USB C on New Macs?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Huntn, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #1
    I asked this in my 2016 MacBook Pro thread, but no answers. So I'll try here:

    USB C- Since owning a new 2016 MacBook Pro (see sig), I've ordered two different sets of USB A to USB C cables from Amazon (Link 1, Link 2).

    Neither one of them will power an external portable HD which has a USB A connector. The Apple USB to USB C adapters work fine, and they fit snug into the side of the MBP, but the item from Link 1, the USB C connector looks identical, but when plugged in it sticks out a little bit. In other words, I can see metal, when it's plugged in, where I can't with the Apple adapters. I have returned both of these cable sets as defective.

    Is there something I'm not getting about them?
    Thanks!
     
  2. bartvk macrumors 6502

    bartvk

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2016
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #2
    You have an external portable HD with an USB-A connector? Sounds highly non-standard. Which brand and type is it?

    So just to be clear, when you used to connect this HD to your previous laptop, you used an USB-A to USB-A cable?

    (These cables are not allowed by the USB specs, because you could cause shortage by using that cable to connect for example a charger to your laptop USB port.)
     
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #3
    I had a similar experience. I think we are still a bit in the early stages of this USB-C stuff and there are some incompatibilities. I have this enclosure that uses USB-A and I bought a A to C cable on Amazon that did not work. The cable was even made by Inatech who makes the enclosure.

    I ended up swapping the enclosure out for a native USB-C enclosure. I also use these adaptors for a variety of things and have not had anything fail to work so far.
     
  4. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #4
    Thanks for the info! The Apple adapters I purchased, for about the same price you paid, work as advertised.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 11, 2017 ---
    Correct (to be clear sentence)- the SP hard drive includes a standard USB A to A, cable. When it is used to connect to my MBP with a USB A to USB C adapter, it works as advertised.

    See my first post to the cables I purchased- USB A to USB C. The external hard drive is a Silicon Power 2TB drive which has a standard USB connector.
     
  5. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #5
    If you are looking for a cheaper option than Apple while still being a quality product, you might want to see if Benson Leung has reviewed any appropriate cable. He is a software engineer who tests USB-C cables and accessories for compliance with the official USB specs.
     
  6. danpass macrumors 68020

    danpass

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #6
    "See Benson" was the first thing I thought of.


    This whole USB-C cable thing is an epic disaster waiting to happen. Apparently the wrong cable can even allow for electronics to get torched if someone ends up with the The [im]Perfect Combination of components/battery/outlet.

    What needs to be done, NOW, is to lock down the standard for what can even be called a USB-C cable, instead of this 'four-different-versions' crap.

    The only cable I trust right now is my Apple USB-C that came with my rMB. I wish they made a shorter one.
     
  7. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #7
    This is what I originally bought which works fine- Apple USB c to USB adapter. I like these because I don't end up with a long rigid connector (a USB plugged into a short adapter) sticking out the side of my computer. It's kind of unbelievable (NOT) that cables from Chiba are being marketed that don't meet specs. :p

    But for my portable external HD, for the cables we are talking about with no adapter, why not? Once less dongle to tote... that is if they work. :(
    --- Post Merged, Jan 11, 2017 ---
    I'm following him and I sent Amazon an email advising them to get their act together. :)
     
  8. bartvk macrumors 6502

    bartvk

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2016
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #8
    That cable should not exist, it's the reason why we have USB-B, mini-B and micro-B connectors. The A-A cable you received, is against all USB specs and I bet the wiring is weird and non-standard as well. So that's the reason.

    If it was up to me personally, I'd put on this face: :mad:
    and move the drive to a different, decent enclosure like the above poster said.
    Then I'd take a sledgehammer to the old enclosure and look like this: :cool:
     
  9. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #9
    If I can dig up another USB A-A cable, I'll try connecting the hard drive with one of my USB C adapters and see if they work... with the adapter. If that does, I'll assume these are standard cables.

    Is'nt it the option of the manufacturer to use whatever USB compliant cable they want to enable the connection with the computer?

    When you speak of weird wiring, all if my other external USB devices work with the USB-C adapter, including the ext drives that have have micro-b connectors (micro-b to USB-A cable). What they all share in common is that they are USB, have different connectors on one end, but all have USB-A on the other end of the cables that came with them. Just because my Silicon Powered A60 hard drives came with a USB-A to USB-A cable, should you assume these are non standard USB cables? Silicon power lists this drive as USB 3 compliant. Instead of using a micro-b connector they used a USB-A connector on the hard drive end.

    Granted with zero technical knowledge about USB, I would not assume their cables use funny wiring. But, I'm not challenging you, just trying to understand. I assume the different connectors offer different size options and since they all end in USB-A for connecting to the computer, they all having wiring applicable to the connectors utilized.
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    Reading through the posts above, I recall the statements (by some) that USB-c "was going to make things simpler!"
    … and scratch my head!
     
  11. inmotionnow macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2014
    Location:
    Toronto
    #11
    +1 that USB-C cables are a complete mess right now. I previously purchased a USB-C to USB-C cable on Amazon that was advertised as USB 3.1 (https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B0194X4MSO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1) only to find out after I received it that it only supported USB 2.0 speeds. Ended up keeping the cable for charging my MBP (I like the right-angled end) but rule of thumb would be to quadruple check item description or contact seller to confirm spec/compatibility before buying.

    I've also had good luck buying directly from Monoprice (and they also have great customer service).
     
  12. dyn macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #12
    Did you hear and feel a click when you plugged the non-Apple adapters in? If no then try plugging it in a bit harder until you hear and feel the click. If that doesn't help you may have run into something that you see often with cheap cables and adapters: connectors that aren't well built and are a bit off. USB-C has got nothing to do with this as we've seen it in the past (like more than 10 years ago).
     
  13. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #13
    Watch this this video to see a TB3 Hub Unsupported on a Mac if you are impatient.

     
  14. dyn macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #14
    Do understand that these are expensive docks and there is no guarantee that this hack will still work with upcoming macOS updates and releases. If the hack is worth the money is up to you but I'd wait or buy one of those USB docks with USB-C.
     

Share This Page