Experience with Thunderbolt 3 USBC Docking Stations for macOS

Current Setup

I had a request from a client to purchase dual monitors for their Macbook Pro Late 2013 (or Macbook11,1). I also wanted to sort out my own setup Macbook Pro 2016 (Macbook13,2). Currently I’m using the following, an Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter and a generic ArkTek branded adapter. Both come with a USB-C Power passthrough, HDMI and a USB Port, I can power both monitors. I tried to daisy chain the adapters, power pass through works but the second display doesn’t. I don’t know if that’s even possible, perhaps if I need to use two Apple based adapters. Anyways, this is a great, but ultimately I’d like one cable to rule them all.

Using a Single Cable Docking Station, or we thought

Enter Wavlink, I saw their product simply by searching Amazon, they seemed to be well reviewed. It’s a pretty standard dock, as you can see below. Insert front and rear ports. Insert Wavlink Amazon The connection to the computer is via a USB-C port, however the box includes a two cables. One USB-C to USB-C and one USB-C to USB Type A. So you can pretty much use it on anything, however you need to make sure you can install the drivers.

Drivers? Why do I need Drivers?

So this is something I forgot completely when ordering. The Wavlink has a DisplayLink chipset inside, which is used to push the external monitors. So in-fact you’re not use your on-board graphics card to Although it doesn’t support charging, there is a model available. It’s just not listed on Amazon. Insert Wavlink charging from Website But there’s one big issue I have with both of the above docking stations. They use the DisplayLink chipset that powers the monitors plugged into the dock station. http://www.displaylink.com/integrated-chipsets/dl-1×5  

Mac Tip: Create a Solid Color for Desktop Background OSX

I wanted to choose a different Solid Color for my Desktop Background on my Mac. In order to achieve this, you have to complete a couple of steps. All of the default Desktop Backgrounds for “Solid Colors” are located in “Macintosh HD/Library/Desktop Pictures/Solid Colors”. From here you can add PNG images and they wil be available under the “Desktop” section of “Desktop & Screen Savers” in System Preferences. You just need to create a new PNG image with the color your would like to use and then you can set it as your Desktop Background. I’ve provided some steps on how to complete this easily.

1. Double click on “Macintosh HD” on your desktop.
2. Navigate to the following folder “Macintosh HD/Library/Desktop Pictures/Solid Colors”.
3. Right click on “Solid White.png” and select “Duplicate”.
4. Rename the newly created file to “Solid Green.png” or to whichever color you wish to create. (This is important as the name on the file is used for the name under the “Solid Colors” section in Desktop & Screen Savers”.
5. Open the the file “Solid Green.png” in your favourite image editor, I use Gimp. Which can be downloaded for free online at http://gimp.org
6. Change the image to be the color of your choice, and save the file.
7. Open “Desktop & Screen Saver” and you should now see “Solid Green” in the list. You’re done!

Here is a screenshot of “Solid Green” located under “Solid Colors”.