DMX60_GB
Manual for DMX-60 Controller Box and Software
1 Introduction
What actually is DMX512?
DMX is short for "Digital Multiplex" and is a digital data transmission standard for dimmers,
scanners, and their controllers. The number 512 means that this standard may control up to 512
channels. The present version of DMX512 was defined by the United States Institute For Theatre
Technology Inc. (USITT) in April 1990. This standard for controlling dimmers, scanners, and
other stage equipment has been accepted at international level.
Contrary to conventional dimming systems which need at least a two-core cable for each control
channel, the transmission of the DMX data only requires a three-core cable for up to 512
channels. The length of the cable may extend up to 1200 m because the data will be transferred
in the RS-485 format (balanced data transmission). The data are transmitted serially with a speed
of 250,000 bits per second. Each data package has a resolution of eight bits (255 steps). All
DMX receiver units are series-connected via a three-core or five-core XLR cable (DMX IN DMX OUT). Each unit has its own adjustable addresses which can be selected via DIP switches
in most cases so that the DMX receivers can filter their specific data from the data package. If
e.g. a four-channel dimmer pack has the start address 40, the first 39 channels and the channels
44 to 255 are ignored by the receiver unit. Only the data of channel 40 to channel 43 will be
accepted. Standard DMX controllers are DMX mixers with sliders, MIDI to DMX converters
and DMX software for personal computers with DMX converter (printer port to DMX, USB to
DMX, and special slot cards).
Examples for DMX control functions:
- brightness control of dimmers
- switching on and off of lamps
- horizontal and vertical movements of scanner beams
- colour control of scanners
- gobo control of scanners
- control of fog machines
- and many other functions
With the DMX converter, MONACOR INTERNATIONAL offers the user a low-budget, but
very convenient solution for DMX controls. The supplied software in English and German
allows a variety of individual settings of the control functions. They are described in detail
further below.
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1.1 Software Installation
1.1.1 System Requirements
- PC as from 486 processor, 4MB free hard disk memory, 8MB RAM, parallel printer port
- mouse
- CD-ROM drive
- operating system as from Windows 95
1.1.2 Software Installation
Place the CD-ROM in the CD-ROM drive of your PC and start the file "SETUP.EXE". The
SETUP assistant is started and prepares the files for installation on your PC. Now the "Welcome
window" appears on the screen. Click on the "Continue" button. Enter your user information in
the corresponding text fields and then click on "Continue". For installing the programme in
another directory than "C:\Programs\MONACORINTERNATIONAL\DMX-60\", please
activate in the next window the button "Search" and select the desired directory for the
installation of DMX-60. In the following window you are requested to select the programme
folder for the task bar. Confirm with "Continue" or enter another name for the desired
programme folder. The present settings are displayed once again, confirm with "Continue" in
this case as well. Now the programme files are installed on your PC. Click on "End" in the last
window. The programme is now installed.
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1.2 Connecting the DMX BOX
After installing the software, the DMX-60 converter box can be connected to the LPT port of
your PC. The connection cable each with a 25- pole Sub-D plug and a 25-pole Sub-D jack is
required (included in DMX-60 package). First switch off your PC and then connect the 25-pole
plug to the printer port. Connect the Sub-D jack to the corresponding plug of the DMX-60
converter box and connect the supplied power supply unit to the mains and the DC plug to the
jack of the converter provided for this purpose.
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1.3 Connecting DMX receiver units
DMX units like scanners, dimmers, etc. should only be connected or switched on after setting the
DMX converter into operation so that the receiver and decoder units of the DMX units recognize
the converter. The end units are connected to the converter via a 3-pole or 5-pole cable (connect
the plug to the converter, the jack to the DMX end unit). The DMX output of an end unit can in
each case be connected to the DMX input of another DMX unit. Before you switch on the DMX
end units now, the addresses of the units have to be assigned. Usually the unit addresses are set
via DIP Switches (mouse keyboard) at the end unit. In most cases the settings are binary.
