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An Introduction to Making Your Own DMX 512 Cables


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Sometimes the best way to save money is by doing it yourself.  Let's look at this approach to DMX 512 cabling for your DJ lighting or band lighting system.

DMX 512 Cable

The Options

There are many options for off the shelf DMX 512 cables for lighting systems.  Cables usually come in lengths from 3 feet to 100 feet and sometimes longer.  If you are outfitting a larger system, purchasing a large number of cables gets pricey pretty quick. One of the advantages to making your own is since you are supplying the labor, cost can be reduced substantially.

Making Cables

To make cables, first you will need what is called bulk cable. It is usually sold in reels of 250, 500 or 1000 feet.  Then you will need your connectors.  Most DJ level DMX 512 gear uses 3 pin XLR connectors, and higher end fixtures almost always employ 5 pin XLRs.  You next step is to grab a soldering iron and solder suitable for making cables.  We will not go into detail on cable construction here, but it can take a little practice to get right, but the time spent will be worth it in the long run due to the cost savings of making your own.

Custom Lengths - Another Advantage

Another advantage to doing it yourself is you can customize lengths to suit the installation or application at hand.  Fixture to fixture jumps on a truss seldom get over 2 feet.  The reduced amount of cable can add up to weight savings and a cleaner look.

Time Vs Money

The only disadvantage is time.  If you have a busy schedule, and have the budget, off the shelf can make sense to save precious time.  As with many aspects of life, it comes down to a trade off between money and time!

What are the key takeaways from this article:

  • Making your own DMX 512 Cables can save money
  • Takes practice, but worth it in long run
  • Customizable to save weight and maintain a cleaner look

Performance LED lighting carries the fixtures you need for a amazing light show. If you need assistance with selecting a system or fixtures, drop us a line and we would be more than happy to help. Send us an email on your LED Lighting needs.


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