Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology
Tech Info Library

How do I use a computer or Chromebook with only USB-C ports with Vernier USB products?

Some computers and Chromebooks only have USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 ports and no USB-A ports. Such devices include all but one of the Apple MacBook Pro and MacBook models currently sold, as well as some some Dell, HP, and Lenovo laptops and the Google Pixel Chromebook.

A USB-A port is rectangular and has been used for about 20 years. A USB-C port is much smaller than a USB-A and is distinct from a mini or micro USB port. Thunderbolt 3 ports are physically the same as USB-C and are compatible with USB-C, but they have additional capabilities.

Computers and Chromebooks with only USB-C ports will require either an adapter or a specialized USB-C cable to use Vernier USB products. Whenever possible, we recommend using a USB-C cable rather than an adapter.

Vernier products come with cables utilizing USB-A for connection to computers and Chromebooks and, in some instances, charging. USB-C cables are sold separately. We offer the following USB-C cables for use with our products USB products:
     Mini USB-C Cable, order code CB-USB-C-MINI, $9
     Micro USB to USB-C Cable, order code CB-USB-C-MICRO, $9

Which cable you need depends on the type of USB connector the Vernier product uses. Some products use a mini-USB connector, some use a micro-USB connector, and some use a standard USB connector. The table below identifies which cable will work for a particular Vernier product.

Product Type Vernier Products Appropriate USB-C cable
Sensor Interfaces LabQuest 2, LabQuest Stream, LabQuest Mini, original LabQuest Mini USB-C Cable
LabPro Full-size USB-B Cable not sold by Vernier**
Go!Link, EasyLink* USB-A to USB-C Adapter not sold by Vernier**
USB-only
Motion Detectors
Go!Motion, CBR 2 Full-size USB-B Cable not sold by Vernier**
USB-only
Temperature Probes
Go!Temp, EasyTemp* USB-A to USB-C Adapter not sold by Vernier**
Spectrometers Go Direct SpectroVis Plus, Vernier UV-VIS Spectrometer, Vernier Fluorescence/UV-VIS Spectrophotometer, Vernier Emissions Spectrometer Mini USB-C Cable
Original SpectroVis and SpectroVis Plus, Vernier Spectrometer and other Ocean Optics Spectrometers, Vernier Flash Photolysis Spectrometer Full-size USB-B Cable not sold by Vernier**
Gas Chromatographs Mini Gas Chromatograph 2, Mini Gas Chromatograph Mini USB-C Cable
Balances OHAUS Balances (all models - OHAUS USB adapter cable also required, sold separately) USB-A to USB-C Adapter not sold by Vernier**
Go Direct Sensors All Go Direct Sensors (except Go Direct SpectroVis Plus) Micro USB-C Cable

* EasyLink and EasyTemp require a additional Easy-to-Go! USB adapter to work with computers or Chromebooks.

**Purchase third-party cables with care. The USB-C standard is new enough that there are some poor quality cables being sold:
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/02/google-engineer-finds-usb-type-c-cable-thats-so-bad-it-fried-his-chromebook-pixel/

For an overview of USB-C connections, see
http://arstechnica.com/apple/2016/11/the-complete-guide-to-living-a-new-fangled-usb-c-and-thunderbolt-3-lifestyle/

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