> wireless mouse is part of the same setup (both talking to the same USB
>> dongle)

>
> Bluetooth?
>


Not as far as I know - the bit that plugs into the computer is described
as a "Miniature USB receiver", and is marked 2.4GHz.

> Does the laptop have internal BT?
>


Yes, but I've never succeeded in getting it to talk to a
bluetooth-enabled mobile phone.

>> If this is a common problem, shouldn't the makers fit a re-set button
>> of some sort

>
> I've never come across a wireless mouse/keyboard that didn't have.
>


Well my keyboard doesn't - not even a hole to poke a paperclip into, and
no on/off switch (but the mouse *does* have an on/off switch - but no
other means of resetting it)


>
> Seriously - "They do that sometimes". It's one of the reasons I hate them
> so much. Give me wired. Predictable stuff, wire. I had a Bluetooth
> keyboard the other day that was beyond even just a reset (reputable - a
> Logitech), and needed to be de-paired from the PC and re-added.
>
> Check for firmware and driver updates for the BT as well as keyboard -
> they can make all the difference.


But I don't think it uses BT!
--
Cheers,
Roger
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Adrian
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      12-29-2010, 08:03 PM
Roger Mills <(E-Mail Removed)> gurgled happily, sounding much like
they were saying:

>> Bluetooth?


> Not as far as I know - the bit that plugs into the computer is described
> as a "Miniature USB receiver", and is marked 2.4GHz.


Eww. I thought (hoped) that had completely died out - but clearly not.
Lidl, y'say? <fx: prejudices, reinforcing>

>> Does the laptop have internal BT?


> Yes, but I've never succeeded in getting it to talk to a
> bluetooth-enabled mobile phone.


It's worth looking into firmware upgrades - a lot of Dell laptops ship
with BT 2.0 firmware, with 2.1 downloadable. See if you can identify what
chipset it's got, and which set of drivers will work - there's pretty
much three. Tosh, CSR & Broadcom.
 
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pete
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      12-29-2010, 09:24 PM
On Wed, 29 Dec 2010 17:10:44 +0000, Roger Mills wrote:
> On 29/12/2010 14:33, pete wrote:
>> On Wed, 29 Dec 2010 13:13:18 +0000, Roger Mills wrote:
>>> I use a laptop as my main home computer, but like a full size keyboard -
>>> so use a wireless jobbie made by Targa GmbH and sold in the UK by Lidl
>>> under the Silver Crest brand.
>>>
>>> I've had this keyboard for nearly a year and, a couple of days ago, it
>>> suddenly stopped working - in the middle of typing a sentence! A
>>> wireless mouse is part of the same setup (both talking to the same USB
>>> dongle) and the mouse still worked ok but the keyboard was completely
>>> dead. I checked the batteries, which were ok - fitted some news ones
>>> just in case - still nothing.

>
> etc.
>>
>> Congratulations! You have just won the 2010 Usenet prize for the most
>> obscure reference - treat yourself to a beer.

>
> The title does say "A bit OT" - what's your problem?


Well, one problem I have is lack of lottery-winning numbers. Another
would be the weather, followed by the government, nothing good on TV
and to top it off, I ate too much over christmas.
Oh, you seem to think I have a problem with your post. Errrr .... no
I have no idea why you'd be so defensive, given my compliment about
your biblical reference (what did you think I meant?).

>
>> As to why the support person told you to do that, I can think of 2
>> reasons.
>>
>> 1.) They had just started a 12 hour shift and wanted to get you off
>> the line ASAP, with no possibility of taking your call when/if
>> you called back to say that the remedy hadn't worked.
>> 2.) Like the prisoner teaching the horse to sing, there was a chance
>> it might work. Luckily it did (though as others have pointed
>> out, a shorter time (5 minutes? 10 seconds?) may have been enough.
>>

>
> I don't know how long it really took - but I went along with the 12
> hours (not really expecting it to work!) so that they couldn't say that
> I hadn't left it long enough when I rang back.
>
> 10 seconds was definitely *not* long enough because the batteries were
> out for longer than that when I was checking them.



--
http://thisreallyismyhost.99k.org/29...6483113477.php
 
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D.M.Chapman
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      12-30-2010, 08:53 AM
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Adrian <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>Roger Mills <(E-Mail Removed)> gurgled happily, sounding much like
>they were saying:
>
>>> Bluetooth?

>
>> Not as far as I know - the bit that plugs into the computer is described
>> as a "Miniature USB receiver", and is marked 2.4GHz.

>
>Eww. I thought (hoped) that had completely died out - but clearly not.
>Lidl, y'say? <fx: prejudices, reinforcing>


Loads use a seperate receiver, not bluetooth. Certainly MS and Logitech
do.

Pretty much any machine will understand a usb mouse so they just appear
as that. Much more effort to get a bluetooth mouse working. Ok, it just
works on a mac, but windows Vista? (might do), XP (hah!) Linux? (what
particular flavour?)...


Also gets complicated if you want to be able to wake the machine from the
mouse/keyboard - again, replicating a usb device avoids those issues (largely)

I seem to recall some issue about response/pairing time as well, but can't
remember the problem now :-)

Darren - on a mac, using bluetooth ;-)


 
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