USITT announces new DMX512-A


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From the January 2005 issue of PLSN:

"...USITT...recently announced that the ANSI Board of Standards Review approved the next generation DMX standard, which has been ingeniously dubbed DMX512-A...

...the new DMX standard provides for backward compatibility, so it’s not necessary to simply discard all that three-pin cable...(but) There are some very good and compelling reasons to convert to a five-pin world. First of all, now that there is a DMX standard that takes advantage of all five pins, you no longer have to explain to anyone that the fourth and fifth pins in a five-pin XLR cable do nothing. Now...they can serve as a secondary data link that can be used in a variety of ways...the four ways of using the secondary data link are outlined in Annex B of the E1.11, Entertainment Technology - USITT DMX512-A Asynchronous Serial Digital Data Transmission Standard for Controlling Lighting Equipment and Accessories...the secondary link can be used to send data to and from the device under control of the console or whatever it is that is doing the controlling. In addition, the primary data link—pins two and three—can now also receive as well as send data..."

(Full Article)
Interesting that they say that pins 4 and 5 do nothing. Here it is common for people to use pins 4 and 5 to run gel scrollers.

So pins 1, 2 and 3 carry the DMX and pins 4 and 5 run the power to the scrollers. 1 lead, two functions.
In our system, pins 4 and 5 provide feedback to the status monitor as to the state of each dimmer...that is, if the status monitor works (which it hasn't in about a year).
Actually, the status monitor (when properly configured) can display tons of data about your dimmers! The current load, the temp, and some other stuff that I can't remember at the moment.
Thanks Dave - you do know that I was joking though (don't you).

Don't let the Staff tag fool you - I am the same jovial, fun loving misfit that I was when I first joined up, and I have to let lose sometimes :)
^^ Mine don't, at least not in any setting I have yet to stumble across in the board or dimmers. I wish they did, but from what I can tell you need ETCnet for all of that function to work.

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