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#371474 - 07/01/2019 16:19 Re: USB-C and two or three monitors [Re: Dignan]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12148
Loc: Sterling, VA
Glad to hear it's working well!

I can't remember if I ever shared this bug I've experienced with the WD15. I've found that when I unplug my laptop (closed, as it always is when docked), it seems that the XPS 13 doesn't go to sleep properly. I'll throw it in my bag and when I pull it out later it's burning up and the battery is dead. What I have to do instead is unplug it, wait a few seconds, open the screen, then close the screen again. Then I can safely put it in my bag. It's annoying but not terrible.
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Matt

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#371475 - 07/01/2019 18:13 Re: USB-C and two or three monitors [Re: Dignan]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14098
Loc: Canada
That's "normal" behaviour, I think. In order to go to sleep, it needs to see some kind of power event trigger, such as "lid is being closed". If the lid was already closed, it won't see that trigger.

Sure, the software (MS Windows) could be more clever, and note that the lid is already closed when the dock is disconnected, and treat that as a power event to suspend the notebook.

I'll check what Linux does now.. justasec.. Ahh.. it suspends the notebook (sleep) when I disconnect it from the dock while "on" with lid closed, which sounds like what you want. It also wakes up the suspended laptop when the dock is reconnected, contrary to what I want, but no deal breaker by any stretch!

I must say (again), the suspend/resume and dock/undock behaviours and reliability are thus far quite excellent.


Edited by mlord (07/01/2019 18:15)

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#371476 - 07/01/2019 20:39 Re: USB-C and two or three monitors [Re: Dignan]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12148
Loc: Sterling, VA
Hopefully there will be a way to get this to work in Windows. I understand why it might be considered "expected behavior," but it clearly SHOULD work the way I'm hoping for. If the laptop can be operated with the lid closed, they should account for that.

And no, Mark, I won't be switching to Linux so I can avoid opening and closing the lid wink
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Matt

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#371477 - 07/01/2019 21:52 Re: USB-C and two or three monitors [Re: Dignan]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14098
Loc: Canada
I actually put Win10 Home onto a bootable USB SSD connected over UASP, so I could check the dock firmware for updates. I'll plug it in and see what it does here.

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#371478 - 07/01/2019 22:22 Re: USB-C and two or three monitors [Re: Dignan]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14098
Loc: Canada
Okay, my USB-based Win10 pretends to "sleep", but never actually enters proper suspend state. Perhaps because it is running from USB and suspend might power down the drive?

Or maybe that's what it normally does, which would explain why your notebook isn't in suspend state when unhitched from the dock.

The way I know it didn't really suspend, is the activity LED on the USB drive just keeps blinking away while in "sleep", indicating that Win10 is still doing whatever it is that it does to keep drives continuously busy. smile

Dunno.

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#371479 - 08/01/2019 04:49 Re: USB-C and two or three monitors [Re: Dignan]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12148
Loc: Sterling, VA
Oh well. I'm not sure who to point the finger at, but I'll live with it smile
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Matt

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#371497 - 09/01/2019 00:43 Re: USB-C and two or three monitors [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14098
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: mlord
The Realtek people are placing the blame on the XHCI USB3 controller used by the dock.

Except the issue they know about supposedly only applies to the TB16 dock, not the WD15. But I beg to differ..

Today I did 100's of GByte copies between various SSDs over USB/UASP. When copying between two USB3 ports on the dock I get a ton of timeouts and various other errors hidden away in systemd's logs. The kernel retries everything just fine, but it really REALLY slows things down.

Copying from a dock'd drive to one plugged directly into a Type-A on the notebook has no such issues. And single drive copy (from internal SSD) is also fine.

I also noticed that when I invoke a strong stress test on the RealTek USB-Ethernet adapter in the dock, I can produce random-ish PCIe AER retry reports pertaining to the XHCI controller for the dock. My suspicion is that backflow control in the PCIe or XHCI of the dock isn't configured correctly by the dock firmware. Either that or the hardware is simply buggy.

None of this kills my daily routine or costs me data (yet), so it's more of a nuisance than anything else.

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#371528 - 15/01/2019 17:40 Re: USB-C and two or three monitors [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14098
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: mlord
I must say (again), the suspend/resume and dock/undock behaviours and reliability are thus far quite excellent.

That, again. smile

SWMBO has requisitioned one of my two monitors, so the docking station just has a single 1920x1200 display attached now.

The only quirk in the entire set-up is with the HDMI switch I use to share that single display among five different machines. This switch does not maintain an emulated connection when "switched away", so the XPS 13 behaves as if the display is unplugged, and switches back to the 1080p screen of the notebook itself.

So when I switch away from the XPS 13 to another machine, and then later switch back again, the bottom 120 lines of the screen are sometimes in a "confused" state. This happens often enough that I have added a simple launcher icon onto the desktop panel, to run this script which fixes it with a single mouse click:
Code:
#!/bin/bash
## The Dell WD15 docking station often gets confused
## when unplugging/plugging the notebook, and sometimes
## ends up with corruption at bottom of screen.
## Fix it by switching modes and then switching back again:

xrandr --output DP-1-1 --mode 1920x1080
xrandr --output DP-1-1 --mode 1920x1200

Problem solved. smile


Attachments
switch.jpg

Description: HDMI switch: the $12 culprit!




Edited by mlord (15/01/2019 17:53)

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#371866 - 06/04/2019 15:18 Re: USB-C and two or three monitors [Re: Dignan]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14098
Loc: Canada
A related product I just stumbled across for CAD$1100 on Costco.ca is the HP Envy 34-inch curved monitor. Built-in USB-C/DP/PD, speakers, webcam, USB3 hub.

So it acts as an all-in-one USB-C display and dock, with USB-C Power Delivery charging output to a connected laptop.

Just plunk it down on the desk, connect a single USB-C cable between it and a Dell XPS 13 or Apple laptop, and.. done. Maybe also plug a USB-ethernet dongle into one of the USB3 ports of the monitor to make a complete docking station setup.

Cool. smile

I would have gotten this instead of the Dell dock had I known about it at the time.

Cheers

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#371868 - 08/04/2019 18:08 Re: USB-C and two or three monitors [Re: Dignan]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12148
Loc: Sterling, VA
I can't recall if this has been discussed in the thread already (and it's very long), but is the WD15 compatible with my wife's MacBook? She has a WD15 for her work-supplied Dell and would like to use her MacBook with it. Is that possible?

Or am I going to have to get a different dock and figure out how to get the unused inputs hooked up to that one?
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Matt

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#371869 - 08/04/2019 18:11 Re: USB-C and two or three monitors [Re: Dignan]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 14098
Loc: Canada
A quick google, and it appears several/many MacBook owners are using WD15 docks:

https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/293998/dell-wd15-dock-with-2017-macbook-pro#294026
https://www.dell.com/community/Laptops-G...ms/td-p/5072482

Caveats seem to include slow charging (60W max vs 89W for MacBook) and only a single external display because OS/X doesn't support MST (Oddly, one user reports that running MSWin on their MacBook+BootCamp has dual monitor support..).


Edited by mlord (08/04/2019 18:18)

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#371870 - 08/04/2019 18:52 Re: USB-C and two or three monitors [Re: Dignan]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12148
Loc: Sterling, VA
Thanks! I think she might want her dual monitors to work too. I'll have to set up another adapter...
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Matt

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#371871 - 08/04/2019 21:43 Re: USB-C and two or three monitors [Re: Dignan]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31295
Loc: Seattle, WA
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Tony Fabris

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