The standard for theatre and stage lighting is DMX-512, a nearly 40-year old standard for controlling stage equipment over big, chonky connectors. It is essentially the MIDI of lighting, and that means oversized, expensive controllers. The Pocket Koala is the small, pocketable solution to testing out strings of DMX lights, without the overheards – except if we’re still talking about lights.
The Pocket Koala uses four buttons and four faders (or linear pots, if you’re of that persuasion) to control 256 DMX channels. A small OLED display splits everything up into four channels of 64 banks, with global and correlated color temperature available at your fingertips. Power is provided through a USB-C connector, and output is done using an RJ45 connector. Of course, the Pocket Koala may also use an XLR output with an adapter.
Compared to the lighting rigs you’d find in the back of a venue that rival the largest mixing decks, the Pocket Koala is minute at just 95mm across. Yes, it can actually fit in your pocket, but still has all the power to test a set of DMX512 lights!
The Pocket Koala is a product of Digital Cool, a Tindie seller out of Burlington, Ontario, Canada. While they’ve started their creator journey with some PCB reference coasters, their current work, including a very small battery-powered dev board, is getting better and better.