Example: A scanner has 4 functions (X/Y movement, colour selection, and gobo selection) and
its start address will be at channel 13. For this purpose the DIP switch at the DMX unit must
have the following settings: switch 1,3 and 4 to "ON", all other switches remain in the "OFF"
position. For this unit the addresses 13 to 16 are assigned. Of course another connected DMX
unit can use the same addresses. Then e.g. two scanners are controlled in parallel. It is more
useful to assign different start addresses to the scanners and to control the parallel operation per
software programme. In the example the next free start address would be channel 17. Up to 32
end units as a maximum can be connected to a DMX converter. For further 32 units a so-called
"bus repeater" must be inserted. Such a bus repeater is nothing else than an additional amplifier
for DMX signals. However, observe that the DMX-60 controller can only drive up to 60
channels. This means that e.g. 60 x 1-channel units (with bus repeater), 30 x 2-channel units and
15 x 4-channel units can be controlled (or of course a combination of these and other multichannel units).
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2 Using The Software
Warning: Before starting the programme, be sure that no printer is connected to or switched on at
the used LPT port. The control signals to the DMX converter box are not compatible with printer
control signals. A connected printer may react in an uncontrolled way. We cannot be held liable
for possible damage to connected printers!
Start DMX-60 from the Windows start task bar. An info window is opened for a few moments,
then the window "Main Mixer" is displayed. The programmme immediately sends DMX signals
to the converter, so do not be surprised if the scanners connected to the box move to their start
position first.
2.1 The main mixer
The main mixer is equipped with 12 faders for the first 12 channels and one master fader. To
have access to further channels, the levels can be switched with the command fields 1-12, 13-24,
25-36, 37-48, and 49-60. The numbers describe the channels available in each case on the
selected level. A "flash button" placed below the faders is provided for each channel and lettered
with the respective channel number. If a level is switched, the channel numbers of the flash
buttons change correspondingly. Above the faders there are small number labels which indicate
the respective DMX output value of a channel from 0 to 255. The command fields "DMX
Start/Stop", "Automatic On", "Automatic Off", "Invert Channel", and "Create Scenes" are placed
above. These functions will be described in the next few chapters. The button "Reset" serves for
resetting the DMX output to a defined output position. The button "BO" (Black Out) sets all
channels to zero which are provided for this purpose. Finally there are two small signal fields on
left side of the main mixer: The upper signal field "Send" flashes when DMX signals are sent.
The lower signal field "Auto" serves as an indicator for the automatic loop function.
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2.1.1 Using the faders
The value of a fader can be changed in several ways. The most convenient way is the control
with the mouse pointer. Move the mouse pointer to the desired fader button, press the left mouse
button and keep it pressed. Then move it with the button to the target position of the fader. The
exact output value can be seen in the text field above the fader.
A fader control by the keyboard is also possible. Select the desired fader with the TAB key. The
current TAB position is surrounded by a dotted frame. The current fader number is also
displayed in the lower status bar. The value of the fader can now be changed with the arrow keys
in the one-step mode, or in the ten-step mode by the keys "Page Up/Page Down".
With the key "Pos1" the fader is moved to its maximum position, and with the key "End" to its
minimum position.
2.1.1.1 Fader Description
Each fader or each channel can be assigned to a name or a description (e.g. function of the
channel). This fader description is displayed each time as a small yellow text field as soon as the
mouse pointer is moved over the fader. A fader description can only be made in the main mixer
so that only one description is assigned to each channel. The fader to be described is first
selected with the left mouse key. With the right mouse key the input window for the description
text is opened. After entering the text, confirm with "OK". The fader names are saved with "Save
Scenes".
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2.1.2 Master fader
The master fader only has an influence on certain faders or channels. It is useful that a light
scene is constantly controlled with dimmers from dark to bright via the master fader. However,
in most cases it is desired to control a scanner independent of the master so that the gobo disc
will not stop between two gobos. Therefore, only such faders are influenced by the master, the
flash button of which has a red marking. To mark a momentary flash button, keep the CTRL
button pressed, go with the mouse pointer to the desired button and click on it with the left
mouse button. The colour of the channel number on the flash button becomes red. Now the
output value of this channel depends on the master fader position. The blue column in the fader
changes its length depending on the channel fader and the master fader. The text display above
the channel fader serves as an indication for the DMX output value. The position of the fader
button is maintained.
