[???] use USB C monitor without USB C?

Discussion in 'Video Cards' started by allenpan, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. joevt

    joevt n00b

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    Yes. Connect a Thunderbolt 3 device that has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, where one of those ports supports USB 3.1 gen 2 and DisplayPort alt mode. You'll also need the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter. The OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock is one such example. I don't know if all Thunderbolt 3 devices with two Thunderbolt 3 ports support USB 3.1 gen 2 and DisplayPort alt mode, so check with the manufacturer. USB 3.1 gen 2 support requires macOS Sierra or greater.

    Another option is to use a Thunderbolt PCIe expansion chassis, and one of the USB-C + DisplayPort alt mode PCIe cards (The Sunix or Delock discussed in this thread). A Thunderbolt 3 chassis with the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter would be best, since those PCIe cards are PCIe 3.0 x1, and therefore would not allow greater than 5 Gbps (up to 10 Gbps) in a Thunderbolt 2 PCIe expansion chassis.
     
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  2. TOMCux1981

    TOMCux1981 n00b

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    Thanks for the very quick reply,
    I'll check whether the OWC has the requirements because it seems to be the easier solution (but far more expensive?).

    For the other option you've mentioned, could you give me an example of an expansion chassis (I'm really a noob) or a concrete listings which things to connect?

    Or is this maybe another solution?
    https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MJ1K2AM/A/usb-c-digital-av-multiport-adapter

    Or simply buy the Dell P2715Q Monitor?
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  3. joevt

    joevt n00b

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    OWC does advertise USB 3.1 gen 2 and DisplayPort alt mode support on their Thunderbolt 3 dock.

    It's possible that the expansion chassis of solution #2 can work instead of a dock for solution #1. In other words a chassis could be used to try both solutions.

    There are three types of expansion chassis: one slot (small and inexpensive, may have limited power), multiple slot (larger, much more expensive), eGFX (large enough and with enough power for graphics card, but only one Thunderbolt port so not suitable for USB-C and Thunderbolt displays)

    Supported PCIe cards can be full length or half length, and full height or half height.

    Here are some examples of expansion chassis (I did not check for USB 3.1 gen 2 and DisplayPort alt mode support):
    https://thunderbolttechnology.net/p...&field_prod_tb_version_value_many_to_one=tbv3

    one slot (two ports, usually half length)
    Sonnet Echo Express SEL - Thunderbolt 3 Edition (half height)
    AKiTiO Node Lite
    Sonnet Echo Express SE I - Thunderbolt 3 Edition
    Startech Thunderbolt 3 PCIe Expansion Chassis with DisplayPort - PCIe x16
    OWC Mercury Helios 3
    Netstor HL23T (full length, 300W)
    AKiTiO Node Pro (full length, 500W)​

    three slot (usually full length)
    Netstor NA211TB3
    Sonnet Echo Express SE III (half length)
    Sonnet Echo Express III-D – Thunderbolt 3 Edition (300W)
    Sonnet Echo Express III-R – Thunderbolt 3 Edition​

    eGFX (one port)
    Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box
    Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 550 (550W)​

    Sonnet Echo Express SEL seems to be the most compact solution (half width, half height). Try it without a card for solution 1. For solution 2, the Sunix and Delock cards come with a low profile bracket that will make them fit.

    You could try an expansion chassis for solution 1, and put anything you like in the PCIe slot, such as an NVMe drive, or 10 Gbit Ethernet, or whatever. Just remember that anything will be limited to Thunderbolt 2 speeds.

    You could try any Thunderbolt 3 device for solution 1 that has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, such as a hard drive enclosure, as long as the Thunderbolt 3 ports support USB 3.1 gen 2 and DisplayPort alt mode.

    That is useless without a USB-C port, which is what we're talking about adding to your 2015 MacBook Pro with those two solutions.

    A third solution might be a USB-C to DisplayPort cable, (which should work in reverse in this case as a DisplayPort to USB-C cable) but that won't let you use any of the USB features of the display (audio, USB ports, brightness control). Brightness control may be possible using an app that can send DDC/CI signals over DisplayPort.

