If you are at all familiar with DMX Control, you know that it is a wonderful system, which allows you to control various light fixtures. There are multiple factors to ensure DMX signal is distributed properly throughout your setup, but one of the most important is DMX Addressing. Most DMX Controllers are equipped with a Dip Switch, which is where you set your DMX Address. You have Dip Switch Numbers 1-10 to choose from, and DMX Channel values are given to the numbers through binary code. I know it may sound complex, but we’re going to make it as simple, yet informative, as possible!
Choosing the Right Dip Switch Number
Each Dip Switch Number is assigned a DMX Channel value through binary code. We won’t get into the math behind it right now, but we’ve created a table to easily portray the relationship between each Dip Switch Number and its DMX Channel value.
If you’re wondering what happened to Dip Switch Number 10, don’t worry. Dip Switch 10 is used primarily for testing, and does not have a value. With DMX Addressing, you will only use numbers 1-9.
Setting your DMX Address
When you set the starting DMX address of a given light fixture, you are essentially setting the starting point of the DMX signal for said fixture. Within a single DMX Universe, you have a total of 512 Channels. Once you’ve set your first fixture (which should be set to “Address 001”) on your DMX Controller, you must then calculate how many channels are being taken up, and set the second light fixture at the next available DMX Channel.
Let’s say you are trying to set up RGB LED Light Strips with an LED-CON2-R2; an RGB LED Strip requires a total of 3 DMX Channels (one channel for red, one channel for green, and another for blue). You would set your first RGB LED Strip to “Address 001”, by flipping Dip 1 “ON”. As we just said, that particular light fixture will take up 3 DMX Channels, therefore our next RGB LED Strip will begin on DMX Channel 4. If you take a look at that table above, you will see that the Dip Switch Number 3 is equivalent to DMX Channel 4, and you will flip that switch to “ON”. It will look similar to this:
DMX Dip Switch Calculators
Are you absolutely overwhelmed by the idea of DMX Address values and Dip Switches? Relax, you are far from alone. For that reason, companies have created some amazing FREE tools to calculate Dip Switch combinations for any given DMX Value!
If you happen to have an iPhone or iPad, there is a wonderful App named “DMX Dip”. If you type those exact words in the App Store Search, it should be the first suggestion.
Not an Apple person? Not a problem! Sabre Technology has provided an equally functional DMX Dip Switch Calculator, which can be found LED-CON-RGBA-S, and many lighting fixtures, have a digital display, in which you only have to scroll up and down and set your desired starting DMX Channel.