NSI Dimmers – The Complete Guide – Learn Stage Lighting .com

NSI Dimmers – The Complete Guide

Do you have a NSI Microplex system?  Looking for a new NSI dimmer pack, or need to replace one that has broken?

Many churches and other facilities have NSI Microplex lighting systems, and don’t know where to find a replacement NSI dimmer.  While it is true that Microplex is different from DMX, they use the same XLR connector.  This is where some confusion occurs among churches, who sometimes invest in the wrong product to for their lighting system.

Below, I have highlighted a few NSI dimmers, their features and my experience with the product.  If you need more help buying a DMX dimmer, check out my dimmer buying guide right here!

NSI Dimmers Highlighted

Leviton D4DMX – My favorite dimmer pack, this unit is rated for 20A(2400w) total/10A(1200w) per channel.  This allows you a little more flexibility in patching and you can use lamps brighter than 600w!  It also has both DMX and microplex inputs/outputs if you want to upgrade to DMX later.  It also has breakers on each channel, so no fuses are blown if you accidentally overload a channel!

Leviton N600 – This is a NSI dimmer pack that I would stay away from.  It’s only allows a 600w lamp per channel, and doesn’t have easily-accessible fuses.  It only has microplex, and there isn’t a place to insert a lighting clamp, so your mounting options are limited.  They are safe and do work well, but, as I said, I don’t recommend purchasing them, since there are better options out there, like the D4DMX.

Leviton N8000 – If you are in need of a microplex rack unit, this is the dimmer for you!  It’s 8 channels can support 1200w(10a) each, and a total load of 9600w(80a).  It doesn’t have DMX input, but it does thankfully have exterior breakers on each channel.  This is a popular unit in church installations from the 80’s and 90’s, and many still have working units till this day!

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  • L says:

    I have a NSI MC 7016 and spilled a little coffee on it. Should it be easy to clean the buttons?

    • David says:

      Yes – If you just spilled a little coffee on it, use a paper towel that is slightly dampened with isopropyl alcohol. Be gentle, go slowly, and make sure you don’t get any of the alcohol inside the console. And of course, always unplug everything from the console before cleaning!

  • Doug says:

    I’m scouring the web to find info on a Uni Star DC5 lighting controller, to learn its communication protocol and potential replacement controllers.

    Do you know if it’s DMX, Microplex, or other protocol?

    • David says:

      Hey Doug,

      I’ve never heard of this controller! Do you have a picture of it’s output jack? Feel free to email it to me @ questions @ Learn stage lighting .com (no spaces)


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