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Steve4king
1 Copper

Right angle connector for TB16 & XPS15 9560

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I've just purchased an XPS15 9560 and a TB16 (would have preferred the smaller WD15.. but no official support for the 9560)

I'd like to add a right-angle adapter to the TB cable to get it out of the way, but I wanted to make sure whatever I got would still charge the computer and otherwise fully function as a docking station.

Does dell sell one or can anyone recommend one that has worked for you?

Thanks,

-Stephen

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5 Replies
PFitz4
1 Copper

RE: Right angle connector for TB16 & XPS15 9560

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adapterI tried this with my own 9560, TB16, and the right-angle type-C adapter shown here. The LED on the dock's built-in Thunderbolt 3 connector lights and Windows behaves as though it is connected to AC power, but neither the monitor nor any of the USB devices connected to the dock are recognized.

Windows only recognizes the dock itself is recognized only as "Base System Device." Without the adapter, the TB16 is recognized as 4 different devices:

  • Base System Device (Thunderbolt controller)
  • ASMedia USB Root Hub (USB 3.0 host controller)
  • SuperSpeed USB hub
  • RealTek USB Audio

Maybe the dock doesn't like the slight increase in resistance caused by the adapter so I'd be curious to know if a right-angle adapter like this one might behave differently.

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jphughan
5 Rhenium

RE: Right angle connector for TB16 & XPS15 9560

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The WD15 is absolutely supported by the XPS 15 9560, in fact that system is explicitly listed on the WD15's FAQ page here, although you need to have a 180W adapter plugged into the WD15 with that system, not just the 130W adapter. The WD15 actually works with ANY system that has a USB-C connector, since USB-C is a standard.  The only caveats are that when used with non-Dell systems it only provides 60W of power to the system rather than up to 130W, using display outputs requires that the system's USB-C connector actually has a GPU output wired to it, and charging requires that the system actually support charging via USB-C.  But the XPS 15 9560 supports all of that and can therefore make full use of the WD15.  However, be aware that in addition to obviously not supporting Thunderbolt, the WD15 only carries half the display bandwidth because of USB-C limitations compared to Thunderbolt, so dual displays are limited to 1920x1200 @ 60 Hz rather than 4K @ 60 Hz as on the TB16, and single displays are limited to 4K @ 30 Hz (or 2560x1600 @ 60 Hz).

All that said, Thunderbolt 3 is very picky about cables.  Currently, Thunderbolt 3 40 Gbps traffic, which the TB16 requires, is only supported on 0.5 m / 18" cables when using passive cabling, so extension cables and adapters could easily break things, as can the use of cables/adapters only intended to be used as USB-C rather than Thunderbolt 3 cables.  There are active cables that can carry 40 Gbps longer (up to 2 m / 6 ft unless you need more than 60W of power, which the XPS 15 does, in which case you're limited to 1 m / 3 ft), but unfortunately the dock side of the cable uses a proprietary connector style rather than the regular Thunderbolt 3 connector, so you can't simply swap in an active cable.

But if you want the WD15 and the display bandwidth limitations aren't an issue for your setup, save yourself the cash compared to the TB16 and swap it.  It works just fine with that system.

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Steve4king
1 Copper

RE: Right angle connector for TB16 & XPS15 9560

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The 9550 is mentioned, but the page has no mention of the 9560, else I would have gotten that one over the massive brick that is the TB16.   The resolution limitations are not a problem as that is what I'm currently running (1920x1200x2@60hz)

Ignoring it's size, the TB16 is working flawlessly, but the proprietary cable is certainly annoying.  

If anyone finds a right angle TB adapter that works, you'll just make my day!

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jphughan
5 Rhenium

RE: Right angle connector for TB16 & XPS15 9560

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I wouldn't count on finding a TB3 right-angle connector like that any time soon since TB3 is even more of a niche market than USB-C right now, PLUS you would need a right-angle connector that supported 5A / 100W power delivery, which is even more rare.  Come to think of it, even if you were to swap the TB16 out for a regular USB-C WD15 today, that right angle connector might still pose a problem for that reason alone. Cables capable of 5A / 100W are required to have an "eMarker" chip embedded in them that identifies them as such, otherwise the source device won't send that much current for safety reasons.

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PFitz4
1 Copper

RE: Right angle connector for TB16 & XPS15 9560

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I figured there must be something more to that cable than just an LED. Just to clarify, the eMarker chip is part of the Thunderbolt 3 standard, and not unique to the TB16 dock, right?

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