View Full Version : Running DMX for Uplighting & Effects

03-12-2012, 10:25 PM
Planning ahead for an upcoming event and trying to figure out the easiest and best way to run DMX cables. Sorry about the crude pictures, all I have is Paint on the DJ machine.

Here is a picture of the event space. The dance floor is actually 24 x 24. As you can see I plan on having 3 LED pars on each side of the dancefloor uplighting the walls, they will probably be farther apart and farther from the dancefloor than pictured. I also have at least 4 dmx effect lights on a truss (2 Martin SCX 500's, 1 revo 4, 1 ADJ Megapixel).

The first way I know that will work is by starting my dmx lights on the truss, going to pars on one side of the floor, and then going to pars on the other. The problem with this method is the stupid cord in front of the dance floor that will be 30-40 feet in length.
Another way I am thinking of doing it is to skip some lights and come back on others like the next picture:
Finally, in an ideal world I think I would use a splitter like in the next picture:

So, what is the best way to run these lights? Do any of the scenarios present problems for DMX and the way DMX works? I looked for a splitter and found the enttec model for $100. I really like the looks of this simple splitter but I can't find it for sale in the United States: http://www.eurobaltronics.com/eng/products/jb-mini-dmx-splitter.html

Any suggestions besides just going wireless?

03-12-2012, 11:44 PM
Really long runs, or runs with a lot of fixtures, can get squirrely. I'd get one of the splitters. I'm using the Entech one myself and glad I am whenever I do a more complex setup.

Not having to daisy-chain also saves wire.

I think I ordered it from the Entech website, and it shipped from inside the US.

03-12-2012, 11:57 PM
Yikes, another 100 bucks! This DMX thing is adding up quickly :)

So if I used the Enttec would you buy a 5-pin to 3-pin adapter and use three of the four outputs in my setup (1 to left side of dance floor, one to right, and one to truss lights) like:

Also, how does this change my DMX programming in freestyler as far as channels go, or will that not matter if I just set them correctly on the back of the units and it coincides in freestyler?

Thanks again for all the help.

03-13-2012, 07:14 AM
Splitters are totally transparent, they change nothing as far as programming. The lights behave as if it's one long daisy chain, but problems like interference or rouge fixtures are limited to one 'leg' if they occur.

03-13-2012, 12:09 PM
For around $130, there is the Chauvet Splitter:


They order in which your fixtures are hooked up has absolutely no effect on programming. The DMX channel that you set your fixture too determines that.

03-13-2012, 12:20 PM
It costs a little more ,but you could also look into Wireless DMX. If you used a Blizzard Lightcaster, it has a through, so you can go up to your truss. Then use 2 wireless receivers, one at each wall to run each of those chains. It saves a lot of time and wire.

03-13-2012, 01:11 PM
Wireless would be nice, but the cost is just too much right now.

Why would you go with the lightcaster over the wipack/wicicle setup?

Couldn't I just put one of the transmitters in the out of the last fixture on my truss?

03-13-2012, 01:14 PM
I think I see what your saying. I could get 1 lightcaster and 2 receivers.

$170 for lightcaster, $200 for receivers? $370...ouch

3 receiver/transmitters would only be $300

03-14-2012, 08:49 PM
A DMX splitter is almost fool proof. Wireless can sometimes be problematic.

03-14-2012, 11:22 PM
I agree with bill 100% DMx/opti splitter works wonders