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Electronic Theatre Controls Inc

Smartfade DMX Chip Replacement


How to replace the DMX chips inside my Smartfade Console? 


DMX driver chips may fail when subjected to excessively high voltage. This can be caused by a power event such as a lightning strike. Replace this chip if any of the following conditions occur: not sending DMX to a known working device; while in backup mode, not receiving DMX from a known working device; failing the DMX self-test with a DMX loopback cable in place; burnt or damage looking chip, or flickering lights. If there has been damage, it may be necessary to replace the DMX Input (U5), the DMX Output (U2) or the Opto-Isolator chip (U3).


  1. Place your SmartFade console, face side down, on a clean, stable surface.
  2. With your screwdriver, remove the (6) circled screws.
    Smartfade bottom screws.PNG
  3. Disconnect the circled connection.
    Smfd Ribbon Cable.PNG
  4. Locate the chip you would like to replace.
    Smfd Chips.PNG
  5. With your chip puller, gently remove the DMX chip.
  6. Insert the replacement chip into the socket so that pin one (1) is in the correct location.
    1. Pin one is marked with a recessed circle.
      Smfd chip pin 1.PNG
  7. Reconnect the circled connection.
    Smfd Ribbon Cable.PNG
  8. Set the back cover in place but be sure not to catch the circled ribbon cable.
    Smfd small ribbon pinch.PNG
  9. Replace the circled screws.
    Smartfade bottom screws.PNG
  10. Test the unit to ensure that it is functioning correctly.

Related Links/References

  • How to perform a Deep Clear And Self Tests On SmartFade Consoles <Click Here>
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