Let’s start by testing our Vivid RGB strip with the DMX.
- Vivid RGB 270° LED Neon Flex fixture (with seamless ends)
- HLG-120H-24B power supply connected to a power cable
- DMX 512 Decoder (LT-854-5A)
- Flathead 3/32″ (2.5mm) screwdriver
As always, we’ve already stripped and pre-soldered our wire ends and prepared our power supply for wiring, so these steps are not covered in this post.
DMX Testing Mode
Before we jump into wiring our DimWheel, we’re going to test our RGB with the DMX on its own. Need a refresher on wiring? Check out our last post for instructions on how to hook up your RGB to the DMX.
To put your DMX decoder into testing mode, set the FUN switch to on! (Don’t get too excited though, it stands for Function.)
The first seven dip switches control the static colors: red, green, blue, yellow, magenta, cyan, and white. Check out this table for a quick reference:
Dip switches 8 and 9 control the effect, and while either of these switches are down, the first 7 switches control speed.
Dip switch 8 jumps through the seven colors. We set our DMX at 8 for jump, and our speed is 6.
Dip switch 9 fades through the seven colors. We set our DMX at 9 for fade, and our speed is 7.
- DLC 40301 DimWheel
This is the back of our DimWheel. We’ve got wires to our power (“VDC-” and “VDC+”) and our DMX output (“DMX out+” and “DMX out-“). In the image, you’ll notice ours also has a yellow wire coming out of “EXT in+”. This wire is OPTIONAL and we will not be using it for this setup.
Make sure your DimWheel ON/OFF switches are all set to OFF except for switch #2. The image above is a DimWheel we’ve removed the wheel from to better show the switches. They can be tricky to switch on and off, so double check that you’ve got the right one up.
Remove your fixture from power. Our first step is to connect the DimWheel’s “VDC+” to the DMX 512’s “DC+”, and the “VDC-” to the “DC-“. These wires will be in the same terminal as the DC+ and DC- of your power supply, so make sure they are secure before moving on to the next step. Loose wires can cause a lot of problems!
Wire your DimWheel’s “DMX out+” to the DMX 512’s DMX IN “D+” and the “DMX out-” to the DMX IN “D-“. On longer runs, you would want to connect “DMX out Shield” to GND. Since ours is so short, we’re not bothering.
Once these wires are in place, you’re all set to test the functions!
The first, and obvious function, is dimming. To turn the fixture on and off, click the wheel down once quickly. Turn the wheel left and right to dim your fixture to the exact brightness you need for your project.
Hold the wheel down for two seconds and your fixture will blink. You’re now in color change mode.
*note that this resets your saturation to 0%*
- Change the color by turning the wheel left and right
- Click the wheel once, now you’re adjusting the saturation
- Adjust the saturation with the wheel between 0% (color) and 100% (white)
- Click the wheel once more to save your color
Once you’ve chosen your color and saved it, your DimWheel will be back to dimming mode so you can dim the fixture without changing the color.
Auto-Fade with the DimWheel
DimWheels also have an “auto-fade” function. To set your DimWheel to this function, first remove your fixture from power. Set the ON/OFF switches of your DimWheel so that both switch #2 and switch #3 are on. Reconnect to power and click the wheel to turn the fixture on; the chase should start automatically.
- Hold the wheel for 2 seconds. The fixture will blink indicating that you are now able to change the speed.
- Turn the wheel to set the speed. The blinking LED beneath the wheel indicates how fast your fade will be.
- Click the wheel once to save your settings
Now you can dim your fixture to the right brightness for your fade!