    The cable connection method of a USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 display is for most people not a compelling enough reason to buy the display and in fact may be a reason to avoid the display. The methods discussed in this thread are mostly for people that are stuck with such a display and would like to use it with otherwise incompatible hardware.
     
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  4. joevt

    joevt n00b

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    No preference. I think maybe only the last one might come with a power supply, but check if the others are cheaper with a power supply from somewhere else.
     
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  5. TOMCux1981

    TOMCux1981 n00b

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    The solution with the OWC works fine so far,
    BUT
    if I reboot I have to plug the cable out because oterwise everything stays in sleep mode.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  6. TOMCux1981

    TOMCux1981 n00b

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    The solution with the OWC works fine so far,
    BUT
    if I reboot I have to plug the cable out because oterwise everything stays in sleep mode.
     
  7. joevt

    joevt n00b

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    I'll test this later today.
     
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  8. DM7

    DM7 n00b

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    Okay, so here's the list of everything I need to get:
    1. "IT-GO" PCI-e x16 Riser (QTY: 1)
    2. 12V/2A Power Adapter (QTY: 1)
    3. Mini DP to DP Cable (QTY: 2)
    4. USB 3.1 Dual Port USB-C PCI Express (w/Alternate-Mode) (UPD2018) (QTY: 2)

    Am I missing anything? If that's it, I'll purchase it all per your confirmation :)

    Then when I receive it, I'll make a (completely amateur) video setting it up and using it with my two monitors (whether it works or not lol).
     
  9. joevt

    joevt n00b

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    I tested the USB-C ports of the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock, the OWC Mercury Helios 3, the Sonnet Echo Express SE I, the Sonnet Echo Express SE III and the AKiTiO Thunder 3 Duo Pro. All had the same results. They all worked as expected. The AKiTiO is an older device that requires the Thunderbolt 3 patch in macOS to function.

    I connected a USB 2.0 device and a DisplayPort device to a USB-C port of those Thunderbolt 3 devices with no problem even after reboot using a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15 inch, Mid 2015) and the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter. I don't have a USB-C device with both USB 2.0 and DisplayPort like the UltraFine 4K display. I think you should report the problem with the LG UltraFine 4K display to Apple (bugreport.apple.com)

    There may have been a couple times where I had to disconnect the USB 2.0 device and reconnect it to get it to function (loose connection?)

    I also tested a Sunix UPD2018 in one of the Thunderbolt 3 expansion chassis. It behaved successfully as expected.

    That looks like everything that you need.

    The following alternatives lets you try both USB-C and Thunderbolt displays instead of just USB-C displays (replace 3 and 4 with):
    3: Mini DP to Mini DP cable (QTY: 2)
    4: GC-ALPINE RIDGE (QTY: 1)

    You may also need a metal file to make adjustments to the IT-GO back plate to unobstruct the USB-C ports of the GC-ALPINE RIDGE (because the USB-C ports are very close to the edge of the IT-GO back plate PCIe card cut outs and the IT-GO back plate is too thick). A grinder will just melt the aluminum onto itself.

    Actually, you might need a metal file to adjust the piece of the IT-GO that is meant to hold the screws for retaining the PCIe card bracket, no matter which PCIe card you get (because IT-GO back plate is too thick)

    The thickness of the IT-GO back plate is 2 mm. Most PCIe back plates are only 1 mm. I think the IT-GO PCIe card bracket retaining piece was designed for a 1 mm thick back plate, so you have to file off 1 mm from that piece (or enough to allow you to screw on a PCIe card bracket).
     
  10. DM7

    DM7 n00b

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    Thank you so much! You said "QTY: 1" for the GC-Alpine Ridge cards (is this it?)... I wouldn't need QTY: 2 of them to connect my 2 USB-C Monitors?

    Noted... I'll see if I can borrow my dad's metal file to make those adjustments :) Thank you!
     
