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Question about DMX controllers. Answered

okay, this may seem like an over complicated question but here goes, Can dmx rgb led controllers that have ethernet connectors be connected to the controller by a ethernet switch?


No, just because something has an RJ45 connector doesn't automatically make it ethernet !

DMX travels on RS485 protocols.


If it is an ethernet>>dmx bridge that connects to a tcp/ip network via ethernet and enunciates on the network as a device for max/msp to connect to -- maybe...but often times they just use the rj45 jack because it's ubiquitous and cheap.

well this is the controller that i will use for the led's: http://www.holidaycoro.com/3-Channel-DMX-RGB-Controller-with-Power-over-CAT5-p/30.htm


The very first video on that page shows a screencap of the bottom of the device.

It's 8 wires on ethernet, and they are using 6 for power, 2 for DMX (+ and -).

No, this is Absolutely, Positively not compatible with a cat-5 ethernet network. If you plug it in, terrible things could happen to your equipment.

I have seen controllers that can be controlled by ethernet though... and it is actual ethernet. (But if it is sending DMX signal over that jack, then you are correct... it isn't ethernet.) ;)

If it does use ethernet, it can't be called DMX !!!

Controlled by ethernet... as in a small HTTP server embedded into the controller. Mostly used in architectural lighting. Heck... I even saw a really old one that could be controlled over the phone by connecting it to an RJ-11 line. Very limited capabilities, but it's out there.

...Then it isn't a "DMX interface" is it ? Its HTTP over ethernet, but it ain't DMX.

Ahh... yes... I just saw the controller he is talking about... never mind. Seeing as I usually use ION boards... I always forget about these cheap little things. ;)

I bow to your superior knowledge of all (other) things lighting, but I have designed and built DMX interface systems for laser lighting rigs, from the raw silicon, when DMX was little more than a twinkle in the ESTA standard makers eyes....So I knows it ain't ethernet !

The whole point of going for a cheap option like RJ45 is it allows you to make daisy chains VERY easily, and with a cheap crimping tool, over standard twisted pair cable, or, in a permanent installation, you get the whole theatre blitzed with a structured wiring system.

It tells you on the product pages to buy their splitter boxes, for 1.15 USD, to let you daisy chain them, without soldering.

You can even BUY premade CAT5 leads for pennies.

What controller is it, and what is the function of the port?

It is rare, but I have seen DMX controllers with a small HTTP server in them for controlling over ethernet. If that is the function of the port, then yes... you can use a switch. More common is that it uses a RJ45-DMX converter, in which case the answer is no, you can not because it is not TCP/IP based. (And you need a MAC address to use a switch.)

What i really need is a way to connect loads of these without soldering lots of rj45 jacks together

Don't bother soldering it... it will not work. You are thinking of analog... DMX and ethernet are digital. If you need to split the signal, you need an isolated splitter. If it's sending DMX over ethernet, good luck finding it... for DMX I've only seen 3-pin and 5-pin isolated splitters.

No, because these controllers are designed to have multiple controllers working on one system because each one has its own dmx address

More than likely you are supposed to daisy chain them... that's how most DMX works. What controller are you using? If I know exactly which one it is, I might be able to help you out more.

Just saw the one you are talking about... I am pretty sure you are supposed to daisy chain it.