Rubbish USB-C Accessories

dannys1

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The typical USB-C makers don't appear to have grasped USB-C properly yet or have no imagination. There's lots of utter useless junk out there and many cables that are not useful.

Things you can't find easily...

3m, 4m and 5m charging cables - one's that match Apple's connector (which you'll notice fits perfectly flush with the laptop) in different colours (eg black) would be ideal...no one makes them. You can use some generic cables for charging but the connectors are usually huge or unbranded or they come in odd sizes.

No one has made a decent USB-C extension cable. This could solve the above, there is a black cable available which would give you another 3.3ft - but there should be probably 3.1 Gen 2 extension cables and most of them are only just good for power.

Hubs WITHOUT the little tail. Seriously, whats up with this? There is ONE hub that doesn't come with a tail cable on it. The entire point of USB-C is that you can do stuff with one cable. So make a dock with power delivery and let us plug our own length cable into it so we can hide it under desks. Then we can sit down and plug one cable in with the dock and accessories hidden out of view - it'd provide charging, ethernet and USB 3 straight away.

Obviously there's a total lack of Thunderbolt 3 things, which I expected, but companies not releasing external SSD's that can use USB 3.1 Gen 2 is baffling. There is ONE options again from Sandisk which makes use of it but it uses a Raid array and its small file copying is pretty poor. There should be a market full of M.2 PCI-E SSDs in 10gb capable devices that we can just plug in and get 700-800MB/s read and write. This isn't new technology?!

USB 3.1 Gen 2 in general is lacking stuff, I expect it's a lot cheaper to make than Thunderbolt 3 stuff, so where is the Gen 2 to 10gb Ethernet adapter?

Short cables too - every USB-C cable is available to type A, Type B, mini B, micro B etc etc - but no short cables?! They're all 3 foot long!

The original MacBook has been out for over two years, many USB-C devices have been on the market for years well before the MacBook Pro which itself is now nearly 6 months old, it's hardly a bleeding edge connector anymore.

And I can't wait until all those cheap Chinese devices that use a mini-b or micro-b connector for charging change to USB-C. Those two have to be some of the worst charging connectors of all time.
 
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ZapNZs

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And I can't wait until all those cheap Chinese devices that use a mini-b or micro-b connector for charging change to USB-C. Those two have to be some of the worst charging connectors of all time.
I started talking to my pet rabbit, and in third person at that, because of the frustrations caused by Mini and Micro B. It's like a bunch of suits convened a board meeting and asked, "what can we do to expedite the global speed of hair loss and the onset of psychosis?" and some guy came up with, "how about a connector that has a terribly short service life, limited power supply, ability to easily be plugged in upside down that will ruin both the device and the cable, and something that you have play the wiggle game with to get it to charge after you use it for just a few months?"

I'm also a little disappointed by the limited PCI SSDs and hope we see more in the future. I've seen a few 3.1 gen2 enclosures being advertised, but all are SATA so it's not like that is a huge difference (with the exception of one advertised USB 3.1 gen2 enclosure that can hold two SATA SSDs and run a RAID0 - and even then, that's still a fraction of what something like a 950 PRO is capable of).
 
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dannys1

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I started talking to my pet rabbit, and in third person at that, because of the frustrations caused by Mini and Micro B. It's like a bunch of suits convened a board meeting and asked, "what can we do to expedite the global speed of hair loss and the onset of psychosis?" and some guy came up with, "how about a connector that has a terribly short service life, limited power supply, ability to easily be plugged in upside down that will ruin both the device and the cable, and something that you have play the wiggle game with to get it to charge after you use it for just a few months?"

I'm also a little disappointed by the limited PCI SSDs and hope we see more in the future. I've seen a few 3.1 gen2 enclosures being advertised, but all are SATA so it's not like that is a huge difference (with the exception of one advertised USB 3.1 gen2 enclosure that can hold two SATA SSDs and run a RAID0 - and even then, that's still a fraction of what something like a 950 PRO is capable of).
Haha @ the mini/micro B connectors.

And yes! Same with the PCI SSD enclosure. I was the m.2 ones but they all use SATA. It's a shame because those m.2 devices capable of 1000MB/s are just as cheap as the SATA drives now.

I picked up a basic SATA to USB 3.1 Gen 2 connector and it does eek out an extra 120-140MB/s from a standard top end SATA drive, but of course thats far from saturating Gen 2.

