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Frequently Asked Questions

Find documents, articles and posts about RC4 Wireless devices.

    • Controlling a 3-piece candelabra?


      We need to wirelessly control via DMX a 3-piece candelabra which sits on a table on stage. The prop is currently wired for AC bulbs but DC batteries would be used.


      At the candelabra, use an RC4Magic DMX4dim.  It provides 4 wireless dimmers, each can be assigned to any DMX channel in the universe.  Use one channel for each lamp, which gives you the ability to individually control them if need be.  And if not, you can either assign all the dimmers to the same DMX channel, or bring them all up and down together in your scenes and cues.  The DMX4dim will handle a maximum of 20A shared across the 4 channels, with a voltage range of 5V – 35V.  Typically you would use 12V lamps, along with a 12V battery.
      The size of the 12V battery depends on the wattage of the lamps you choose, the brightness you will run them at, and the total running time between charges.
      (we do not supply them directly)
      Have a look at rc4wireless.com for more info about the RC4Magic-900 system and the various devices within it:
      Read More
    • Want to control candle lights?

      Check out this series of videos on our YouTube channel called Splitting Voltage Series

      Read More
    • Want to add lights to a moving set piece?

      Q: I want to put a couple of sconce style lights on a moving set piece.  They are just for ambience so they don’t have to be bright. I was hoping to use just a regular bulb (led or incandescent) to match the time period of the 1930s.  So I need a battery and a way to control the lights wirelessly.

      A: If you keep the wattage of the two lamps to under 50W each, and you don’t mind some wiring within your platform, you can run both sconces on a DMX2dim 2-channel dimmer.  Each will be individually controllable, but the wiring would come back to the one device with two outputs on it.

      If you prefer to minimize wiring, or you want to use a higher wattage lamp, then you could put a separate 2-channel dimmer in each sconce location, and gang the two dimmers as a single output for up to a 100W load.

      A single DMXio transceiver puts an entire universe out on the air, up to 512 channels.  That leaves 510 channels for other things if you expand your system in the future.

      The dimmers operate over a wide voltage range, from 5V to 35VDC.  For what you’re doing, 12V lamps are probably what you’ll find.  Look at lamps for automotive, RV, and marine use — there are lots of things available from Amazon and specialty shops.

      Then you’ll need one or two 12V batteries.  They power the dimmers and the loads (the lamps), so you have to size the batteries based on the total running time between charges.  If the lamps are only on for a minute, that requires a much smaller battery than lamps that will be on for a 90-minute 1-act play.  On a platform, you probably have plenty of space to hide a large battery, so you might want to go with a marine battery.  If space is tight, or you also want to use your system in costumes or small mobile set-pieces, them definitely look at NiMH rechargeable batteries.  Again, Amazon and specialty battery suppliers are where to go for that stuff.

      Read More
    • Need to use a DC motor?

      When using RC4 S3 devices, you have two options for DC motor control. In both cases, you need a small relay to reverse the polarity of the motor wires. This relay is operated from a non-dim RC4 dimmer.


      The simplest configuration is to use two DMX channels and two RC4 dimmer outputs. One is configured for linear dimming at the lowest PWM frequency (77Hz); this provides motor speed control.  The second DMX channel controls a non-dim dimmer to flip the relay, which sets the motor direction.  When using this method, avoid switching direction while the motor speed level is up, since this puts tremendous strain on all components in the system.
      The second option is wired exactly the same way and uses the same dimmer outputs. But it allows you to control the motor from a single DMX channel. In this case, the center level of the channel is zero, motor off. Lowering the level will set the speed in one direction; raising the level will set the speed in the other direction. Around the center point there is a small dead zone within which the system flips the direction relay.  The method is selected by using the DC Motor curve, which takes control of two sequential dimmers on an RC4 devices.
      Regardless of which control configuration you use, be sure that the motor draw does not exceed the power handling capability of the dimmer you choose to use. You should have a fuse in-line with the motor to provide protection in the event of an over-current event like a motor stall condition.
      It is easiest to set up either method using RC4 Commander software.
      If you choose to use the DC Motor curve, please ensure the RC4 dimmer device has the latest firmware installed, or at least a version that is later (higher) than r127 (sometimes identified as either 2.127 or 4.127).
      Read More
    • Need to make a lamp prop wireless?

      Q: We’d like to make a standing lamp wireless.

      The lamp will be emulating a traditional warm white incandescent bulb. The plan is to build a false base to hide a 12V battery and a DMX4dim.

      Is the DMX4dim appropriate for this purpose, and does the 12 or 24V LED lamps with Edison or Bayonet bases exist in the standard light bulb shape.



      A: This kind of prop is very common — people have been making them for decades — and this response applies to all Edison/Bayonet bases. Back before LEDs were commonplace everyone used 12V incandescent lamps made for the RV (recreational vehicle) market. They look exactly like mains-voltage lamps, with the same standard base. You can still go that route if you can find the lamps, and it’s certainly the most visually realistic. If the lamp shade ever has to come off, exposing the bulb, that’s the way to go.

      There is probably an LED equivalent to those lamps, but it’s unlikely to dim smoothly. If they dim at all, they are not designed for the quality of dimming we expect for entertainment applications. Our RC4 dimmers are super smooth, but if the lamp can’t do it, then it won’t look good.

      The best workaround, provided the lamp shade stays in place, is to use 12V LED tape wrapped around a cylinder. Place this where the bulb normally is, and it will look great. LED tape dims very very nicely, super smooth.

      And this approach opens up a whole new exciting world of flexibility. It’s easy to find warm-white/cool-white LED tape. It uses two dimmer circuits, so you could use a DMX2dim, or half of a DMX4dim. Then you can dial the exact white color temperature you want by mixing the two channels. And you can emulate the yellow-shift of an incandescent lamp by fading the cool white faster than the warm white when you dim the lamp down.

