Can Dimmer Rack Pass-Thru a DMX Universe

I'm volunteering at a theater with a 12-15 year old Unison Dimming System DRd12-24-120.  It was installed with a direct 3-conductor DMX cable between the theater's Zero88 lighting console and the dimmer rack.  But the rack only hosts 16 circuits so the rest of that DMX universe is going to waste.  I'd like to recoup the rest of the universe addresses without putting an active splitter in the line (who needs more cost and space just to create an additional failure point?).  Can we just daisy-chain the universe through the rack much like any common fixture that offers DMX In and Out jacks?  I can't be the first guy to stumble on such waste of address space.  Thoughts?  It's a 501(c)3 so it's not like there's a ton of money lying around.

  • I guess it slightly depends on where your console and dimmer rack are located. But why wouldnt you just go console long DMX out to fixtures and then long DMX back to the dimmer rack?

  • The dimmer end is hardwired to an internal connector of some sort and runs to there through conduit making it difficult to access.  The console end is actually available via typical XLR connectors, but it's no where near any fixtures so accessing it at that end requires a long run to fixtures and long run to get it back (although I have toyed with the idea of running it to a D-Fi or some other inexpensive wireless transmitter).  If there's a technical reason the original installer (long since out of business) ran direct to the dimmer rack with no provision for daisy-chaining, then I won't risk the system's health by asking a new company to come in and make it accessible.  But if the original installer just assumed that the theater would collapse in a couple years so why plan for the future or there was no money to plan for the future or they assumed DMX was just a passing phase, then it's worth our while to regain those addresses out of the dimmer panel where we're 12 years later now using a lot of floor-based LED up-lights and moving lights that we reconfigure per show.  So in a nutshell I guess the question is whether the original installation just lacked vision or is there a technical reason the DMX universe can't be daisy chained onward from inside the enclosure.