I found a tutorial on installing OLA on the Pi which does exactly what I want except it uses a USB to DMX converter as well. I want to find a way to output a DMX signal with as few extra components as possible using either the onboard GPIO or UART. DMX512 is based off of the RS-485 standard and from what I’ve read, UART can use it as well.
I came across THIS UART to DMX bridge document with a schematic at the end but I’m not sure how to get it working with the Pi. If anyone can help me create an ArtNet to DMX node with the RaspberryPi that would be absolutely incredible considering the cheapest all-in-one ArtNet to DMX node is $200. I know the lighting community would love it!
Here's my brief explanation of now an ArtNet and DMX system work together
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DMX512 has been the standard in lighting control since 1990 and is used for things like dimmers, intelligent lights or effects throughout the entertainment industry. Each device on the DMX network must be addressed between 1 and 512. Each channel can control one attribute. For example, a 48 channel dimmer rack would consist of 48 separate 20A dimmer cards (generally) using a single DMX512 channel each. A strobe light often uses 2 channels for controlling the intensity and rate. A single moving head generally uses 11-32 channels which adjust things like the dimmer, pan, tile, cyan, magenta, yellow, shutters, zoom, focus, iris, gobo1, gobo2, gobo rotate, 5 facet prism, prism rotate, and whatever else the manufacturer designed it to do.
For most venues this is plenty but when you start talking about concerts and dance clubs, which heavily rely on intelligent lights and LED screens, 512 channels just isn’t enough. That is when you start running multiple DMX512 networks also known as a DMX universe. Most light boards output anywhere from 1-4 DMX512 universes natively but each cable needs to be run independently and if you are using any kind of LED video wall or large RGB LED system you’ll need several more universes. This is where ArtNet comes in
ArtNet allows you to send multiple DMX512 signals over IP. Connected to the network are IP to DMX nodes. Each node can be assigned to output/input any of the universes over the network. This SIGNIFFICANTLY reduces wires since all that’s run is a single CAT5e cable instead of a DMX run for each universe. It also allows you to control anything from anywhere, which is exactly why I want it.