MacBook Pro video issues and Monoprice cables

OK, I’ve been trying to use the Satechi ($59) USB C hub. I actually brought the wrong one, there is another version with a 1Gbps Ethernet connection as well ($79), but I’ve been having trouble getting it to work reliably on a Benq 32″ monitor. Here’s the main lesson, I think it is the active Redmere cable from Monoprice.
I’ve never had this before, but when you plug in the dongle, it does not reliably turn on the monitor. This works fine with eh Cablematters USB C to DisplayPort, but the HDMI of the Satechi.
I’ve never had trouble like this before, but come to think of it, the Monoprice Redmere is an active cable (which is why it is so thin and nice), so I think this is because the active electronics are getting fooled. On the Mac side, it thinks it is projected to another screen, but the display remains black.
Just switching to a true (thick and ugly!) passive cable seems to fix the problem. Now this is not perfect in that the Satechi is 4Kp30 (that need 10Gbps alone!), so we will have to wait a bit more to get the dream cable. That is something that is Thunderbolt 3 to the MacBook so that it can carry, 4Kp60 (which is 18Gbps by itself), has gigabit ethernet, HDMI 2.x with 4Kp60 and a bunch of USB A legacy ports for old stuff plus an SD care reader.
The other thing that is a problem is that with the laptop closed, you can’t use the TouchId at all! I had not realized that until it asked if I want to use it. I like to leave the laptop closed and out of the way, but I need to rethink that strategy now.

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