The master function can be cancelled the same way as described above.
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2.1.3 Flash buttons
The flash buttons below the faders have several functions:
-1. The flash function, i.e. the corresponding fader receives its maximum value when actuating
this button. If the button is released, the fader goes back to its previous value.
-2. Description of the master function. As already described above under 2.1.2, the numbers of
the buttons can get a red marking to activate the master function for this channel.
-3. Synchronous function: in certain cases a synchronous control of two or several channels is
desired, e.g. the gobos of several scanners for parallel operation. The buttons of the desired
channels get a blue marking. Keep the Alt button pressed, go with the mouse pointer to the
desired button and click on it with the left mouse button. The colour of the channel number on
the flash button becomes blue. Repeat this procedure for all channels to be controlled
synchronously. All "blue" channels now get the value of the last activated (blue) fader. If the
flash button of such a channel is pressed, all "blue" faders get the maximum value and then go
back to the common original value. To deactivate the synchronous function of a channel, repeat
the procedure just described.
Note: The master function and the synchronous function operate on several levels at the same
time, i.e. the markings of one fader are also valid on an invisible level.
2.1.4 Switching of the levels
On the main desk always 12 channel faders and one master fader can be seen. To have access to
further channels or faders, the levels can be switched with the command fields 1-12, 13-24, 2536, 37-48, and 49-60. The numbers designate the channels respectively available on the selected
level. When switching, the fader positions of the other levels are maintained. The respectively
active level is marked by the red lettering of the corresponding command field.
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2.1.5 Reset
The DMX output is stopped with the button "RESET". The LPT output port is set to a defined
output condition. To reactivate the DMX output, the button "DMX Start" must be activated.
2.1.6 BO Black Out
When activating this button, all channels which have the master function are set to zero. All
channels with red marked flash buttons are concerned. As long as Black Out is activated, the
button flashes as a check. Press the BO button again to deactivate the Black Out function.
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2.1.7 DMX Start/DMX Stop
The DMX output is switched on and off with this button. The LPT output port remains at "DMX
Stop" in the current output status. The upper LED (Send) above the level buttons serves as an
indicator for the transmitting status. In case of DMX Start it flashes, in case of DMX Stop it
remains white.
2.1.8 Automatic On
With this software it is possible to create up to 60 scenes per sequence. Separately from the
sequence, the scenes can be saved in the block and be called again. Under the menu item
"Program/Create Sequence" the scenes can optionally be created in any desired order and
frequency for a sequence. Then the created sequence can run automatically. The scene time is
entered in ms for all scenes in common.
2.1.9 Automatic Off
The automatic run of a sequence is interrupted. With "Automatic On" the sequence is continued
in case the scene is stopped.
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2.1.10 Inverting a channel
With this button the output value of a channel can easily be inverted. If e.g. the polarity of a
control voltage for a dimmer pack is reversed, it is not necessary to climb into the lamp stand to
change the polarity. This function is an important feature for scanners as well. If two scanners
operate in parallel, it is very easy to reverse e.g. the sense of rotation of a scanner so that they
can now be controlled in opposite directions. After activating the button, an input window
appears to enter the channel to be inverted. Even multiple inputs like "5-9" or "1,4,6,8" are
possible. After inverting the channels again, the original condition is obtained again.
2.1.11 Creating a scene
For adjustments of the faders (no matter whether for dimmers or scanners) which are always
recurring, there is the possibility to name and to save the created scenes. For a scene block, up to
60 different scenes can be saved. For each created scene the fade time in milliseconds (ms) is
separately requested and saved (in the RAM first). If another gobo or another colour is desired
immediately in case the scene is changed, the fade time must be 1 ms (0 is only possible in
theory but not in practice, therefore 1 ms). Also the scene description is first saved in the RAM
separately for each scene. It is possible to save the adjusted scenes under the menu item
"Program/Save Scene 1-60" in one block (60 scenes) under any desired name so that the adjusted
scenes will not get lost when switching off the computer. The scene files have the ending ".sne".
