Why are there so many DIY Led projects out there, but almost none of them support the “industry standart” DMX512? Brian and myself had a little conversation about this topic and I thought why not write down the key points?
I never worked with DMX512, however my (theoretical) opinion about the advantages of DMX512:
- A rugged XLR connector, stage proof
- Symmetric signal transfer, high tolerance for electromagnetic faults
- A lot of input and output devices support DMX512
Disadvantages of DMX:
- Expensive for what it provides
- There is no standard how to transmit data from the computer to the USB-to-DMX adapter, each manufacturer has a custom solution/protocol.
I think the lack of a standard how to transfer data from the computer to the USB DMX512 controller is the real shopstopper. No one will do the boring and error prone job and adding multiple (and expensive) USB to DMX512 adapter to an OpenSource project. Another important point is, most DIY projects doesn’t need rugged mechanical connectors, they are installed somewhere at home.
Now take the best of the two worlds, favorable price, interoperable and easy to integrate/standard? I think ART-NET is the solution here. Art-Net is basically DMX over Ethernet, the protocol is open and license free.
If you need the rugged connector and/or want to use your existing DMX512 gear use a Art-Net to DMX converter. They are not really cheap but they save you a lot of suffering.
What do you think about this?