We are in the process of making the RJ-45 connector the standard data connector in interior Martin Architectural products. This is because most electrical installers are well familiar with this type of connector as well as the CAT5 cable, and have easy access to them. Furthermore, the RJ-45 connector´s relatively small size gives us more freedom in product design. The RJ-45 connector is described in the DMX-512A standard and is fully compliant.

Obviously, the transition from XLR to RJ-45 may create some initial inconvenience, but the long term advantages will be significant. Most future interior Martin Architectural products will from now on only carry the RJ-45 connector.

The following is an overview of the Martin Architectural interior products and the featured DMX connectors.

Product typeXLRRJ-45
MiniMAC MaestroYesNo 
Fibersource seriesYes No 
Alien 05 seriesYes Yes
Alien 02 seriesYesYes
Imager series NoYes
Cyclo DMX series NoYes

In many installations it is possible to use either Alien 05 or Alien 02 products to convert from one connector type to the other, as these products feature both types. Never use both the XLR-output and the RJ-45 output at the same time, as this will split the DMX link into two branches and cause data transmission problems.

XLR to RJ-45 Adaptors are available as accessories:

  • XLR 3 pole Female to RJ45: P/N 11840086
  • XLR 3 pole Male to RJ45: P/N 11840087

It is still very important to terminate the link at the last fixture on the line. We offer the following termination accessories:

  • Termination Plug RJ-45:P/N 91613028
  • Termination Plug XLR, male: P/N 91613017

The 1998 ESTA/USITT draft DMX 512 standard gives the following advice in connection with choice of cable for DMX data transmission:

The data transmission rate (250 kbits/s) used by DMX512 requires the selection of a cable which does not significantly distort the signal or give rise to spurious signal reflections. Cables intended for use with audio systems (microphone cables), while having the convenience of flexibility and availability, have undesirably high capacitance and incorrect characteristic impedance; at DMX512 data rates this will give rise to bit time distortion and signal reflections/overshoot.

Cabling systems shall provide a balanced, nominal 120 ohm terminated transmission line, and be made of cables with a characteristic impedance in the range 100-120 ohms.

Note: Mixing cables of different impedances and other characteristics not isolated by buffers or other processing devices may affect system reliability.

Always use solid or stranded shielded-twisted pair/foiled twisted pair (STP/FTP), 100 or 120 ohm cables that conform to ISO IEC 11801 category 5 or higher with RJ-45 connectors wired as follows:

PairWire #ColorFunctionDMX512 Pin
Pair 21white / orange data 1 + Pin 3
2orangedata 1 - Pin 2
Pair 33white / greendata 2 + Pin 5
4greendata 2 - Pin 4
Pair 15 blueNot assigned-
6 white / blue Not assigned-
Pair 4 7 white / brownSignal CommonPin 1
8brown Signal CommonPin 1

The minimum suitable wire size is 0.2 mm2 (24 AWG) for runs up to 300 meters (1000 ft.) and 0.32 mm2 (22 AWG) for runs up to 500 meters (1640 ft.). Your Martin dealer can supply suitable cable in various lengths.