Anyone using StarTech's new TB2DOCK4KDHC TB Dock?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ColdCase, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. ColdCase, Jan 22, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
  2. ColdCase, Jan 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015

    ColdCase thread starter macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    So I picked one up to give a try. If it works out I'll move my TB1 Dock over to the mini.

    So far so good. Seems to work well through all sleep and power states. The most important things I've noticed so far is that there is no audio pop when transitioning in and out out of sleep or powering up/down and the two extra ports are coming in handy.

    It is a bit larger than the older Startech Dock, and there doesn't look to be a way to stand it on its end. There doesn't seem to be a distracting power indicator (just a faint blue glow of an LED shining through the side vents). I use a DP monitor and wireless so can't comment on HDMI or wired ethernet. The eSata port seems to be plug and play in that the drive does not need to be plugged in before the rMBP starts up.

    System preferences lists the SPDIF audio but I haven't tried it.
  3. cube, Apr 18, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015

    cube macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
    - USB works (mouse, keyboard, headset, USB 3.0 flash drive)
    - 1920x1200 monitor output works via 3rd-party DisplayPort->DVI adapter (haven't tried direct HDMI)
    - 1920x1080 monitor output works via direct HDMI and 3rd-party DisplayPort->HDMI adapter
    - Port multiplier eSATA works (tried 2 volumes)
    - Ethernet works (1000BaseT auto negotiated properly with my router)
    - S/PDIF stereo works (PCM)
    - Have not managed to get S/PDIF multichannel passthrough to work (it seems the Mac needs a USB multichannel passthrough enabler). Might be ready to work on a Hackintosh.
    - Does not like being unplugged and replugged to the computer (screens constantly redetecting, needs reboot to connect external monitor again)

    This was with Yosemite 10.10.3 on 17" MBP Early 2011 (Thunderbolt 1)
  4. cube macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
    The S/PDIF chip is a CM6500.

    I found the source for an enabler for the CM6206, and while I can get this other chip to be recognised, it is not obvious how to modify the commands.

    You can see this chip under USB, not Thunderbolt in the system profiler.

    I don't know why the Vendor ID is NEC instead of CMedia, I wonder if this has any influence on the data sheet.
  5. cube macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
    This IP seems to have travelled quite a bit.

    The Vendor ID appears elsewhere as Focus Enhancements, which enter Chapter 11 and was acquired by VITEC, which spun off the semi business as Summit Semiconductor. NEC seems to be somewhere there. And then there's the question of how the chip gets to C-Media.
  6. cube macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
    I see this chip is limited to 48KHz, making the dock no so great already.

    It is better to buy the CalDigit TS2, which has 2 eSATA ports. Better to get another digital audio solution, than adding another eSATA port somehow.
  7. cube macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
    If you connect or disconnect and reconnect the dock after the Macbook has booted, both the HDMI and the built-in displays will switch on an off continuously and you need to switch off the external monitor or disconnect the dock (beware unsafe unmounting) for the blinking to stop and boot the computer again with the dock already attached to be able to use it.
  8. ColdCase thread starter macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Doesn't the CalDigit give you an annoying audio pop (an external amp/speaker connected) when going in and out of sleep and restart? I'd say thats a non-starter for me.
  9. cube macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
    The point is that as the CalDigit has no optical audio, I will not be using its analog port, but I will buy a USB to optical converter doing at least 96KHz.
  10. diamonddaveia macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2005
    Ive been using it since March 2015 and had numerous issues with getting Optical Audio Out to even work.
    To the point now the Optical never works and never even lights up.

    Today i realized my Thunerbolt/MiniDisplay port to HDMI wasnt allowing 7.1 surround to work either.
    I had the HDMI output to my SONY Surround Receiver which has HDMI inputs.
    No Surround audio.

    Whemn i unplugged my TB2DOCK4KDHC Dock.
    I used the TB/MiniDisplay to HDMI direct to my iMac. ALL surround output worked perfect to my SONY Receiver.

    I contacted StarTech and they are replacing my unit. I am under the warrantee , so i get a free replacement.
    I hope the new one resolves all my issues.

    I want to love this Dock, turns out im frustrated so much more.

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9 January 22, 2015