  11. joevt

    joevt n00b

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    The GC-ALPINE RIDGE fully utilizes the Thunderbolt controller chip by providing two Mini DisplayPort inputs (DisplayPort 1.2), two USB-C outputs (USB 3.1 gen 2 and/or DisplayPort 1.2, or HDMI 1.4, or Thunderbolt 3), and one HDMI output (HDMI 1.4). That HDMI output could have been a DisplayPort output instead (Display Port 1.2, HDMI 1.4). The GC-ALPINE RIDGE can output two DisplayPort streams as DisplayPort, HDMI, or Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt can put both streams through a single USB-C port (for 5K displays, or two 4K displays). I think the streams might be HDMI if the display is HDMI (have to check what the graphics card thinks it is) otherwise the Thunderbolt controller would need a built in DisplayPort to HDMI converter.

    I also used a black sharpie to color the sides that I had to file.
     
  12. DM7

    DM7 n00b

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    Then I definitely didn't have the right one in the Amazon link I referenced (which is why I thought I needed two).

    I found this one on Amazon (but it's "currently unavailable"): https://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-Thunderbolt-Components-GC-ALPINE-RIDGE/dp/B0722SV69N/

    Do you have a purchase link for the GC-Alpine Ridge from AliExpress.com? I can't seem to find it from the site search.

    Or do you think this one from eBay would do: https://www.ebay.com/i/263395345710?rt=nc ?


    Lol okay, I'll keep my Sharpie handy ;-)
     
  13. joevt

    joevt n00b

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    Right, all the other Thunderbolt 3 add-in cards don't utilize all the features of the Thunderbolt 3 controller. The ASRock Thunderbolt 3 AIC does have two DisplayPorts (it's weird, one is mini, the other is not) so it might be an alternative (I haven't tried it).

    Nope.

    e-bay might be the best way if you can't find it anywhere else. I got mine from frys.com but they don't ship it anymore. There always seems to be a lot in Australia...
     
  14. DM7

    DM7 n00b

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    Thank you!!! So, I'll purchase everything this week:

    1. "IT-GO" PCI-e x16 Riser (QTY: 1)
    2. 12V/2A Power Adapter (QTY: 1)
    3. Mini DP to Mini Cable (QTY: 2)
    4. GC-Alpine Ridge (QTY: 1)
    And when I receive it all (in a few weeks), I'll make that video and post it! :-D
     
  15. Birger

    Birger n00b

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    I have succesfully upgraded my Mac mini (late 2012) to be able to use two Ultrafine 4k displays. The setup is:
    The GC-Alpine Ridge does not show it's build in USB hub on PCIe so in consequence I am unable to control the display's brightness. If anyone knows how to enable the USB part of the GC alpine I would like to hear about it. In the mean time I have hacked a USB-C cable by redirecting the USB 2.0 wires to a USB-A plug. This works for me and I can control the displays brightness in Mac OS 10.13. So far I have been unable to control the brightness in Windows 10. There is supposed to be a control slider in the bootcamp control panel but it is simply missing in my case.

    Speakers work as expected with my hacked cable. Both, in Windows 10 and Mac OS 10.13.

    The display also tends to turn off after about 3 seconds. I then need to unplug and replug the USB-C or Displayport connection. This goes a couple of times until the display stays on. Once it is on it will work as expected. Once I reboot I will have to go over the process again. Display turns off, replug, display turns on and off after a few seconds, retry until it stays on. This only happens in Mac OS. The display turns on and stays on in Windows all the time. I am not sure if this is a problem with my specific setup. It is very annoying as the loop sometime goes for about 10 iterations and I am not sure how to fix it. Has anyone else seem this?
     
  16. joevt

    joevt n00b

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    You're using the Nvidia as external graphics?

    If USB is not working then you can try one of the apps/commands that does brightness using DDC/CI over DisplayPort. I haven't tried them.
    Code:
    Backlight-DDC
    brightness
    DDC Panel
    DDC-CI-Tools-for-OS-X
    ddcctl
    DDCCTL
    NativeDisplayBrightness
    
    Same here. The GC-ALPINE RIDGE card doesn't show up connected to the PEX 8724 of the Sonnet Echo Express III-D until you connect a USB or Thunderbolt device. Then the link status changes to 8 GT/s x4 or x1 for one of the four downstream ports of the PEX. But no endpoint appears on the subordinate bus. I guess you would have to do some PCI/Thunderbolt stuff here to turn it on and then force a rescan of the PCI bus. I would start by modifying pciutils for the Mac to add more features for poking around.

