CSL XLR Cable Tester – For DMX or Audio 3 Pin XLR Cables

September 4, 2017 by Brian S. Redd

Now, here’s something that I’ve been meaning to show you guys for a long time, I just haven’t had the opportunity. The opportunity came up this weekend. Check this out. This is the CSL XLR cable tester. It tests XLR cables, DMX and audio. Here’s how it works. Here’s your female end. Looks just like an XLR end. And here’s your male end. Now, on the end of the male end, you’ve got two little LEDs up here; an amber and a red. Let’s have a look at a DMX cable. This is an Accu-Cable, 10 foot XLR cable. We’ll do this one first. Going to go ahead and plug the female end here and then here’s the male end of our cable tester. When I do that, look, we have an amber and a red LED that comes on. That means that this cable is fine, no problem.

Next up, we’re going to do this [inaudible] cable and go ahead and do the same thing. Plug our female end over here and our male end over here. One handed, sorry about that, folks. And look, we have a red and an amber LED. Our cable is fine.

So this weekend I’m suspecting this cable was giving me problems. I had to switch some stuff around. I’m pretty sure this was the culprit. Let’s go ahead and find out. I’m going to plug, once again, our female end over here and our male end over here. Okay, now see, I have no lights on here. Now, according to CS&L, or Colorado Sound and Light, that means that I’ve got a defective pin 1. So what I can do, with no amber or red on, is tear this cable apart and repair the cable that’s on pin 1 or I can throw it away. I’m going to throw it away. Now, if you’ve got only a red LED, that means that only pin 2 is good. If you have only an amber LED, it means only pin 3 is good.

So it does tell you what’s going on with your cable. I can wiggle this around or whatever, just to kind of see if a light comes on and I’m getting nothing. There’s nothing at all. So this cable is junk. I’m throwing it away. This is just a cool little tool to keep in your arsenal. It comes with this carrying case, which is nice. You can put it right in your computer bag or in your cable bag. I have it in my toolbox here in the shop. Whenever I need it, I grab it.

This is the first time that I’ve really needed to check out and see if this was indeed the culprit of my problem with my system. It is. It’s junk. I’m replacing it. Cool product from Colorado Sound and Light, or CSL — CSandL.com. The XLR cable tester. Thanks for watching. Practice and enjoy.

Jay Brannon posted this picture on Facebook today. Here’s the story. A DJ in Canada decided to save some money and import some lighting direct from China. It was battery operated stuff and he was having problems with it, so a fellow DJ decided to help out and bring these fixtures into a local battery shop to have them tested and this happened. They went on the $5000 tester and the batteries basically became vapor. So the moral of the story is, maybe it’s not a great idea to import cheap lights directly from China.

Somebody chimed in and said, yeah, well, that’s unfortunate, but the thing is, is that a lot of companies make lights in China, so what’s the difference? I could talk about this all week, but I want to do a short video. Let me just start with this. It has to do with quality control. When lighting is being built, the best lighting has quality control right there on the line in China. Somebody that, let’s say, the American company or the Canadian company or wherever they’re from in the Western world, brought into the factory to make sure things were done right – solders, solid circuitry, the firmware is right, the diodes are correct, and of course the batteries are stable.

Sometimes a company will order, I don’t know, like a dozen samples of a product they’re thinking about doing. They’ll have them shipped to the main facility in the Western world, have a look at them, test them out and make sure they’re okay. If there are any problems with them, they will contact the company and say, “Look, great, but we need this better and that better. Give us 12 more.” They’ll do it. Twelve more come in. They poke at them, they test them, yeah, those are good. Let’s go with this. And they order, I don’t know, 1000 of them to have imported, shipped out to the stores and sold to you, the customer.

Now, the other thing they do, once the lights come into the country, they put them on a line where they actually test everything before it goes out to the store. So it gets tested twice. It gets tested in China. It gets tested in the States or in Europe or wherever the lights are imported to in the Western world. Then they get shipped out to the stores, to you, the DJ.

Why do they go through all this? There are a couple of reasons. First of all, they don’t need the liability of something like this happening with one of their fixtures. The other thing they want to do is give you at least that three year warranty. If their products are not solid enough to last at least three years, then they’re going to be spending a lot of money shipping you new product, and that’s not good for them. They want to send you product that’s going to last so they don’t have to replace it.

So I don’t want to bore you with all this stuff. There’s a lot to it. But I just want to kind of give you an idea of what the difference is. There is a real difference between the name brand stuff and the cheap stuff you’re just importing. They may look alike. They may look exactly alike. The casings may be identical, but inside they could be very different and if there’s a company in China that’s just sending stuff out to the world, what are they going to do? They’re not going to warrantee this stuff and they don’t care what happens to it once you get it. They’re using the cheapest stuff they can possibly use inside these products to keep the price done so that you buy it. So don’t buy it, buy the good stuff.

Thanks for watching. Practice and enjoy.


Brian S. Redd Brian S. Redd (50 Posts)

Although he can be seen Djing in places like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, or even the UK & Europe, DJ Brian Redd is proud to call Milwaukee home. Brian specializes in mobile events such as wedding receptions, corporate events, quinceañeras, parties and special occasions. He has also been a resident DJ at several major Milwaukee night clubs and also performs at Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival. From the beginning Brian has had a passion for music. His talent emerged at the young age of 13 when he was asked to DJ at a local skating rink. After realizing his calling he progressed on to weddings and mobile gigs and by age 18 he was DJing regularly at nightclubs. He understands people & what motivates them music wise, which helps keep them on the dance floor. Brian has been recognized for his work in various DJ publications both domestic and abroad. He has made a name for himself in the DJ community where he is known and respected as an industry consultant. This recognition has led to his contributions as a writer for Disc Jockey News. A true international DJ, Brian travels worldwide to not only perform but to educate and share industry ideas and concepts with DJs everywhere. His career has gone to the next level working with industry leading manufactures bringing new products and services to his peers helping them become better DJs.

Filed Under: Lighting for Mobile DJs, Sound Engineering for Mobile DJs