A scene saved in the RAM can either be activated under the menu item "Program/Call Scene" or
be called in the window "Scene Desk" via the corresponding scene button. The scene desk is
described in detail further below. A scene block saved on the hard disk can be loaded under
"Program/Load Scene 1-60" in the RAM.
To delete a single scene the Scene Desk window has to be opened. Select the desired scene with
the mouse and press the 'Del' key. After confirming the question to delete this scene, it will be
removed from the list box and from the memory.
If the user wants to delete all scenes, the Scene Desk window has to be opened again. First one
of the scenes must be selected. Then the keys 'Shift' and 'Del' have to be pressed simultanoulsly.
After confirming the question to delete all scenes, they will be removed from the list box and
from the memory.
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2.2 The scene desk
The scene desk will be found under "Window/Scene Desk" in the menu. In this window it is
possible to call a saved scene immediately by pressing the button or to select names from a list
and to change over to the new scene with the adjusted fade time with the button "Start". If the
option "Automatic" is selected in the menu under "Options/Changing Scenes", the marked scene
in the list is automatically changed with the adjusted fade time. The start button cannot be seen
with this option. For the manual start, the option "With Confirmation" in the menu
"Option/Changing Scenes" has to be adjusted.
The fader next to the list of scenes serves as time fader for the fade time. It allows to change the
fade times of the faders marked in the list at any time. But be careful, the new fade times are also
immediately inserted in the RAM. The previous fade time is overwritten. By clicking with the
right mouse button on the lettering "Fade Time", the minimum and maximum fade times of the
fader can be entered.
2.2.1 Delete a scene
To delete a single scene the scene desk window has to be opened. Select the desired scene with
the mouse and press the 'Del' key. After confirming the question to delete this scene, it will be
removed from the list box and from the memory.
2.2.2 Delete all scenes
If the user wants to delete all scenes, the Scene Desk window has to be opened again. First one
of the scenes must be selected. Then the keys 'Shift' and 'Del' have to be pressed simultanoulsly.
After confirming the question to delete all scenes, they will be removed from the list box and
from the memory.
2.2.3 Function keys and scenes
In the scene desk window the 12 function keys of then keyboard can be assigned with the most
importent scenes. Press the 'Shift' key and the desired function key simultanoulsly. Enter the
number of the desired scene in the following input box. After that, the user may recall a scene
(with fade time) by pressing a function key.
Note: The automatic run of a sequence is stopped as soon as a scene is called on the scene desk.
2.2.4 The sequence list
As a completion to the scene desk the sequence list is inserted. If a sequence with several scenes
is loaded, the scenes appear in the scene desk but only with the successive scene numbers.
However, in the sequence list the created sequence with the adjusted scene sequences and all
repeats are listed. If a scene is selected in the list with the mouse or by keyboard, the
corresponding scene is called and faded to the new data with the saved fade time. An automatic
run of the scenes is stopped and has to be restarted, if desired. The automatic run continues with
the next scene after the selected one. The sequence list is automatically indicated after loading a
sequence.
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2.3 The trackball window
The trackball window belongs to the main desk regarding the functions. In this window the twodimensional movement of a trackball is simulated. The X and Y movements of the yellow ball
can be assigned to two different faders or channels. Click on the window with the right mouse
button. An input field appears in which the channel assignment for the X direction is entered
first, and after confirmation with "OK", the channel assignment for the Y direction. Also an
abbreviated input is possible by separating the numbers for the channels of the X and Y
directions by a comma (example: 3,4). If the channels are assigned, the corresponding faders
move synchronously to the movement of the ball. For this purpose go with the mouse cross to the
yellow trackball, press and hold the left mouse button and move the ball to the desired point.
Thus, the X and Y movements of a scanner can be controlled in an optimum way. As a check,
the assigned faders with their current values are indicated in a status line in the trackball window.
The position of the trackball is automatically updated as soon as the value of an assigned fader in
the main desk (or also in the group desk) is changed.
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2.4 The group windows
Four group windows were integrated in the DMX control programs. In each group window there
is the possibility to combine up to 12 faders independent in the sequence. For instance, a group
with three four-channel scanners or four three-channel dimmer packs can be built up. In addition,
each group has a trackball area. If you click with the right mouse button on the window, a pulldown menu is opened in which the following functions can be adjusted:
- Group description: in this place the name or the description of the group is requested.
