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Author Topic: *Newbie* basic DMX 512 controller help  (Read 1259 times)

Glenn Scott

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*Newbie* basic DMX 512 controller help
« on: December 05, 2020, 01:11:16 am »

Hi people. Im *very* new to this, I have a generic 512 controller (no manual) and a couple of LED cans. Ive downloaded some controller manuals that are very similar to mine to read but my problem is a TRS (stereo) socket on the back. My question is - what is it used for? I assume everything goes Midi, Polarity, DMX out, power in, and Mystery socket  left to right.

Also, I understand the purpose of the (unmarked) polarity switch having to match the polarity of the cans. How do you know the polarity needs to be switched? Do the cans just not work until it is set correctly?

If anyone could shed some light on this Id be very grateful!

Thanks, Glenn

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Steve-White

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Re: *Newbie* basic DMX 512 controller help
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2020, 01:41:02 am »

Need more information such as make and model of the fixture.  The XLR is most likely the DMX, but most DMX stuff has male/female 3 pin or 5 pin XLR pass through connectors.  The TRS could be the DMX pass through or maybe an analog audio input for music sync.

The DIN is probably MiDi.
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Erik Jerde

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Re: *Newbie* basic DMX 512 controller help
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2020, 02:38:30 am »

Need more information such as make and model of the fixture.  The XLR is most likely the DMX, but most DMX stuff has male/female 3 pin or 5 pin XLR pass through connectors.  The TRS could be the DMX pass through or maybe an analog audio input for music sync.

The DIN is probably MiDi.

More likely the 1/4Ē is an audio input for some sort of sound to light function.  The xlr could be DMX or MPX or some other less common digital control protocol.
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Glenn Scott

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Re: *Newbie* basic DMX 512 controller help
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2020, 03:29:51 am »

Thanks for the help, yes Im sure the 5 pin is MIDI, the 3 pin DMX out but the 1/4" is a mystery. The controller I have no manual for, but is a pretty generic one from what Ive seen. Photo attached so you see....

Thanks
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Steve Crump

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Re: *Newbie* basic DMX 512 controller help
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2020, 05:14:02 am »

Hi people. Im *very* new to this, I have a generic 512 controller (no manual) and a couple of LED cans. Ive downloaded some controller manuals that are very similar to mine to read but my problem is a TRS (stereo) socket on the back. My question is - what is it used for? I assume everything goes Midi, Polarity, DMX out, power in, and Mystery socket  left to right.

Also, I understand the purpose of the (unmarked) polarity switch having to match the polarity of the cans. How do you know the polarity needs to be switched? Do the cans just not work until it is set correctly?

If anyone could shed some light on this Id be very grateful!

Thanks, Glenn

On the Obey 40 controller that port is a strobe controller. Could be the same on your controller. Looks very similar.
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Steve-White

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Re: *Newbie* basic DMX 512 controller help
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2020, 09:52:33 am »

Brain fade here.  I thought for some reason the picture was a lighting fixture.

For controller, it's either a fog machine control circuit or audio input, most likely audio input.

That's a 16 x 12 DMX lighting controller.  16 DMX channels per fixture DMX starting address.  Pretty simple layout.  512 total channels divided into 12 separate groups.  1-16, 17-32, 33-48 and so on up to the 12th fixture group 477-512.  The fixtures need to be "addressed" to the first channel in it's respective group.  So, ch1, ch17, ch33 and so on up to ch497 for the last fixture group.  Each group can contain 1 or several fixtures.

Hope that makes sense and helps.  Reading DMX for me took a bit to understand, but it's quite a simple format layout.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2020, 10:00:53 am by Steve-White »
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Erik Jerde

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Re: *Newbie* basic DMX 512 controller help
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2020, 10:26:16 am »

Thanks for the help, yes Im sure the 5 pin is MIDI, the 3 pin DMX out but the 1/4" is a mystery. The controller I have no manual for, but is a pretty generic one from what Ive seen. Photo attached so you see....

Thanks

Looks like youíve got some variant of this board:

https://www.lightsounds.com.au/content/manuals/dmx192_m.pdf

Seems to be a few products out there with an identical top layout.  Whether they were just rebranding of product from the same factory or knockoffs is hard to say.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: *Newbie* basic DMX 512 controller help
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2020, 12:06:27 pm »

...but my problem is a TRS (stereo) socket on the back. My question is - what is it used for?

Hi Glenn, in addition to all the other suggested possibilities Iíll add that it could also be for a foot pedal to trigger chases and whatnot.  I agree though that audio input for a crude sound to light function is most likely.

Also, I understand the purpose of the (unmarked) polarity switch having to match the polarity of the cans. How do you know the polarity needs to be switched? Do the cans just not work until it is set correctly?

The polarity refers to pins 2 and 3 of the DMX output.  Iím not sure why controllers like this one include this switch given that practically every fixture sold from around the year 2005 and beyond is DMX compliant, but if the system is working leave the switch where it is.  You wonít hurt anything by flipping it though just to see how the fixtures react.  Some older lights such as the Martin Roboscan 812s need reversed polarity (prior to Martin conforming to the DMX-512 standard), so thatís why this switch exists.  A simple polarity-reversing cable does the same thing.

Good luck and hope this helps!
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Mal Brown

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Re: *Newbie* basic DMX 512 controller help
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2020, 02:08:00 am »

Audio in is my guess
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Brian Jojade

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Re: *Newbie* basic DMX 512 controller help
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2020, 05:01:43 pm »

Audio input, strobe control, or foot pedal control.

If you don't need it, just ignore it.  It's not bothering anyone.
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Brian Jojade

Tim Hite

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Re: *Newbie* basic DMX 512 controller help
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2020, 09:55:45 pm »

If it is a foot pedal jack, you will potentially be very sorry if you plug an audio anything into it. . .I missed a TRS out once and plugged a very expensive amplifier into a foot switch jack located just next to the audio out.

That move cost me a $1500 amp and a $800 studio monitor and I learned a very valuable lesson about making sure your aim is true.
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Re: *Newbie* basic DMX 512 controller help
¬ę Reply #10 on: December 08, 2020, 09:55:45 pm ¬Ľ


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