DMX Checklist

Troubleshooting your DMX set-up.

If a DMX problem arises, the solution is sometimes a simple overlooked item. Please look over the general checklist below before submitting a Field Service Support Request.

Are you using the proper Cabling/Wiring?

To ensure proper signal strength, 120-OHM shielded twisted-pair or Cat-5 to Cat-6 UTP cables are required.

Are you wiring to the DMX512 Standard?

Daisy-chain is the proper method of connecting DMX fixtures and controllers. With each fixture having an input and output, consider the signal as going straight-through from fixture-to- fixture. With the use of a DMX splitter, you can branch the daisy-chain, otherwise there will be electrical reflections and issues within the system.

Use DMX Splitters when needed.

If you need to go in multiple directions, use a quality DMX splitter. Without the use of a DMX splitter your signal will be weak to any branches on your topology. Remember to properly terminate your run.

Limit the number of devices on your DMX Loop.

The DMX standard for a single DMX Loop is 32 fixtures. The use of more than 5 fixtures will require a DMX splitter.

Limit the length of your wiring.

Our recommendation for wiring distance is an approximate length of 800 feet to the last fixture per run. The use of a DMX splitter will be required to increase the overall wiring distance.

Properly Terminate the last fixture on your DMX Loop.

Every DMX run should be properly terminated with a single 120-OHM (1-WATT) resistor.  A DMX signal that reaches the end of the loop that isn’t terminated can bounce the signal back causing interference and result to flickering lights and loss of control.

Use a DMX Tester.

Use a DMX tester to analyze the signal at the far end of every DMX run. We recommend DMXcat for RDM addressing, monitoring, and testing.

Check your cables and connectors.

Check all DMX cables for cracks or breaks, including any solder joints. Also check connectors and terminators for cracks or a loose fit.

Check sources of electrical noise.

Keep unshielded cables clear from electrical motors or equipment that can create electrical noise or interrupt the DMX signal.

Is there a bad fixture?

Check your fixtures. It is possible for a damaged fixture to introduce noise or a bad signal into the DMX run. Try temporarily removing a fixture out of your DMX chain to see if problems disappear.


For existing customers that need additional troubleshooting support for their Insight Lighting products, please fill-out our Field Service Request form.