Hardware and bindings for DMX lighting control

I have some DMX dimmer modules and I want to hook them up to OpenHAB.

I’ve vaguely familiarised myself with the DMX binding and I gather there are three interface / device options for the binding.

Can someone recommend the cheapest hackiest way to physically connect the device to my OpenHAB server (running on a Win laptop, so preferably a USB device)?

I’m not above hacking something together with an Arduino and soldering DMX cables up myself, but something for £15 from ebay would be somewhat more welcome as this could become a permanent part of my setup.

Ideally if you could post a link to an ebay auction, or exact description of the kind of thing I should buy, that would be great :slight_smile:

Any ideas?

I had the same issue, the problem is that OLA seems to be the way to go, and that only runs on linux. hence i changed to RPI and installed openhab there.

I used then this dongle to connect it to 1 of my 8 dmx module and the other one are daisy changed between the modules.

Hi Kim

Thanks. I’m rather wedded to Windows Server (for other reasons, not because I like cmd.exe ;)) so I guess I’ll do something else. This will probably involve making an Arduino DMX interface controlled by serial commands, or better still MQTT.

Shame there isn’t more widespread platform support for DMX in home automation given how widespread the protocol is in every other area of lighting control!


Have any of you out there been able to get dmx to work properly with OLA? I have OLA up running on universe Kim
on channel 22-24. Here is my config setting: dmx:connection=localhost:9090 and my item binding Color rgb_strip_living_room "RGB Ledstrip Living Room" (rgb) {dmx="CHANNEL[22,23,24:1000]"}

What am I missing?

I used OLA a while ago but I didn’t rally got it to work. I am using now a ArtNet Node. It is like a DMX / USB interface but it connects to your local network via ethernet. Since then I never got any problems regarding DMX anymore. You can buy one but I would recommend you built it on your own -> it is way cheaper :wink: just google it


I’ve just bought an Arduino DMX shield from Tinkerkit. I’ll let you know how it goes. I may as well just address my lights from within OH using MQTT rather than DMX, then get the Arduino to speak DMX instead…

I am struggling getting the ola to work:

I added the dmx connection this way:

the in my sitemap i used this:
Colorpicker item=RGBLight icon="slider"

then i defined my rgb light on channel 22-24

Color RGBLight "RGB Light" <slider> {dmx="CHANNEL[22/3:1000]"}

however it does not work and when i use
tail -f /var/log/openhab/openhab.log

I don’t get any error messages or any thing, so where am I doing something wrong?

HI Kim,

I’ve recently managed to get DMX up and running with a little help. First question. Are you able to manipulate your lights from within OLA using the DMX console?

Thanks, for your reply, currently I am using OLA to set the color of my lights, and openhab to control a relay that turns the power on and off of the dmx controller. So to [quote=“Mister_E, post:8, topic:3011”]
First question. Are you able to manipulate your lights from within OLA using the DMX console?

So did you add openhab to some user group of OLA?
is the web link localhost:9090 different from the one openhab uses?
Do you need to disable webmode for OLA?

Any hint how you got it to work?

That’s good. Making sure that ola is running is the first step.

Also note that openhab will only talk to universe zero on ola so make sure you have configured accordingly.

Also. Just to confirm that your ola and openhab apps are on the same server. Please confirm.

I have the same problem. OLA is working. OPENHAB and OLA is working on raspberry pi.” working!
I can’ t find the problem?


Color RGBLight “RGB Light” {dmx=“CHANNEL[22/3:1000]”}
Colorpicker item=RGBLight icon=“slider”

Yeah, its added to universe 0, i will try to install it on my second rpi after New Year, and see if that helps.

Shouldn’t it be on port 9090?

I looking in

I tested both. I try to open TCP connection on 9010, and it is working. But only socket connection! I don’t know why is not working?!

Hi All,

Just wanting to confirm that you have the org.openhab.binding.dmx-1.7.1.jar as well as the org.openhab.binding.dmx.ola-1.7.1.jar files in your addons folder.

If this doesn’t work then try using the artnet binding instead. Just replace org.openhab.binding.dmx.ola-1.7.1 with org.openhab.binding.dmx.artnet-1.7.1.jar. You shouldn’t have to specify the port with artnet unless you have modified the default port in ola.

Hello Michael,

happy new year 2016 !

“org.openhab.binding.dmx-1.7.1.jar” confirm
“org.openhab.binding.dmx.ola-1.7.1.jar” confirm
I change org.openhab.binding.dmx.ola-1.7.1.jar with
I put in configuration my PC ip and trace with Wireshark. I see some communication. I can open my port to you if you have any idea?

Hi, I stopped the openhab enviroment, but now i cant restart my ola , see error message:

olad -l 3
olad/Olad.cpp:94: OLA Daemon version 0.9.8
olad/OlaDaemon.cpp:121: Using configs in /home/pi/.ola
common/thread/Thread.cpp:192: Thread pref-saver, policy SCHED_OTHER, priority 0
olad/OlaServer.cpp:194: Server UID is 7a70:9b01a8c0
olad/OlaServer.cpp:206: Server instance name is OLA Server
olad/Preferences.cpp:424: Missing /home/pi/.ola/ola-universe.conf: No such file or directory - this isn’t an error, we’ll just use the defaults
common/network/TCPSocket.cpp:235: bind to failed, Cannot assign requested address
common/rpc/RpcServer.cpp:102: Could not listen on the RPC port 9010, you probably have another instance of running.
olad/OlaServer.cpp:252: Failed to init RPC server
common/thread/Thread.cpp:192: Thread signal-thread, policy SCHED_OTHER, priority 0

earlier the used to work. Any idea how i can figure out whats running on port 9010 on my rpi?

So I now got the dmx running, the problem was that the binding-dmx-ola.jar were missing, which is strange because i got now error when I did : apt-get install openhab-addon-binding-dmx-ola however a quick search on google and i found 1.7.1 jar

Last night at 1am i managed to get it running, so now i need to start configuring the items. Will keep you posted about that.

Can you share your file for all configuration DMX (Items, rules, sitemaps openhab.cfg)
Because my configuration is not working

Yes I will do, I am trying to set up github and will post it there.