It's odd that Samsung released the T3 with a USB-C connector on both ends but made it Gen 1 so it's exactly the same speed as the T1. Hopefully the next release takes care of that as I've been using my T1 for work for a couple of years now and it performs really well. I did pick up a Pegasus Thunderbolt 2 SSD and again its two mini SSDs in a raid array but there's no enough bus power to get full speed so it ends up slower than USB 3 unless you plug in the power brick!
 

dyn

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3m, 4m and 5m charging cables - one's that match Apple's connector (which you'll notice fits perfectly flush with the laptop) in different colours (eg black) would be ideal...no one makes them. You can use some generic cables for charging but the connectors are usually huge or unbranded or they come in odd sizes.

No one has made a decent USB-C extension cable. This could solve the above, there is a black cable available which would give you another 3.3ft - but there should be probably 3.1 Gen 2 extension cables and most of them are only just good for power.
That's because they have to stick to the standard in order to call it a USB-C cable. The standard doesn't allow cables longer than 4m and won't support all USB versions at all lengths. If you want USB 3.1 Gen 2 than cables cannot be longer than 1m, for USB3.1 Gen 1 (aka USB3.0) that is 2m and for USB2.0 it will be 4m.

See for more info, page 27 of the following pdf document: Universal Serial Bus Type-C Cable and Connector Specification (rev 1.2).

Hubs WITHOUT the little tail. Seriously, whats up with this? There is ONE hub that doesn't come with a tail cable on it. The entire point of USB-C is that you can do stuff with one cable. So make a dock with power delivery and let us plug our own length cable into it so we can hide it under desks.
A hub is something entirely different from a dock (and vice versa). That said, all the Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C docks do the above: allow you to connect all the peripherals plus power via 1 cable. The cable length is only limited to 2m if you want anything useful out of it (both USB and TB).

What you define as hub here, is what officially is known as a multiport adapter. Those have indeed a very short cable that is not detachable. In some cases that is annoying but in other cases very useful. After all, these are adapters, not docks.

USB 3.1 Gen 2 in general is lacking stuff, I expect it's a lot cheaper to make than Thunderbolt 3 stuff, so where is the Gen 2 to 10gb Ethernet adapter?
Indeed it is but that is probably more an issue caused by Intel. They are still including USB3.0/USB3.1 Gen 1 in their CPUs. Once they go USB3.1 Gen 2 you're going to see more USB3.1 Gen 2 accessories too because it makes (more) sense to make them. As for the 10GbE adapter, well, there obviously still are some technical bridges to cross before that is possible. The 10GbE PCIe and Thunderbolt versions are still on the expensive side, big and get quite hot. It is still early days for 10GbE.

Short cables too - every USB-C cable is available to type A, Type B, mini B, micro B etc etc - but no short cables?! They're all 3 foot long!
I've found them at lengths of 0.5m, 1m and 2m at various Dutch webshops so they are definitely out there and easy to get (and also cheap if I look at the price tags).
 
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dannys1

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The standard doesn't allow cables longer than 4m and won't support all USB versions at all lengths.
I don't want longer than 4m, as I said, i'd like a 3m charging cable, preferably a space grey one from Apple.

A hub is something entirely different from a dock (and vice versa).
Yes but these terms are so inter-used now they mean nothing anymore. Regardless what I want only exists in one product from Anker at the moment.

Ideally id like to see simple USB-C adapters that all support PD and allow you to use any cable you want with them. I'd love to see a simple gigabit ethernet port with PD, I can't see it happening though.

I've found them at lengths of 0.5m
Link?
 

thesaint024

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Haha. Good rant. I don't know what the deal is either. Something must be going on behind the scenes that's leading to this s**t availability. Fortunately, I found what I needed early, but I read a lot about specific things people are looking for that shouldn't be hard to find, but they still are. This is where I feel Apple failed. If they were going to push usb-c, they could at least have made all this stuff at Apple prices that cable makers could just rip off. They really should have made good docks themselves and cables that do all the things they see in their utopian future of usb-c. If they made them, at least they'd be available regardless if generics followed.
 
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dannys1

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Nice one, thanks dude - I'm going to grab that micro-b one. I wish there were a few more short ones too but that is actually the most important for me.

