Thunderbolt to USB adapter

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Big Ron, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. Big Ron macrumors 6502

    Big Ron

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    Dec 7, 2012
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    United Kingdom
    #1
    Understanding the paucity of Thunderbolt peripherals out there:

    I'm struggling to find a use for the 2 Thunderbolt ports on my late 2012 Imac.

    I also have an external drive caddy holding two 3.5" drives.

    I have run out of USB 3 ports therefore the simplist solution would be to plug the external caddy into one of my unused Thunderbolt ports:

    Therefore the question is: does anyone know of a Thunderbolt to USB adapter cable?;);)

    I have explored external Thunderbolt caddies/enclosures but they are too pricey.
     
  2. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

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    #2
    I haven't heard of any Thunderbolt to USB adaptors, only the expensive docking stations.

    Why not get a USB 3 hub? It will be a lot cheaper.
     
  3. Big Ron thread starter macrumors 6502

    Big Ron

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    #3
    Fair advide OllyW - I was just trying to:

    A: Utilise the Thunderbolt Ports.
    B: Avoid the "eyesore" of messy cabling that can accompany Hubs.

    Do you use a USB 3 hub? If so can you recommend one?

    I have seen a nice slick/thin Belkinn Hub on the Apple site in th UK - I could be convinced.
     
  4. VideoBeagle macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    This is more to commiserate with OP than to give a solution, but serious, Apple...you jettison tech and useability to make something look pretty...and then foist the need for a bazillon cables hanging off everything.
     
  5. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

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    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #5
    Agree that using TB ports for this is going to be impractical. You'll end up with a docking station, that takes up as much room as a USB 3.0 hub and costs 2x-5x as much.

    I use the Plugable 7-port USB 3.0 hub. Not the prettiest thing out there, but Velcroed to the underside of my desk it doesn't look too bad :)
     
  6. erikjorg macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2013
    Location:
    Sydney
    #6
    Thunderbolt

    27" i5 2.7 Mid 2011.
    I have used a Seagate Thunderbolt Adapter with Thunderbolt connection for the last 6 months for my external SSD start up drive. The 1TB internal HHD is used only as a data disk. The combination works great with startup time greatly reduced and extremely fast performance.
    I'm piggybacking my 2nd external Seagate Thunderbolt Adapter with a 2 TB HHD for Time Machine Back-up.
    Any other drives can be changed plugged in to the adaptor as required.
    All applications and OS resides in the external SSD start-up drive.
     
  7. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 28, 2012
    #7
  8. Imac Sam macrumors 6502

    Imac Sam

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    Oct 9, 2011
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    Harrisonburg, Virginia
    #8
    I have a 27" 2011 iMac with Usb2. I would love to have just a dongle that goes from thunderbolt to Usb3. Then I could take advantage of the cheaper Usb3 drives on the market versus the expensive thunderbolt ones.
     
  9. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    #9
    There's no doubt there would be demand for such a device and if it existed it would sell in droves.

    That said, look at the size of the Seagate USB 3.0 to sata adapter:

    [​IMG]

    And now look at the its counterpart, their Thunderbolt to sata adapter:

    [​IMG]

    Look at the size of the thing! There's clearly a load more electronics involved and for whatever reason no manufacturer seems to want or to be able to get all of this on a chip so we can cheaply mass produce these things.

    I am not saying it cannot be done ever, but to have a small neat dongle that does TB to USB conversion requires chips that don't yet exist, I think.
     
  10. Big Ron thread starter macrumors 6502

    Big Ron

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    #10
    All excellent advice and fair comment however:

    I have seen in our local Apple shop a Thunderbolt to FireWire 800 adapter, made by Apple, for £25. They also do a Thunderbolt to Lan adapter for the same price. It can be done:D

    I can't see why someone doesn't take the obvious logical step and produce a Thunderbolt to USB (I'm not fussy USB 3 or USB 2)

    Food for thought:confused::confused:
     
  11. zipur macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    The great state of Texas
    #11

    maybe its just a simple answer. People can get a multi port usb hub for $5.
    LINK HERE

    So no one would spend the extra bucks for a TB-to- USB 3.
     
  12. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    Aug 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #12
    I bought a D-Link one and have two 4TB USB3 (one Seagate and one WD for Time Machine) drives hanging off it.
    http://www.officeworks.com.au/retail/products/Technology/Computer-Accessories/USB-Hubs/DLDUB1340

    Because the drives have their own adapters, there's no need to power the hub.

    My desk has a hole on it so I can hide hubs (and drives) away from sight.

    I intend to set up one of my old USB 2 powered hubs for USB 2 devices (keyboard, sticks, etc) so I can keep the 3s separated from the 2s.
     