      Here is a photo of a crude example of the technique we recommend. Put the dimmer inside the cylinder, or put it somewhere else, like in the base of the prop. This example uses RGB LED tape, so it’s full color changing. Stay with true white LEDs for the best look.

      Read More
  • General (5 Articles)

    • RC4Magic 2.4GHz End-of-Life

      RC4Magic 2.4GHz is NOT recommended for new designs and new projects.
      We will continue to support our existing RC4Magic 2.4GHz users with a limited stockpile of components we have set aside.

      If you are a new user looking for a great new system, we still have the best, and we’ve got your back!
      For worldwide use in the 2.4GHz band, use RC4 LumenDim devices.
      If you are in the USA, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, use RC4Magic-900 for 4x the range of any 2.4GHz system from any manufacturer.


      We decided to discontinue RC4Magic 2.4GHz for *new* customers, to ensure that we’ll have parts on hand to fill future orders from existing customers for quite a long time — especially when only existing users have access.
      At the moment, there is no cause for concern — you have full warranty support for anything recently purchased, and non-warranty bench support remains in place for all Series 3 devices released since 2013. We also do our best to support Series 2 (from before 2013) to the best of our ability, limited only by availability of some components.
      In short: there are still plenty of good serviceable years left for all your RC4Magic 2.4GHz equipment.
      That said, we do recommend transitioning to RC4Magic-900 over time*. You can operate both systems together without any kind of interference. The 900MHz system delivers 4x the range of 2.4GHz, which is especially useful for props out in the house, or displays in the lobby or foyer of your facility.
      This does require purchasing a new DMXio for 900MHz transmission. From there, adding new devices to your RC4Magic-900 system is now less expensive than adding to your current 2.4GHz system, so there is also a financial incentive and benefit to making the transition. But again — there is no need to rush or panic.
      * RC4Magic-900SX system can be used in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
      Read More
    • RC4 LumenDim / LumenRadio CRMX2 Compatibility

      All new (since mid-2022) RC4 LumenDim products are compatible with LumenRadio CRMX2.

      All RC4 LumenDim devices manufactured since mid-2018 use a genuine LumenRadio TiMo RF module.

      With the latest firmware, the TiMo module is 100% compatible with all previous versions of both Wireless Solution W-DMX and LumenRadio CRMX.

      This includes compatibility with LumenRadio CRMX2 and their 8-universe Stardust transmitter.

      If you have the RC4 CodeLoader Cable and the LumenRadio firmware update utility, you can update gear purchased prior to the CRMX2 rollout on your own.

      Read More
    • Battery Talk

      Why RC4 Does Not Bundle Dimmers With Batteries

      We don’t bundle dimmers with batteries because loads and running times vary with every application. Choosing a “catch-all” battery would almost always be either larger than you’d like, or deliver less running time than you’d like, depending on what’s being done. An integrated device also might not fit in the space you have to work with; with separate batteries, dimmers, etc., you can more easily fit things into unusually shaped props and distribute weight and bulk as needed.


      What Battery Should You Buy?

      To help choose the best battery for your needs, send us a link to data about the loads you need to control, so can see what current it draws, what voltage it needs, and other pertinent details.

      Important factors to consider are:

      1. The overall running time you need between battery charges (or replacement if you choose to use disposable batteries). If running times are short, and/or you can charge more frequently, you can use a smaller battery. But if the total time between charges adds up to quite a long time, then a larger battery is a better choice. We can still help you find the smallest option that suits your needs;
      2. Another factor, related to running time, is what brightness you will be using.  If you run the prop at 50% of maximum, you will get more than double the running time from the battery. This is because battery efficiency is not linear. If you are mixing colors and not running a lot of full-mix white, this reduces the load substantially as well. Your lighting design impacts battery life considerably;
      3. The space you have available for everything to fit, and;
      4. Sometimes the most difficult things — your budget constraints and timeframe to get everything up and running.

      If you can send dimensioned drawings of the props and costumes you are working on, this is very helpful. Rest assured all intellectual property is treated in confidence.

      Contact us for more help using out online Support Ticket System.


      Battery Types

      NiMH vs. Li-ion
      For batteries, the safest type is NiMH. They don’t have the instability and hazards of fire and explosion that Li-ion batteries have, (although a couple of shows have chosen to use Li-ion and no horrible accidents have been reported).​

      There are two types of NiMH :

      The original off-patent formula, and

      A patented formula that is controlled by an offshoot of Sanyo.

      ​This Sanyo NiMH formula has been licensed to various other brands, so the key to recognizing it is that they have a long shelf-life for charge. This means you can buy them with a pre-existing charge which will last several months. They will also withstand many more charge cycles and maintain near original capacity for a much longer time than the off-brand versions mentioned above.


      ​Purchasing and Extra Information

      When ordering Sanyo branded products, it is recommended to ask for custom packs using Sanyo Eneloop cells. They are readily available using AA and AAA size cells for a wide range of voltages. One cell is 1.2V, so 10 cells in a pack gives you a 12V battery. This link is to an article written about batteries and current draw. Although not exhaustive, it is a good place to start. A trusted retailer is www.batteryspace.com


      Batteries & Their Life Span!

      Many batteries are probably ruined by sitting unused for 18 months … Hello! Pandemic!

      If they’re lead-acid, just throw them out, don’t even bother trying to recover them.

      If they’re NiMH, charge/drain cycle them 3 times. If life remains short, replace them. If LiIon and they take a very long time to charge, monitor for excess heat, and be prepared to dispose of them by taking them to a hazardous waste facility. LiIon are particularly hard to understand, because they can become unstable and dangerous when they are under charged.