Which one is this? I too was looking for one but could not find one.
It's this, one, it's actually Aukey and not currently available unfortunately - I wish there were more options like this with PD instead of the deluge of look a like hubs with mini tails and USB 3 ports on them.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N332...UTF8&colid=DKDD3UQUCNC3&coliid=I16VENHNSNVJJV
 

DRDR

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Jul 23, 2008
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It's this, one, it's actually Aukey and not currently available unfortunately - I wish there were more options like this with PD instead of the deluge of look a like hubs with mini tails and USB 3 ports on them.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N332...UTF8&colid=DKDD3UQUCNC3&coliid=I16VENHNSNVJJV
Thanks, it must be new, I never saw it before. I actually solved the problem by buying a TB3 dock, although USB boot does not worl with the station I bought:

Which TB3 dock for your 15MBP?
 

Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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Not to worry.
The cable makers will have this all sorted out in the next 2-3 months.
That's because USB-c is "the new standard".
Right. Right...?

/s
 

dannys1

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I'm really surprised there are so few USB-C chargers too. You've basically only got the choice of Apple or Google - and if you want a powerful one, only Apple.

Considering all the fake magsafe chargers that were/are on the market you'd think now that companies can make official universal USB-C chargers that work with not just the MacBooks but many other devices they'd be making them in droves, but nope.

I'd love to have a few scattered around - at the moment I use my 12" MacBook charger with the 15" MacBook Pro a lot, it will trickle charge it over night and usually keep it topped up during light work but'd be nice to at least have a 60w one in there if not the full 87w again.
 

dyn

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I don't want longer than 4m, as I said, i'd like a 3m charging cable, preferably a space grey one from Apple.
Doesn't matter what you like, it's about what the standard supports and what manufacturers produce.

Yes but these terms are so inter-used now they mean nothing anymore.
Not by the industry. A hub is something different than a dock. Main thing is that a hub always has the same type of ports whereas a dock doesn't. Makes all the difference when you are searching for it on the internet (almost no results when looking for a hub, gazillions of results when looking for a dock).

Ideally id like to see simple USB-C adapters that all support PD and allow you to use any cable you want with them. I'd love to see a simple gigabit ethernet port with PD, I can't see it happening though.
USB-C is only a cable and connector allowing to be used for anything and they all support PD. It's the device at the other end of the cable that is the issue here. The device decides what protocols are used. In case of simple single purpose adapters (such as the USB-C ethernet adapter) there is only support to power the adapter, not powering the notebook via the adapter. The latter is a feature on docks and multiport adapters.

https://www.allekabels.nl/computer_kabels/thunderbolt_kabel/thunderbolt-3-kabel.html
https://www.4launch.nl/product/392633/392633-StarTech-TBLT34MM50CM-0.5m
https://www.4launch.nl/product/396758/396758-StarTech-TBLT3MM1MA-1.0m
https://www.4launch.nl/product/390777/390777-StarTech-TBLT3MM1M-1.0m
https://www.4launch.nl/product/396757/396757-StarTech-TBLT3MM2MA-2.0m
https://www.4launch.nl/product/392634/392634-StarTech-TBLT3MM2M-2.0m
https://www.laptopshop.nl/product/7...artech-usb-c-thunderbolt-kabel-0-5-meter.html
https://www.laptopshop.nl/product/7...artech-thunderbolt-3-usb-c-kabel-1-meter.html
https://www.laptopshop.nl/product/7...ch-thunderbolt-3-usb-c-datakabel-2-meter.html
https://www.kabelshop.nl/Delock-Thunderbolt-kabel-0-5-meter-Delock-zwart-83154-i3800-t396.html
http://www.mediamarkt.nl/nl/product/_startech-thunderbolt-3-20-gbps-kabel-1489635.html
https://www.centralpoint.nl/thunder...layport-compatibel-art-tblt3mm2m-num-5642455/
https://www.centralpoint.nl/thunder...-usb-compatibel-art-tblt34mm50cm-num-5642451/
https://www.centralpoint.nl/thunder...sb-c-cable-40gbps-art-tblt3mm1ma-num-6948899/
https://www.centralpoint.nl/thunder...sb-c-cable-40gbps-art-tblt3mm2ma-num-6948901/
https://www.centralpoint.nl/thunder...layport-compatibel-art-tblt3mm1m-num-5642453/

Some of them can be delivered right away, some take 2 to 5 days and a few seem to be more like pre-order (they are expecting them at the end of this month). It's a mix of 40Gbps and 20Gbps, 0.5m, 1m and 2m cables too.
 

dannys1

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Doesn't matter what you like, it's about what the standard supports and what manufacturers produce.
Yes and a 3m charging cable is well within spec so I don't know what you're going on about.