  13. Big Ron thread starter macrumors 6502

    Big Ron

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    #13
    All excellent solutions however:

    I still would have two Thunderbolt ports "begging" for something to plug into them:eek::eek:

    I guess I will have to keep looking - At some point in the future, some enterprising individual, usually from the Far East in my experience, will produce something to plug the whole in the market. I can't be the only one looking:p
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #14
    Fearless prediction:

    There will never be a "Thunderbolt-to-USB" adapter.

    Who would go through the trouble of designing and producing one?
    The cost would far exceed the usability.

    If you need more USB ports, get a USB hub.
    That's pretty much the end of the story….
     
  15. Bear macrumors G3

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    Sol III - Terra
    #15
    Using a Thunderbolt to USB dongle like the current FireWire one would be kinda a waste of the Thunderbolt port's bandwidth. If you really want to use it, get a Thunderbolt dock. Choose the one that matches your needs best.
     
  16. Big Ron thread starter macrumors 6502

    Big Ron

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    Dec 7, 2012
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    United Kingdom
    #16
    Fishrrman: Sorry, I don't agree with the cost argument, if Apple can design and sell a Thunderbolt to FireWire/Lan/HDMI adapter for £25 and make a profit, enough said.

    Bear:
    I agree with the "bandwith throttling argument", I just want a low cost solution to use "idle" ports without the expence of reliable/costly Thunderbolt/USB3 docking solutions.

    I will say my prayers every night, and might get lucky:rolleyes:
     
  17. Chippy99 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 28, 2012
    #17
    Sorry Ron, I agree with Fisherman.

    I understand your desire for this object, but personally I doubt you will ever see one. I can say with some confidence that Thunderbolt to USB3 conversion is non-trivial (or else why would the Belkin TB - USB hub have been over a year late, having been announced in Autumn 2011 and not seeing the light of day until 2013).

    Still, keep looking - you never know eh ;-)
     
  18. alex2016g macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    First thunderbolt to USB 3.0 adapter

    I have also been looking for one for ages as my Early 2011 MacBook Pro has thunderbolt and doesnt have usb 3 and all my external storage (3xhdd, usb's) are all usb 3.0 (they of course work with usb 2 but the speed difference is huge!!!)

    But I may have found something... Kanex posted a post on their website asking people to vote on what kind of thunderbolt adapter they should do next and the two choices are:
    1. Thunderbolt to USB 3.0 + Gigabit Ethernet
    2. Thunderbolt to eSATA + USB 3.0

    hopefully thouse wont be too expensive and can bring a very usefull product to the market.

    HERE have a look your self and don't forget to vote!
     
  19. Big Ron thread starter macrumors 6502

    Big Ron

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    #19
    Update

    Thanks for the update, I have voted for the Thunderbolt to USB/ESata, although either one would do - I just want USB 3
     
  20. Bear macrumors G3

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    #20
    It would've been nice if there would've been more than one USB port on either choice. ANnther option that would've been nice is USB+FW.
     
  21. EsoxLucius macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    #21
    Thunderbolt to USB 3.0 adapter

    Having bought a 15" MacBook Retina last year, I use one of the two USB 3.0 ports and one of the two Thunderbolt ports for an Ethernet connection (the Wi-Fi is a bit hit-and-miss in my house). I would welcome a Thunderbolt to USB 3.0 adapter to give me more flexibility. One can never have enough USB ports.
     
  22. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
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    #22
    Just practically speaking, a USB 3.0 hub produced in huge volumes is going to be far more economical than a Thunderbolt-to-USB 3.0 adapter which is going to be sold at a much lower volume and thus a much higher price... and can physically likely hold only a couple of ports at most before becoming as big as the hub you're looking to replace.

    Either spring for a desktop Thunderbolt desktop hub (with USB 2 & 3, FireWire 800, audio, eSATA, GigE ethernet and, on some, DVI video) or get a small, cheap USB 3.0 hub.

    At some point, an adapter like the Kanex one linked above will likely come out (though both options linked above include something other than just USB 3), but until then, your options are limited.
     
  23. IA64 macrumors 6502

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    Nov 8, 2013
  24. Bear macrumors G3

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    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #24
    Ask and thou shall receive: LaCie eSATA Hub.
     
  25. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #25
    For 2.5" drives, there is the Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt Adapter. You can buy empty drive shells on eBay for a more "finished" look, but it is a standard powered SATA connector on the adapter. I use them with both hard disks and SSDs.

    http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-GoFlex-Thunderbolt-Adapter-STAE121/dp/B006P1QWOQ

    There is also a desktop adapter for 3.5" drives.
     

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