      One more important point: if the prop or costume will be in direct contact with a person, it’s best to use safer types of batteries.

      If the demand for small size forces the use of Li-ion batteries, then the prop or costume should be designed so that an overheating or misbehaving battery can be quickly and easily removed without struggle and delay.

      It’s better to use high-quality NiMH batteries whenever possible, which are more stable and far less prone to catastrophic failure.

      Read More
    • What does “SX” mean?

      We introduced “SX” and black label designs with firmware version 4.100.  This included improved performance of crossfade mode, HSL color mode, and the flicker engine.  Perhaps most significantly, it introduced 19-bit dimming (previous firmware versions provided 16-bit).

      We are about to release the next big firmware update, which includes many improvements to RC4 Commander and its integration with the various device types.  The current version and upcoming versions of Commander include extensive online help, which is the user manual in that case.

      Read More
    • What type of LED tape should I use?

      Where These Products Originate
      All LED tape and panels brands hire a select few factories in China to build their products to specification. The differences between these brands include the thickness of materials used and the quality and type of LEDs.

      Thicker copper and substrate material both lead to longevity of the product.

      A more subjective point is cost- LEDs are usually not as bright, and are a little bit inconsistent in color. High cost brings higher CRI (color rendering index) and much higher consistency of brightness and color.

      Among the highest quality of retailers is Litegear.com. Others include AdaFruit, Chauvet, Elation, ENTTEC, Environmental Lights, GLP, TMB, and several more.

      For everything else, there is a huge selection at Amazon. The brands, names, and specifications are changing all the time, but the products are fairly consistent for any given price range.  ​

      Doing Optional Modifications
      You can cut most tape on marked lines, and solder the power supply/control wires to the cut segments.  It’s easy to make short strips to fit wherever you need them. Make sure to buy extra so that you can practice soldering! The solder pads are very small in some cases and it takes practice to hold.

      Tip: Wrapping LED tape around a cylinder to make a 360-degree light source works well inside lamp shades and other places where regular lamps are normally used.

      Read More
  • RC4 Wireless Purchase/Rent (6 Articles)

    Addresses clerical questions concerned with things like purchasing, rental, shipping methods, etc...

    • How Do I Get Started With RC4 Wireless?

      Choosing an RF Band
      If you’ll be using this technology only in the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand then it’s best to use a 900MHz system because it avoids most interference caused by the many wireless devices in our daily lives.

      If you plan to tour elsewhere in the world, like Europe, Japan, and most other places, then you’ll need to use the 2.4GHz band. RC4 LumenDim devices use genuine LumenRadio CRMX radio technology, ensuring compatibility with LumenRadio CRMX and Wireless Solution W-DMX transmitters, as well as a wide range of compatible products from numerous manufacturers.  Learn more about LumenRadio.

      Looking into your size and power handling needs; some things to consider when purchasing or renting :

      • Size of the objects you are lighting
      • How many watts need to be controlled at a time
      • How much control over color do you need (referred to as color mixing)?

      The more channels within your devices available to control, the more specific your color mixing will be. Our smallest 2-Dim device may be used to control one color, while our 6-Dim devices may be used to control a wider range of colors and color mixes.

      Also available is our patented RC4 Custom Pixel Profiles™ string controller. This device has the ability to control each tiny light source, allowing for many different motion effects. Our RC4 Custom Pixel Profiles™ let you reduce the number of DMX channels you need, without limiting your creativity in designing the looks you want.

      Run Time
      If the object will only be used sparingly, small batteries may be used. But if they must be up and running for long periods, then more thought must go into finding the right battery for long, reliable operation. For more details on battery choice please see this useful information on batteries. 

      To ensure you get the most useful accessories, it’s always best to start with a “Get Started Kit” and add devices as you need : RC4Magic-900MHz or RC4 LumenDim

      Read More
    • Can you ship outside of the USA?

      The best way to buy outside of the USA is through one of our trusted partners from around the world.

      For those in Canada, the easiest outlet to work through is a customs broker. If you do not have a broker we suggest using FedEx but be aware, they will collect your local sales taxes. We cannot collect and remit sales tax in Canada. This is the same tax you would be charged if you purchased from a local store. If you are registered for PST and/or GST tax exemption, you will claim it back the next time you file.

      There should not be customs charges — like duty, or tariffs.

      *Everything we make is USMCA compliant and made in the USA.

      Read More
    • Do you have a dealer near me?

      The best way to buy our products if you can’t get them directly is through one of our trusted partners from around the world: https://rc4wireless.com/online-store/rc4partners/

      Read More
    • Do you rent?

      Already own RC4Magic gear but the director wants “MORE LIGHTS!” … renting the additional gear needed for your short production is completely possible.

      Rentals are limited to the RC4Magic 900MHz product line for new/existing clients.

      RC4Magic 2.4GHz rental is limited to existing clients only.

      We do not rent RC4 LumenDim.

      Our rates are very affordable and you can experiment with dates and device types with our online system to see how everything affects the rate.

      Because of administrative costs, very short periods cost more per-day than longer periods, but overall maintains cost effectiveness in the long run.

      Need assistance determining what you’ll need? No worries, open a tech support ticket and ask away!


      Read More
    • Can I trade in my old units for new ones?

      Yes! We have a great trade-in option: any old device (Pre Series 3) is worth $100 towards a new Series 3 device. The performance improvements and additional features of Series 3 devices are well worth it. 

      Series 3 devices can also be updated in the field using our CodeLoader Cable.

      Over the years we have added numerous features at no charge including the RC4 Flkr Effects Engine™RC4 ColorMatch™ , and control for servo motor positioning.  We are enhancing our Series 3 system even today, so new features are still always possible.

      Development for our older series has been discontinued.

