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Griffin 1100-PWRMTS PowerMate/USB Multimedia Controller and Input Device

3 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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  • Available in Brushed Aluminum
  • Great control for iTunes or video/audio editing
  • Programmable for any application
  • Replaces repetitive keystrokes

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Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Griffin Technology
  • Model Number: 1100-PWRMTS
  • Item Package Quantity: 1
  • Manufacturer Warranty Description: One Year

Product Description

The quintessential volume knob for all USB computers (instant mute for phone calls) and much more! Comes with presets for a wide range of applications. Programmable to control practically any Mac or PC application.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 5.8 x 1.7 x 7.9 inches
Item Weight 3.8 ounces
Shipping Weight 9.6 ounces
Domestic Shipping This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
ASIN B000RZO482
Item model number 1100-PWRMTS
Customer Reviews
3 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

3 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #167,755 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
#202,815 in Electronics > Computers & Accessories
Date first available at Amazon.com October 2, 2001

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Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Jacobsen on July 1, 2008
The PowerMate is mechanically excellent. It feels and looks great. The included software is basic, but OK.

I only give two stars, though, because they've really messed the USB interface up. If you try to use it with other macro software, it doesn't work. Even if you write your own code, it doesn't work.

The problem is that the PowerMate's internal configuration information claims that its wheel is an "absolute" device, sending a value that's a number for the position of the wheel, but what it really sends is _how_ _far_ the wheel has turned since the last time. That makes it a "relative" device, sending relative information. It seems like a small difference, but on Windows, MacOS X and the Linux varients I've checked, that means that it basically won't work right with any software other than Griffin's because the system suppresses redundant readings. If it really was absolute, a second reading with the same value would just be saying the wheel is sitting in the same place, but since it's sending _movement_ values, the system is suppressing info about the wheel _moving_ at a constant speed. A program can't even keep track of the position manually.

It's really too bad; it could have been a great product. If you want to use it for _exactly_ what the included software does, it probably still is a pretty good product. But if you're a power user or have some other package for handling inputs and automating operation, this is not the device for you.
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Verified Purchase
I've had a PowerMate knob for about 2 years. But now that Griffin has released their 2.0.1 driver software for Windows that allows multiple knobs I bought a second PowerMate. I disconnected my existing powermate, uninstalled the previous software (version 1.5), installed the new software from the Griffin website (version 2.0.1 for Windows), then plugged in both knobs.

With the 1.5 driver software, I had a problem with the knob not working on boot-up and the powermate knob needed to be unplugged then replugged to get it to work. The net is filled with other people that have the same problem so it is not just isolated to my specific hardware. And it seemed that I needed to do this USB unplug/replug most of the time. I was hopeful that they had fixed the problem with the 2.0.1 software, but it also has similar problems (more details below).

From a hardware standpoint, the powermate is great and is why I purchased a 2nd unit. Both knobs are connected to my HTPC and so I use it as a volume and mute knob for watching HDTV or DVD's in the computer. Each knob is on each end of the couch so it is easy to just turn the knob to change the volume from either end and it works great. The knobs are solid, have a blue light in the base that changes brightness according to the volume setting, and is weighty so it doesn't slide around on the table. The knob also can be used to control other applications in various user-defined ways, but I just use it to control the computer's volume.

But the driver software continues to be a problem though, so I looked into more details about how to kludge a solution to avoid the unplug/replug issue using Microsoft's free devcon.exe utility to control the DeviceManager from the command line (or batch files).
Read more ›
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Pros:
It works well with Windows XP 32-bit and version 1 of the software.

Cons:
Could not get it to run under Windows & 64-bit with either version 1 or version 2.

Other thoughts:
After going to Griffin's site to get the latest software/driver, I noticed it hasn't moved from 2.0.x, and is only supported up to Vista (32-bit). If you're planning on buying this for a 64-bit version of Windows, I would highly recommend against it, and to find an alternative (B0001DBEKG (large) or B000LB7G00 (expensive)) to save yourself the trouble. I have not tested this with Mac OS X 10.6 64-bit, so I am not sure of the compatibility.
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Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed at this device. All I wanted was a really cool volume knob, that's it. I don't use it for any fancy program or professional, just VOLUME and MUTE! and it has a few problems

- There is really NO need for this thing to have a cable. It has such a simple function, it should just run on batteries and use Bluetooth or a USB wireless dongle

- The light on it looks good, but it would have been even cooler if it went brighter as I turn the volume up and dimmer as I turn it down (all the way down / mute turns the light completely off)

- Response time on this thing is BADDDD.. it doesn't feel instant, and the sensitivity is just not right no matter how much I tweak with it

In conclusion, I would NOT buy this again, unless they make it wireless, and improve the features.
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I recently upgraded to a Filco mechanical keyboard, which lacks media keys. I decided that that this device would probably be a necessity for ease of use, controlling the volume of Itunes, selecting tracks, and playing and pausing video. It almost suceeds, but doesn't really. You can tell that Griffin is outright contemptuous of Windows users, barely supporting their device. The most recent drivers are for Windows Vista, which is already 2.5 versions out of date.

Installation is okay. There is an undocumented reboot required to get it to run. Setting the exe to admin rights is recommended, but not documented. And you need to stick the executable in to the "startup" folder manually, since the "run on startup" option seems to be useless.

One would think that using it to control Itunes in the background would be one of the most common use cased for this device. Sadly Griffin would disagree, since pretty much any attempt to use the Itunes specific commands causes the program to crash. When it doesn't, it either works or doesn't at all, pretty much without any rhyme or reason as far as I can tell. Even when using it with Itunes as the focused window, the Itunes specific commands (such as pause) don't work, though mapping "space" as a command does.

Outside of the use I actually needed this device for, it runs flawlessly, I haven't had a problem with any other commands outside of Itunes.

I doubt I will be giving Griffin my money again anytime in the near future, though I doubt they care since they refused to make the newest version of this device even compatible with Windows, the most used OS.
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