DMX-512 Connector Pinouts

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Over the years, several connector types have been used for DMX based lighting fixtures and dimmer. The original standard called for use the of 5-pin XLR connectors, however several fixture manufacturers chose to use 3-pin XLR connectors because they were less expensive and easier to find. In recent years, some fixtures (typically RGB type LED fixtrues) have begun to use RJ45 jacks, because they're smaller and even less expensive.

Standard 5-pin XLR Configuration

Standard DMX-512 devices use 5-pin XLR jacks. A Male XLR is a device's input and a Female XLR is a device's output. They are wired as follows:

5-pin XLR
Signal
Pin 1
Signal Common
Pin 2
DMX Data -
Pin 3
DMX Data +
Pin 4
Auxiliary Data -
Pin 5
Auxiliary Data +

NOTE: Only a few legacy DMX products that supply feedback to the lighting console use pins 4 and 5. These products include IPS brand dimmers and possibly others. The vast majority of installations do not bother to electrically connect anything to pins 4 and 5. Also, products that use RDM protocol do not need Pins 4 and 5 connected.

Optional 3-pin XLR Configuration

Some DMX equipment uses 3-pin XLR jacks. They are wired as follows:

3-pin XLR
Signal
Pin 1
Signal Common
Pin 2
DMX Data -
Pin 3
DMX Data +

Non-Standard 3-pin XLR Configuration

Some older 3-pin fixtures from Martin Professional are wired with pins 2 and 3 reversed from the "standard" configuration.

Reversed 3-pin XLR
Signal
Pin 1
Signal Common
Pin 2
DMX Data +
Pin 3
DMX Data -

Standard RJ45 Configuration

High-density LED and some Architectural DMX-512 products use RJ45 jacks. If they follow the accepted ESTA standard, they are wired as follows:

RJ45 Jack
CAT5 Color Code
ESTA Standard Signal
Pin 1
White/OrangeDMX Data +
Pin 2
Orange
DMX Data -
Pin 3
White/Green
Alternate Data +
Pin 4Blue
n/c
Pin 5White/Blue
n/c
Pin 6
Green
Alternate Data -
Pin 7
White/Brown
DMX Ground
Pin 8Brown
Alternate Ground

NOTE: Fixtures from Color Kinetics do not follow this wiring standard.

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