      Read More
  • Technical Questions (25 Articles)

    Questions concerning technical abilities and functionalities of RC4 wireless products

    • RC4 LumenDim Settings For Dimming LEDs

      Dimmer Curves

      Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are inherently current driven, rather than voltage driven. A side effect of this difference is that linear light dimming requires square-law input current. All good LED dimmers use ISL (“I” means inverse, starting to rise slowly, getting faster as it progresses).

      Almost all LED dimmers, including RC4, are “constant voltage” dimmers. This means that a conversion from voltage to current must happen in the LED device you are connecting to. LED tape and most products that use many discrete LEDs on a panel use small current limiting resistors for each individual LED color. This creates the best looking dimmer output, but it is not the most efficient — it works perfectly all the way down to zero. The downside is that resistors generate heat, which is wasted energy.

      Larger sized LED fixtures, especially ones designed for maximum efficiency, use sophisticated active electronics built into the panel for current limiting. Those devices require a minimum amount of power for the electronics to turn on, so they have a drop-out margin at the bottom end.  If your LED panel doesn’t come on until dimming hits 10%, or 30%, or some other minimum level, you are dealing with active electronics in the panel. In many cases, these devices respond better to a Linear control curve. The electronics in the panel are doing the actual dimming, and they are sometimes a little steppier than a resistor-limited “direct drive” panel. That steppiness is not caused by the RC4 dimmer, it’s the driver electronics in the panel itself.

      ** More about the 16-bit Raw curves in the Smoothing section below. **

      In Short: if there is no active electronics in the LED fixture, you should use the ISL curve. ISL is the RC4 LumenDim default curve. This usually produces the smoothest dimming results, with a linear relationship between the DMX control level and the light output (50% DMX level = approx. 50% of maximum light output). But if the panel has active electronics in it, try the Linear curve. The dimming quality is determined by the fixture, the RC4 device just tells it what light level is wanted.

      Experiment to find the settings you prefer. There are no defacto right answers for everyone in every situation.

      Modulation Frequencies

      When using LED fixtures that do not use active electronics (ideally they will use small current-limiting resistors on every LED color throughout the panel or strip), RC4 dimmers deliver pulse-width-modulated (PWM) DC power for dimming. At slower PWM frequencies you get more steps, which results in tinier increments and a smoother look. But slower frequencies can “beat” against the shutter speed of a video camera, so it’s important that the PWM frequency is high enough to avoid that. The shutter angle also impacts this, because it limits how long the shutter is open and how many PWM pulses are visible during the open shutter time — ideally, you want several PWM pulses to occur during the open period of a single frame capture.
      At 77Hz, which is 77 pulses (or “updates”) per second, RC4 dimmers are running 19-bit, which provides more than 524 millions steps of dimming. At 20kHz (20,000 pulses per second) you get 14-bit, which is only 16,000 steps. At that point, your human eye can see the steps. At 13-bit it’s half

      that, only 8000 steps.

      There is one more trade-off to consider: When there are more steps per second, the dimmer is do a lot more switching on and off to make the pulses. Each switching action reduces efficiency, which reduces overall power handling and increases heating in the dimmer electronics. This is another reason to use the lowest possible frequency. It’s also important to know that that maximum load you can connect to a dimmer is less when running higher PWM frequencies.

      Use the lowest frequency that does not result in visible artifacts on camera. The only way to get this right is through trial-and-error. For normal frame rates in typical production lighting, a 5kHz PWM frequency is the usual selection, and that’s the RC4 LumenDim default.

      Smoothing (RC4 Digital Persistence)

      A single channel of DMX control is 8-bit, which is only 256 steps of dimming. To make use of all the additional resolution in an RC4 dimmer, smoothing is used. This is not just an RC4 thing, pretty much every good dimmer does something of this nature. However, we’ve put a lot of extra effort into emulating what an incandescent lamp filament does — the thermal rise and fall, emulating what happens when the little filament wire starts cold, warms up to glow, ever brighter, until it’s bright white. All of that happens over time, and it’s not a strictly linear progression. The larger the filament (for higher wattage incandescent lamps), the slower the rise and fall becomes. We call this RC4 Digital Persistence.

      When RC4 Digital Persistence (smoothing) is off, there is no bit-rate conversion happening, so you only get 256 steps when controlling from a single DMX channel. It’s very visibly steppy, because that’s what the console signal is, with nothing in between — no smoothing.

      At Medium Digital Persistence, the timing is very similar to a 50W MR16 Halogen lamp. That’s generally considered a good look, and it’s the RC4 LumenDim default. At Very Slow Digital Persistence, it’s the appearance of a very very large filament lamp.

      The smoothing process makes full use of the RC4 hardware dimmer’s real resolution. Thus, when you use an 8-bit DMX channel to control an LED using 5kHz Modulation Frequency, the Smoothing is ramping through 65,536 levels, which looks pretty good.
      Most people use one of the middle settings for normal operation. But if you need the look of a fast photo flash, or a strobe light, faster smoothing (or off) will be preferred.

      Again, experimentation is the only way to find the right setting for your application.

      When using an LED fixture that uses internal electronics, it  handles the dimming. The maximum resolution is determined by it, not the RC4 settings. Sending RC4 super high-res PWM to a device like that will not improve the appearance, because it can only do whatever it is designed internally to do.

      When using one of the 16-bit Raw dimmer curves, smoothing is disabled and response is linear. In that case, you are using two DMX channels ganged together for true 16-bit DMX control. That control is mapped to the RC4 dimmer hardware directly. In that case, you must do the curve processing and smoothing in your console — you have bypassed that later of processing in the RC4 dimmer. In general, using RC4 Digital Persistence in the RC4 dimmer will result in smoother dimming, because our internal dimmer resolution can be higher than 16-bit (depending on the Modulation Frequency being used), and it is optimized for dimming LEDs. Features in the console are generic math algorithms with no knowledge of what’s happening further up the line.


