Q - Would this unit by chance address the OLDER Litetronics dimmer protocol? I have been told that there is a difference with the newer that is more compatible with the other brands?
A - The difference is fairly large. Most
multiplex dimmer packs send power back up the mic. cable to the
controller as +15 volts DC. Older Lightronics dimmer packs send 12
volts AC. The circuitry within the DMX-lator II is designed for the DC
voltage. It cannot generate the AC required to power an older
Lightronics controller. If sufficient demand develops (send me an e-mail), I'll
develop an old-Lightronics version.
Q - I have an NSI controller with both microplex and DMX-512 outputs and want to simplify my cabling by running just the microplex cable to the stage and converting to DMX-512 there. Is this the unit I need?
A - Yes,
but... Because microplex is an analog system, it is more sensitive to
noise than DMX-512. You'd be better served by running DMX-512 to
the stage, and using the DMX-lator I (order # 512264m) to translate to
microplex at the stage. Also, if response is a consideration,
DMX-512 is inherently much faster than microplex. You probably
haven't noticed it because when an NSI board is generating both
protocols, it slows the DMX-512 output to match the microplex
output. When you go into the board's set-up page and turn off the
microplex output, the DMX-512 output runs at full speed.
Q - I currently have a James Lighting footcontroller/dimmer. I want to use the MUX-64 Aux and control either DMX or NSI microplex dimmer packs. How would this converter help me?
A - The DMX-lator II will allow you to operate DMX-512 packs. To operate NSI microplex packs from your James controller, just plug them in. Your MUX-64 controller is 100% compatible with NSI microplex dimmer packs.
Q- I want to add some intelligent fixtures (scanners) to my MUX-64 system. Will this gadget let me do it?
A - Sort-of, but
not very well. It's an application for which the DMX-lator II was
not intended. Most MUX-64, microplex and ultraplex boards were
designed before intelligent effects were invented. Their ability
to control movers is severely limited. For example, most such
boards only chase "flashes" or "bumps," - turning specific channels
full-on or full-off. This isn't the way you want to control the
mirror on a scanner. Also, as I mentioned before, the analog
multiplex systems are susceptible to noise. A minor blip that
wouldn't be noticeable in the intensity of a par fixture can cause the
mirror on a typical scanner to twitch in a most-annoying manner.
If there are intelligent fixtures in your future, I'd strongly
recommend replacing your board with one designed to control them with a
native DMX-512 output, then using the DMX-lator I (order # 512264) to
let it control your existing dimmer packs.
Q - Will this product allow my dmx light board to control Yorkville 304 dimmer-bars?
A - This one will not, but I'm working on a unit
that will. Yorkville sees the need for such a converter and has
provided me with information on their proprietary protocol. Once I
release my converter, Yorkville will help me distribute it through
their dealer network. Watch for the new product announcement on this
Q - I am trying to figure out how many of these would be needed for a system. Assume I have 5 DMX-512 dimmer packs. Would conversion require one box for each dim pack?
A - One DMX-lator II (order #642512) is good for
up to 16 four-channel DMX-512
dimmer packs (64 channels).
Q - I've got an NSI NRD 8000 dimmer pack that I want to control using some custom software that I am writing. I am trying to get some info on the Microplex protocol, and I saw your protocol converter. Did you get any info on Microplex that you would be willing to share?
A - See my article on Analog Multiplex systems.