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Last reply by 12-04-2022 Unsolved
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Extended cable length Module for WD19/s/tb USB-C docking station?

I currently own 2 dell WD-19 USB-C docking stations and have recently found the need for a longer USB-C cable (From the Dock to the Laptop).  As this dock is rated at 130w, it is near impossible to find any USB-C extension cables rated for anything higher than 100w PD. 

Does Dell plan to offer a module with a longer cable length (e.g. 6ft) or is there a signal/power limitation that limits the cable length to the standard 2.6ft cable attached to the module?  I have looked at all of the currently available modules and each one only has a 2.6ft cable.

Any insight into this would be greatly appreciated.

Replies (5)
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@Hekubis  I can't speak to Dell's plans, but I can add a bit of context.  130W is above the 100W current max of the USB PD spec.  Dell did something proprietary to stretch the spec out to 130W, but you won't find that implemented/supported elsewhere.

In addition, the dock supports USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), and the current max length on typical passive USB-C cables is for that is 1 meter / 3 feet.  Cable Matters makes an active USB-C cable that incorporates signal booster chips that runs 3 meters / 10 feet and supports USB 3.1 Gen 2, but it only supports 60W PD.  If there aren't even full cables that support 3.1 Gen 2 at longer lengths, I'm not surprised extension cables aren't turning up in your search.

Extension cables can be problematic because the cable coupling point is actually a significant source of signal degradation, so even if you buy extension cables with the correct ratings, there's no guarantee that the final product as a whole will perform as it should.  Sometimes a cable run made of extension cables won't work even though a single cable of the same length would have, because it wouldn't have the intermediate coupling to cross.

This situation was even worse for Dell's previous Thunderbolt dock, namely the TB16.  That cable had to support 40 Gbps transfer rates and it was introduced a few years ago before cable manufacturing technology improved, so its cable was only 0.5 meters / 18 inches.  Its successor the WD19TB managed to stretch that out to 0.8 meters.  There are active Thunderbolt 3 cables that can run 2 meters / 6 feet, but they cost about $75.

So I suspect if a longer cable were made available, it would be a full replacement cable, not an extension cable.  (The dock side is removable if you unscrew the underside of the dock.)  But there may be cable manufacturing limitations here, and/or the cost of offering active cables may not be justifiable given the size of the expected market.  It would certainly help if Dell used standard USB-C/TB3 cables rather than a setup that involved a proprietary connector on one end, but here we are.


5492

@jphughan Thank you very much for your informative and thoughtful reply.  Some of the points you raised regarding extension cables are exactly why I posted this question inquiring as to whether Dell would ever release a Module that had a longer than 2.6ft cable.

4661

I finally found something that extends the Dell19TB docking station.  A USB4 extension cable extends my monitor, portable hard drive, and network cable.  I do not know if the Power is less but it works for all my peripherals.  I bought it at amazon.  I can't seem to provide a link to amazon but this is the exact description:  

USB4 Extension Cable 2.62FT, Thunderbolt 3 & 4 Extension Cable, USB C 4.0 Support PD 100W 20V5A, 40Gbps Transfer, 8K@60Hz, 6K/4K@60Hz Video for Dell/HP/Anker Dock, MacBook, iMac, Dell XPS, Intel NUC

I bought the 2.6 Ft extension.

 

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Hi @blman66 

Did you bought this cable or any other cable? And did it work for your?

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