Micro-Scope DMX tester reinvented for RDM
Tuesday, 3 May 2022
stonesThe first prototype was put through its paces on the Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge build in Toronto in 1993
UK - Artistic Licence has announced the reinvention of Micro-Scope, the DMX tester first launched in the 1990s and a common sight in many toolcases today. Most significantly, the new version - Micro-Scope 3c - supports RDM, hugely increasing its functionality. For all those who already own a Micro-Scope, you can buy a kit containing a replacement chip for your old device which will bring it up to the 3c specification.
Artistic Licence inventor/owner, Wayne Howell brings the story up to date. “It was 1992. The Internet was a scientist’s plaything, email was a curiosity, mobile phones were the size of a bus and the fax machine was the latest must-have gadget. But DMX512 was starting to catch on.
“I’d recently started Artistic Licence and I didn’t have a DMX tester. In fact, I didn’t know anyone who had a DMX tester. It seemed likely there would be a market for such a tool. And so, I set about designing what would become Micro-Scope. My design brief was pretty spartan. I wanted it to be a sensible price, robust, have a good battery life and provide all the features a roadie would need.
“At the time, Artistic Licence was a production company - mainstream product manufacturing would come later. So Micro-Scope was something of a background project.
“The first prototype came to life in late ’93 and earnt its keep on the Pink Floyd Division Bell tour rehearsals in San Bernadino and then the Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge build in Toronto. In fact, some of the first Micro-Scope customers were the crew on those tours. That original prototype only really worked when plugged into power - I’d made an embarrassing error calculating battery life!
“Fast forward to 2022, many thousands sold and numerous product iterations and feature improvements made. But today, a DMX tester without RDM looks a little dated. In the process of designing our latest DMX/RDM tester, Commissioner rdmx, I found myself wondering whether all this design effort could be ‘poured’ back into Micro-Scope.
“It would all depend upon whether Micro-Scope had bi-directional DMX drivers (RDM works by asking a question and then switching direction to listen to the answer).
“There was no particular reason why I would have made Micro-Scope bi-directional, but on reviewing the original schematics - I had. It was possible to offer an upgrade for a product designed 30 years ago, to support RDM.”
The Micro-Scope 3c upgrade kit adds many new features, with RDM at the forefront. It can also receive and re-transmit which allows new functions such as Fix mode to be added to the engineers’ tool-chest.

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