      Recommended defaults for LED control to get started are:
      ISL curve
      5kHz PWM
      Medium Smoothing

      For an LED fixture with built-in electronics, you might want to start with:
      Linear curve
      77Hz PWM
      Smoothing OFF or Medium

      There are no perfect or ideal settings, every fixture and application is different. Experiment and fine-tune for the best result. Don’t just use your eyes, do test shots on camera to determine the thresholds for visible artifacts like banding and flickering, increasing the PWM frequency to find the lowest freq where there are no artifacts. That is the sweet spot that gives you the smoothing dimming with the highest power handling.

      Read More
    • What do I need to know if I’m running more than one set of RC4Magic 900MHz systems in the same place?

      When operating multiple RC4Magic-900 systems in the same space, it’s important that they use different RF Frequency Masks. This is in addition to using different Private System IDs. Your IDs are private, but masks are not, simply because everyone must work with the same available RF bandwidth.
      If you’re in this position, the easiest solution is to use the buttons on the devices to select different IDs, which each have a different RF Frequency Mask by default.  For example, if you are using your Private ID code for ID0, and somebody else is using their Private ID for ID0, the codes are different but the frequencies being used are the same. By selecting ID1 on one of those systems, you will now be using different frequencies and the interference problem will cease.

      Using up to 4 system at once, there are 4 different frequency masks available, but you must run one system on the Public ID, which is marginally less secure than a Private ID.  To avoid that concern, or to operate more than 4 systems at once, you will need to use our RC4 Commander configuration software.

      It provides various features to address your need:
      – It provides 8 different “default” or preset frequency masks that you can mix-and-match with your ID codes.
      – It provides a tool for creating completely custom frequency masks (this is rarely if ever needed, but it’s there).

      Next time you are going into a situation like this, give us a heads-up in advance (submit a tech support ticket) and we can help you prepare in advance.

      If you can’t coordinate with other users, you can usually assume they will be using default channel masks.
      If you use Commander software to use any of the other masks we provide, the non-default ones, you will most likely avoid any conflicts.
      Read More
    • Do NOT update RC4 LumenDim TiMo radios to LumenRadio f/w!!

      If you updated LumenRadio TiMo firmware to in an RC4 LumenDim device, and now the blue RF indicator is blinking slowly forever, or CRMX2 does not work, you MUST revert back to version LumenRadio has been notified of this issue and they are working to correct it. Version does not provide any useful advantages for RC4 LumenDim devices. Version is fully compatible with CRMX2 when using a Stardust with up to 8 universes of DMX.

      Download LumenRadio TiMo f/w

      Read More
    • RC4 W-DIM vs RC4 LumenDim Products

      Now that LumenRadio has fully absorbed Wireless Solution and the W-DMX protocol, RC4 LumenDim devices are 100% compatible with W-DMX transmitters of all generations.  Thus, RC4 no longer manufactures our RC4 WDIM line of products.  We continue to support previously sold devices.  For new purchases, RC4 LumenDim devices are recommended for use with all generations of W-DMX systems.

      All RC4 LumenDim devices manufactured since mid-2018 use a genuine LumenRadio TiMo RF module. With the latest firmware, the TiMo module is 100% compatible with all previous versions of both Wireless Solution W-DMX and LumenRadio CRMX.  This includes compatibility with LumenRadio CRMX2 and their 8-universe Stardust transmitter.
      RC4 LumenDim devices are not compatible with Wireless Solution configuration dongles.  Firmware updates for both RC4 dimming and LumenRadio wireless are easily installed using either a LumenRadio firmware updating cable, or an RC4 Wireless CodeLoader cable.
      The closest substitute for the discontinued RC4 W-DIMm3 is the RC4 LumenDimM4.  The M4 provides one additional dimmer channel, and has the connection terminals and antenna port arranged slightly differently.  The overall device size is identical.
      The discontinued RC4 W-DIM4 is replaced with the RC4 LumenDim4, a direct replacement with all connections, indicators, and pushbuttons in the same locations. Similarly the RC4 W-DIM6 is replaced with the RC4 LumenDim6.
      Read More
    • Can I run an RC4Magic 2.4GHz system alongside LumenRadio protocol?

      RC4 manufacturers devices that work with both protocols, so we have a lot of hands-on experience with running both systems at once.

      In general, it’s never recommended to waste bandwidth on two wireless systems that do the same thing independently.

      That said, both systems have built-in methods for avoiding each other. LumenRadio provides Adaptive channel hopping, which happens live in real-time while the system is running. When it sees the RC4Magic signal, it attempts to avoid hopping through them.

      Similarly but not in real-time, the RC4Magic system scans the band on power-up to avoid channels that are in heavy use.

      By default, LumenRadio uses the entire 2.4GHz band by hopping around constantly, but with the adaptive feature noted above. This makes the RC4Magic scanning option less useful. Notably differently, RC4Magic uses just 1/15 of the band for a single DMX universe, and it stays in the same area of the band, after selecting what that will be on power-up.

      LumenRadio provides configuration options for their transmitters, allowing you to block the use of specific channels. RC4Magic provides the option to manually select a fixed RF channel, so that it will always reliably be in the same place. Using a combination of these two — manually configuring both the Lumen and the RC4Magic systems to avoid each other — will provide the most ideal experience.

      Sorry it’s not a shorter simpler answer.  :)

      Another option would be to disable or not use the LumenRadio wireless, and connect RC4Magic receivers into the fixtures. Our little DMXmrx receiver is designed for this purpose. We rent them at a very reasonable cost. The same idea in the other direction: we make wireless dimmers that use LumenRadio, but they are not available for rent, only purchase.
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    • Power Ratings of Screw-Terminal Dimmers Explained

      Each channel can handle 6A on it’s own, but you can’t run all 4 channels at 6A because then the total would be 24A.

