DMX signal over 4 conducter 18 guage speaker wire


Apprentice elf
Mar 29, 2011
Quitman GA
I am having some dmx issues and wonder if it is my cabling. I am using 4 conductor speaker wire (from mono price) with waterproof connectors. I am sending dmx signal through cat 5 to the first dmx controller and injecting 12volt power into the speaker wire and connecting the cat5 to two of the 4 speaker wires, then sending all down the line and re-injecting power at various points. I am using what you might best describe as a trunk like with taps off the trunk at various points (insulation stripped back and line soldered to the wire and re-insulated).
I am havng a number of on and off issues and wonder if running dmx data over non twisted wire next to 12volt power wire in the same caseing is causing RFI or some other interferance.
Since many of you are very knowledgeable in these things,
Would issues be likely running power and data down 4 condutor non twisted wire. I know David (Holliday Coro) uses cat5 with no major issues but this wire is not twisted although it is insulated. The wire is 18 gauge.
Or should this wiring type be reasonable?


Bite my shiny metal ass!
Community project designer
Generous elf
Jun 12, 2010
Victoria Point (Brisbane)
DMX is RS485 (differential) signalling and as such is recommended to use a twisted pair.

You can send RS485 down a non-twisted pair, but the common-mode rejection will be compromised.

Whether you have issues would depend on how much interference the power wires induce into the data wires.


I have C.L.A.P
Global moderator
Apr 26, 2010
Albion Park NSW
The standard for DMX is to use a cable with impedance of 120 Ohms, Cat 5/6 is close enough to this that it has been included in the DMX standard. For any DMX data it is best to use cable designed to send data