    Very cool. A USB 3.0 solution might be more difficult (two of the super speed lines for USB and two for DisplayPort) but that doesn't matter in this case since the LG 4K uses all four super speed lines for DisplayPort.

    Are you using the latest Boot Camp? The following thread has a screen shot of the slider in the Boot Camp Control Panel UI.
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7824686?start=15&tstart=0

    Is there a difference in this behavior between using the DisplayPort of the Nvidia and the DisplayPort of the Mac mini? This might point to a problem in a specific graphics driver, instead of the entire macOS display stack.

    For 5K displays, the Nvidia macOS driver only supports the discontinued Dell 5K display. There is a hack to get it working with the LG 5K. There was an issue with the display turning off after a short time. I'm not sure if it's related to your LG 4K problem. Read more about it here:
    https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/nvidia-gtx1080-lg-ultrafine-5k-full-5k-60hz-success.240730/
    https://github.com/aerror2/NGFixLG5K
     
  17. Birger

    Birger n00b

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    I'm not sure what you mean by that. The Mac mini has an Intel HD 4000 GPU and the GTX 1060 is in the Sonnet, so I guess that counts as external graphics.

    I'll have a look into this but I suspect that this will not work as others have even created tools to specifically talk to the display's HID interface to control the brightness. I suspect that DDC is not implemented in the Ultrafine 4k.

    Interesting, I have not yet looked into what pciutils say about the GC-ALPINE. My next try would have been to find someone who owns one of the compatible boards and hook a logic analyzer to the card's Thunderbolt header cable. I would guess that the board sends some magic commands over a slow line to enable the card. If things turn out easy the signals can simply be replayed. I have yet to find someone who owns one of the boards.

    Yes, it's 480 Mbits only. Still, there seems to be a difference when connected through a proper USB cable on one of the newer Mac Books. LG's tool to update the display's firmware does not properly recognize the USB hub inside the display. It's version number appears as 0000 and running an update fails.

    Well kind of the latest drivers. For my Mac Mini the latest Boot Camp is older than the relase date of the Ultrafine 4k. I then used Brigadier to download the latest Boot Camp for the Mac Book Pro (late 2016). Still the tab would not appear.

    That pointed me into the right direction. I cleaned up that kernel extension and made the Ultrafine to work in its full beauty. Yay! Well... there's still one problem: sometimes at boot time it still won't turn on until I replug once but only once. Previously it was more like 5 mins or retry, so it is way better now. Once I'm happy with the kext I'll pulbish it on some git repo too.

    My next step will be to get the brightness control to work in Windows 10.
     
  18. joevt

    joevt n00b

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    If it supports HID and you have a USB connection, then that would be the best way. DDC requires proper support in the graphics chip driver and may therefore have issues because it is not used/tested as much as USB and HID.

    You can find online motherboard schematics of motherboards that have a Thunderbolt header. You can also find motherboard schematics of motherboards with Thunderbolt 3 chips (DSL6540). Some motherboard user manuals have names for the 5 pins of the header (but no description of what they're for):
    Code:
    1    Power
    2    Plug_Event
    3    Platform Sequence Control
    4    Platform Sequence Control
    5    GND
    
    1    GPIOA       
    2    GPIOB       
    3    N_-SLP_S3   
    4    N_-S4_S5   
    5    GND           
    
    The Power pin may also be called Force Power and may be related to the Force Power setting in some BIOS versions. This is connected to a GPIO of the PCH and maybe a pin of the SuperIO. There may be a pull-up resister to 3.3V.
    Plug Event is probably something that happens when you plug something in (or unplug). This is connected to a GPIO pin of the PCH.There may be a pull-up resister to 3.3V.
    S3, S4, S5 are sleep state signals for different levels of sleep. These are common to many chips on the motherboard. I think the Thunderbolt header uses inverted versions of the signals (N = Not).

