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. This could damage a non-Lightronics controller. There is a difference in the data protocol as well. I've had enough requests for old-Lightronics that I've modified the standard version of the DMX-lator I to automatically sense the power-supply difference and switch to the old Lightronics protocol. Order # 512264 (no suffix).
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 - It won't. It converts DMX-512 signals to MUX-64. To convert MUX-64 to DMX-512, you need the DMX-lator II, part number 642512. Or you can contact James Lighting and send your controller back for the DMX-512 upgrade. 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 - 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 website.
Q - I am trying to figure out how many of these would be needed for a system. Assume I have 5 NSI ND 4600 Dimmer Packs. Would conversion to DMX require one box for each dim pack?
A - One DMX-lator I (order #512264M) is good for up to 32 newer (microplex-128) NSI ND-4600 dimmer packs. For older (microplex-64) NSI dimmer packs, order #512264 (no suffix) for up to 16 dimmer packs per converter. The difference is in the number of addresses the newer and older packs can decode. Each version translates for the maximum number of dimmers (32, 40, 64 or 128) a given variation of the protocol can handle.
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.
Q - I tried a Lightronics TX-20 to translate for my ETA Ultraplex dimmers. It didn't work. How is the DMX-lator I different?
A - The TX-20 is strictly microplex-128. Its output is always 128 channels, even if the incoming DMX signal is fewer. ETA and Sunn dimmer packs can only decode 32 addresses and misbehave if they see more. Basically, they assume they'll never see more than 32 channels. If they do, they try to start over, so dimmer 1 responds to fader 1, as it should, but when the address count goes to 33, the counter in the dimmer pack starts over and dimmer 1 tries to respond to fader 33... and again to faders 65 and 97, if your board puts out that many channels. Even if the board doesn't, the TX-20 does... and channels that don't receive DMX-512 data are sent a value of zero, or black-out, so even if the DMX board is only producing 24 channels of data, the TX-20 is sending 128. Dimmer 1 is seeing one valid fader value and four blackouts. The ETA/Sunn version of the DMX-lator I (order # 512264S) has its output limited to 32 channels to avoid confusing the ultraplex address decoders.