Extending the distance of a thunderbolt display

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by thecounthahaha, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. thecounthahaha macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2010

    I'm trying to plug a thunderbolt display into a mac pro which is too far away to plug into..! Normally you'd just buy a longer cable for this, but the TBD is hard wired...

    Would something like this do the job?


    It doesn't look like it has a fan built into it, so hopefully its silent!! (computer is in a machine room, where as this would be near the desk)

  2. carestudio macrumors 6502

    Aug 6, 2008
    I think you are talking about using a 2 port Thunderbolt device to extend the length of the entire thunderbolt chain?
    if so, just get a caldigit thunderbolt 2 dock, it's all you need and the cheapest way to achieve what you want to do

    my 0.002 cents.
  3. bennibeef macrumors 6502

    May 22, 2013
    I think buying a longer cable does the trick. I think you can just plug the cable into the displays second port and it should work. If then you need to connect to a harddrive or something you can just use the hard wired cable on the display.
    But I think you should search this again I'm not 100% but I think this is how it could work.
  4. thebro20 macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2014
    you'd have to daisy chain devices to get it longer or use a fibre optic cable, the longest you can get a thunderbolt wire is 3m
  5. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    That's not true



    As already stated just use a separate thunderbolt cable plugged into the thunderbolt port. It doesn't matter whether you use the built in cable or not.
  6. thebro20 macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2014

    If you look closely to the cables you tagged, the ones longer than 3m are fibre optic cables like I said.
  7. thecounthahaha thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2010
    Just tested it with a 0.5m cable lying around and it works! Hadn't even thought of it - thanks! The ethernet, urb, etc on the back seems to work fully too.

    I've just ordered a 3m cable off amazon, so should see in the next few days..!

    Thanks very much!
  8. thecounthahaha thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2010
  9. 65535 macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2011
    I picked up an AKiTio Thunder Dock to give me more USB 3.0 and extended my Thunderbolt Display cable. I have a second one coming in today so I can run both monitors on separate busses with a longer cable.
  10. jimthing macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2011
    London, UK
    Have I got this right...

    Are you sure you can plug the Tbolt cable from Mac Tbolt port (female) to the single Tbolt port (female) on the back of the display?

    I thought you had to use the built-in short Tbolt cable (male) on Apple's Thunderbolt Display, into the Mac?

    (of course if this is true, you are at the end of the chain too, as the display doesn't have a second Tbolt port.)

    Please confirm.... :confused:

    BTW I had a similar issue with the previous 27" Apple Cinema Display, see my solution here:
  11. 65535 macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2011
    With the Thunderbolt display you can connect the pigtail Thunderbolt connector into the Thunderbolt port on a computer or the second port on a connected Thunderbolt device. This will allow you to run a secondary device including bus powered devices from the Thunderbolt port on the monitor.

    Using a Thunderbolt cable you can connect the Thunderbolt display to a computer or connected device. The pig tail can be used to connect a secondary device to the display however it must be a self powered device as it does not provide power.

    I haven't personally tested the ability of the pig tail connector in powering bus powered thunderbolt devices, I can test that tomorrow.

    My current setup is

    Mac Pro -> Thunderbolt (2m) -> Thunderbolt Display (1) -> Thunderbolt (1m pigtail) -> AKiTio Thunder Dock (1) -> Thunderbolt (1m pigtail) Thunderbolt Display (2) -> Thunderbolt (0.33m) -> AKiTio Thunder Dock (2)

    Everything works just fine as expected. The AKiTio Thunder Dock devices are self powered with a 12V/5A power brick.

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