DMX: Scenic communication protocol. Dive into the magic wire...

By strawdog, on 2015-02-25 18:45:00 -0500 EST

Whether to move, turn, send a picture or change color, all fixtures and other gadgets receive their orders through the protocol ANSI E1.11 - 2008 USITT DMX512-A. I invite you to build your “DMX” interface with an Arduino controller, discover lighting control programs and discuss all issues around the DMX myths.

The invitation is for all the curious, potential users, artists, designers, stage technicians, designers and other techie!

Whether you have a possible project or the installation of your biggest life contract in lighting control, come live and discuss what DMX communication standard. Camaraderie and learning are the foundation of this meeting.

When: Saturday, March 7, 13 h 30
Where: at Foulab (999 du Collège, suite 33B, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H4C 2S3)
Reserve: Please reserve with dmx7mars (at) as the number of places is limited
Price: A $10 donation to the lab is suggested


  • Interface creation: Transmitter only (without programming)

    • Materials:
      • 1 x Arduino or USB serial interface,
      • 1 x 75176 or Max485,
      • 1 x 100 ohms,
      • assembly plate.
      • Computer to host the control program. (PC, Mac or Linux)

  • DMX reading (might be interesting to make a tool.)

    • Materials :
      • 1 x Arduino Uno or Pro mini,
      • 1 x 75176 or Max485,
      • 1 x 100 ohms,
      • assembly plate and some wires.

  • Software Installation:

    • Take a tour of selected software
      • Q light + (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux)
      • Martin M-PC
      • Other

  • Discussion of the protocol and test with electronic equipment (scope).

    • Cabling test
      • Type (zipcord, micro, cat5, cat6, various, recommended)
      • Length (short, long and very long)
      • Type variation on same length
      • Configuration test (to understand, should do or should not do)
      • Y, star configuration…
      • With and without terminator (100 ohms)
      • With Opto-isolater

If several people are interested, a group for Arduino (or copy) purchasing could be created.
I will have some parts (75176 mainly) for sale.

A list of resources (circuit, interface and program) is available on my website.