    Anyway, I don't think those signals are terribly important, since I've seen a GC-ALPINE RIDGE sort of work (USB and PCIe) in my Z170X-Gaming 7 without the Thunderbolt header connection (the motherboard doesn't have the header). It would only work in the PCIEX4 slot (see #59). I think this means that the BIOS has code to enable the card in that slot. It may be a common BIOS used by both motherboards with and without the Thunderbolt header. Of course, without the Thunderbolt header, there may be issues with detecting new or removed devices, but I think this problem can be overcome with additional software.
     
  19. ph3nix

    ph3nix n00b

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    I am looking for the exact same thing (and have been watching this thread for some time now).

    Searching around the net myself once again I stumbled across the Wacom Link (ACK42719) and I am somewhat surprised it hasn't been mentioned yet. Although maybe not too surprising as I missed it myself a few times before.
    Anyways, it has two inputs: mini-DP & USB-B - and one output: USB-C! It is designed to connect their own devices (like the Wacom MobileStudio Pro) to computers that don't have a USB-C port.

    Sadly the website is very short on information and I haven't found much on the web either. Only a few videos on Youtube showing that it is actually (mDP+USB) -> USB-C and not the other way around.

    Does anyone by any chance have a Wacom Link lying around? Or a friend with one? Or is anyone willing to buy one and see if it actually outputs USB-C (+DP alt mode) instead of some custom Wacom trickery? Because this device actually looks portable compared to the hacky PCI solutions.

    I sadly don't really have the money at the moment to fool around and buy an Asus 169C+ and a Wacom Link only to find out that it does not work :(
     
  20. joevt

    joevt n00b

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    Someone did try it at http://support.plugable.com/plugable/topics/usb-displayport-to-usb-c-alternate-mode-with-pd-adapter
    but it didn't work.
     
  21. ph3nix

    ph3nix n00b

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    Thanks, I missed that. So it probably does not work, although there is some misinformation on the net regarding the Wacom Link. The person in the link you posted tried with a 4k display. 4k is apparently not supported but has been shown to work by replacing the DP cable.

    So I haven't lost hope entirely yet. Not sure how the poster in your link did the testing. But it probably should have worked, just with a lower resolution...
     
  22. joevt

    joevt n00b

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    There are two modes that a USB-C with DisplayPort alt mode should be able to support:
    1) USB 3.0 + USB 2.0 + 2 lane DisplayPort 1.2 (4K 30 Hz max)
    2) USB 2.0 + 4 lane DisplayPort 1.2 (4K 60 Hz max)
    A proper USB-C with DisplayPort alt mode port should be able to support both modes. Power Delivery is used to negotiate the correct mode.
    Maybe Wacom did something to make the Wacom Link not be a general solution? Maybe there provided DisplayPort cable only included 2 lanes. The video you linked shows 4 lane operation works with a different cable. Maybe the LG 4K would have worked with a different cable. If the cable was the only problem, then that would be interesting. I've ordered a Wacom Link to try it out. I'll test the cables, try some alternate cables, and try various USB and DisplayPort devices.
     
  23. joevt

    joevt n00b

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    I've just tried the Wacom Link. I was not able to get any USB or DisplayPort out of the USB-C port.

    The included Mini DisplayPort cable and USB-C cable seem to be standard. They worked with other devices (DisplayPort 1.2 4K 60Hz and USB 3.1 gen 2 10 Gbps). The included USB-A to USB-A cable seems weird. Shouldn't one side by USB-B? Maybe they used USB-A on both ends because it's more compact than USB-B.

    Maybe it doesn't work because the Wacom Link expects to get power from the USB-C port, instead of to provide power on the USB-C port? Or maybe something else. Maybe some PD sniffing might give a clue, but at this point it doesn't matter. It just doesn't work.
     
  24. DM7

    DM7 n00b

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    I just got everything this week... so I'll work on doing the (amateur) assembly video on Sunday! (I'm nervous / excited lol) I'll keep you posted!
     
