Review: City Theatrical DMXCat

Aug 18, 2023

Want a DMX test device and so much more – all from the palm of your hand?

For years, having a hand-held DMX tester with multiple functions meant shelling out anywhere from $400-$1000 plus for a semi-bulky unit with a basic LCD screen.

Sure, if you were a professional user, it was pretty essential when troubleshooting lights in large lighting rigs.  But for the semi-professional, or professional not doing huge gigs, these were out of the budget.

Enter the City Theatrical DMXcat.

I remember when I first heard about this product when it was released in 2016.  It won numerous awards, and looked amazing.  Now, about 1 year later, I’ve bought one for myself and want to share with you my review:

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Hey everybody. I’m David Henry from Learn Stage Lighting that come in today. I want share with you this the city theatrical DMXcat. Now if you’re not familiar the DMXcat is a device that City Theatrical came out with about a year ago. It’s a multi functional test unit for your lighting system. So what does it do? Well you simply buy this box from city theatrical which is a simple Bluetooth enabled box with a rechargeable battery that plugs into your DMX system via a five pin cable. And you download this at the City theatrical DMXcat app. Now even if you don’t buy this device you can download the app today and check out a few really cool features. The first cool feature is the dip switch calculator so you just launch this guy up and you’re able to type in the address you want or hit the device which is to find out what address you have.

It’s a really great tool. If you’re on Android you can also go ahead and get access to a light meter that uses the internal light meter on your phone or tablet in an RF analyzer that looks at the 2.5 gigahertz range and shows you what’s going on so if your runs wireless DMX are having trouble with your Wi-Fi boom click on. You can see what other networks are in the area and what channels they’re operating on. Now when you turn on your DMX cat you can then connect it to the DMX cat app. And this is where things get really exciting. There’s a lot of cool features you can use. Let me show you the tournament next cat watching the app it’s film idea and it’s and now it’s connected there’s a number of apps that pop up when you connect to DMX can.

The first is the DMX controller. This is a simple DMX control app where you just can go channel by channel within the DMX universe and bring channels that or down set whatever level you want the fixture controller on the other hand is a really cool app that allows you to go in select a fixture set the starting address and be able to control it with real world parameters just like you would on a console. Now benefit this is whether you’re in a shop or on a show you can quickly plug this guy and grab control of the fixture that you need to work with and do whatever you need to do the DMX tester app allows you to use the included five to five pin turn around to test the mix.

Now you can receive that turn around or send out DMX and if you’re receiving you can get all kinds of vital signs about the break time and the specifics of the DMX rate etc. all within this app. My favorite The RDM controller allows you to go ahead and find and control Argee enabled fixtures so you just open this app up. You connect your RDM enable fixtures first and then the DMX cat is going to find all those fixtures. If you’ve got them plugged into an opto split make sure it’s an RDM enabled opto and it’s going to fight all the fixtures and then you’re going to be able to go and see what their addresses identify the fixture so they start strobing so you can see what fixture it is. Change the address change the profile look at the temperature sensors look at errors reset the fixture.

Anything you can do via RDM you can do in the RDM controller in addition say you find a unit with RDM on the DMX get that you want to control it. You can hop right over from there to the fixture controller and the app is going to fill out all of the info about the starting address etc.. Now that have kind of given you a brief overview of what this great unit does. I want to show you some examples that I’ve used it for on some shows recently. The first thing I did was I had some LED pars, eight of them there were. They were elation Sixpars that came from 4Wall and I didn’t have time nor did the shop to pre address them before they went on my show.

So I simply had the stagehands set them up told them where to put the unit said “Hey order doesn’t matter just get the units in the places” and plug them in and then I unplugged my universe feed out of the back of my console for the universe. Plug it right into the DMXcat, hit RDM and within about ten seconds I was able to see those 8 units plus the Mac auras that I also had in the data chain. I was then able to go ahead changed the fixture profile because I wanted to use a different one than 4Wall that set them to. And then I was able to go after that and locate each unit so I could see where they were in my room all standing at my console. Then I was able to change the addresses to what I wanted to and then I could literally stand there at my console you know close DMXcat closed my patch window on my console once I addressed them all and I had control of everything.

Just like that. Another great option is if you’re a test technician you fix stuff in the shop you need test fixtures you just plug this cat into your fixture grab the RDM or doesn’t have RDM just do the fixture controller set the parameters and now instead of having you know oldskool faders you might have an old school fader board- that’s really popular. You’ve now got exact control of intensity pan tilt Gobo. It all shows up in the app and you can just select it as if you’re on a console, all from your phone. It’s really handy. So the big question that might be on your mind is do I recommend it?

Yes I do. Between the ease of use great rechargeable battery charging via a micro USB and this cool little flashlight that comes on it it’s a great unit. I think it’s worth the money I paid for it and so I’m going to link to a few things below for you guys. I’m going to link to City Theatricals full video on this unit where they go to the DMXcat. They show you every function and every app and go into detail on how they all work. So if you’re on the fence about buying it check out that video. I’m going to show you where you can buy the DMXcat. It’s available through City Theatrical dealers and I’m going to link to a place online where you can get it at a great price.

And last but not least. I’m going to link to a post on Learn Stage Lighting that’s got this video the transcript and other additional resources in it. If you are brand new to lighting. Hop on over to the a Learn Stage, and I want to help you I want to get some guides in your hand free guide to help you with your type of lighting, so hop on over there. Click the links below or on the side here on youtube and thanks for watching.


Full video from City Theatrical showing the capabilities of the DMXcat:

Buy the DMXcat on Amazon by clicking here!

Download the FREE app on your App Store:
Google Play:


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