Control/Dimming Connecting LED light to ION console

allisonde

Member
I recently purchased some new LED cyc lights for our school theatre, which have a 3 pin DMX cable. I have an ETC ION console, and all my dimmers are twist lock, we have no DMX patches on the grid. We have to make the LED's talk to the lighting console, but I have not a clue how to go about doing this! Do I use the 2nd universe port (I do have a 3 pin to 5 pin adapter)? If so, do I have to daisy chain all LED lights together and run the DMX cable through the theatre to the booth!?! This seems ridiculous, and is a long way up! And what if I want to have three lights in one spot, and 2 in another!? Any help you can provide will be GREATLY appreciated.
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
... Do I use the 2nd universe port ? ...
Yes, that's the easiest way, as most installed dimmer racks don't have a DMX OUT/THRU. And even if they did, the dimmer rack may not be any more conveniently located to the fixtures than the booth.
... I do have a 3 pin to 5 pin adapter ? ...
Since your console has two female 5pin XLR outputs, and your lights are 3pin XLR, you're going to need an adapter, 5-3. MALE End first! Not the other way around.
... If so, do I have to daisy chain all LED lights together and run the DMX cable through the theatre to the booth!?! ...
Yep, that's the way it works. From console to first (usually nearest) light, then through (up to) 31 more. Then a terminator, DMX plugged into the final fixture in the chain.
... And what if I want to have three lights in one spot, and 2 in another!? ...
You'd go from the booth to an opto-splitter located about midway between the two groups. One output would go to the group of three, another output would go to the group of two. Each group would then need a terminator at the end.

Don't use microphone cable anywhere. Use only DMX512-compliant cable (in this case, with 3pin XLR ends) for transmission of the DMX control protocol.

Another thing: Don't plug your new LED lights into dimmers (unless you have contant or relay modules in the rack). Not even a dimmer parked or set to Full. Use the wall convenience outlets, or other non-dimmed constant 120V source.

Ask more questions; we have more answers.
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allisonde

Member
Thank you so much for your response. This is very helpful, and good to know that I was on the track on my own!!

Would I be able to use a wireless receiver/transmitter from the booth to the first light in the chain? To lessen the cord that I need to run through my audience?
 

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