  25. DM7

    DM7 n00b

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    Sorry for the delay! I'm in-between moving houses right now, so I'll do the video soon as I settle in :)

    Just wanted to drop a quick line to let you know I'm still here and haven't forgotten about you guys ;-)
     
  26. joevt

    joevt n00b

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    I was just about to ask what happened with this. Did you get a chance to try it yet? Did it work?
     
  27. DM7

    DM7 n00b

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    I had to stop recording just now because I'm stuck on Step 3! lol

    I don't know where to find the THB_C header on the PCIe Hub's motherboard.

    Can you help??? lol
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
  28. joevt

    joevt n00b

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    A Thunderbolt header exists only on certain motherboards. Many are listed on each Thunderbolt add-in card's product page or manual.
    https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GC-ALPINE-RIDGE-rev-10#ov
    https://www.asus.com/ca-en/Motherboard-Accessory/ThunderboltEX-3/specifications/
    http://asrock.pc.cdn.bitgravity.com/Manual/Thunderbolt 3 AIC.pdf

    You don't need the header connection to use the Thunderbolt chip's DisplayPort conversion function. I think I've mentioned this in a previous page of this thread. The DisplayPort inputs of the Thunderbolt chip can be converted to USB-C DisplayPort alt-mode (one per USB-C port), or Thunderbolt display (one per Thunderbolt 3 port, or two on a single Thunderbolt 3 port).

    Below is a picture of two GC-ALPINE RIDGE in a Sonnet Echo Express III-D with no header cables attached.

    The Mac Book Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015) has connected one mini DisplayPort to the GC-ALPINE RIDGE. It has a Thunderbolt 2 connection to the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock which has a Thunderbolt 3 connection to the Sonnet Echo Express III-D (because the Sonnet has no power unless connected via Thunderbolt). The dock has a mini DisplayPort connection to the same GC-ALPINE RIDGE.

    The GC-ALPINE RIDGE is connected to a Dell 5K display using two USB-C to DisplayPort adapters. Pictured on the MacBook Pro's keyboard are a Thunderbolt 3 to Dual DisplayPort adapter and a USB-C to VGA adapter, which both work when connected to the GC-ALPINE RIDGE (but there are only two DisplayPort signals from the MacBook Pro).

    Even though the PCIe slots are connected to the MacBook Pro, the PCIe and USB functions of the GC-ALPINE RIDGE cards are not available, because the system does not have the software to enable those functions. I have seen those functions work without the header connection when the card was in a motherboard that could enable those functions, but the usual Thunderbolt functionality is not complete (hot plug, etc.).

    I am looking at the UEFI BIOS of compatible motherboard(s) to see how Thunderbolt is enabled. The IFR shows where all the Thunderbolt settings are stored. Universal-IFR-Extractor (I'm using the LongSoft version) can be used to get that information. The next step is to find all the UEFI code that reads the settings, see how the settings effect ACPI, then see which UEFI or ACPI code writes to the Thunderbolt add-in card.


    GC-ALPINE RIDGE in external PCIe.jpg
     
  29. DM7

    DM7 n00b

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    It worked!!! :-D I'll be posting the video shortly! Thank youuuuuu!!!
     
  30. DM7

    DM7 n00b

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    Without further ado:

    And here's a picture of the final set up :-D

    upload_2018-3-19_11-0-23.png
     
  31. joevt

    joevt n00b

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    Great video. I didn't see your post until now (missed or not received new post notification in my e-mail). A few notes:

    The four holes on the top and bottom are the same 4 holes that you would see on a CD or DVD drive, as the IT-GO is made to fit into the same space in a computer case. I think 8 of the small rounded screws are for that purpose.

    There should be two remaining small rounded screws for securing two PCIe cards (in your case, the GC-ALPINE RIDGE card and the spare PCIe bracket that came in the box) to the backplate of the IT-GO.

    I think you mixed up the front and back of the IT-GO, causing the problem with the gap, and the problem with not being able to install the right PCIe card (or the included PCIe bracket plate), and maybe the problem with the power input. The IT-GO has a notch extending from near the top to near the bottom to allow the right PCIe card's bracket to extend outside the enclosure.

