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Mixing 3-Pin & 5-Pin DMX

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by jmac, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. jmac

    jmac Active Member

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    We have a control console, shoebox dimmer and two scroller power supplies, all of which are 5-pin DMX. Rental company is bringing in an additional (8) dimmer packs, some of which are 5-pin, but some apparently will be 3-pin.

    What is best way to combine these all together? Can they all be on a single 5-pin DMX string with in and out "adapters" at the 3-pin devices? Or is it more complicated than that?? Thanks.
     
  2. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    Yes, it really is that simple unless you choose to make it more complicated by throwing DMX splitting and/or combining units, which based on your post, you probably don't need.

    Of course, the specific equipment you're using may change this answer.

    Edit: If your DMX controlled equipment is spread all over the theatre, a DMX splitter may simplify your setup and allow you to use less cable.
     
  3. jmac

    jmac Active Member

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    Thanks. This is a fairly small theater and setup. 100' cable gets us from console to FOH pipe. All remaining stops are 25' or less each, total about 300' length.
     
  4. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    You should be able to get 3/5 adapters in your rental. And get terminators for each run. It should save you some aggravation.
     
  5. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    :agree:

    And If you do need the splitter, the Elation 4-1 splitter has both 5 and 3 pin outs.
     
  6. mnfreelancer

    mnfreelancer Active Member

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    Slight hi-jack but on the same thread, has anyone had any experience with Elation RGB LED PARs and 3 pin DMX adapters? My company bought ten of them about a year ago from a major production company that was upgrading, and the ME for that company claimed that the elations didn't play well with others, specifically when chaining them in the middle of 5 pin DMX chain when all they have is 3 pin. I haven't had any problems with them but haven't had time to exhaustively test them in a number of scenarios so it could be true or it might not be.
     
  7. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    It depends. I've had various issues with older Elation and especially ADJ products, but they were a few years old. Their newer products seem more robust.
     
  8. paradoxism

    paradoxism Member

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    Rather than adapt each individual unit it is probably easier to put the 3-pin dimmers together in the chain if possible and just adapt the first and last unit to 5-pin.

    I'm regularly forced to mix 3 and 5-pin equipment (isn't it nice that we have the DMX 'standard' now!) and the only issue I've ever come across is different manufacturers tendancies to swap the 3-pin pinouts for the hot and cold data streams. If the 3-pin dimmers are all the same brand this shouldn't be an issue, and even if it is you just need phase invertors to correct it.
     
  9. Anvilx

    Anvilx Active Member

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    I definitely agree. That's how I roll.
     

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