Down-under colleague mrpackethead designed this plug-in module for the Art-Net controller. Sized to fit in the footprint of two existing logic chips, it generates 4 universes of DMX. As boards size is limited, it contains outputs on .1″ pin headers only. Each output is based on a discrete RS-485 driver chip and a high-speed optocoupler.
Yes, the optocouplers may not be needed. But the extra layer of protection isn’t very expensive to include.
A few days ago, I spoke on the phone with a gentleman who installs large-scale Christmas light displays. Apparently his client’s system was hit by lightning. The better part of 40 controllers were destroyed, likely by current traveling up and down the data distribution network.
“I’ve never seen the inside of so many chips! no only were the 485’s blown open but in many cases the PICs and the 74xxx chips that go between the PICs and the optos were also blown open. it was amazing.
-Drew Hickman, Holiday Technologies, www.holidaytechnologies.com”.