Cheap Color Kinetics DMX Driver

Color Kinetics (a subsidiary of Philips) builds RGB based LED lighting fixtures. Some of the older, obsolete models, can be purchased fairly inexpensively on ebay . They are typically powered and driven by an expensive power supply unit called the PDS-150e. This device interfaces a set of lighting fixtures to either a DMX controller or a proprietary Color Kinetics communication protocol. I reverse engineered the DMX interface and came up with this very simple interface circuit that lets a DMX controller drive a few specific CK lights. The iColor Cove 6”, iColor Cove 12” and ColorBurst 4 and 6 have a 3-wire interface carrying +24 volts, ground and a re-driven DMX signal. My circuit re-drives the DMX signal using voltage levels acceptable to the fixtures. All you need to supply is a 24 VDC regulated power supply and a DMX controller.
CK Fixture with new driver

Driving a iColor Cove 6"

Close up of driver custom circuit board

View of driver board

Close up of CK connections
The CK fixtures implement 3 sequential DMX channels for red, green and blue. While the iColor Cove fixtures have DIP switches that allow setting any DMX address the ColorBurst devices require a special Color Kinetics programmer to configure the DMX address. By default their DMX address is channel 1 (the first DMX data slot). It is possible other CK fixtures will work with this circuit. Look for fixtures that require the PDS-150e. Many newer fixtures will not work as they use a different communication protocol.

Connection to fixture (signal in middle)