TMB News

1,200 DMX Universes make ProPlex Lord of the Rings at North American Int’l Auto Show

The hottest cars were on display this month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Highlighting Fiat Chrysler Automotive’s largest booth ever, with 69 vehicles spread across 60,000 square feet, were massive LED rings pixelated for an overhead rotating “gear” effect. 

In their installation debut, 80 ProPlex IQ Two 1616 bidirectional DMX-Ethernet converters distributed 1,198 DMX universes to 387,000 LED pixels!  With over 100,000 feet of RJ45 cable including four hundred ProPlex Sneak Snakes, as well as ProPlex Fibre and ProPlex CAT5e Ethernet cables, quality and reliability were essential for such a large and intricate system.

Conceived by Fiat Chrysler and built by George P. Johnson Marketing (GPJ), installation, show direction, data control and distribution for the amazing synchronized theatrical display was by James Klein Events of New York.

“The rig was a huge undertaking,” says James Klein.  “When initially briefed by GPJ I thought they had made an error when telling me it was 1200 DMX universes!  Once we determined that this was in fact the correct system we needed to control, I called TMB to discuss a solution.”

Klein continues, “My main concern was keeping the network speed as high as possible.  Working closely with my system designer Jason Rudolph, we specified the new ProPlex IQ Two 1616 DMX-Ethernet converter as they have internal gigabit switching and are quite rugged.  We then worked with product designer Ainars Pastars to custom-write the firmware to manage this monster network load.  Using the TMB gigabit managed switches we achieved a reliable network load with each ProPlex IQ ticking along at roughly 40% capacity.”

The ProPlex IQ Two 1616 bidirectional DMX-Ethernet converter is a recent addition to the growing range of ProPlex Data Distribution tour-grade, unified signal management systems.  The IQ Two 1616 has an extremely fast and powerful processor to drive larger systems with high numbers of channels and multiple ProPlex IQ devices.  In each 1616 unit, up to sixteen ArtNet or sACN Universes can be assigned to 16 XLR ports, by simple button presses.  Full RDM functionality, combined with unique shock-mounted circuitry and advanced thermal management, makes the tour-ready, robust IQ Two 1616 rugged, reliable, and “Built for the Road.”

James Klein Events can be reached at

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