# Multiplex replacement board

#### Wranglerbmb

##### Member
Hi,

We currently have a multiplex system at my venue, but we are in need of a replacement board. Is there nay suggestions for a good 24 channel board? We would need a 3 pin output. Thanks!

#### Scenemaster60

##### Well-Known Member
What do you mean by multiplex? Is that a brand name or a technical description?

#### Wranglerbmb

##### Member
Multiplex is the lable just above the connector on the back of the board. The board is a ETA board. We have tested the board by connecting our system to a DMX board, but it was unsccessful. It uses a 3 pin XLR cable

#### Scenemaster60

##### Well-Known Member
I have never heard of "multiplex" as a proprietary control signal. What is the brand of the console and/or dimmers?
Usually multiplex is used as a generic adjective and refers to sending multiple streams of data on a single line either in an analogue or digital format.
Is it possible that it's "Microplex" which is a protocol used by NSI, Leprechaun, ETA, etc...

#### petercav17

##### Active Member
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We have tested the board by connecting our system to a DMX board, but it was unsccessful.
Kind of confused here. A DMX board that you connected to your system failed to control anything?

We would need a 3 pin output.
If your current system indeed uses a Microplex control protocol, then you need a console that outputs Microplex. There are many lower end consoles that have a 3pin XLR output, but the vast majority output DMX. Leprecon makes plenty of consoles that output microplex and are reliable, so I would look into one of those. Alternatively you could buy a DMX board, and a microplex to DMX converter from Doug Fleenor.

Also, multiplex is ETC's other name for dimmer doubling, but I don't think you're talking about that here.

#### Les

##### Well-Known Member
I agree with getting an adapter. Then you can use any board you want.

#### DavidNorth

##### ETC Rigging General Manager
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Departed Member
Hmmm, I don't think that ETA Ultraplex and Microplex are the same protocols. he label says Multiplex, which IIRC was the ETC generic label for their Ultraplex protocol.

I would recommend working with your local dealer to either borrow or rent a protocol converter such as the Ultimate Converter or IF/501 to see if a DMX console can, through the converter, control your packs. If it does not work, you can contact ETA in Ohio to see if they can repair your board or look on Ebay for a used board.

David

#### derekleffew

##### Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
... you can contact ETA in Ohio to see if they can repair your board ...
IIRC, although still in business, today's http://www.etasys.com/ wants nothing to do with their sullied past of stage lighting control, and does not support those thirty year-old products. Time to replace the dimmer packs. Perhaps something from the SmartBar line.

#### Wranglerbmb

##### Member
My mistakes the board uses ultraplex. A 3 pin connection. An important thing to remember is the board does not use a separate power connector.

Here is the picture

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#### Scenemaster60

##### Well-Known Member
So, we have established that your dimmers are ETA and that the protocol that you are using right now is Ultraplex.
These dimmers are easily 25 years old and likely don't have much life left in them without repairs. Also, you actually haven't given a reason for replacing the board. Are you sure the problems are in the board and not in the dimmers?

As mentioned above, if you want to continue using the dimmers as is, you will need an Ultraplex to DMX convertor. Don't worry about the power to the console issue. Ultraplex was a protocol that carried control power along with the signal. Any DMX board that you acquire these days will have its own power supply.

Now, finding a convertor that will work with these dimmers may be a bit elusive. If indeed a converter that produces NSI/Leprecon Microplex will work, they are kind of spendy. The Doug Fleener converter is over $700 and the Pathway Ultimate Converter is going to set you back at least$1000 if you buy it new. Then you still need a DMX console. On that front you can spend anywhere from $50 for a used DJ model on Ebay to over$1000 for a new Leprecon, NSI, or ETC low-end DMX board.

Honestly, there is no cheap or easy fix for this issue unless you can find an inexpensive used board that outputs an Ultraplex compatible signal. You're in kind of deep with some old, unsupported equipment.

#### derekleffew

##### Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
As mentioned above, if you want to continue using the dimmers as is, you will need an Ultraplex to DMX convertor.
Correction: DMX to Ultraplex. Protocol converter s are always specified as <what the console speaks> to <what the dimmers listen>.

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From http://www.churchmedia.net/forums/general-lighting/13260-micro-plex-vs-ultra-plex.html :
I was wandering if the standard for ETA Ultra-plex and the standard for NSI Micro-plex are interchangeable. We want to get an NSI board to run ETA dimmers. Was wandering if this is possible. Thanks ahead of time.
They are not interchangeable as they have different timmings [timings].

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Here's a thread that contains no useful information, but I thought it pertinent as to why follow up/ resolution is so important in cases such as these. https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/eta-1252-dimmer-packs-and-a-mc12cm-contoller.21704/

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Honestly, there is no cheap or easy fix for this issue unless you can find an inexpensive used board that outputs an Ultraplex compatible signal.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ETA-IMAGENA...er-MC1224CM-/191785297526?hash=item2ca74b6676
Probably the lest expensive option. I'd still strive for replacing everything.

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