Martin's DMX Explained

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There are always a number of Martin Professional units for sale on Ebay. Some of these have been advertised as "DMX compatible" or "DMX Controllable", but depending on the age or model of the unit, this is not always the case. This is a guide to those units which are compliant with the U.S.I.T.T. (United States Institute for Theatre Technolgy) DMX512 standard, and those which will only run on Martin's own RS485 protocol (from Martins own controllers- 3032, 2308, 2510 MKI etc)

All older Martin products that run DMX are, by default, compatible with there own RS485 Protocol, although units designed in the last few years are not, but usually have stand-alone music or auto trigger selectable via the DIP switches.

I have included those Martin products which will NOT run on any controller, if it's got no DIP switches or 3/5 pin XLR sockets on it, you can't plug it into anything except the mains, or a switch pack!!!

This has been written as a guide to stop you buying something, and finding that your desk/controller won't run it. I understand that some products (such as the Robocolour II) come in 2 different models (more about that later), and that some listings (like a friend of mine's!) are genuine mistakes, others are often a case of using a keyword like DMX in the listing to generate search hits, & where the unit is not DMX, it's not a very ethical way of listing- to say the least!!

And yes, I know it's a long list, but the info at the bottom really is worth reading!!!



Alien 02 Pendant (via 150w base)

Alien 02 Spot (via 150w base)

Alien 05 Eyeball (via driver)

Alien 05 Recessed (via driver)

Alien 05 Stem Mount (via driver)

Atomic 3000 DMX (the clue is in the name on this one!!)

Atomic Colors (via Power Supply)

CX10 Extreme



Cyclo 03 DMX

Cyclo 04 DMX

Cyclo 04 DMX Wallwasher (again, the name gives it away!)

Cyclo Directional

Cyclo IP65 Series

Cyclo Series

Ego X4

Ego X5

Ego X6

Exterior 1200 Wash

Exterior 200

Exterior 600

Exterior 600 Compact

Fibersource CMY150

Fibersource QFX150


Mac 1200

Mac 2000 Performance

Mac 2000 Profile

Mac 2000 Profile II

Mac 2000 Wash

Mac 250

Mac 250 Entour

Mac 250 Krypton

Mac 250 Wash

Mac 250+

Mac 300

Mac 500

Mac 550

Mac 600

Mac 600 NT

Mac 700 Profile

Mac 700 Wash

Mac TW1

Mania EFX500

Mania EFX600

Mania EFX700

Mania EFX800

Mania SCX500

Mania SCX600

Mania SCX700

MiniMac Maestro

MiniMac Profile

MiniMac Wash


MX-10 Extreme


PAL 1200

PAL 1200 FX

Punisher X250

RGB Laser 1.6 (or any ILDA compatible controller)

Robocolor IIx (see note 1 below)

Robocolor III

Robocolor Pro 400

Robocolor Pro 400 Fiber

Roboscan 812

Roboscan Pro 1220 CMYR

Roboscan Pro 1220 RPR

Roboscan Pro 1220 XR

Roboscan Pro 218 MKII (see note 2 below)

Roboscan Pro 518

Roboscan Pro 918

Stage Cyclo

SynchroZap QX250


Wizard Extreme

516-II Converter (see note 3 below)

RS-485 Opto Splitter (see note 4 below)

2510 MKII (see note 5 below)



Robocolor (also known as Robocolor I)

Robocolor II (see note 1 below)

Robocolor MSD200

Roboscan 1004

Roboscan 1016

Roboscan 1020

Roboscan 805

Roboscan Pro 1220 I

Roboscan Pro 1220 II (also known as RoGo) See NOTE 6 below

Roboscan 218 (see note 2 below)

Robozap (250)

Robozap MSR1200

516 Dimmer Controller (see note 3 below)

2510 (see note 5 below)

2504 (see note 5 below)

The Martin RS485 - DMX512 Converter will allow DMX desks to run the above Martin protocol fittings, but only one type of product can be used with each converter, as the product type is selected by DIP switches on the converter itself- i.e. if you have robocolor I's, and a centerpiece, you will need 2 converters, although you can run up to 32 Martin Channels on each one.



