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Thread: DMX Terminator Plug

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Default DMX Terminator Plug

    One of my pleasures during lockdown is dusting off some old lighting and having some fun using them.

    What's the point/use of a DMX terminator plug? I've heard of people using them but have never bothered?

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by East Anglian Discos View Post
    One of my pleasures during lockdown is dusting off some old lighting and having some fun using them.

    What's the point/use of a DMX terminator plug? I've heard of people using them but have never bothered?

    Thanks
    For DJ setups they aren't necessary but for big productions they are needed.

  3. #3

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    With shorter cable runs and DMX data cable, they're not necessary. With runs of 50m or more or runs with poor quality or damaged cable, they're necessary or you'll see signal stutter or loss.
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  4. #4

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    Many thanks for your help

  5. #5
    daba's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by East Anglian Discos View Post
    Many thanks for your help
    Saying that they are not needed for small set-ups is a bit like saying you don't need brakes on your car if you drive slowly.

    All data transmission systems require proper termination at the extreme end. What happens without it is the signal (voltage pulses) has nowhere to go, and will reflect backwards along the signal cable. These voltage pulses get "mixed" with the incoming data, causing signal degradation and corruption.

    This section of a Wiki article explains why reflections occur, and they will occur on any length transmission line.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reflec...n_circuit_line

    Termination plugs can be bought quite cheaply on places like eBay, or you can easily make one yourself with a spare plug and a 120 ohm (0.5W) resistor soldered across pins 2 and 3. You can even add the termination resistor to the last DMX cable's female socket, but mark it up as "the special one", and only use it as the end of line cable.

    Some DMX fixtures may have a switch to select the fixture as the "last" on the daisy-chain, and switches in a termination resistor in the fixture. Check that this is not switched ON on mid-line fixtures.

    Some fixtures claim to be "Auto-Terminating", possibly by detection of there being no plug inserted into the DMX OUT socket, or even by detection of reflected signals, but it will do no harm to add a terminator anyway.

  6. #6

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    Feb 2015
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    I've always used a DMX terminator.

    I noticed some sporadic flickering on my setup when I didn't have one. So I bought one, and have used it ever since, and never had a problem.

    One of those things that for a few quid has given me piece of mind.

    I don't use Master/Slave - I use full DMX control via Freestyler software.

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