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Wireless DMX - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can RC4 transceivers drive long DMX lines?

Question:

We will be doing a show outdoors where there will be no control over Cell Phone use, and several Marine bands are in use. What problems could arise from the use of the RC4 System? Do I have to worry about any interference? Also, I am planning on using the DMX Transceiver to start a DMX chain that will run for about 280 feet. Can the Transceiver handle that distance, and will I need a terminator at the end of the run? I am exploring the use of the RC4’s as opposed to a Long and winding run of DMX that I might have to put an Opto/Iso on. Thanks for any help you can give!

Answer:

Presuming you are using one of our 2.4GHz systems (RC4Magic, or a legacy RC4 system that has been upgraded), you will not suffer any problems from cellphones or marine radio. Although Bluetooth operates in the 2.4GHz band, so far we are unaware of any issues arising from this, either indoors or out. The RC4Magic system detects other rf traffic, and automatically avoids other devices that might be operating nearby.

RC4 DMX outputs are fully capable of driving a 4000-foot terminated line. There is no significant difference between our output and the output of a good quality lighting console. Regarding termination, all the usual rules apply. In general, a terminator is required at the end of any long run.

Wireless DMX provides ideal isolation. All the same benefits you get from using opto splitters are also obtained when you put a wireless link in the chain.

The maximum outdoor rf range of our regular RC4Magic system is somewhere between 200 and 300 feet — that’s real-world useable range, not exagerated “sales range”. If you need more, start by putting the units up high. The next step is to use external antennas (which requires a hardware upgrade). Directional high-gain antennas aimed at each other can get you to 600 feet easily, and thousands of feet with line-of-sight and careful aiming.

Hope that helps!

Jim
RC4

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Q: Does the RC4 have ethernet ports? Is it an ACN device?

RC4Magic does not provide ACN support, and we have not provided an RJ-45 connector for DMX over CAT-5. Our electronics currently meet DMX-512/1990 (4uSec), and are DMX-512A ready, via standard 5-pin XLR connections. In the future we will be adding Remote Device Management functions (RDM) using Enhanced DMX as outlined in American National Standard E1.11 – 2004.

If there is enough demand from the marketplace, we will add connectors for DMX over CAT-5 in a future circuit-board revision. Please let us know if we should be making this a priority.

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