5 pin & 3 pin XLR wiring pinout information
The three pin and five pin XLR pinout is a very standard connection used for audio (mic level & line level – 3 pin) and lighting control (DMX – 5-pin) applications. This article shows the XLR Pinout diagrams for both 3-pin and 5-pin connectors. You’ll also discover each XLR pin’s polarity.
3 Pin XLR Pinout
The XLR Pinout for 3 Pin XLR connectors is very standard. This diagram shows you the different pin numbering used on Male and Female XLR connectors.
These are what connect to each pin on a standard XLR connector:
- Pin 1: Shield / Ground
- Pin 2: Positive
- Pin 3: Negative
XLR Colour Codes
There is no standard colour code for XLR connectors. As a broad rule, you can use the following colours:
- Pin 2 (Positive): Red
- Pin 3 (Negative): White or Black
This colouring scheme is consistent with the Australian colour coding for 240V wiring. Some professional XLR cable will provide you with a data sheet, which specifies the XLR colour codes it prefers – especially on multi-pair cable.
5 Pin XLR Pinout
This diagram shows the common XLR Pinout for 5-pin XLR connectors. This connector is commonly used for lighting control via DMX, although I’ve also seen it used for some power supplies and party-line comms systems. Here is the DMX 5-pin XLR pin out:
- Pin 1: Shield (Common)
- Pin 2: DMX 1 Negative
- Pin 3: DMX 1 Positive
- Pin 4: DMX 2 Negative
- Pin 5: DMX 2 Positive
Not all connectors will connect the second pair to pins 4 and 5. It is often left empty, as most lights do not require it.
DMX 5 Pin to 3 Pin Wiring
Many lighting fixtures have 3-pin connectors instead fo 5-pin connectors. This table shows you how to wire up a 3pin to 5pin XLR adaptor:
|3 Pin||5 Pin||Signal/Purpose|
Wiring XLR to RJ45
You may be wondering if you can run Audio & DMX via RJ45 (Cat5 & Cat6) connectors. The answer is a resounding ‘yes’!
A common wiring scheme is StudioHub+, which allows two 3-pin XLR connectors per RJ45 connector. This scheme can be adapted for DMX too.
DMX to RJ45 Wiring
You can use the following table to connect 5 pin DMX connectors to Cat5 or Cat6 RJ45 connectors:
|XLR Pin||RJ45 Pin||Signal/Purpose|
|1||7 & 8||Common|
|2||2||Data 1 –|
|3||1||Data 1 +|
|4||6||Data 2 –|
|5||3||Data 2 +|
XLR Pins 4 & 5 can often be left disconnected, as most lights do not use the 2nd data channel. However, since you have the pairs at your disposal on your Cat6 cable, you may as well connect them and future-proof yourself.
Audio XLR to RJ45 Wiring
Here is the wiring scheme to connect Rj45 connectors to XLR connectors for stereo audio, using the StudioHub+ standard.
|Pin||TIA/EIA 568A Colour||TIA/EIA 568B Colour||Function||XLR Pin|
|1||Green / White||Orange / White||Left +||Left 2|
|2||Green||Orange||Left –||Left 3|
|3||Orange / White||Green / White||Right +||Left 2|
|5||Blue / White||Blue / White|
|6||Orange||Green||Right –||Left 3|
|7||Brown / White||Brown / White|
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