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Multiplex/DMX question

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by jowens, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. jowens

    jowens Member

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    Centerport, New York, United States
    Hi there, hopefully a simple question...

    At my middle school, we are using an NSI light board connected via multiplex to the dimmers way down on stage.
    I plan on taking my etc express 125 from the high school over to the middle school which of course uses DMX.

    The existing mpx cable run is a 3 pin xlr, and the dimmers accept both protocols.
    To avoid running a new cable (through the ceiling, bad news) should I:
    1. Get 5pin-3pin converters and use the same cable?
    2. Is there a good converter that can take the Express' DMX and turn it into MPX?
    3. Other thoughts?

    Hope I have been clear enough.

    Thanks for your help!

    ~Joe Owens
  2. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
    Lititz, PA
    you can adapt from 5-pin to 3-pin, just make sure that you connect the end at the dimmers to the DMX port, you may have to adapt back to 5-pin at the dimmer end. There is no reason that won't work.
  3. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    Arlington, TX
    There are black box converters out there, though I haven't tried them. Pathway, the DMX-tools guy, and of course Dr DMX come to mind.

    If the dimmers are accessible easily (in a rack at ground level), if this is a temporary thing, I'd just run a DMX cable on the floor to them. If they're truss packs in the air, you're probably better served by a black box.

    You probably don't want to try to run DMX itself on the existing cable, since the requirements for a DMX cable are far stricter than for a Microplex (or microphone) cable. May work, may not work, may mostly work most of the time, that sort of thing. (That said, I've run DMX down snake pairs and installed audio tie lines before, but I would avoid it if at all possible.)
  4. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    Houston, Tx
    dont forget with multiplex you may have voltage traveling down the line, ETC consoles (or any DMX gear does not like recieveing this). If the dimmer rack has 5 pin in, then i would just plug into that.
  5. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Kilmarnock, VA
    If the dimmers are also NSI, the DMX input will be 5 pin. Therefore you'll have to adapt the ETC from 5 to three, use the existing 3 pin cable then adapt back to 5 pin into the DMX input.
  6. Kelite

    Kelite Apollo Staff Premium Member

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    Fort Wayne IN, USA
    Please let us know, Joe, what avenue you decide to take and how well it works for your particular venue. I'm sure this challenge gets 'bumped into' quite often out there...
  7. Radiant

    Radiant Active Member

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    I don't have much to contribute to this thread (imagine that!), but we may face the same issue down the road. Eventually we'll add DMX motion lights and a new console to one of our rooms currently served by Leprecon multiplex dimmers and console. The budget being what it is, I doubt we'll get funding for new dimmers when the current ones function adequately. Looking ahead, we may be well served by DMX Tools' DMX-lator.

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