      The power input terminals are the bottleneck, because all power for all channels flows through those two terminals.  UL rates those terminals for 16A.  The manufacturer rates them for 20A, and we’ve tested them at 20A with no problems.

      This means you can run all 4 channels at 5A, a total of 20A.

      Or you can run any combination of loads that doesn’t exceed 20A, as long as no single dimmer output is handling more than 6A.

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    • Which 6-channel dimmer is best for me?

      If the total load on the 6-channel dimmer will exceed 20A, you’ll need to use the larger device, the LumenDim6. The LumenDim6 can handle a maximum total load of 45A.  For all RC4 dimmers, the voltage range is 5V – 35V.  The most common voltages used in the field are 12V and 24V.

      If the total load in your application is 20A or less, I recommend the much smaller LumenDimM6. The “M” means Miniature, and it’s substantially smaller than the large unit. The screw terminals on the M6 are rated to a maximum of 20A, so the bottleneck is the power input, which is a single pair of terminals.

      The large unit uses 45A Anderson Powerpole connectors for the power input, and 15A connectors for the outputs, so it’s capable of handling more than double the load of the smaller M6.



      • this question is relevant when comparing the 4-channel device as well. Check out this video discussing the 4-channel.
      • this question is relevant when comparing across the RC4Magic 2.4GHz, Magic 900MHz, LumenDim and W-Dim product lines.
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    • I’m having trouble getting RC4 Commander to work for me. Can you help?

      As the post-Covid world comes out of lockdown, RC4 tech support is getting swamped with calls and support tickets from new users setting up RC4 Commander software for the first time.  Welcome to our RC4 family — you’re going to love RC4 Commander!

      NOTE: RC4 Commander is only for use with RC4Magic, RC4Magic-900, and RC5 EASS systems.  It does NOT work with LumenDim and W-DIM devices.

      RC4 Commander uses a wireless dongle and acts as the primary system transmitter while you are using it.  While you’re using RC4 Commander, turn off your DMXio transmitter, which is your transmitter for running your show from your DMX console.

      RC4 Commander accesses remote devices — like dimmers and pixel drivers — wirelessly, letting you change configuration settings live and in real-time.  RC4 Commander includes a Virtual Transmitter window to test your settings and confirm everything is the way you want it.  When you are done using RC4 Commander, shut it down and go back to using your DMXio transmitter with your lighting console.

      Before we help you in person, please check out the latest videos we’ve made to help you get started with RC4 Commander:

      Installing RC4 Commander:

      RC4 Dongles for RC4 Commander:

      The RC4 Commander Set-up Wizard:

      If you do not have your RC4 System ID file for use with Commander, please open a support ticket to request it. You need an ID file with your private encrypted system IDs.  Nobody else has your IDs, and your computer does not know what your IDs are until RC4 Commander loads your unique file.

      For additional help after working through the videos above, the fastest response will be via our tech support ticket system, which is monitored by multiple people.  Open a new ticket here:

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    • My device is missing a screw (or two)

      When a screw falls out of the terminal, this means that the top opening has been reamed by an oversize screwdriver.
      Normally, the screws are captive and cannot be lost, because a ring of material above the screw is smaller than the screw itself.
      We can provide you with screws, but they can easily be lost again.  The correct solution is to replace the terminal strip.  And after that, use a properly sized screwdriver.  RC4 screwdrivers at provided at no charge whenever we ship something to you next.
      Terminal replacement is not covered under warranty, but we have flat fees for it: $70USD for 2-channel devices, $85 for 4- and 6-channel devices.
      Let us know if you’d like to arrange for this work to be done.  Of course, there are additional costs for shipping.

      It is possible to replace terminals yourself, and we can send you replacements if you want to try. You MUST be careful when removing the old ones. Do NOT force them out, heat the terminals enough that they all slip out easily with very little effort. Otherwise, you will likely remove the thin copper plating inside the holes, rendering the device unusable.
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    • Should I use a micro dimmer with an external, or an internal antenna?

      The easiest and simplest devices to use are the ones with internal antennas. They have a small chip on the circuit board that efficiently picks up the signal from your wireless DMX transmitter, with no tangling dangling antenna and signal wire. If the radio signal can effectively reach the chip antenna, we recommend you use the internal antenna version of the micro dimmer.

      Sometimes you need to put a micro dimmer in a location that is not easily reached by a wireless signal. You shouldn’t try to use an internal antenna if it’s inside a metal (or otherwise conductive) enclosure. In some cases, an internal antenna can end up blocked by a performer’s body, or by other nearby electronics, particularly batteries which are dense. In those cases, we recommend the external antenna version.

      A couple of real world examples come up frequently:

      1. A dimmer inside a flashlight. If the flashlight is a metal tube, the RF signal may not get through to an internal antenna. It’s important to plan carefully for where an external antenna would be positioned and how.

      2. A sword that lights up. The dimmer is often positioned in the handle, which is often made of a non-metallic material. An internal antenna will work well for shop testing, but might have limited range when a performer is tightly holding the handle, surrounding the dimmer and antenna with their hand. An external antenna is sometimes preferred but is not always needed.

      When we provide an external antenna dimmer, we include this small adhesive antenna with it:

      There are many other options on the market as well. Our favorite supplier for these things is Digikey — here’s a link to a search list.
      *** NOTE: We have NOT tested every item in this list. Some items may NOT be suitable. Be sure to read the specifications and test carefully. It must be a 2.4GHz antenna with a u.fl connector. ***
      Please let us know if the link is broken, we have no control over the Digikey server.

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    • Can RC4 Products work through water?

