Chapter 29. Remote Device Management (RDM)

29.1. Introduction

Remote Device Management (RDM) is an extention to the DMX512 protocol that allows a lighting console to detect all the RDM-enabled lighting fixtures plugged into a DMX line, and remotely change their settings (e.g. DMX address and mode). It is designed to be "faster than the ladder"; providing a quicker and safer way of changing fixture settings without having to physically use the menu on the fixture.

RDM-enabled fixtures can co-exist with older non-RDM fixtures. RDM uses the same pair of wires in the DMX cable as regular DMX, avoiding the need to replace any cabling. If you are using DMX splitters this will stop RDM from working unless the splitters are RDM aware.


Currently only the ChamSys MQ50, MQ70 and MQ80 consoles support RDM via direct DMX ports. MQ40, MQ40N, original MQ70 and MQ100 do not support RDM. ; All other MagicQ consoles support RDM via a 3rd party RDM network node which supports RDM over Art-Net, and a minimum MagicQ version of


When doing any of the RDM operations described in this chapter, e.g. discovering devices and changing settings, the DMX output rate will reduce to allow for the RDM data. Addtitionally, some fixtures which do not properly comply with the DMX specification may flicker. MagicQ does not send out RDM data in the background, only when you are using the VIEW RDM window.

29.2. Discovering and configuring devices

This will find a list of all RDM-enabled fixtures that are plugged into RDM-enabled Art-Net nodes on the network.

  2. Click on DISCOVER ALL
  3. After a few seconds you should see devices appear
  4. You may only see the UID of the device; it can take a bit longer to see the rest of the information. If MagicQ fails to fetch all the information (you see empty boxes), click on GET INFO to force this.

If you do not see anything, check that your RDM-enabled Art-Net node appears in the VIEW ART-NET window.


Some of the columns are editable using the built-in keypad (e.g. DMX address and mode).


MagicQ universe number. (Read only)
Shows if this is running over Art-Net or ACN. (Read only)
If this is running over Art-Net, this shows the Art-Net universe. (Read only)
DMX address (1 - 512). (Editable)
Number of DMX channels this fixture uses in its current mode. (Read only)
Mode/personality of the fixture (1+). This is editable; double click to show a list of different supported modes.
Number of modes/personalities supported by this fixture. (Read only)
Manufacturer of the fixture. (Read only)
Model of the fixture. (Read only)
Name of the currently selected mode/personality. (Read only)
This is a 12 digit hexadecimal number that is unique to this device. It acts in a similar way to a MAC address or IP address, allowing the RDM protocol to ensure messages can be sent to specific devices. The first four digits of the UID is also known as the "ESTA Manufacturer ID" assigned to that manufacturer. (Read only)
Device Model ID
A four digit hexadecimal number which uniquely identifies the model of the fixture for that manufacturer. (Read only)

29.2.1. Configuring devices

DMX Address
You can press the AUTO ADDRESS soft button to automatically address all the fixtures in the list, starting at 1 and incrementing based on the channel count of each fixture. Alternatively, you can manually change the Addr column using the keypad to an address in the range 1 - 512.
Modes are numbered continuously from 1 upwards. The number of modes is shown in the Tot column. Use the SET key or double click an entry in the Per column to show a list of modes and their names to select from. Alternatively, you can use the keypad to type in the mode number.


29.2.2. Identifying devices

The RDM identify command forces a fixture to output light. This is usually a flashing white light or continuous pan, tilt and colour scroll. This allows you to match up the devices you are seeing in the VIEW RDM window with physical devices on the lighting rig, similar to the Head Test feature in the PATCH window.

In the VIEW RDM window, click on encoder C (RDM Test), and use the arrow keys to scroll down the list the devices. The currently selected device will be sent the RDM identify message and highlighted red to show it is in test mode.

29.2.3. Sensors

Some RDM fixtures support sending sensor information back to the console, for example LED temperature and power consumption. If the currently selected device has any sensors they will be displayed at the top of the window.

29.3. Auto patching

Pressing the PATCH RDM HEAD soft button will patch the currently selected fixture into the show, using its current DMX address and mode. Holding shift and pressing PATCH ALL RDM soft button will patch everything in the list.

This tries to find a matching head file using the ESTA Manufacturer ID, Device Model ID and mode. If this fails it tries to match the manufacturer and model descriptions and channel count.

To improve the accuracy of the auto patching feature, you can add in the RDM information into the head file using the head editor. Three new fields have been added to the general view:

ESTA manufacturer ID (hex)
This is a four digit hexadecimal number which uniquely identifies the manufacturer of the fixture. This can be found by taking the first four digits of the UID (e.g. in the VIEW RDM window image above, the UID of the first fixture is 21A4-A30810F6 so the ESTA ID is 21A4, which will be the same for all Chauvet fixtures). A complete list can be found on the ESTA website.
RDM device model ID (hex)
This is a four digit hexadecimal number which uniquely identifies the model for this manufacturer. It can be found in the Device Model ID column or in the manual. In this example, device model ID 00AE will be the same for all Chauvet Rogue R1 FX-B fixtures.
RDM personality number
This is a decimal number which represents the mode/personality reported by RDM. This can be found in the Per column and must be 1 or higher.

The ESTA Manufacturer ID, Device Model ID and Personality number are all reported by the fixture over RDM and together can be used to match a specific head file. You should not have more than one head file with all three of these fields the same.