MacBook Air USB C question

I just took delivery of my new MacBook Air M1. As the feature list stated, it has two USB C ports. However, as I discovered, one of them is used for power. As I need two of them for my GP setup, I’m confused as how I can accomplish this. I know there are USB C hubs available, but the ones I’ve been looking at are not powered and I believe that I’m going to need a powered one. Suggestions?

I think you can’t get a powered USB A Hub and get cables that are USB A on one end as USB C on the other (make sure data speed is sufficient).

But, let others (who know more) post.

best to use a powered thunderbolt dock , kill two birds in that it will power your device and give you the extra ports to attach more devices ; OWC Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock

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I’m a bit confused by your question. The USB-C standard is a hardware standard as compared to Thunderbolt 3 and USB 4.0 which are technical standards. The Mac Air M1 uses a power supply that uses a USB-C hardware connection but that should not be confused with the two Thunderbolt 3/USB4 ports that it has - which also use the USB-C hardware standard as the connection - hence my confusion on your question. The Thunderbolt 3/USB4 ports can supply power to connected devices as per their technical specifications. It might help if I use an analogy of a sandwich - think of USB-C as the “bread” in a sandwich; the stuff between the bread could be power supply, video, data, and whatever else is included as a technical specification for content. The “bread” stays the same for vastly different “content”.

One of the beefs about the Mac Air M1 is that it does only have the two ports, which is not enough for many people, hence comments about getting a hub which can expand one port to many. The problem with that is the expansion ports then share the single power source, so it’s possible to have more demand than supply. That’s why others have recommended a “powered hub” which insures each expansion port can supply the full power rating the hardware standard (USB-C) is capable of. However, if you only need the data transfer capabilities of the USB2 or USB3 specs, you are tying up/wasting the impressive capabilities these two ports are capable of. So the hundred dollar question is - will need more than the two ports that are being used for your GP setup. If yes, get a hub. If you are not sure, see how it goes as you can always add them, and your needs may be better defined and known at that time.

I thought my question was straightforward. If one of the USB C ports is connected to the power supply, that only leaves me with one port. I need one to connect my Radial KL-8 to the Macbook and one to connect my current USB hub as well.

Can’t you hook up your Radial to the hub as well?!
I’m running a similar setup with one hub, my Scarlett 8i6, all keyboards, and an Ui24R attached to this hub

I use this one - just to give you an idea:

This hub also (indirectly) powers my Arturia KeyLab MkII…

The other USB-C connector on my MBP is used for the power supply.

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My apologies, you were crystal clear. I was unfamiliar with the Apple Macbook Air configuration that uses any of the Thunderbolt ports as a laptop charging port as well as external connection ports, and the Air has only two ports total. The devices I have use a separate dedicated USB-C connection for charging only.

As others have said, you will need a hub to obtain more than the one connection while charging your laptop. A number of these hubs also provide charging capabilities for your laptop as well as external power and port expansion. There are a number of choices, so I’m sure you can find what works best for your case.

My concern was that I couldn’t connect my KL-8 directly to the MacBook, but if connecting it to the hub works, then I’ll just use the Anker USB hub I’m already using. Thx

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you connect the power supply -from your M1air- to your hub.
check the specs bevore ordering anything.
usually do these small hubs in the $15-$30 area have one connector that is supposed to take the power supply. ( a USB-C connection / it has a special sign)

(yes, i´m also still confused by this whole topic :wink: )

i use similar hubs on my M1air.
i just bought the other week several ones for around 12$-25$, or so, each.

all a matter of what connections *exactly are needed.
additional screens ? yes/no ?
how many USB-A ? how many USB-C ?
search for the right hub from there :wink:

i try to avoid Amazon. But its full with such hubs.
i think i just bought 3, just to bring it into free shipping level, so i got one nearly for free, so quasi.

The Anker 10 Port 60watt Hub I had previously purchased is going to work just fine.

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Did you have to buy a new USB C to USB B cable?