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Answered

Offline request from Will Stackable

Will Stackable 2 months ago updated by Shaun A Kranish (Principal) 2 months ago 2
Hey!

I recently purchased the USB/ethernet grounding adapter and I had a follow up question.

The USB-C adapter you sent works great for the laptop! Thanks for sending :)

I'm in the process of buying an external monitor to go with it for ergonomic reasons... and it occurred to me that I needed to figure out grounding with the monitor as well.

Currently, the plan would be to get a 4k monitor that connects to my MacBook Pro with a USB-C cable that also charges the laptop.

It's a bit difficult to actually find a decent monitor that DOESN'T charge my laptop via USB-C.

If I plug the grounding adapter into the monitor (it has several usb-a ports and acts like a usb dongle for the laptop), and then I have the laptop plugged into the monitor... will that work?

If the laptop is already grounded with our USB grounding adapter (Either the Premium or the Ultimate), then anything you plug into the laptop via USB or HDMI or DisplayPort will also be grounded.  Many monitors/displays are grounded already - if they have a big thick 120 volt cable with 3 prongs that goes directly into the monitor - then it is definitely grounded.  If a monitor/display has an external AC/DC power adapter - a box or brick that plugs into the outlet, and just a thin cable that goes to the monitor (a DC power cable) then the monitor is NOT grounded.

So, if the monitor IS grounded...you have a choice.  You can ground your laptop through the monitor.  In this case you would no longer need to use our grounding adapter (except when you travel or are not hooked up to the monitor).  If you want to use the grounding adapter AND the monitor is ground itself, you could use one of these to isolate the ground so that you have not double-grounded and created what we call a "ground loop" which can be a chaotic and noisy thing.

Answered

Does this make sense, Will?  So first thing's first is you need to determine if the new monitor/display is already grounded from the factory.  Then you can decide to ground the monitor which will then ground your laptop.  It is good to always check and verify - which can be done with a Continuity Tester or better yet the "body voltage" kit.