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USB C Attachments for MacBook Pro


With the purchase of a current generation MacBook pro we are faced with set of non-useless peripherals that no longer plug into the USB-C port. Or do we? After spending a number of months testing, using, then sometimes discarding adapters, I have a set that seems to work. Hopefully this will help you in selecting ones for you. No one has paid me to do this. It’s just something fun to figure out.


Basic configuration:


Home/Office: 2017 MacBook pro connected to a UHD/HDR display (55”). Connection to a batch of external USB hard drives. Bluetooth mouse and keyboard.


Travel: Connection to both wired ethernet and WiFi with sometimes connection to strange non-standard monitors via HDMI.


Need to connect a CD/DVD drive for read/write, SD and CompactFlash cards, connection to iPhone/iPad and connection to USB color printer.


OK, Home/Office basic set up:


     •     MacBook to Hub: I use a USB-C extension cable so I can keep the USB-C hub on a shelf next to all the hard drives and the power supply.

     •     Hub: I’ve tried a batch and found the Toopone 6-in-one to be a good option. It provides power pass through, Ethernet, UHD (4K) HDMI (that works), SD card reader and two USB 3.0 ports. There are lots on the market, this one seems to work and can sit on the shelf without problems.

     •     Power: I use a stock Apple power supply

     •     Short USB-C cable from the power supply to the hub.

     •     USB-3.0 Hub - I have a very old 2.0 hub and it works, so I’m not upgrading. I would recommend the Anker USB 3.0 hub.


So with this simple set up, I’m able to plug one wire into the Mac and I get  power, connection to ethernet, to the monitor, and all my old USB-2.0 and 3.0 devices. It just works! It’s located in a place that allows easy SD card plug in.


But I need more - mainly for USB devices that need more power. So I keep a few of the little USB-C to USB-3.0 adapters handy. I use this to plug in my DVD burner.

Jerry Pierce

March 5, 2018

First write up...

Travel:


I take a one-layer travel bag. (I use the one from Skooba Design Cable Stable DLX) Lots of stuff, but I have needed almost all of it along the way.


Most of the contents are fairly understandable, but there are a few special items. I bring an Apple brand adapter for USB-C to USB-2.0/HDMI AND an Apple brand USB 2.0 to iPhone lighting adapter. I found this was essential for an iPhone update. For charging any-old lightning connector will do, but for data transfer it really is better with the Apple brand cable (read this I bricked my phone while traveling).


I do bring a wireless charging pad for my iPhone - it’s just easier to put it on the hotel desk to recharge the phone. I bring a dedicated SD and CompactFlash reader to get picts from a camera. I have an external 1TB SSD drive for picture overflow from my computer.


The USB-2.0 to USB-C cable is for those airports/airplanes that have a USB charger port and I want to get some power to my computer. Not the 87 watts of a plug-in charger, but it works (and I can check out if it is working by using the current/volt meter that I bring.)


So why did I write this up? So I can look back in a few years to see what I thought was important in 2018.




Comments/suggestions welcome.


Jerry