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  • XLR vs. DMX

    Okay so a few weeks ago I was doing some research into the differences between a DMX and XLR cable. From what I found it looks as though the only difference is that on an XLR the ground pin is also connected to the outer ring and the DMX is not. Is this correct? And if so, could you make a DMX cable from an XLR by simply removing this connection?

  • #2
    No they are actually different types of cable.You Can use one for the other just fine usually for short DMX runs.
    But the DMX cable has a different capacitance than a mic cable so the you don't have data relections down line that would screw up the information that you are send to your fixtures.
    That is how I understand it anyways.
    There's nothing to see here. It's another day in IDAHO!!!

    My bands Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/stiff.richard


    • #3
      The cable is actually different - the impedance of DMX cable is actually 110 ohms.

      As mentioned above, you can use mic cable for very short runs, but this should only be a temporary remedy - you should get real DMX cable.
      Professional Moving Light Technician and Lighting Director
      Author of the Basic Band Lighting Guide


      • #4
        Ah, okay. Thanks bigjd and soundlight. I'm glad I asked this question before chopping up my XLR's


        • #5
          You can still make XLR cables, if it makes sense because you have the parts/skills. I've used cat5 and xlrs for some pretty long runs and had it work well.
          My Business: Media Production in the Texas Hill Country


          • #6
            What type of cable is tipically required for DMX cables for Do-it-yourselfers? Still use standard 3pin XLR connectors?
            Searchin for the sound..........


            • #7
              You can use the same XLR connectors as you use for audio cables, but the cable itself has to be 110 ohms, either specifically DMX or AES/digital cable. You can get bulk cable by the reel from many online shops.
              I've had good results with Accu-cable (think it's Elation/American DJs brand) and a newer manufacturer called MI-TEE cable. With the MI-TEE cables, they are inexpensive enough that it's actually a better deal just to buy the cables pre-made than to spend the time getting the separate parts and assembling myself.
              Matt Melberg
              Band Lighting Geek
              The Potentials - http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/...50096380055051