S5: USB-C MacBook Pro (2016) issue and workaround

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    Mark @ NI

    Hi Kamil,

    thanks for your detailed report! Please note that the respective USB C connectors are currently not supported:

    https://support.native-instruments.com/hc/en-us/articles/213685889

    Luckily you have found a workaround already, so the operability is not seriously affected. In any case, I will forward your observations to our Test Department. 

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    Alexander Lambert (Edited )

    Considering the new laptops have been out for 2 months, how much more testing are you doing before we can use our NI units normally?

    I purchased the Belkin 2.0 USB-C to USB-B Printer Cable and it definitely did not work with the Traktor S5. Unfortunately I bought 2 since I always like to have a backup. :(

    I was able to connect to the S5 using a USB-B printer cable connecting to a AUKEY USB-C to USB 3.0 Adapter, but with the same flickering issue when the cable is unplugged. 

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    Kamil Figiela (Edited )

    I agree with you! USB-C is future, and it is here today. Also, there is nothing special about USB Type C in terms of USB 2.0 that S5 is using. It's only different connector, and still provides USB 2.0 at electrical level. USB 2.0 data pins are not affected by USB Type C alternate modes either. 

    However, there is one difference regarding the power supplied throught USB. With USB Type C, the current flow is not related to device role (master or slave) and this is negotiated. I'm not sure how it works, but it looks like it's the reason of the issue. I've just did another experiment with the following connection:

    MacBook <> USB-C to USB <> modded USB extension with +5V/red wire cut <> USB-A to USB-B <> S5

    So, I used modified USB extension, with red (power) wire cut, that I used to prevent some reverse current with my Raspberry Pi project. Imagine what? The issue is gone!! Lack of power line in such cable does not affect S5, as it has it's own power supply. I think S5 firmware uses +5V signal to detect when it's connected to host (and to reset some internals?), and USB-C ports do some sort of device sensing. The result is the issue we observe. 

    @Mark, can you forward this information to S5 Firmware Team @ NI?

    Better workaround:

    Put a slice of paper to effectively disconnect Vcc (+5V) pin while connecting USB-C adapter to USB A to B cable. See picture below.


    Or cut the red wire in USB cable like this 😈😈😈😈 
     

    Or make modded cable on your own 😈😈😈😈

    Or wait for NI to fix the firmware 😈😈😈😈

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    Mark @ NI

    Hi Kamil,

    thanks a lot for the time and effort you have invested! I have forwarded all the info to the team in charge.

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    Kamil Figiela

    Any updates on the issue?

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    Alexander Lambert

    I wonder if there's any USB-C cables that don't have power going through them. 

     

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    Alexander Lambert

    Also curios that the USB-C printer cable didn't work. 

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    Kamil Figiela

    USB-C printer cable is electrically equivalent to USB-C to USB <> USB-A to USB-B, so that there will be the same issue. I don't think you'll find cable without power connected. It's not what people usually want. You can mod normal cable like on the picture (and put some insulation tape so it looks nice).

     

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    Alexander Lambert

    Maybe I'll modify those Belkin cables I bought from Apple. 

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