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How could a cable fail?
Posted by: roshi
Date: August 12, 2022 08:33PM
A dead cable! Here is a problem I haven't encountered before. An apple Thunderbolt 4 cable, the one that came with the fairly new display, just died. It might be transmitting power, I didn't check, but it is not sending video.

This morning I booted up the Mac mini MI, 2020, attached to a fairly new Apple Studio Display, about 5 months old. The screen stayed dark. Hmmm. The computer was on - the little light.

So I unplugged the Thunderbolt cable from the monitor to the Mac, and plugged it into an iPad, one of the types can can run a Studio Monitor. Still dark. Is there something wrong with this monitor?

I have almost completely forgotten all of my voodoo, but a thought came, hmm, maybe use a different Apple Thunderbolt 4 cable - I just bought one last month. Swapped that and the monitor works fine.

I have never heard of a fairly new cable, that never gets bent or abused, just conking out like that. But there have been electrical outages here, because of the heat wave everyone is turning on their air conditioners.

I am thinking of taking the cable to an Apple store, but on the other hand, I don't want to waste my time explaining. $130 for a cable, is not worth my time.

Anyway, if you ever run into this, be aware that MAYBE - it's not my field - maybe these cables are a bit more sensitive to voltage spikes than the old ones.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2022 08:35PM by roshi.
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Re: How could a cable fail?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: August 12, 2022 08:42PM
Cables die ALL THE TIME. Strain mostly.

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Re: How could a cable fail?
Posted by: Tiangou
Date: August 12, 2022 08:50PM
Thunderbolt ports and jacks/plugs die all the time from simple wear and tear. No visible damage to the neck of the cable. No fraying. The cable just doesn't seat in the port properly anymore.

I used to see lots of laptops with bad Thunderbolt 2 (Mini Displayport) ports that needed the cables "jiggled" all the time due to the frequent plugging/unplugging with a dock or display. Eventually, an intermittent failure that can be cured with a "jiggle" turns permanent.

Constant pressure from hanging/pulling at an odd angle can affect it with similar results.

The same thing happens with USB-C Thunderbolt cables/ports. Seeing that with a lot more frequency lately.

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Re: How could a cable fail?
Posted by: lost in space
Date: August 12, 2022 09:22PM
Sometimes it's not even damage or wear. Once in a great while there's a defective connection between the elements in the cable that are j-u-u-u-st good enough to work for awhile. With use and a tiny bit of oxidation aided by electrolysis through the conductor/connector junction, enough resistance builds up that the cable fails to conduct. Not often with Apple stuff, though.

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