    I guess for best fit, you want the PCIe cards to be pressed as much as possible to the IT-GO backplate (with no gap between it and the enclosure). But you also want the IT-GO PCB (printed circuit board) far enough forward (the power button side) for the power input connection to work. The position of the PCIe retaining screws (adjusted by filing the retainer block after unscrewing it from the IT-GO backplate) will determine how much the PCIe cards are pressed against the IT-GO backplate. With the front plate in place (the power button side), slide the IT-GO PCB forward as much as possible to improve power input connection.

    The USB-A connector on the IT-GO is not for USB. It is used to connect the IT-GO to the included PCIe x1 adapter which is inserted into a computer that has a PCIe slot. It's the same thing as a PCIe riser used for crypto currency mining (you can find many of those, but none of them come with an enclosure like the IT-GO). They all use a USB cable to transmit the PCIe x1 signal (it is not a USB signal). Your laptop doesn't have a PCIe slot but the GC-ALPINE RIDGE doesn't need a PCIe connection to your computer to be able to do DisplayPort conversion to USB-C or Thunderbolt. There are other ways to make a PCIe connection which a laptop might have: NVMe, ExpressCard, and mPCIe. None of that is important with the GC-ALPINE RIDGE, since we don't know how to enable the USB/PCIe functionality of a Thunderbolt add-in card in this unsupported configuration.


    87884_IT_GO_adjustments and notes.jpg
     
  32. jamislike

    jamislike n00b

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2018
    Hi All,
    I have been trying to use my LG Ultrafine monitor with a normal Displayport GPU and ended up with solution @joevet used above with the IT-GO PCB and the UPD2018 . Only problem is I can't control the monitors USB functions.

    I have tried a few solutions, I originally posted on attempting to use the Wacom Link over here the http://support.plugable.com/plugable/topics/usb-displayport-to-usb-c-alternate-mode-with-pd-adapter, but as you have found out, it does not work.

    I think there may be another solution, http://www.cypress.com/documentation/development-kitsboards/cy4541-ez-pdtm-ccg4-evaluation-kit-guide , this board can take in DisplayPort and USB 3.0 and gives a usb-c muxed output. In-fact it can take 2 of each, the manual outlines how to set it up for a DisplayPort-alt USB-C monitor. I imagine it would be a little fiddly but it should work, have not got the time or money to spare at the moment, but if I do I'll give it a go and let everyone know!!

    Jam
     
  33. joevt

    joevt n00b

    Messages:
    58
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    You mean the LG Ultrafine 4K display? And you're trying this with a laptop that does not have Thunderbolt or USB-C?

    I've mentioned the CCG1 Host Board (part of the Cypress CY4501 CCG1 Development Kit) at http://support.plugable.com/plugable/topics/usb-displayport-to-usb-c-alternate-mode-with-pd-adapter
    The CCG4 development kit appears to be similar. I believe the UPD2018 uses the CCG4 controller. What might be interesting is to modify a UPD2018 so that the USB connected to the CCG4 is made to come from a different controller than the ASM1142. I've never modified a PCB before so I don't know how difficult that would be.

    Anyway, the LG Ultrafine 4K display only uses USB 2.0 (the high speed lines). The four super speed lines are all for DisplayPort. Therefore, shouldn't it be easy to take a USB-C to DisplayPort cable and attach a USB 2.0 connector to the USB 2.0 wires? I think I read about someone doing that.

    Does the LG Ultrafine 4K work with a USB-C to DisplayPort cable (no USB)? Maybe only some of those cables work in both directions? The moshi USB-C to DisplayPort cable is described as bi-directional and supports DisplayPort 1.4 so it should work (only if the LG Ultrafine 4K can function without USB).
     
  34. jamislike

    jamislike n00b

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2018
    Yup, I have an LG Ultrafine 4K, trying to use it with my laptop or desktop, neither of which have Thunderbolt or USB-C.

    Yeah those sound like good suggestions, I had never heard about the Moshi USB Cable, looking online I found this though .

    I'm not sure if the monitor needs USB. I remember when I tried the Wacom Link I could see all the USB devices in my Mac system profiler, but couldn't get an image to show. The UPD2018 works with only power and no actual usb signals. So I'm not too sure. I think your spliced cable idea might be one to try!
     
