DMX Cables - 5pin XLR... only 3 wires?!? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Photon Management

Photon Management
Shine an ever-loving light on you.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 16th, 2014, 03:42 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 937
DMX Cables - 5pin XLR... only 3 wires?!?

Anyone know about DMX cables? (The 5pin XLR cables used for controlling lights.)

I use a Datavideo switcher (HS-2000) that uses those cables for the headsets / tally.

We ordered a few Hosa 5 pin XLR cables from B&H, but they only have 3 wires in them. (See attached photo.)

Obviously they don't work with the switcher as the switcher needs 5 wires for the headsets / tally. At a shoot with long cable runs I borrowed a DMX cable on a multi cam shoot from an AV / lighting tech & everything worked perfectly.

This seems like they're bad cables. Unless, does DMX use a 5 pin connector, but only 3 wires? It doesn't seem to make sense that you'd have empty pins with no wires connected to them.
Attached Thumbnails
DMX Cables - 5pin XLR... only 3 wires?!?-blxtyhvcaaip3z5.jpg  
__________________
Nothing says you're a serious video maker like S-VHS
Zach Love is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 17th, 2014, 12:36 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 937
Re: DMX Cables - 5pin XLR... only 3 wires?!?

Just following up in case anyone else stumbles across this post.

So the official spec of DMX cables is that they only use pins 1-3 & that pins 4 & 5 don't do anything. So some manufactures use 3 wire cable to save on costs (or make more profit). Higher quality cables use 5 wire cable (or two sets of pairs & a shielding) mostly in case pins 4 & 5 get used for something down the line.

It seems like the reasoning for using 5 pin connectors when DMX only needs 3 of them, is that the designers didn't want lighting cables to get confused with audio cables. That being said, there are people that use 3 pin XLR cables, the same ones used for audio, as their DMX cables, because you only need 3 wires for the functions of DMX.

So now, for my office, we just need to find some DMX cables that have 5 wires & something soldered to all of the pins. Once we find that, we'll have some extra cables for headsets & tally lights.
__________________
Nothing says you're a serious video maker like S-VHS
Zach Love is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2014, 11:39 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia (formerly Winnipeg, Manitoba) Canada
Posts: 4,087
Re: DMX Cables - 5pin XLR... only 3 wires?!?

Good catch, Zach.

I had been looking at a similar setup with the Datavideo comm system last year and was looking at DMX cables as a possibility.

Then I "got wise" and said if I want comms, I'll just buy ClearCom or Telex and quit playing with toys. Especially after wasting 3 days emailing back and forth with Datavideo support about their 12v capabilities over the multi-cable...
__________________
Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster
www.roaddogmedia.ca Blog: http://roaddogmedia.wordpress.com/
Shaun Roemich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 21st, 2014, 01:21 PM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,267
Re: DMX Cables - 5pin XLR... only 3 wires?!?

Not too surprising. Similar to many connectors with more than 2 wires used. 4 pin power XLR only uses 2 out of 4 pins. As you mentioned..One of the reasons they use extra pins is to prevent you from plugging into a cord that is plugged into something other than DMX. If they used a 3 pin XLR you might plug into the audio board and cause problems you weren't expecting.
Daniel Epstein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 21st, 2014, 07:37 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 27
Re: DMX Cables - 5pin XLR... only 3 wires?!?

Hi there , You can use any XLR Microphone cable as a dmx cable providng the dmx device only has the standard 3 pin connection obviously , but my point is you do not need the extra 2 pins or wires, I run a light show with 36 fixtures all dmx chained to gather with microphone cables, some of the lights are 8 channel lights and I have never had a hiccup, hope that helps

Paul
Paul Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 22nd, 2014, 03:12 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia (formerly Winnipeg, Manitoba) Canada
Posts: 4,087
Re: DMX Cables - 5pin XLR... only 3 wires?!?

Paul, you missed the point. The Datavideo intercom system the OP was hoping to extend is a 5-wire XLR system with the same XLR ends as a DMX but requires 5 wires.
__________________
Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster
www.roaddogmedia.ca Blog: http://roaddogmedia.wordpress.com/
Shaun Roemich is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Photon Management

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:13 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network