One cable solution for Apple Thunderbolt Display

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by shash450, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. shash450 macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2008
    Hi everyone!

    I just picked up a really good deal on an Apple Thunderbolt Display that I couldn't pass up to use with my Macbook Pro 13" Touch Bar (2017 model).

    It sounds like the definition of "first world problem", but i'm trying to come up with a "one cable solution" that would allow me to only perform one action when connecting it to the display and a charger.

    Right now, I have the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adaptor to connect it to the screen, but that doesn't allow me to charge my mac, so I have a second thunderbolt 3 cable plugged in to another port on the mac for the charger.

    The question is - is there some kind of dock out there that would allow me to only have to plug in one cable into my mac and have the charger and display connected to the dock?

    The closest I thought I had found to a solution was the CalDigit TS3 Plus dock since it has a second TB3 port, but even in that scenario it wouldn't work since that port would need to be connected to the thunderbolt 2 adaptor and a Macbook Pro cannot be charged over the USB-C 3.1 port (not even the 10gbps one according to CalDigit).

    Is my only solution to use a Henge Dock and have the two cables (charger + thunderbolt 2 adaptor) routed through there? I was hoping to not have to use my Mac in clamshell mode to take advantage of things like secondary screen and Touch ID.

  2. treekram macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2015
    Honolulu HI
    Looking at the CalDigit site, it says the TS3 Plus can supply up to 85W through it's upstream TB3 port to the computer. It should be able to do this while also transmitting data between the computer and dock (presuming you have a TB3 cable, which is not what Apple supplies when you buy a 2016+ MBP). You can plug in the Apple display via the adapter to the downstream TB3 port. The dock gets power via it's AC power cord. Am I missing something or misunderstanding the post or the TS3 Plus specs?
  3. shash450 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2008
    Thank you for the reply treekram!

    I hadn't realised that connecting to the dock alone would provide power to my Mac via the dock's AC adaptor. I had thought that I would require some kind of power attached to the downstream port to get this to work.

    Now to just find a dock that does this without costing as much as the CalDigit :D

    Thanks again!
  4. Arthur75 macrumors 6502


    Mar 9, 2015
    paris, france
    Does anybody knows if the caldigit dock supports using the mac in clamshell mode ? (also a MBP 2017 TB)
    Apparently the OWC doesn't, and it is the primary way I use my mac ..
  5. chekie macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2013
    If you only need screen and charger for your macbook 13, I suggest you consider a USB C monitor for $500-600 instead of dock. (Newegg has one LG 4k monitor on sale for $419 with coupon). You get 4k60Hz screen and 60W power with a single cable. As a plus you also get 2 USB 2.0 port for mouse and keyboard.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 25, 2019 ---
    I see you already have Thunderbolt 2 display. AFAIK, you only options for single cable solution is thunderbolt 3 dock. Those don't come cheap (~$300). The main purpose of those docks are not to provide a single cable solution, but to provide you a variety of ports: a bunch of USB A, ethernet, card reader, displayport, etc. In my opinion, it is just a waste of money if you are not going to use it.

    Is there any particular reason for must having single cable connection? If you go with a dock, you would have a hug power supply for the dock, dock itself, thunderbolt 3 cable to the dock, and your thunderbolt adapter on your desk. While all of these can be save if you just plug your apple power brick to another port on your macbook. It is much cleaner in my opinion.
  6. Alumm Pro macrumors newbie

    Alumm Pro

    May 20, 2019
    A dock normally just uses one USB-C port to drive displays/USB3/other outputs. If you are looking for a dock that utilize all three ports (audio jack & USB-C x 2) on right side of your MBP, check out Alumm Pro's tri-port design.

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5 January 13, 2019