Not by the industry. A hub is something different than a dock. Main thing is that a hub always has the same type of ports whereas a dock doesn't.
Incorrect, there are many USB-C hubs with mixed ports - in fact NONE of the USB-C hubs on Amazon have a single type of port, in USB 3 days there did, but not anymore. Either way there is no demand for them to have the little tail, which is why Auker has made one with one (that also provide PD) - my point was there should be more like the Auker, not just there's.

USB-C is only a cable and connector allowing to be used for anything and they all support PD. It's the device at the other end of the cable that is the issue here. The device decides what protocols are used. In case of simple single purpose adapters (such as the USB-C ethernet adapter) there is only support to power the adapter, not powering the notebook via the adapter. The latter is a feature on docks and multiport adapters.
Also not correct, there is no reason PD couldn't be on a single use adapter, the reason it isn't yet is because of cost. No one is going to want to pay a bit more for an adapter with one port and a USB-C charging slot, but it'll come in time (plus it involves people learning the port would just be for charging and that you need a USB-C charger for it too)

Some of them can be delivered right away, some take 2 to 5 days and a few seem to be more like pre-order (they are expecting them at the end of this month). It's a mix of 40Gbps and 20Gbps, 0.5m, 1m and 2m cables too.
All those cables are USB-C to USB-C, I didn't say this, I said the adapter cables, there needs to be short cables for USB-A, micro-B, mini-B etc. Someone put a link to the micro-B above which is a bit shorter.
 

dyn

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Incorrect, there are many USB-C hubs with mixed ports - in fact NONE of the USB-C hubs on Amazon have a single type of port, in USB 3 days there did, but not anymore.
Indeed incorrect because that is not what a hub is nor ever will be. This is what should be called multiport adapters. Just because some people don't call it the correct way doesn't make it the correct definition. It is not uncommon, all the mini-DisplayPort things were called mini-DisplayPort in the beginning but later were incorrectly and falsely named Thunderbolt. It is misleading the consumer in such a way that in theory it is actually illegal in quite a few countries.

Also not correct, there is no reason PD couldn't be on a single use adapter, the reason it isn't yet is because of cost. No one is going to want to pay a bit more for an adapter with one port and a USB-C charging slot, but it'll come in time..
If you want to have this discussion then you really need to start working on reading up on what USB-C is because with a statement like that you are making it abundantly clear that you have no knowledge on that. What you are saying here is that the entire USB-C standard as it is now, is completely incorrect and that its documentation shouldn't state that it is only a cable and a connector and that both Intel and the USB-IF are lying their asses off. As the standard clearly says: USB-C is no more than a cable and a connector. It has always been and always will be the device that is the decisive factor not the connection. Period.

A single use adapter wouldn't be a single use adapter if it would do more than 1 thing such as delivering ethernet and power. An adapter that does that would be called a multiport adapter or, as you've already pointed out, be incorrectly and falsely called a hub. The only PD implementation a single use adapter would use is to allow the adapter itself to be bus-powered. There won't be any passthrough. Mind you that PD is only compatible with some USB versions and not with protocols such as ethernet, DisplayPort, HDMI/DVI, VGA, Firewire, etc.

...(plus it involves people learning the port would just be for charging and that you need a USB-C charger for it too)
It is a universal multipurpose cable and connector. The least sensible to do is to use the port (on the computer side) for only power, the most sensible thing to do is do what they are doing now: use it for any protocol. In case of the USB-C Ethernet adapter it means that it will only use data because that's all the adapter will use (besides being bus-powered), in case of a display that might only be a protocol like DisplayPort (no bus-powering or anything else) or the full monty (aka it will be using Thunderbolt 3 and transport power so it can act like a display with in-built dock and power adapter). The connection remains the same which means that all a machine needs to have is USB-C ports. Again, USB-C is no more than a means to connect a device to a computer and such a device could very well be just a power adapter.