  35. joevt

    joevt n00b

    Messages:
    58
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    That twitter seems to suggest that USB is required, (the UPD2018 has an ASM1142 USB 3.1 gen 2 controller), or at least some of the USB signals, such as power, or maybe the power delivery protocol needs to be present or different than what a DisplayPort to USB-C cable provides. While the UPD2018 doesn't give USB to the computer (unless you have a method to connect the external PCIe slot to your laptop, such as through NVMe, ExpressCard, or mPCIe), it does give USB to the display (the display has a USB 2.0 hub for the USB functions and USB ports).

    It's interesting that you were able to see the USB devices (of the LG 4K?) through the Wacom Link. When I was trying the Wacom Link, I tried various USB-C to USB-A adapters which didn't work. I didn't have a USB-C display to try. Maybe a USB-C hub (with DisplayPort and USB-A connectors) would give me different results (at least with the USB part as you found).

    For the spliced cable method, USB 2.0 uses D+ and D- which is not used by DisplayPort at all. I'm not sure about USB 2.0's ground and power. I don't think ground is required since the data lines use differential signaling (D+ and D- are compared with each other instead of ground). Maybe connect ground anyway. The LG doesn't require power from the computer. It can provide power to the computer after PD negotiation but the computer won't be taking power in this case (either through DisplayPort or USB-A).
     
  36. Birger

    Birger n00b

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2018
    This is what I did to make my LG Ultrafine 4K's USB work. Brightness control, speakers and USB-Hub works. The only thing that does not is firmware update. I cut open a USB-C cable stripped the green and white USB data pins. The same with a USB cable with type A connector. Then solder both together.
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  37. joevt

    joevt n00b

    Messages:
    58
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    Jul 28, 2017
    Very nice. It's helpful that the USB-C and USB-A cable both have the same color coded wires. It's strange that USB works but firmware update doesn't - I don't know how that's possible.

    You chose a USB-C to USB-C cable to connect to a GC-ALPINE RIDGE installed in a Thunderbolt PCIe expansion box because in this configuration, the DisplayPort signals of the USB-C cable works (from the GC-ALPINE RIDGE), but the USB controller of the GC-ALPINE RIDGE isn't usable. Does the USB-A work regardless of the orientation of both ends of the USB-C? There are four ways it can be connected (two orientations for two USB-C connectors). Does it work for all four ways or just two ways? Actually, there might be 8 ways it can be connected (reverse the cable).

    A DisplayPort to USB-C cable would be more useful (so it can be used without a GC-ALPINE RIDGE), but I don't think that would have the USB 2.0 lines?

    You can buy a Sonnet Echo Express SE-III and a Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 550 for less than a Sonnet Echo Express III-D. That will give 4 slots total. Then you can add three Sunix UPD2018. That way, you won't need any spliced cables and you can use 3 USB-C displays instead of just two and you get three usable USB 3.1 gen 2 ports. Instead of the 550, you can get the 350 version which has as much power as the III-D.
     
  38. Birger

    Birger n00b

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2018
    I split the data lines and only connected the USB-A cable to one end. I believe USB has a defined "host" and "device" end of a connection so I thought connecting it this way is the only way that would work for sure. So in this case USB only works when I connect the USB-C end to the monitor which has the USB data lines connected to the USB-A connector.

    When I looked into how to drive a Ultrafine 4k I found several posts saying that a DisplayPort to USB-C adapter or cable will not work. This is probably because the monitor is expecting the Power Delivery lines to work which are not available in those adapters.

    Thanks for the hint on using a Sonnet Breakaway Box and SE-III. I just happened to have a III-D. If I had not, your choice would have seem more sensible.
     
  39. joevt

    joevt n00b

    Messages:
    58
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Did you try all 4 orientations of the USB-C connectors with the cable in that one direction?

    Are you referring to a DisplayPort to USB-C cable, or a PCIe card such as the SUNIX UPD2018? I don't think you mean PCIe card as the GC-ALPINE RIDGE that you are using successfully is a PCIe card with a similar function.