Zebra TC5x Workstation Docking Cradle Demonstration

Workstation Docking Cradle Demonstration

Ian Hatton
Zebra Technologies EMEA


This demo configuration uses the (third party) Second Screen utility from Google Play (  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.farmerbb.secondscreen.free&hl=en_US ) to automatically reconfigure a TC5x device in the Zebra Workstation Docking cradle so that it uses the high resolution required for a connected external monitor. The Second Screen utility will support multiple profiles for different resolution monitors and can be configured to load a profile automatically when the device is placed in the cradle and unload it when it is removed. This allows the high resolution switch required for the external monitor to occur automatically without any user intervention .





The SN barcode above will install the following apps on a TC5x device with a pre-configured internet connection:

1. Install DisplayLink

2. Install SecondScreen

3. Install Opera Browser

4. Map SecondScreen utility to PTT key to enable easy switch

Manual Steps required


  1. Place device in Workstation cradle and wait for a few seconds for the DisplayLink driver to automatically load. On the first insertion in the cradle, it will ask for manual confirmation that the driver should be loaded each time the device detects the external display. It will also ask for manual confirmation that the display content should be shared .
  2. After confirmation, the existing device display will appear on the external monitor connected to the cradle via the HDMI port
  3. Press the PTT key to start SecondScreen and create a new profile by pressing the + button


  1. Enter a new profile name (ext in this case) and leave the screen type to default TV (1080p)


  1. In the detailed settings screen, change the density to 160dpi:


  1. In the detailed settings screen, change the screen timeout to ‘always on while charging’ – this will prevent the display from switching off while the device is in the cradle.


  1. At the summary screen below, press LOAD EXT to test the profile


  1. Check ‘don’t show again’ and press OK in the screen below:


  1. On first run, you will need to manually enable System Settings access permissions and press the back key to return to Second Screen. At this point the resolution switch should occur :


  1. Any applications running on the device will now be rendered at high resolution on the external display. To test, run Opera and either enter or select a URL for a website . Opera supports full screen mode plus multiple windows on tabs so is more usable for a high resolution display than the Android Chrome browser.


     11.  To disable the SecondScreen profile manually, press the PTT key to recall Second Screen, highlight the profile and press the ‘TURN OFF’ button.


  1.  Alternatively, pull down the notification bar , select the SecondScreen link in green and there will be an option to turn off in the notification list


  1. To configure auto-load of a specific profile, access the settings menu in SecondScreen via the 3 vertical dots in top right cornet of the profile select screen below:


  1. Change the setting for Auto-start action from default (show list of profiles) by selecting the specific profile to start (‘high’ in the case below). This profile should then load and unload automatically on cradle insert and removal. This allows the device to be used normally when out of the cradle and in high resolution mode when in the cradle.


Kevin Lollock

Testing on TC57 - Android O. Works great however - it appears that either DisplayLink or SecondScreen enables headphone mode when the device is docked. It will not release until I do a restart.

Sean Wheatley

Thanks this works really well. I've seen one small snag when using the TC57 with the workstation cradle when connected to a particular Samsung external display. When you remove the terminal and re-dock it into the cradle the screen does not detect this and displays an error message " There is no signal or the signal is not strong enough. Check the HDMI connection". Still investigating this and will get a case opened but comparing versions of Displaylink and Secondscreen with play store I discovered Displaylink version hasn't changed (still 2.3.1 from Jan 19) but there is a newer version of Secondscreen now available. Probably worth updating this SN profile to include new version (2.9.1) or just remember to click "check for updates" after the original version (2.8.2) has installed.

Ian Hatton

Updated SecondScreen version to 2.9.1 (Dec 2019). If you are unable to see the images in this blog post, the original document is posted as a PDF file at this link: http://zebra.airsetup.com/2019/blogs/Workstation%20Docking%20Cradle%20Demonstration.pdf

John Thurmes

Is second screen still a requirement, I thought that was only required until a fix was implemented in the OS which has been patched?

Ian Hatton

It is not a mandatory requirement but it does provide more flexibility than the support which has been integrated in the latest Oreo OS in terms of being able to adjust the display resolution to match the external monitor. The DisplayLink driver is not included in the OS image so that still needs to be installed via Play or sideloaded before the external display is usable .

Jamie Brothers

Are there any plans to support Android 10's Desktop Mode with the TC5x Workstation Docking Cradle?