- Channel assignment: in the input field "channel assignment" the desired channels are entered
separated by a comma. After the confirmation with "OK", the faders (up to a number of 12) are
created in the entered order next to the trackball area with the corresponding flash buttons and
the value labels.
- Trackball assignment: in the group desk as well as in the main desk, the trackball can be
assigned to two faders. However, only faders can be selected which also exist in the group.
- Background colour: for better distinction of the groups with their trackball fields, there is the
possibility to change the background colour of the trackball field. The colour is selected in the
"Windows-colours-dialogue-window".
- Trackball area visible: if only dimmers or dimmer packs are compiled in one group, a trackball
field for the X-Y control does not make any sense. For better survey it is therefore possible to
switch the trackball field on and off with this option. The functions and dependences of the
faders and flash buttons correspond to those in the main desk. In the main desk the flash buttons
can be marked in red or blue colour as well. Each group window has its own status line, in which
the channel assignment and the position values of the trackball field can be read.
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2.5 The menu
2.5.1 File
2.5.1.1 Save settings
The personal settings are saved in this menu item in the file "lptdmx.ini" so that they do not have
to be repeated with each new start of the programme. The contents of this INI file is requested
when restarting the programme and the programme is started with these parameters. The
following settings are saved:
Font type and style, size and position of all windows, the language selection, the communication
port, the current sequence with all scenes, the function key settings from the scene desk and the
default file directory.
2.5.1.2 Save groups
Under this item the group settings of all four groups are saved. The group description, the
number and order of the channels, position of the groups on the screen, assignment of the
trackball, background colour of the trackball field, and visibility of the trackball field come under
this item. The group files have the ending ".grd".
2.5.1.3 Load groups
The saved group settings can be reloaded under this menu item. After loading, the groups are
immediately built up and are available.
2.5.1.4 Default directory
In many cases the current path for the files to be opened or saved is given by Windows. It is not
always desired to save and load the scene files, sequence files, and group files under "C:\Own
Directory". Enter the desired path of your files under "Default Directory". Then select "Saving
Start Settings" for operating the programme with this directory also in future sessions.
2.5.1.5 Quit program
The programme is ended by calling this function and all programme windows are closed.
2.5.2 Nation
As a standard, the programme is started in German language. If the English version is desired, it
can be selected in this place. All texts are immediately displayed in English. Save the setting so
that the programme will continue to start in the English version.
2.5.3 DMX
With "DMX Stop" the DMX output at the printer port is stopped, with "DMX Start" it is
restarted. The fader settings are maintained. An automatic sequence run continues but it is not
passed on (in case of DMX Stop).
2.5.4 Program
2.5.4.1 Create scene
see under item 2.1.11
2.5.4.2 Call scene
For direct calling of a scene, enter the scene number and confirm with "OK".
2.5.4.3 Save scene 1-60
It is possible to save the adjusted scenes in one block (60 scenes) under any desired name under
this menu item so that the adjusted scenes will not get lost when switching off the computer. The
scene files have the ending ".sne".
Note: If less than 60 scenes are created, the remaining scenes are set to 0.
2.5.4.4 Load scene 1-60
A scene block consisting of 60 scenes is loaded. If less than 60 scenes are defined, the remaining
scenes are set to 0.
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2.5.4.5 Create sequence
Under this menu item the order of the scenes for the automatic run is defined. In the input field
any desired number of combinations of the scenes in any desired order and frequency can be
entered. The numbers are separated by a comma. Also combinations like "1,2,2,1,3,10,10,10,
10,1" are allowed. The input is limited to 255 signs (including commas). After the input of the
scene order the scene time has to be defined. It is entered in milliseconds and applies to all
scenes. The scene combination can be changed during an automatic run. The changes are
immediately taken over when closing the input fields.
2.5.4.6 Save sequence
The scene order mentioned under 2.5.4.4 is designated as a sequence. It can be saved under this
menu item. The number of sequences is only limited by the hard disk capacity. The saved
sequences have the file ending ".seq".
