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Author Topic: Y cable with DMX?  (Read 2343 times)

Kirby Yarbrough

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Y cable with DMX?
« on: February 27, 2017, 09:20:02 am »

Pardon my elementary question: can I use a 3-pin Y cable to split DMX signal coming from a controller?
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Y cable with DMX?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2017, 09:39:59 am »

Pardon my elementary question: can I use a 3-pin Y cable to split DMX signal coming from a controller?
It might work depending on length of your run and if you use terminators (in this case no terminators would be better than multiple terminators), but that's not really the right way to do it.

You want a DMX splitter/opto-isolator such as this: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DataStream4?adpos=1t1&creative=175866237996&device=c&matchtype=b&network=g&gclid=CO_V_-bAsNICFR65wAodRQIEhw
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John Fruits

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Re: Y cable with DMX?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2017, 10:56:41 am »

Doug Fleenor says no.
http://www.dfd.com/primer.html
It's also sort of like using mic cables, it might work......until it doesn't.
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Scott Hofmann

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Re: Y cable with DMX?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2017, 05:24:37 pm »

Pardon my elementary question: can I use a 3-pin Y cable to split DMX signal coming from a controller?

The answer is NO.
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Scott Hofmann

duane massey

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Re: Y cable with DMX?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2017, 08:32:34 pm »

Uhm, NO.
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Duane Massey
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Don T. Williams

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Re: Y cable with DMX?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2017, 12:07:59 am »

It really doesn't work.  I've had lots of customers try it and called me in when it didn't work.  I have never heard of it working correctly!  DMX is not at all like audio.  Opto-isolator splitters are not that expensive and solve your problem.

They also work when mixing fixture types (some don't play well with others), and when the strings of fixtures get larger.  I've read that 32 fixtures is the limit, but I know of situations where a lot fewer fixtures didn't work until they were isolated/split.
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Lyle Williams

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Re: Y cable with DMX?
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2017, 01:27:17 am »

Doug Fleenor says no.
http://www.dfd.com/primer.html
It's also sort of like using mic cables, it might work......until it doesn't.

It will work better than people are suggesting, but I wouldn't plan to work that way.  If doing this keep your legs short.

For me, this is in my emergency workarounds bag of ideas.

Not the "right thing", but not nearly as dodgey as the mythology suggests.

DMX runs on RS485, and anything you can get away with on RS485 will work for DMX.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Y cable with DMX?
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2017, 09:18:04 am »

It will work better than people are suggesting, but I wouldn't plan to work that way.  If doing this keep your legs short.

For me, this is in my emergency workarounds bag of ideas.

Not the "right thing", but not nearly as dodgey as the mythology suggests.

DMX runs on RS485, and anything you can get away with on RS485 will work for DMX.
Agreed.  It probably will work in some situations, but having the right tool is so inexpensive, it seems silly to work very hard to avoid spending $130 to do it the right way.
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duane massey

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Re: Y cable with DMX?
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2017, 09:19:01 pm »

I have installed over 30 of these over the past 5 years, and have not had a single issue:
http://www.usledsupply.com/shop/dmx-splitter-1-8.html
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Duane Massey
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Houston, Texas

Kemper Watson

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Re: Y cable with DMX?
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2017, 07:07:59 am »

I have installed over 30 of these over the past 5 years, and have not had a single issue:
http://www.usledsupply.com/shop/dmx-splitter-1-8.html

I use this as well, going on 4 years now. At $35 it's a no-brainer
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