      2.4GHz band 
      Unfortunately, the 2.4GHz band does not work in water because it is the same frequency that is used in microwave ovens. They both use the resonant frequency of water molecules; water absorbs the waves and gets a little bit warmer in the process.

      900MHz band
      A couple of our users have had some success, though limited, in water using this band.

      Running thin antenna cables to a float on the surface of a body of water to get the antenna above the water can possibly work (even at 2.4GHz).

      *Make sure you are in a country where it is legal operate on the 900MHz band

      Custom Systems For This Purpose
      If there is time and budget, a custom IR system could be made, but the cost would be quite high and it would take several months for new engineering using currently available components.

      Another possibility, also requiring custom design, would be ULF — ultra-low frequency control.  The number of channels would be very limited and responsiveness would be noticeably sluggish, but It could certainly work within the limitations of water.

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    • Can wireless DMX and wired DMX be used at the same time?

      The short answer is YES!

      The longer answer involves using our free RC4 Commander software found at here.

      Using this tool, you can select the DMX data source for each device in your system whether on RC4 Data (wireless), or DMX In (wired miniplug port).  You’ll find this option at the lower left of the main screen for the device when it is selected in RC4 Commander.

      When you select DMX In, the device will respond to wired DMX but also still responds to wireless configuration data. That is, messages from RC4 Commander still work, even when the device is being used as a wired DMX device.

      This is often used with the DMXpix to adjust the RC4 Custom Pixel Profiles™ parameters while creating live Keyframe data on a console connected by wire.

      You will need your private ID file.  If you need the file for your system, please contact us.

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    • Can I use multiple voltages with one dimmer?

      Yes, it’s easy!

      The dimmers operate on the negative leg of the circuit. You can connect the positive side to whatever supply voltage you like, individually for each load.

      See the  “RC4 crazy man” video for more information using a stack of cells in parallel with different voltage taps between them. You may also use separate batteries or power supplies, with the negative sides tied together with negative power input of the dimmer, making a common power ground.

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    • If I am using another wireless system in another application, will the two wireless products interfere?

      We always advise against running two different brands of 2.4GHz wireless DMX at the same time in the same RF band.

      If you must run two separate systems, we recommend using 900MHz RC4 equipment, which is far away from anything in the congested 2.4GHz band. Alternatively, if you are just using a few units from another brand, substitute additional RC4Magic rental units for guaranteed peace-of-mind and functionality.

      This is why Disney, Cirque du Soleil, Blue Man Group, and many others use RC4 exclusively for wireless DMX. Not to mention, our prices are comparable to those of our competitors!

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    • My devices lost their System IDs

      Although very rare, there’s a possibility that the device can lose its preprogrammed system IDs if your device can’t connect or won’t connect to others in your system. Luckily there are simple methods to restore System IDs by following the steps below.

      The RC4 Private IDentity™ file (your ID file) is used with RC4 Commander software for device configuration. That program runs on both Windows and Mac and is super useful for day to day testing and setting things up for new shows.

      Dongle device or Dongle mode  
      RC4 Commander software is able to restore your IDs when you connect to the device using the Public ID (999). Commander needs a dongle attached to your computer, using either a dedicated 2.4GHz or 900Mhz dongle device, or one of your other units in dongle mode.

      Connecting your device 
      *Please contact us and we will send a compressed folder with the ID’s included if they are unknown

      • Run RC4 Commander, ensuring the ID is set to Public (999)
      • Power on the device and it will connect, and appear in the Commander device list. Select it. When you do this, you’ll see a new icon appear at the top right, it resembles a padlock inside a square with the letters “ID” in it -Click that and it will open a box that reprograms the IDs that belong to you, via your ID file.

      *Be sure you have loaded your custom RC4 ID file so your computer knows what your IDs are.

      Firmware updates
      Firmware updates are done using our CodeLoader cable and CodeLoader software. It does not require the ID file.

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    • What gauge wire will fit and work best with RC4 devices?

      Wire gauge is directly related to the current being drawn through the wire. If need be, you can create a small jumper of smaller gauge and step up to a larger gauge as long as you do not draw too much current through the smaller wires.

      There are a variety of tools to do this including a step up/step down butt connector and quick splice terminal blocks.

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    • Can I operate more than one IO on the same ID system at the same time?

      You should never operate more than one transmitter on the same system ID — this will cause data collision and confusion. Split your area into separate zones operating on separate system IDs.

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    • What kind of servo do I need?

      The important part is that your chosen servo be PWM-controlled. If this feature is not applicable to your servo it will not work. Many of our users have controlled JR brand servos without a problem and MacGregor claims to have PWM compatible models as well. Please check the technical specifications/contact the manufacturer before buying.

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    • Is Series 2 Compatible with Series 3?

      Our newer RC4Magic Series 3 products are 100% compatible with your Series 2 system, offer many more features including smoother dimming and longer battery life.

      When ordering through our online store be sure to select “add to an existing system” and enter your system IDs. We will program them to work with what you have.

      We offer the same trade up for Series 1 which we ADVISE GREATLY, however Series 1 is NOT COMPATIBLE with the current series so you would need to replace all of your units. Most problems with Series 1 can no longer be repaired due to old components that are no longer available.

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    • Can a dimmer be used to pass DMX channels to other devices?

      Yes, it works that way by default.

      When any RC4Magic receiver/dimmer is receiving wireless DMX, the full DMX universe is output on the miniplug. Thus, all devices are a complete wireless DMX receiver, *plus* whatever dimmer features it may have.

      If the device is not receiving wireless DMX, the miniplug automatically reverts to being an input, and any wired source of DMX data can be connected to it.

      We have both male and female 5-pin XLR adaptors available, or you can make your own. (Pin out information, along with a lot of other information) can be found at http://rc4.info.)

