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DMX to AMX cable adapter

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by w3st0n21, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

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    so i was digging aroung my church the other night and i found a 5 pin DMX to a 4 pin AMX converter CABLE. I was wondering if it would work with our AMX system at school. i just want to make sure that, if i test it, i wont fry anything in my school system...cuz that would be BAD.

    thanks again!
     
  2. chrispo86

    chrispo86 Active Member

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    I don't think you'd fry the system per se, but i doubt it would work. There's a lot more that goes into converting a digital signal to an analog one than just reducing the number of pins on the plug. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong on this.
     
  3. TheDonkey

    TheDonkey Active Member

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    Not sure, but I highly doubt that by just using a regular converter cable you can plug a DMX source into an AMX dimmer,

    It's like trying to fit a square block into a circular hole, even if it's small enough to fit, it won't actually work.
     
  4. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that will not work.

    Mike
     
  5. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

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    yeah i didnt think so, i just wanted to make sure before i went on with my search of AMX to DMX converters
     
  6. Clifford

    Clifford Active Member

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    To add a little, from my understanding, DMX is a serial digital stream of data, whereas analog is dependent on a voltage from 0 to +10V for its signal. The digital stream would have to be converted into a voltage for the AMX rack.
     
  7. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    AMX is a digital signal that can control 192 dimmers. DMX is also a digital signal that can control 512 dimmers. The 0-10v stuff required 2 lines ran from each dimmer to the control console and depending on the voltage sent it would vary the power the dimmer outputed. 0-10v is analog and requires very large connectors because of that.
     
  8. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

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    but doesnt AMX stand for ANALOG multiplex?
     
  9. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Yes, it does. I said before AMX was a digital signal, it is not exactly a digital signal. It is an analog signal but works like a digital signal. Basically, on a electrical level, an analog pulse is sent down one pair, while a clock signal is sent down another pair. The clock and the pulse vary depending on the data being send down the line. The pulse is in the 0-5v range, not 0-10v.

    There is no way to convert AMX to DMX without a piece of hardware.
     
  10. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

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    oh i gotcha now! this make much more sense. thanks a lot!!
     
  11. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

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    Re: Adapter cable with XLR5 and XLR4

    they are actually both male ends. as you probably know, an AMX output is male and a DMX output is female. so if you think about it it makes sense...but as you said before, it will not work. and also as i said before i foung it at my church and i imagine that it was made a while back, so i really have no idea what it was used for. although the person might of made it to TRY and convert our house system (four pin) to DMX when we upgraded our system.

    hope this explains everything!
     
  12. mrb

    mrb Active Member

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    maybe the adaptor you found, has a mirror image friend you havent found yet, and someone made them up to send dmx down a house's AMX wiring, or vise versa?
     
  13. dramatech

    dramatech Well-Known Member

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    another possibility might be to take DMX from the end of a daisy chain of scrollers and send the DMX on to some other sort of device such as a shoebox dimmer or gobo rotator. In this case it should be a male 4 pin to female five pin. If the only connector around at the time was a male 5 pin, it would still work, it's just a little less Kosher. The connections would be pin1 to pin 1, 2 to 2 and 3 to 3, leaving pin 4 unused on the 4 pin connector.
     
  14. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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  15. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    There is nothing under the sun that an AMX system cannot control. But AMX protocol is a different story.
     
  16. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    I've posted my answer to my QotD.

    [user]w3st0n21[/user], you've fallen into a very common trap: One cannot surmise the purpose of a cable merely by the connector types on the ends. (See this thread: Adapters.) But the converse: "A DMX Cable must have 5pin XLRs; a Scroller Cable (even when used for I-Cues/gobo rotators/irises/other gadgets) is 4pin; a lighting Data Cable is 3pin" does hold true (even though there will always be some exceptions).

    While every DMX-512 standard does call for only 5pin XLRs to be used, it can not prohibit the use of XLR5s for any other purpose (even though the XLR5 was chosen specifically because it had so few other uses).

    I worked at a lighting rental house prior to 1986, and clearly remember my boss stating "Every control cable should be 4pin XLR: CD80, K96, fog remotes, strobe remotes, all of them." Obviously, he soon had to retract those words, and continue to build adapters of all sorts.:)
     
  17. dramatech

    dramatech Well-Known Member

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    I have purchased a few of the lesser expensive shoebox dimmers, primarily to use for "practicles" on stage. They are convenient for small loads and with edison output connectors. The first thing that I do when I pruchase one is to change the DMX connectors from three pin to five pin. I don't do this because I am fanatical about complying with the USITT standard, but because I hate to have to find where I left the adaptors or make new ones.
     

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