ANSI E1.20-2006 Remote Device Management (RDM) for DMX512 has recently been published and is available for immediate purchase as a PDF or hardcopy. The PDF and hardcopy are available from ANSI's Electronic Standards Store or The ESTA Foundation.

The list price is $40; member and quantity discounts are available. Members of the new ESTA Technical Standards Program Subscription Service automatically receive this new standard as well as copies of all published documents as part of their subscription.

ANSI E1.20 (RDM) is an extension to DMX512 that allows for Bi-directional communication on the primary pair of a DMX512 link. This allows for a controller or piece of test equipment to intelligently discover other RDM enabled devices on the link such as moving lights or dimmer racks and manage them remotely. This includes the ability to remotely set the DMX512 Starting Address, querying the devices for Error or Status Messages, and access to most any configuration setting that would normally be accomplished from the front panel of the device itself.

RDM can operate in conjunction with both newer RDM devices as well as any legacy DMX512 products on the same data link without any performance impact. Since RDM operates on the primary pair of the DMX512 link, the only infrastructure upgrade required for RDM is upgrading existing Data Splitters to bi-directional models that support RDM.

Co-chair of the ESTA Control Protocols Working Group Steve Terry comments, “The true power of RDM will become evident in hybrid systems that combine ACN (E.1.17 Architecture for Control Networks) and RDM. The DMX512/RDM link is the ideal bi-directional solution to handle the ‘last mile,’ daisy-chained link between network gateways and lightweight equipment throughout the rig, while ACN provides the scaleability and power of an advanced network protocol.''

Scott Blair, task group chair for the RDM task group adds, ''It's incredibly exciting to see all the new technology that this protocol is going to enable. RDM being released marks the most significant advancement for our industry since DMX512 was first released and will complement the soon to be released ACN protocol well.''

ANSI E1.20 (RDM) was developed by the Control Protocols Working Group with input from the wider lighting community via public reviews. Membership in the Control Protocols Working Group is open to all who are affected by the work of the group; membership in ESTA or any other organization is not a requirement. Affected parties would include anybody that makes, specifies, sells, installs, or uses lighting control equipment. Voting members are required to attend meetings so that the working group can be assured of having a quorum and being able to conduct business, but observer members are not required to attend, although they are welcome if they do. More information about joining the working groups in ESTA's Technical Standards Program is available online.