DMX512 Common non-compliant connectors

- Sep 03, 2017 -

Common non-compliant connectors

In the early days of digital lighting control, several equipment manufacturers (eg Martin Professional) employed various different connectors and pinouts for their proprietary digital control signals.
The most common of these was the three-pin XLR connector (also called cannon jack in some countries).

When DMX512 was ratified, many of these manufacturers then issued firmware updates to enable the use of DMX512 control on their existing equipment by the use of a simple adapter to and from the standard 5-pin XLR style connector.

As the electrical specification currently only defines a purpose for a single wire pair, some equipment manufacturers continue to use it. Such equipment is not compliant with the DMX standard, but may be sufficiently compatible for operation using simple adapters.
Note: There is a risk of equipment damage if 3-pin XLR audio and DMX signals are plugged into each other.

XLR-3 pinout

Note: This connector is prohibited by section 7 of ANSI E1.11 - 2008.

Data 1+ and - are often swapped over. The most commonly encountered pinout is given first.

  1. Ground

  2. Data 1- or 1+ (Primary Data Link)

  3. Data 1+ or 1- (Primary Data Link)

Other RJ-45 pinouts

Color Kinetics has their own version of the RJ-45 connector for DMX, which predates the 2008 official inclusion in the DMX512 standard. The pinout specifically for Color Kinetics LED lighting products is:

  1. Data 1-

  2. Data 1+

  3. Shield

  4. Optional

  5. Optional

  6. Optional

  7. Optional

  8. Optional

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