USB-C Switch (Not Hub)

markmcb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 12, 2019
4
0
I'm unable to find a USB-C switch. Do they exist?

Use case: I have a personal MacBook Pro and a MBP for work. At my home desk, I plug my MBP into a CalDigit TS3Plus+ (which is great btw). This gives me quick connectivity to my monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, and 85W of power. I'd like to be able to run the USB-C cable that goes to my laptop through a USB-C switch. This way I could also plug my work laptop to the switch and just press a button to flip between the two. (versus manually unplugging the cable from one MBP and plugging it into the other MBP ... I know, hard work right?)

In other words, what I have:
peripherals <---> TS3+ <---> One USB-C MBP (change cable to use other MBP)

... what I want:
peripherals <---> TS3+ <---> USB-C Switch <===> Two USB-C MBPs (toggle with button)
 

dwig

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2015
659
242
Key West FL
I don't know of a device of this type, but I do know that just looking for "USB-C" is not good enough.

USB-[letter] only designates the connector type and NEVER specifies what data type and/or power might be present. For the use case you mention, you need to look for "TB3" switching devices, which will always use a USB-C connector as that is part of the TB3 spec.
 

markmcb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 12, 2019
4
0
I don't know of a device of this type, but I do know that just looking for "USB-C" is not good enough.

USB-[letter] only designates the connector type and NEVER specifies what data type and/or power might be present. For the use case you mention, you need to look for "TB3" switching devices, which will always use a USB-C connector as that is part of the TB3 spec.
Ah, yes, good point. A TB3 switch is what I need.
 

markmcb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 12, 2019
4
0
It sounds like you want a KVM?
Yes, basically. I’d want everything TB3 can handle though, which is beyond just a keyboard, video monitor and mouse. (For example, power to charge the laptops would be nice so it’s one cable per laptop.)
 

dwig

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2015
659
242
Key West FL
The question is, what devices do you need to switch?

If you only need to switch the keyboard, mouse, and monitor, and not any connected storage devices, then:

  • add a dongle with the necessary monitor and USB, plus maybe PD, connections for use with the transient work notebook.
  • take the monitor-mouse-keyboard outputs from the new dongle and those from the existing docking station and feed then into an appropriate KVM.
  • connect the mouse, keyboard, & monitor to the "output" from the KVM.
Using a KVM like switch to also switch USB storage devices it fraught with danger and is HIGHLY DISCOURAGED. If you need shared storage then add a network resource, either dedicated NAS or a network share.
 

markmcb

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 12, 2019
4
0
I need to switch the TB3 "to computer" port of a CalDigit TS3Plus+ to 2 MacBook Pros (i.e., 2 TB3 ports). So 1 TB3 to 2 TB3. So it's like a KVM, but with TB3 USB-C ports.

Currently, that TS3Plus+ connects my MBP to a USB-C monitor, USB-A keyboard, USB-A speakers, a USB-A phone, a USB-A mouse, an Ethernet cable, occasionally a pair of headphones, and delivers 85W of DC power to charge the laptop over USB-C. There is no storage involved with the exception that the TS3Plus+ has an SD card port (and I only use that when dumping photos from my camera). I have a proper NAS for network storage.