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Old Jan 6, 2012, 07:41 PM   #1
abaybay
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Thunderbolt Display Extension Cable?

Hello- I just purchased a 27" Thunderbolt display. It looks lovely, especially compared to my 30" Cinema display, which looks quite outdated in comparison. Anyways, I'm using it in a music studio, and am connecting a 2011 MBP 15". I really need to keep the laptop close to one of my racks, which is just out of reach of the cable. The cable is seemingly hardwired into the display. Does anyone know of a 3rd party cable which works to extend the thunderbolt display cable provided?

I've managed to find a couple after googling, but one of them says it is not compatible with the thunderbolt display, and another isn't really specific enough. If someone knows of one which 100% works, I'd be really grateful to have that peace of mind before placing the order. Ideally, I'd love for the cable to extend both the power source and the thunderbolt display connection, but that is in an ideal world, which I'm sure does not exist

Thanks for your help,
-AB
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Old Jan 7, 2012, 06:18 AM   #2
Lennyvalentin
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TB, even after almost a year, is still in its infancy due to only Apple supporting the standard so far. Thus, esoteric stuff like extension cables and whatnot don't really have a market (to a large extent because macheads tend to accept and adjust to whatever hoops Apple make them jump through... )

You could "fake" an extension yourself by needlessly purchasing another thunderbolt device and plugging it inbetween your computer and monitor. Such as the Lacie Little Big Disk, for example. It'd be the world's most expensive monitor extension cable, but hey... Maybe you'll find use for the extra storage too somehow! Maybe as backup space, for example.

(You can't have too many backups of anything that is important to you.)
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Old Jul 23, 2012, 12:31 PM   #3
dolphincode21
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Not sure if you already resolved this, but I had a similar issue with the length of the hardwired cable. I purchased a 2 meter TB cable from Apple and ran it from my MacBook Air to the extra thunderbolt port on the display. It works fine.

One note, the built-in thunderbolt display input cable does split off power into the magsafe adaptor. So by using the thunderbolt expansion port on the display to actually drive the display, you won't be able to use any additional peripherals that require power from the thunderbolt cable.
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Old Jul 23, 2012, 03:32 PM   #4
flynz4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolphincode21 View Post
Not sure if you already resolved this, but I had a similar issue with the length of the hardwired cable. I purchased a 2 meter TB cable from Apple and ran it from my MacBook Air to the extra thunderbolt port on the display. It works fine.

One note, the built-in thunderbolt display input cable does split off power into the magsafe adaptor. So by using the thunderbolt expansion port on the display to actually drive the display, you won't be able to use any additional peripherals that require power from the thunderbolt cable.
If you connect to the "TB port" instead of the "pigtale", then as you state... it will work. Since the pigtale is unpowered, you cannot attach a "bus powered" TB device, but you can attach a "self powered" TB device. From that point forward... you can connect a "bus powered" TB device further down the chain. Each powered device seems to provide the power to the downsteam chain.

/Jim
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Old Jul 23, 2012, 08:00 PM   #5
MNT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolphincode21 View Post
Not sure if you already resolved this, but I had a similar issue with the length of the hardwired cable. I purchased a 2 meter TB cable from Apple and ran it from my MacBook Air to the extra thunderbolt port on the display. It works fine.
I've done this too on a few occasions now where the built-in cable wasn't long enough to reach to where I wanted to place my MacBook Pro. I've been thinking about the length of the built-in cable ever since I got the display; it's almost comically short especially if you assume that eventually the Mac Pro will get Thunderbolt and be expected to connect to these displays.
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Old Aug 30, 2012, 06:47 PM   #6
nexx27
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Question about dual monitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by flynz4 View Post
If you connect to the "TB port" instead of the "pigtale", then as you state... it will work. Since the pigtale is unpowered, you cannot attach a "bus powered" TB device, but you can attach a "self powered" TB device. From that point forward... you can connect a "bus powered" TB device further down the chain. Each powered device seems to provide the power to the downsteam chain.

/Jim
The "pigtale" cable will be short to reach my mac mini. My question is, if I buy two TB Displays, Can I use the TB port on the 1st display to connect to the mac mini and the pigtale on the 1st display to connect to the 2nd TB display and then be able to use both displays? (mac mini '11 2.5ghz)

Can anybody please check that this actually works?
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 08:03 AM   #7
Remmy70
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update?

I've just purchased a Mac Mini + 27" Thunderbolt display, but I'd like to keep the MacMini a few feet away from the display and the cable attached to the display is not long enough for my purposes.

Can anyone post an update on the availability of thunderbolt extension cables? I understand Apple now sells a ' Thunderbolt cable ' (2 mtrs), can this be used? I still think it's pretty expensive, about $50. Any replies are appreciated!
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 09:48 AM   #8
waw74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remmy70 View Post
I understand Apple now sells a ' Thunderbolt cable ' (2 mtrs), can this be used? I still think it's pretty expensive, about $50. Any replies are appreciated!
If only 3 people hadn't already answered that question 5 months ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dolphincode21 View Post
I purchased a 2 meter TB cable from Apple and ran it from my MacBook Air to the extra thunderbolt port on the display.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MNT View Post
I've done this too on a few occasions
Quote:
Originally Posted by flynz4 View Post
If you connect to the "TB port" instead of the "pigtale", then as you state... it will work.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 07:23 PM   #9
CWallace
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Intel has approved fiber-based TB cables out to 30m and they are compatible with current Apple products: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1517410

No price as of yet, but I expect it will not be cheap.
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