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Thunderbolt and USB-C

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Thunderbolt and USB-C

Postby twotoedsloth » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:10 pm

Hello,

What would happen if you plug a Thunderbolt device into a USB-C only computer? It looks like they use the same connector.

I have a PCIe USB-C (3.1) card and I am wondering if it is something to worry about?
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Re: Thunderbolt and USB-C

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:30 pm

They do use the same physical connector, and a USB-C device will work in a TB3 port ... but a TB3 device won't work in a USB-C port... or so it says here:

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/usb-type-c- ... -them-all/

H
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Re: Thunderbolt and USB-C

Postby ef37a » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:09 pm

Bloody nightmare!

Daughter has just found out that smart phones eat mA and she forgets and leaves her charger at home.

Bought her a 4,200 mA batt'pack for Crimble. The supplied A to mini USB cables does not fit HER Samsung phone. Back to sq1.

Last week ordered her a Samsung charger and cables from 'Zon. Texted me yesterday. STILL does not fit!

Dave.
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Re: Thunderbolt and USB-C

Postby Agharta » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:14 pm

twotoedsloth wrote:What would happen if you plug a Thunderbolt device into a USB-C only computer? It looks like they use the same connector.

I have a PCIe USB-C (3.1) card and I am wondering if it is something to worry about?
I doubt it would damage anything but best to check what the manufacturers and the standards body say.
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Re: Thunderbolt and USB-C

Postby twotoedsloth » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:24 pm

Hello,

So if I plug a Thunderbolt device into a USB-C port all that will happen is that it will not work?

Or is there the potential for damaging the ports on the PCIe card, or the motherboard?

For example, if someone comes to my studio with a shiny new Macbook, the only port on this computer is a USB-C port. IF said person needs to get a file off of their Macbook, so they plug the Macbook into my computer. Will this damage my computer?
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Re: Thunderbolt and USB-C

Postby ef37a » Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:10 pm

twotoedsloth wrote:Hello,

So if I plug a Thunderbolt device into a USB-C port all that will happen is that it will not work?

Or is there the potential for damaging the ports on the PCIe card, or the motherboard?

For example, if someone comes to my studio with a shiny new Macbook, the only port on this computer is a USB-C port. IF said person needs to get a file off of their Macbook, so they plug the Macbook into my computer. Will this damage my computer?

I don't know but I think it is high time that all equipment in common use should be fool proof in terms of NOT causing damage.

I answer a lot of questions posed by 'newb' recording wannabes in another forum and one question crops up time and again. "Can I plug my wingy-jam XL5 into my blobjob-40 without it causing damage?" They are scared WITLESS of experimenting!

The fact is of course that they can plug virtually any piece of audio gear into any other and it will not smoke. Might hum/hiss like cluck, maybe won't DO jack but it should not cause damage (there are of course exceptions. I always warn about beefy power amps and phantom power) .

So, MHO is, well into the 21st century all equipment should, within technical constraints, be bombproof as to connectivity. We do not want another Fussywire "hot plugging" SNAFU!

Dave.
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Re: Thunderbolt and USB-C

Postby twotoedsloth » Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:25 pm

Hello Dave,

Thanks for your reply.

I'm all for experimenting, but it can get awfully expensive if you have to replace the gear you are experimenting on. The old USB standard was great because you couldn't plug it in incorrectly (upstream and downstream), unless you were really determined.

The thing that worries me about USB-C is that it also carries the power supply to the Macbook, so there might be more current than a PCIe card is designed to handle.

Right now the USB-C port is on the back of my computer, in the bottom of a rack case, so this should discourage usage. If it starts to get used more often I will have to buy a USB-C hub. Would a hub provide some protection against unwanted amperes?

Thanks,
Peter
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Re: Thunderbolt and USB-C

Postby Agharta » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:04 pm

twotoedsloth wrote:The thing that worries me about USB-C is that it also carries the power supply to the Macbook, so there might be more current than a PCIe card is designed to handle.
If you look at the specs I think you will find that power delivery beyond the basics is optional and negotiated so I think it extremely unlikely that two devices will do something catastrophic.
The potential damage from my understanding is from cheap chargers that don't follow the rules and possibly but probably much less likely from cheap cables that are out of spec. I'm not sure if cables can do damage but they can certainly not be fully compliant.
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