Wednesday, December 6, 2017

DisplayLink again: sun-dried adapter, anyone?

I have written about DisplayLink technology before (the USB3.0 adapter I use for projecting my laptop to dual screens), and my tricks on how I get the device working when it doesn't want to work. As it turns out, I was not even on the right track in the other post, and it is pretty hilarious how the discovery went.

Some days back, the Targus DisplayLink adapter (model ACP70US) completely stopped working: however many times I power-cycled, the monitors were not getting detected (however the mouse and keyboard was being detected every time, obviously). Initially I thought that it was because of an Win 10 update that recently got pushed. I tried switching driver versions, but that didn't help either. Desperate, I wrote in the DisplayLink support forum and the helpful admin took me through a few debugging steps.

It turns out that, my docking station has an issue in the USB 3.0 hub. Specifically, the temperature tolerance of the USB3.0 hub used in the docking station is at issue here. When using this docking station from cold condition (e.g., when it has not been used for a few hours etc), or when the ambient temperature is cold, it has (or, is having) trouble in getting started since the temperature is not within tolerance. It seems, this issue was corrected by the manufacturer (Targus) in subsequent revision or batch. Now, this product was originally purchased in US, however I am now located in Bangalore, India. For what its worth, it was actually raining here for last couple of days and definitely a few degrees colder (almost 3-4 degC colder).

Indeed, it was sunny today here in Bangalore, and I baked the device in sun for sometime. Lo and behold - it started working!!

This has to be the coolest trick I have ever encountered with computer peripherals. Oh well!! 


  1. Here's a less weather-dependent solution: Record some political speeches, and play them back when it won't work. The hot air should get it back into tolerance.

    1. Ha ha :-) I agree wholeheartedly. The political atmosphere in India has been quite hot recently.