2.5.4.7 Load sequence
A saved sequence can be loaded in this place. Only one sequence can be present in the RAM at a
time. When loading a sequence the current sequence is overwritten in the RAM. The sequence
list with all scenes of the loaded sequence is automatically inserted.
2.5.4.8 Automatic On
The automatic run of a sequence is started. The parameters can also be changed during the
automatic run.
2.5.4.9 Automatic Off
The automatic programme run of the scenes is stopped.
2.5.5 Options
2.5.5.1 Changing Scenes
If the option "Automatic" is selected in this menu item, the scene marked in the list of the scene
desk is automatically changed with the adjusted fade time. The start button is not visible with
this option. For the manual start the option "With Confirmation" in the menu "Options/Changing
Scenes" must be adjusted for the manual start.
2.5.5.2 Form Zoom +
The main desk is enlarged by 10% with every clicking on this point. All faders and buttons are
enlarged as well. Individual zooming of the main desk is reached by going with the mouse
pointer to the lower right margin of the desk, keeping the left mouse button pressed and adjusting
the desired size with the mouse. In this case all faders and buttons are zoomed as well. Group
windows can also be zoomed this way.
2.5.5.3 Form Zoom In this case the main desk is reduced by 10%. Individual zooming of the main desk is reached by
going with the mouse pointer to the lower right margin of the desk, keeping the left mouse button
pressed, and adjusting the desired size with the mouse. All faders and buttons are zoomed as
well. Group windows can also be zoomed this way.
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2.5.5.4 Font type
When zooming a window in the programme, the letter sizes cannot be matched in an optimum
way in most cases. With the font type selection it is also possible to change the letter size and the
font style in addition to all fonts available under Windows. The changes of the font type and
style influence all windows and their elements like faders, buttons, and indicating elements. The
headlines of the windows are not influenced. They are directly controlled by Windows and can
be adjusted in the system control under "Display/Settings/Further Options".
2.5.5.5 Communication port
If the personal computer has more than one parallel printer interface, it is possible to define the
communication port for the DMX control with this option. It is possible to select between printer
port1 (LPT1) with the start address S378 and the printer port2 (LPT2) with the start address
S278. The selected port has to be saved under "File/Save Settings" to be available for the next
pogramme start.
Please take care that no printer is present at the selected port. A destruction by the DMX signals
is not probable but due to the control pulses the printer may react in an uncontrolled way. We
cannot be held responsible for possible resulting damage.
2.5.6 Window
The type of presentation of the individual windows is defined under this pull-down menu. The
windows may be cascaded or tiled horizontally or tiled vertically. The zoom factor of the
windows does not change.
In many cases smaller windows are covered by larger ones. To have an immediate access to
them, it is possible to click directly on the window names in this menu. Then the selected
window is placed in the foreground.
2.5.7 Help
Under "Help/Manual" the internet explorer is started first and then these operating instructions
are displayed.
The item "DMX-60" informs about copyright, author, and current version of the software.
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2.6 Zoom
Individual zooming of the main desk is reached by going to the lower right margin of the desk
with the mouse pointer, keeping the left mouse button pressed and adjusting the desired size with
the mouse. All faders and buttons are zoomed as well. Group windows can also be zoomed this
way. The scene desk, the sequence list, and the trackball areas cannot be scaled.
3 Specifications
Specifications of the converter box:
- Processor-controlled converter for 60 DMX channels
- Connections:
25-pole Sub-D connection as input
3-pole XLR jack as DMX output
5-pole XLR jack as DMX output
DC jack for the voltage supply
Voltage supply:
9-12V DC or 9-12V AC, 200 mA max.
Dimensions:
115 mm x 103 mm x 37 mm
Weight:
350 g (net)
4 Additional Informations
When using long DMX cables, it is recommended to use a terminator resistor. For this please
solder a resistor with a value of 120 Ohms 0,6 Watts between pin 2 and pin 3 of an XLR plug (3
or 5 pole). This XLR plug has to be connected to the DMX output at the last DMX device of an
DMX queue. For DMX devices with a switchable terminator resistor this step is not necessary.
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