﻿ Calculating DMX Channels
 Calculating DMX Channels Print  Previous  Next
 This tutorial shows you how to calculate how many DMX channels will be needed in a project.   Date: 08/2014   Introduction Nowadays, LED installations are getting bigger and bigger and it is common to control a lot of LED DMX fixtures. Especially, when you want to control a project with MADRIX, it is useful to know how many DMX channels will be controlled in total.   DMX Channels And DMX Universe 1 DMX universe includes 512 DMX channels. If you need more channels, it is necessary to use additional universes. After your calculations, you will know two numbers: 1) the total number of DMX channels and 2) the equivalent number of DMX universes, which usually is also the number of required DMX lines.   Example 1 How many RGB 1-pixel fixtures can be controlled with 1 DMX universe? 1 DMX universe contains a maximum of 512 DMX channels. A normal RGB 1-pixel fixture uses 3 color channels to mix all other colors. These color channels are Red, Green, and Blue. At the same time this means that such a fixture usually requires 3 control channels (one control channel for each color channel). Control Channels Per Fixture: 1 pixel * 3 color channels = 3 control channels per fixture Calculation: 512 DMX channels / 3 control channels = 170.66667 fixtures per universe Now, we need to round that number down to 170. 170 fixtures * 3 control channels = 510 DMX channels When we use 170 RGB 1-pixel fixtures, channel 511 and channel 512 would still be unused. Can we fit fixture #171 in there with its first two channels? The answer is no, we cannot. If a fixture is included in a universe, normally the full fixture needs to be able to fit into that universe. Because of this, channel 511 and channel 512 are usually not used in case of RGB 1-pixel fixtures. Fixture #171 would not fit fully into the universe anymore. Number Of DMX Universes: From the beginning we knew that we only wanted to use 1 universe. 510 control channels / 512 DMX channels per universe = 0.99 universe = 1 universe. We need to round that number because there are only complete DMX universes. Result: That means you can control a maximum of 170 RGB 1-pixel fixtures (if each fixture needs 3 control channels).   Example 2 How many RGBW 1-pixel fixtures can be controlled with 2 DMX universes? A normal RGBW 1-pixel fixture uses 4 color channels to mix all other colors. These color channels are Red, Green, Blue, and White. Control Channels Per Fixture: 1 pixel * 4 color channels = 4 control channels per fixture Available DMX Channels: 2 universes * 512 channels per universe = 1024 available channels Calculation: 1024 available channels / 4 control channels = 256 fixtures in total 256 total fixtures / 2 available universes = 128 fixtures per universe Number Of DMX Universes: 2 universes Result: You can control a maximum of 256 RGBW 1-pixel fixtures (if each fixture needs 4 control channels).   Example 3 You might want to use 300 pieces of RGB LED tubes. Each tube features 16 pixels. How many DMX channels will be needed? Control Channels Per Fixture: 16 pixels * 3 color channels = 48 control channels per fixture Calculation: 48 control channels * 300 pieces = 14,400 DMX channels in total Number Of DMX Universes: 14,400 DMX channels / 512 channels per universe = 28.125 universes = 29 universes Result: You will 14,440 DMX channels / 29 DMX universes for such an installation.   Example 4 You might want to use 1) 100 pieces of 32-pixel RGB LED tubes as well as 2) 200 pieces of 16-pixel RGBW LED tubes. How many DMX channels will be needed? Control Channels Per Fixture: 1) 32 pixels * 3 color channels = 96 control channels per fixture 2) 16 pixels * 4 color channels = 64 control channels per fixture Calculation: 1) 96 control channels * 100 pieces = 9,600 DMX channels 2) 64 control channels * 200 pieces = 12,800 DMX channels 3) 9,600 DMX channels + 12,800 DMX channels = 22,400 DMX channels in total Number Of DMX Universes: 22,400 DMX channels / 512 channels per universe = 43.75 universes = 44 universes   Result: You will 22,400 DMX channels / 44 DMX universes for such an installation.   Congratulations! The examples above should have shown you the basic calculations when it comes to the total number of required DMX channels.

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