Cyclo 04 Wallwasher


DJ Magic Moon

DJ Ministar (all beam varities, cone rainbow etc.)

DJ Sweeper

DJ Wheeler

Ego 01 (Ego remote)

Ego 02 (Ego remote)

Ego 03 (Ego remote)

Fibersource B150

Fibersource Q150


Lynx 100

Mania DC1

Mania DC2

Mania DC3

Mania EF1

Mania EF1i

Mania EF2

Mania EF3


Starflash I, II, III (all beam varieties cone, rainbow etc.)





Mania PR1 has dedicated remote

Microstar uses M301 Controller



The Robocolor II/IIx is one of the few items manufactured by Martin that had a design change to incorperate DMX512 control. The heads remained unchanged, but the control box was modified in 4 ways:

1. The length of the unit was increased by approx. 70mm

2. The fixed mains cable was replaced by a standard IEC (kettle plug) cable

3. The number of DIP switches was increased from 6 to 10

4. The model number was changed from II to IIx to identify the above


The Roboscan Pro 218/MKII was also changed to incorperate the DMX upgrade (although there were a number of EU certification changes to the internal mains workings of the unit, none of which affected the general operation, and have been ignored for the purposes of this guide). The only visual difference between the MKI (as it is generally known), & the MKII was the number if DIP switches was increased from 6 to 10, and the suffix MKII added to identify the change.


The 516 converter, whilst not being a light fitting, is included here because it too had a "DMX upgrade". It is a 16 channel 0-10v controller for smoke machines, dimmer/switch packs etc, and also comes in 2 flavours. The MKII being the later version, (with a slightly different name (see above)), with 10 DIP switches instead of the older version's 6


The RS-485 Opto Splitter, whilst being sold as a Martin protocol unit, works equally well as a DMX splitter, as it buffers, amplifies, & splits the data line, and is not fazed (sorry!) by the polarity of the signal (2 or 3 positive- obviously only of they are all the same way round). it also has the unique distinction of being the only Martin product that I have never had cause to repair, which is why I've used hundreds of them in installation & touring applications, and they are cheaper than most others on the market!!


The 2510 controller, whilst not obviously being a light fitting is here because it is sold in 2 flavours. The MK1 (just called a 2510), is RS-485 only, Whereas the MKII is DMX only. It is identical in every other way, except for the part number on the label. It is also identical looking, and often confused with the 2504, which is a pre-programmed controller, which you can buy chips for, and change yourself, depending on which lights you have, but is only available in RS-485 versions, and only for the 812 & 805 fixtures. The model number on the front is different, and the way the unit come apart is also, to allow easy user changing of the program chip


The only known exception to this are some Martin U.K. technical dept. customised versions of the Roboscan Pro1220 IIR (or RoGo). This unit has 2 banks of 6 DIP switches (in DMX or RS485 versions), and it is impossible to tell whether it has had this modification without removing the PCB cover at the top, and checking the EPROM software version:

Upto version 4.2- RS485

Version 5.0(last release) DMX

As a general rule of thumb, if a Martin unit has  6 DIP switches, it is Martin RS485 only, if it has 10, it is DMX512 also. 

It is also worth noting, although commonly known, that Martin protocol uses Pin 2 positive (or "hot"), whereas DMX uses Pin 3 Positive. Units designed and released before the MAC600 are pin 2 hot, units after this time are pin 3 hot irrespective of the control protocol, although a number of them (Robocolor IIx, etc) have a jumper setting within the unit allowing the user to set the "hot" pin (2 or 3), allowing you to do away with those pesky reverse leads when using other manufacturers products within your rig! These units have, near there serial number label, a check box to identify whether this has been changed. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE mark this if you modify the setting from the factory standard, as it's really annoying trying to repair or use a fitting if you don't!!! As and when time permits, I will add this information to the respective fittings above.

I hope this guide has been of use, if i can be of any further help in any way, please contact me via the usual Ebay methods- especially if there are any errors ;-), but please don't tick the "hide email address from" box, as due to Ebays off-trade security procedures, sometimes it won't let me reply if we've not been involved in a trade!

And remember, if it's been helpful, then please vote on it below!


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