USBDMX dongle (FTDI USB DMX)
The USBDMX dongle is a complete, self-powered, isolated USB to DMX interface, compatible with Enttec Open DMX and Open RDM.
- Offers 1kV galvanic isolation
- No ground loops and better SNR
- 3-pin XLR female connector (optional 5-pin)
- 250 kbit data rate, 512 channels
- USB 1.1/2.0 compatible, recommended USB 2.0 full speed host
- Works under Linux, Mac OS X (above 10.9), Windows (7, 8, 8.1 and 10)
- Legacy drivers (for Windows 98, 2000, XP and Vista) available
- Supported by third-party DMX controller tools (as Enttec Open DMX USB) in following software suites: DMXControl 2 and 3, Freestyler DMX, Madrix, PC_DIMMER, Track Wizard, Venue Magic Classic, Vixen Lightning, Q Light Controller (QLC)
Short about lighting control
A lighting rig consists of three parts.
- a controller (a lighting desk or a software with proper interface like this USBDMX)
- connectors, cables, converters, spliters
- fixtures (lights, moving heads ...)
DMX — or more specifically DMX512 — is a standard for communication over cables for controling stage equipment. Suitable cables are 110 ohm twisted pair with a shielding acting as a ground with 3 or 5 pin XLR cables on each end. Fixtures are daisy-chained to make a DMX network. This network is referred as DMX universe.
The 512 after the DMX stands for the number of channels one DMX network can handle. One DMX channel controls one parameter, e.g. the intensity of a red light, and is represented by 8-bit value, so the range of intensity is from 0 to 255.
Some fixtures may be using several channels to control various parameters like pan, tilt, red, green, blue, but there are things like single color LED strips with dimmers which can be controlled by a single DMX channel. Each fixture has a preset address, which corresponds to the first channel of DMX data (from 1 to 512) that it is interested in.