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LED Tutorials - U9 DMX LED Controller

Our ESA (Easy Stand Alone) U9 DMX LED Controller is a perfect controller for both first time DMX users as well as advanced lighting designers. With the ability to control up to 256 DMX channels in Stand Alone mode, or away from the computer, this controller will allow you to create custom lighting scenes for 85 RGB Color changing fixtures or 256 single color fixtures. Operating in live mode from a Mac or PC the U9 can control an entire DMX universe or 170 RGB fixtures. Follow the tutorial below for operational instruction of the U9 DMX LED Controller.

U9 DMX Controller
1.) What's Included with your U9 DMX Controller?
1A.) Product Components

Your U9 DMX Controller will include the following pieces:

  • U9 DMX Controller - 256 Channel DMX Output by XLR3 connection.
  • USB Cable - Used for programming and 5VDC Stand Alone power.
  • 5VDC Power Supply - Used for power in Stand Alone Mode.
  • Software Disc - Disc for ESA2 PC software.
  • Note for Mac Users - Mac Software is not included with the CD. To download ESA2 software for Mac Click here.
U9 Components
2.) What else will you need to make everything work?
2A.) DMX XLR3 Cable

In order to output the DMX signal from the U9 controller you will need an XLR3 male type connector to either female XLR3 or RJ45 Ethernet jack. A DMX signal uses 3 wires to operate DMX+, DMX-, and Ground. If you are a more advanced user you can create your own DMX cables or solder directly to the PC board of the U9 controller. If you would like to purchase a cable click the link below to see compatible DMX cables for the U9 DMX controller.

Click Here to see compatible parts
DMX Cables
2B.) DMX LED Decoder / Driver

An LED DMX Decoder is necessary to convert your DMX control signal to a PWM dimming signal for your low voltage LED Lights. Each channel of a DMX decoder will use one DMX address and can control one color of lights. A single color Light only requires one DMX channel to operate, RGB requires 3 channels, and RGBW requires 4 channels. Most of our DMX decoders have a set of 10 dip switches that can be used to set the starting address for your DMX driver.

Click Here to see compatible parts
DMX Decoder
2C.) LED Lights, Power Supply, & Connection Wire

You will also need 5-24VDC constant voltage LED lights, a compatible DC power supply as well as 18-22AWG stranded connection wire to complete your DMX system. Use single color lights (1 Channel) for dimming and flashing effects or RGB LEDs (3 Channels) / RGBW LEDs (4 Channels) for color changing effects.

Click Here to see compatible parts
DMX Strip Light
2D.) Windows or Macintosh Computer

A Windows PC or Macintosh Computer is required to run the ESA (Easy Stand Alone) software from the manufacturer, see system requirements below.

    Minimum computer requirements:
  • PC computer working under Windows XP
  • 1 Ghz speed processor
  • 512 Mb Memory (RAM)
  • video card supporting Microsoft Direct 3D with 32 Mb Memory
  • 1024*768 pixel screen
    Recommended computer requirements:
  • PC Computer working under Windows 7
  • 2 Ghz speed processor, dual core
  • 1 Gb Memory (RAM)
  • Video card supporting Microsoft Direct 3D with 256 Mb Memory
  • 1280*768 pixel screen
PC Computer
3.) Using the ESA 2 Software to Control your LED Lights
3A.) Download the ESA2 Software from the Disc

From the included disc run the auto install feature, choose your language and then choose the ESA2 software followed by the computer icon. Follow the installation instructions and download all included drivers when prompted.

ESA2 Software
3B.) Wire your LEDs and DC Power to your DMX Decoder

When wiring your DMX decoder there are a few things that you need to remember. The DC input voltage must be within the rating of the driver and must also match the DC voltage of the lights you are controlling. Also each unit has a max output rating per channel in amps. Do not exceed this amount with the output of your lights and be sure that your DC supply is large enough to power the load of your lights.

Note: Do not apply power to the decoder at this time.

ESA2 Software
3C.) Connect DMX Cables and Set the Dip Switches

Use compatible DMX cables to connect your DMX signal input. In order for the DMX programming to work you have to set a starting DMX address for your DMX decoder. It will help in the computer software if you start to think of your DMX decoder as a fixture. You can daisy chain multiple DMX drivers and set unique DMX addresses, as seen in the example photo, to control each fixture or set all your decoders to the same address to control all your decoders as one fixture.

Click Here to download our dip switch guide
ESA2 Software
3D.) Power Your Devices and Open the Software

In order for the DMX programming to work you have to set a starting DMX address for your DMX decoder. It will help in the computer software if you start to think of your DMX decoder as a fixture. You can daisy chain multiple DMX drivers and set unique DMX addresses, as seen in the example photo, to control each fixture or set all your decoders to the same address to control all your decoders as one fixture.

  1. Power your DMX Decoder(s)
  2. Power your U9 Controller via USB PC Connection
  3. Start the ESA2 Computer Software
  4. Create and Save Scences
  5. Play in Stand Alone Mode
Click Here to download the ESA2 Users Manual (skip to page 8)
DMX Power

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