Artistic Licence launches nanoScope at PLASA London 2014

September 29, 2014

Artistic Licence is excited to launch nanoScope, its much anticipated pocket-sized tester for DMX512 and RDM. Following a tantalising preview at last year’s show, the market-ready version of nanoScope can be viewed on Stand L50.


Lightweight, battery-powered and with a translucent plastic casing, nanoScope features a built-in 5-pin XLR connector that enables it to be attached directly to the DMX512 cable. The device lights up in different colours to indicate its findings – this provides rapid, intuitive feedback that is hands-free and visible at a distance (handy for awkward positions such as plenum spaces or hanging off a truss).


Two modes of operation exist, selected by a recessed slide switch that also controls power on/off.

In ‘Pixel Mode’, nanoScope displays the first three DMX512 channels as an RGB mix, to provide confidence that the expected data is on the cable. This is particularly useful for commissioning DMX installations, as it can be used to track down any parts of the system that are misbehaving.

A flick of the switch selects ‘Analysis Mode’, which can be used to check for more subtle problems or to gain detailed informational feedback. nanoScope displays one long blip (green or red to indicate ‘good’ or ‘bad’ data respectively), then a train of short coloured blips representing different attributes of the DMX512 signal (it also detects RDM). The device can distinguish between 6 different types of good/informational signals (cold colours) and 5 different types of bad/unusual signals (hot colours). A handy legend printed on the side of nanoScope tells the user what each colour means.

Company CEO, Wayne Howell, comments, “By introducing a low-cost, sophisticated yet intuitive tester to the market, we think that nanoScope will become a must-have gadget for every technician. The response to the product has been amazing – it already has a waiting list of customers following its preview last year. We’ve put a great deal of effort into the final design, and we’re confident it won’t disappoint”.

Further technical information about nanoScope:

  • Orange: Break Length out of range, less than 88uS (an error)
  • Magenta: Mark After Break (MaB), less than 8uS (an error)
  • Yellow: Framing error (an error but does occur legitimately during RDM discovery)
  • Red: RDM data format wrong (an error)
  • Pink: Packet too long, contains more than 512 channels (an error)
  • Cyan: Less than 512 channels in data (informational)
  • Warm White: Non-zero start codes (excluding RDM) detected (usually informational but can be an error)
  • Green: RDM detected in data (informational)
  • Mint: RDM draft detected in data (informational)
  • UV Blue: RDM responses detected (informational)
  • Ice Blue: DMX test packets detected (informational)


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