Spark Core DMX Shield

OK - first pass eagle files for review here:


  1. Supports either Neutrik 5-pin XLRs on the board, Phoenix screw connectors, or soldered flying wires.
  2. Supports switched termination or you can omit the switch and just jumper it to terminate or not.
  3. Supports optional DMX512 thru connector.
  4. Supports DMX Rx and DMX Tx, so we can support either end of a wireless link, or a pass-thru mode, with channel punch-in/out (think WiFi wireless remote focus unit.)


  1. Put it in git somewhere
  2. Add silkscreen notes
  3. Add barrel power connector
  4. Optional wide-input DC-DC converter

Review comments/suggestions ?


I love this shield. How many DMX universe do you think the core could manage ?

Hi Andy,

the DC/DC module would be nice (eg. R-78E5.0-0.5). It might be also useful to use isolation to protect the spark and other components in case of failure.

In fact, as a wireless 5V-driven unit the current design should do the job just perfect.

But still waiting for any working DMX-code on spark core,…

all the bests

OK - just had time to populate and perform prelim testing on the shield.

First the blank board:

The board supports either flying wires for the DMX connections (via screw terminals, or just solder to the board), or neutrik XLR connectors.

Here is a board with screw connections:

And the same view of an XLR version:

A front view of the XLR version:

There are 2 required changes I have already identified:

  • Increase the spacing between the board edge and the switch, currently it protrudes too far.
  • Update the phoenix screw terminal footprint, the terminals I ordered has additional plastic locating pins that were not in the library part.

I have zero software for this, and very little interest of writing it as a sketch. I will probably write some standalone firmware in order to run this thing at full line rate.

@Mateio: I think the core would handle perhaps 2 universes, but obviously this shield is only single universe and that’s what I’ll develop first.

@joky: I plan to run this from an isolated 5V wall wart, so I avoided all isolation. It would be trivial to add ADM2587E isolators, but I don’t need it for my application, someone else can add that complexity.

I will do a write up as I proceed further.
If there is interest (despite the 2 problems listed above), I can share the board design on OSHPark, and the full BOM @ Mouser.


Sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! :wink:

Thanks for the update @AndyW. I’m interested into playing with this shield later on but with the vacation coming along soon it probably won’t be before fall. One thing I would like to try at that point is to turn the core into some kind of an OSC to DMX bridge.

The idea would be to setup a series of OSC events that each trigger a specific pre-recorded DMX sequence when received by the core. I could use @kennethlimcp MicroSD shield to store the DMX streams and one of the OSC ports discussed here :

and here :

Anyway, I sure don’t want to hijack this thread so I’ll stop here while I can :smile:

Once again thanks for this shield. I’ll get back to this idea once the kids are back to school. In the meantime, enjoy the summer.

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No prob. We’ll see how much progress I make writing it up so others can use it and then writing firmware for it.

I will almost surely spin a V1.2 board, after I complete DVT, so look for news on that.

Personally, my main use cases are artnet <-> dmx gateways, and using a smartphone/tablet as a wireless remote focus unit.

Thanks andy, looks great!

I plan to use the spark cores as wifi-artnet to DMX and vice versa, so I assume your fw will do the job.

The full use case is in a hall used for weddings, concerts and so on. Usually a headless linux-PC is used in combination with a home control app. So the stage-lighting, the lights, the shutters and even heating can be controlled over a quite simple user interface. The dim-packs are powered on as soon as one or more stage-lights are turned on and turned of a few minutes after the last light is turned off.

In case of a “bigger” event, it should be easily possible to switch from the standard-solution (App => PC => DMX) to a solution using any kind of DMX-Controllers.

Plan is to integrate the spark core in the case of our light-controller. When turned on, it receives an IP. When the IP is online, the home-automation switches on the dim-packs automatically.

Beside of that, the spark core would be just great as a wifi-artnet to dmx node. We’re currently testing some DMX-LED drivers to drive LED room lighting using artnet-nodes from which work great but need wired ethernet.

kind regards

Hi @AndyW, did you ever get anywhere with software for this?

Not yet. Perhaps as the long winter nights close in on the northern hemisphere.

@AndyW How’s the shield coming along?

This looks like a great board. Have you made any updates recently?

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@AndyW I’ve read in another topic that you didn’t continue with this project. But would you mind to share the work you did so far? The images and dropbox link is broken.

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