All those cables are USB-C to USB-C, I didn't say this, I said the adapter cables, there needs to be short cables for USB-A, micro-B, mini-B etc. Someone put a link to the micro-B above which is a bit shorter.
Then take a further look at the websites because those are there too.
 

wilsonlaidlaw

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Oct 29, 2008
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I bought a USB-C hub made by Benfei. Total rubbish did not work at all. Not a single one of the ports worked. Have now bought various Apple dongles so it is dongle mania with various USB-C to USB-3(A) adapters, a Kiwibird SD card reader, a Griffin magnetic power connector etc all hanging off my 2016 MBP. It is just like being back in the 1990's - great bit of design Apple - thanks! The one I am missing and nobody seems to make one (unless you know differently), is a Thunderbolt 3 to FW800 dongle. I have tried a T3 to T2 adapter and then a T2 to FW800 but some protocol is getting screwed up en route. I need an FW800 input for my Nikon and Epson film scanners. The Epson does at least have USB2 but it is far too slow with multi pass TIFF scans of large format 70mm film to be really usable. I will probably have to wait until OWC come out with their T3 dock, which is predicted to have FW800 (due in May sometime). That is another €300 I could do without spending.
 

Brookzy

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I bought a USB-C hub made by Benfei. Total rubbish did not work at all. Not a single one of the ports worked. Have now bought various Apple dongles so it is dongle mania with various USB-C to USB-3(A) adapters, a Kiwibird SD card reader, a Griffin magnetic power connector etc all hanging off my 2016 MBP. It is just like being back in the 1990's - great bit of design Apple - thanks! The one I am missing and nobody seems to make one (unless you know differently), is a Thunderbolt 3 to FW800 dongle. I have tried a T3 to T2 adapter and then a T2 to FW800 but some protocol is getting screwed up en route. I need an FW800 input for my Nikon and Epson film scanners. The Epson does at least have USB2 but it is far too slow with multi pass TIFF scans of large format 70mm film to be really usable. I will probably have to wait until OWC come out with their T3 dock, which is predicted to have FW800 (due in May sometime). That is another €300 I could do without spending.
Are you using the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt to FireWire adapters?
 

wilsonlaidlaw

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Oct 29, 2008
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Are you using the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt to FireWire adapters?
Yes both Apple. I am not alone in this problem. Others are also having problems with stacked adapters from the 2016 MBPs to FW800 for film scanners. The adapters seem to start work but then the Vuescan or Silverfast scanning software freezes. Vuescan have said they think it is an FW800 transmission problem. Both Vuescan and Silverfast were working with Sierra and the T2 to FW800 adapter to the film scanners on my previous MBP.

The other thing that Apple kept very quiet about, was the deletion of optical audio output on the 3.5mm audio socket on the 2016 MBPs. This has meant I now need to use stacked adapters to send digital audio output to the Aqua Acoustic DAC on my bedroom system. Unfortunately Aqua made an error when they custom built this DAC for me and put on a 16bit/48kHz USB receiver rather than the 24 bit/192kHz receiver I had specified. In fact the whole DAC turned out to be somewhat disappointing with higher noise floor than I expected and rather woolly sound, considering its price. On my main audio system, it has now been replaced by the totally superb Benchmark Media DAC3L, the Aqua now being relegated to the bedroom. To get my 96kHz/24 bit files to play, I now have to use a USB-C to USB-A dongle with then, an M2Tech HiFace 2 USB to digital Coax converter and reclocker dongle stacked on that and finally a 10M long digital coax cable to the DAC but at least it works. I used to just use a digital optical 3.5mm to TOSLINK cable on my previous MBP to the optical input on the DAC.
 

rywen

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Feb 27, 2014
43
3
I saw a few references to the USB standards but didn't see anyone specifically address 'extension' cables. As far as I understand, there's a limitation of the USB-c standard that prevents the existence of extension type cables with one male and one female end. This is probably because extensions could cause degradation of transfer speeds and problems with charging given the higher currents being transferred. That being said, I've seen a few extensions being sold via amazon and ebay that don't comply to the standard.
 

iphoneguy824

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Apr 13, 2017
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I'm always up for joining a good rant. I was happy to just lurk on the thread like I normally do but I had to comment once I read this

I started talking to my pet rabbit, and in third person at that, because of the frustrations caused by Mini and Micro B.

LOL!

+1 for the rabbit reference ;)
 
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