The [ ECG-PIXAD8] is a pixel controller with 8 pixel drive outputs for connection to pixel strings or strips.

It has an Ethernet (RJ45) connection that accepts E1.31 (DMX over IP) or Art-Net data. Most people will use the E1.31 format.

The ECG-PIXAD8 is no longer available. It has been replaced by the ECG-P12S.
The article remains for information and support of existing ECG-PIXAD8 owners.

Power Connectors

There are two larger 2 pin screw terminal connectors labelled S0 and S9. S0 is the power input for strings 1‐4, while S9 is the power input for strings 5‐8. S9 also supplies power for the PIXAD8 control logic (see
jumper section below). The S0/S9 text is in front of the Ground or V‐ connection. The other connection is labelled '+' for the positive power supply lead.

Power Jumpers

There are 3 jumpers to configure the power input on the ECG-PIXAD8. They are labelled J1, J2 and J3 and are located behind connector S9, towards the top right corner of the large PCB.

If you are using a 5V power supply, fit jumper J3 only (J1 & J2 off). If you are using a 12V power supply, fit jumper J1 and J2 only (J3 off).

'''Important!''' If you connect 12VDC, or some other voltage over 5VDC to S9 and leave J3 in place you will fry your boards!


Pixel Connectors

The eight 4 pin pluggable screw terminals are labelled S1‐S8 and correspond to strings 1‐8. S1‐S4 are powered by S0 (through fuses FH0 and FH1‐FH4), while S5‐S8 are powered by S9 (through fuses FH9 and FH5‐FH8).

On the pixel string connectors, pin 1 is nearest the front edge of the board.

*Pin 1 – GND
*Pin 2 – Clock
*Pin 3 – Data
*Pin 4 – V+ (nearest to fuse)


Each power input (S0 and S9) is protected by a 30A mini blade fuse (FH0 & FH9 respectively).

Each pixel output (S1-S8) is protected by a 7.5 Amp mini blade fuse (FH1-FH8 respectively).

'''Important!''' Do not fit larger rating fuses. If the fuses blow, you need to check the wiring for overloading or a short circuit.

Other Jumpers

The ECG‐M32MX (smaller top board) has three jumpers (J2, J3, J4). Jumper J2 should be in place across pins 1 & 2 (nearest to J2 legend). Jumpers J3 and J4 should be installed. All units should have these jumpers in place by default.

DIP Switches

The smaller board has a miniature 4 way DIP switch (SW1). Be careful adjusting it as being heavy handed may break it.

The DIP switch is labelled as 1234. We will represent it as a series of 4 binary digits (xxxx) where each switch is documented as x=0 if off, x=1 if on.

The meaning of each switch may vary with firmware updates. Currently switches 1 & 2 control IP Address assignment and switches 3 & 4 control test pattern and other options.

IP Address Control:
  • 00xx – operation using the configured IP Address (defaults to
  • 01xx – operation using 10.x.x.x where .x.x.x is printed on the label on the Ethernet Jack
  • 10xx – operation using 2.x.x.x where .x.x.x is printed on the label on the Ethernet Jack
  • 11xx – operation using forced IP Address

The 10.x.x.x and 2.x.x.x addresses are based on the MAC address of the Ethernet controller in combination with our ArtNet II OEM Code. It should be a unique address for each M32MX (top board).

Test Pattern and Operation Control:
  • xx00 – normal operation
  • xx01 – test pattern
  • xx10 – not used
  • xx11 – force BootLoader to stay active

Some example switch settings:
  • 0000 ‐ normal operation using the configured IP Address and no test pattern
  • 0001 – test pattern using the configured IP Address
  • 1111 – force IP Address to and stay in BootLoader is useful to work with the BootLoader in a controlled environment.

Your boards will usually arrive with the switches set to 0001 from the final pixel string testing. (IP Address will default to:



There is a power LED (D41) on the ECG‐M32MX (small board) near P5. There are four status LEDs (D0,D1,D2,D3) near SW1.

When the unit boots up from power‐on or a software reset it will flash the LEDs in D3,D2,D1,D0 order four times in rapid succession, then start a quick heartbeat on LED D0.

After the Ethernet chip is initialised, LED D1 will turn on to indicate that the Bootloader is operating and awaiting a command. If a TFTP command is received (see [[Network Configuration]]) LED D3 will turn on while it is being processed.

If the option switches are not set to xx11 and if there is an installed program then the BootLoader will wait about 8 seconds for a TFTP command and then start the program.

The application program will then flash the LEDs four times in rapid succession in the other direction (D0,D1,D2,D3), then flash a few other LEDs as it re‐initialises the Ethernet chip and then start a 1 second
heartbeat on D0.

In normal operation, LEDs D3 and D2 should glimmer dimly to indicate pixel string activity. LED D3 indicates activity on String 1‐4. LED D2 indicates activity on String 5‐8. LED D1 should glimmer (even more dimly)
as each packet is received, either from the e1.31 or from the test pattern generator, and the effects are applied.

WS2811 Support

The original ECG-PIXAD8 firmware did not support WS2811 pixels. You can [[ECG-PIXAD8/Updating|update the firmware]], but you'll also have to replace the two 74LS541 chips on the bottom board with higher speed 74ACT541 types. You can get these chips from Element14, RS Components, etc. Make sure you order the "DIP package" (not SMD) versions.
  • [[ECG-PIXAD8/Updating|ECG-PIXAD8 Updating]]
  • [[ECG-PIXAD8/Configuration|ECG-PIXAD8 Configuration]]
  • [[Controller Setups and Settings]]

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