      There is a parameter you can access with our configuration software, RC4 Commander, that allows you to force the dimmer to either respond to wireless or wired DMX.  If you set it to use wired DMX, it will still respond to configuration data wirelessly, but the dimmers will respond to the wired DMX channel levels.  This is particularly handy when configuring a DMXpix pixel driver, to find the optimal settings for RC4 Custom Pixel Profile parameters.

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    • Receiver is not connecting to the transmitter/lightboard, how do I troubleshoot it?

      The most likely cause is that the transmitter and receive are not set to the same system IDs. Start by confirming that all devices are part of the same system, with the same ID codes marked on the labels for everything you’re using together. RC4 Private System IDentities are the key to our industry-leading data security.

      Are you using other devices in the show that are working? If so, that would confirm that the transmitter itself is working.

      Start by restoring defaults on the receiver that is not connecting. This will put it back to system ID0, the default, and set the DMX channels to 1, 2, 3, and 4.  Here is the quick-start guide for the DMX4dim, see page 6:

      And here’s a video of the process:

      If you are not using other devices that are already working, or if none of your receivers are working, you should also restore the DMXio transmitter to factory defaults.  Here is a video of that process:

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    • My device is not showing up in RC4 Commander

      RC4 Commander is NOT compatible with RC4 LumenDim or W-DIM systems. For configuration of LumenDim devices, use RDM (remote device management).


      RC4 Commander supports RC4Magic S2 and S3, RC4Magic-900 and RC5 EASS systems. 

      You can read the IDs in any device by selecting the Public ID (ID3, 999) on the device and in RC4 Commander. Public always works, for all devices ever made.

      And/or Try restoring factory defaults, which selects the default ID0.

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    • What do I do if I am unable to change any parameters when the power is on?

      The most common cause of restarts is batteries that are underrated for the load.  Under this scenario, you get into a situation where a weak battery can start the low-power device electronics, but when the dimmer turns on the battery can’t keep up and the voltage is pulled down too low to run the electronics.  At that point the dimmer is turned off, and then the electronics can turn back on from the weak battery.  It becomes a cycle.  As the battery gets weaker, the cycle gets shorter and shorter.

      When a channel is stuck on immediately upon applying power, that means the power driver components have failed dead-short. There is protection circuitry in the dimmer, including temperature protection, but prolonged or repeated connection to loads much higher than they are rated for will cause this failure.

      Another cause can be wiring that is dead-shorting somewhere. We see many cases where wires are stripped back far beyond where they enter the terminals, and then the bare copper ends up twisted around and shorted.

      We can repair the devices, but we must also ensure that (a) the loads are within the limits of the devices, and (b) wiring is neat and tidy.

      Intermittent restarts will occur at the same time a dead-short occurs. This is because the power supply itself is shorted out, so the entire thing is without power for some short period and then must restart when the power recovers.

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    • Is there a way to configure a Series 3 device using the RC4 Codeloader Cable while it is wired to something?

      Our configuration software only accesses devices via wireless, but you do have other options.  (By the way, you can control a device using wired DMX from the miniplug while also configuring it wirelessly. This is particularly handy when experimenting with Custom Pixel Profile settings in our DMXpix pixel driver.)

      The wired miniplug connection does work for RDM configuration. If you have a DMXter or a DMXcat, you can plug into the miniplug port to set dimmer channels, curves, PWM frequency, and RC4 Digital Persistence time. RDM does not give you access to advanced features for which there are no standard RDM codes (PIDs).

      If you only need to set dimmer channels and curves, you can plug any DMX data source into the miniplug and use RC4 OneTouch. In that case, the dimmer is responding to wired DMX just as it does for wireless data. Bring up a single channel you want to assign, and tap the Set button for the dimmer you want to use with it. The level of the channel determines the dimmer curve. For LEDs, use a level of 30%. If you’re using incandescent or halogen, like an MR16, use 70%.

      To adapt regular 5-pin XLR devices, like the DMXter, DMXcat, or any lighting controller, we have XLR->miniplug adaptors available, or you can make your own.

      There is lots more information, including tutorial videos, Quick Start Guides, and adaptor pin-outs, located in our knowledge base.

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    • Can I use RC4 Commander with LumenDim or W-DIM technologies equipment?

      RC4 Commander software does not work with LumenDim or W-DIM products, which do not use RC4Magic radios. Commander works only with RC4Magic, RC4Magic-900, and RC5 EASS, all of which are RC4 Wireless proprietary technologies.

      Our RC4 LumenDim devices, based on genuine CRMX RF from LumenRadio in Sweden, are configurable using the built-in buttons, or RDM (Remote Device Management).  If you are using a LumenRadio RDM-capable transmitter, then you can use their award-winning SuperNova software for wireless configuration.  Super Nova is a free download from the Lumen Radio website.

      At the time of this writing, LumenRadio has not released wireless RDM transmitter functionality to OEM developers.  Thus, our LumenDimIO cannot be used with SuperNova, and neither can any other 3rd-party CRMX transmitters.  Only LumenRadio branded transmitters will work for wireless RDM.

      You can always connect an RDM controller to any RC4 Series 3 dimmer (anything made since 2014) by wire, using the RC4 miniplug port.  With a simple low-cost adaptor (which is included with our starter kits), any DMX/RDM controller can be used this way.  Very good, full featured RDM controllers include the DMXcat by City Theatrical, and the DMXter4-RDM by Goddard Designs.

      Not all RDM controllers are alike. It is important that the controller you choose supports RDM Subdevices, and extended PID (RDM Parameter Identifiers) for dimmer control. There are quite a few simple RDM controllers that do not support these advanced features.  Ask the manufacturer or your supplier to be sure. This is very important!

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RC4 Glossary

Not sure about the nomenclature of all our products and concepts? Please have a look at the glossary, it will make you feel better!