The Lil'DMXter Data Sheet
[picture of Lil'DMXter
Discontinued product
For current product see the DMXter4 RDM
  1. Lil'DMXter GENERATES and TRANSMITS a DMX512 control signal.
  2. Lil'DMXter RECEIVES and ANALYZES a DMX512 signal.
  3. Lil'DMXter CHECKS DMX512 cables.
  4. Lil'DMXter VERIFIES system stability.
  5. Lil'DMXter TESTS multi channel devices (moving lights)

The Lil'DMXter is simple to use. Only seven buttons run its menu-driven software. The Lil'DMXter speaks to you in plain English using a backlit 40-character display. It comes in a rugged water-resistant case, tough enough to ride in your tool kit or cable hamper. It runs on its own internal rechargeable battery or on AC. The Lil'DMXter is the tool you need to work with digital lighting systems, color scrollers, moving lights, and anything that is controlled by DMX512.


The Lil'DMXter offers you four DMX512 transmit modes. You may ADJUST ONE DIMMER. You may ADJUST ALL DIMMERS to the same level. The Lil'DMXter can AUTOFADE thru a dimmer system, bringing each successive dimmer up to full and down again - perfect for checking lamps, patches and dimmers! It can work as a "one cue" lighting controller, allowing you to send any combination of levels to any of 512 dimmers. This feature, SEND/EDIT SNAPSHOT, can be used either by entering data from the front panel keys, or by recording a "picture" of the received DMX line.

The Lil'DMXter provides a signal that may be used as a scope trigger, synchronized to the break/mark after break sequence.

The DMX512 standard is widely used in theatrical lighting and effects. Different equipment uses different aspects of the standard for a wide variety of purposes. The DMX512 standard allows wide variation of certain parameters. We allow you to vary five important parameters of the transmitted signal to help the Lil'DMXter mimic as many products as possible. We group these parameters into presets which we call "flavors". The Lil'DMXter provides you with eight flavors, three of them user-defined. Those parameters you can vary are:

The Lil'DMXter allows you to send and receive any of the 256 allowed start codes.


The Lil'DMXter allows you to examine a controller's output and indicates whether a valid DMX512 signal is being sent. In VIEW LEVELS the unit displays received levels, showing the full 256 step resolution. The unit displays levels for four sequential dimmers at once. If the unit detects a reception error, it warns the user. In addition to stepping from dimmer to dimmer, the Lil'DMXter allows the user to jump to the next dimmer with a level equal to or greater than a preset search level. In VIEW PARAMETERS the unit measures and displays break length, mark after break length, break to break time, updates per second and number of dimmers per packet. It also displays all of the start codes being received from the DMX line. VIEW PARAMETERS also provides the error summary screen. This screen flags parity errors, framing errors, break too short, mark after break too short, overflow (reception of more than 512 dimmers) and broken line detection. Broken line detection is a proprietary Goddard Design Co. feature that detects if either of the two data lines is open during reception.


Have you ever had a haunted lighting system? Have you had the problem of trying to determine whether it's the console or the dimmers? The FLICKER FINDER mode allows you to compare each received packet with a stored snapshot of the console's output. It also gives you a user selectable comparison window. The unit will count as an error any dimmer level falling outside the comparison window. The Lil'DMXter displays the number of errors and their minimum and maximum values. Using FLICKER FINDER allows you to calculate the system error rate.


Testing a cable for electrical continuity is not the same as testing it for data transmission continuity. The Lil'DMXter tests cables using actual data. It has a mode that allows you to test cables when both ends are not available in the same place. This makes the unit particularly useful in troubleshooting installations. It also tests the optional link on pins 4 and 5. Although use of these pins is outside the DMX512 standard, there is considerable installed base of equipment using them, and you'll probably want to test them at some point.


DMX512 was conceived as a dimmer control protocol. Today many different theatrical devices are controlled by DMX512. Many of these devices, particularly moving lights, use more than one DMX dimmer channel.. Our Multi Channel Mode moving light software will let you:

The above is a brief overview of the moving light features of our software. You may download the full manual from this Web site.


The Lil'DMXter supports three display formats for dimmer levels. Two of them, decimal and hexadecimal, display the full 256 step resolution. The third, percent, provides a 0-100 step scale similar to that used on most lighting consoles. If you would like details on our binary to percentage conversion routines they are posted on this Web page.

ShowSaver OPTION

How would you like to have a backup DMX512 controller? Get ShowSaver. This option allows your Lil'DMXter to work as a backup device.

The Lil'DMXter's ShowSaver option is useful for testing dimmers and color scrollers too!


The Lil'DMXter is available with a factory installed option that allows it to transmit and receive both DMX512 and Colortran (CMX) protocols in all its functions - including ShowSaver. The protocol selection is made and displayed thru the unit's menus. CMX Option is available for new and existing units.


All Lil'DMXter's provide a synchronization output that may be used to trigger an oscilloscope to view the unit's output. Synching a scope to an unknown source of DMX512 is notoriously difficult. For occasions when this is necessary, the RECEIVE SCOPE TRIGGER option allows you to synch to a received DMX512 signal from any source. This option provides both hardware and software. The hardware is an external scope trigger generator card and the software allows the Lil'DMXter to control the hardware. Note that this option is only available as part of software version V1.63. Version V1.63 does not contain Multi Channel mode routines of V1.70.

The RECEIVE SCOPE TRIGGER option will allow you to:

The RECEIVE SCOPE TRIGGER option is not for general DMX512 users. This is an analytical test function valuable in the R&D lab and for serious component level troubleshooters.


As of September 15 1998 Lil'DMXter(USA) pricing will be as follows:

Lil'DMXter with manual $765.00
Owner's Manual only- post paid $20.00
ShowSaver option $75.00
V1.63 with the Scope Trigger option $180.00
Colortran option (CMX) $195.00
DMX cable - 5' $30.00
USA shipping & handling - ground $9.50

For delivery within NY state add applicable sale tax.

The Lil'DMXter is now available in a CE certified model

The European Union has established certain requirements that most electronic equipment must conform to when used within the EU. It has established testing methods to determine that a unit does conform. Units that do conform may carry the "CE mark".

A version of the Lil'DMXter is available which is CE certified. CE units run the same software and operate in the same manner as non-CE Lil'DMXters. The only difference that is apparent to the user is that the AC line cord is replaced by an input jack for an external DC supply. This supply must be CE certified and meet other requirements.

CE certified units are available from XTBA in London and other selected European dealers.

Goddard Design Company
51 Nassau Ave.
Brooklyn NY 11222 USA
718 599-0170 718 599-0172 fax

Return to Goddard Design Co. home page

© copyright Goddard Design Co. 1998

last updated Sept. 15, 1998