Controlling ADA Processors via 2-Way RS232

I have had a few requests on how to connect and control ADA Audio Processors such as the Suite 7.1 HD or Cinema Rhapsody MkIV, so thought I would make a quick post explaining the two methods.

ISO-Cat II method

Using an ‘ADA ISO-CAT II ADA Bus to RS-232 I/O‘ is the most robust and ‘best’ method of communicating with the ADA Processor and is of course fully supported by your dealer. The down side of course is that you need to purchase an extra component and they are not cheap. On the plus side it does filter out any unwanted noise from computer based controllers.

Manual method

This method is more fiddly but is a lot cheaper. The downside of course is that you are on your own and if you make a mess and fry your control system or processor, you are on your own. Having said that it isn’t too difficult to wire up as long as you are careful. This method should work with any ADA Processor using the ADA Bus but don’t come crying to me if something goes wrong!

ADA Bus on rear of ADA Suite 7.1 HD

In the image above you can see the ADA bus connector on the far right, next to the power socket. Pull the ADA bus terminal block out to make your life a little easier and note the terminal pins are labelled 1-4.

These pins have the following functions:

ADA Bus – RS232

Terminal 1 – Pin 5
Terminal 2 – Pin 2
Terminal 3 – Pin 3
Terminal 4 – +15v (for use with other ADA Bus equipment) DO NOT CONNECT TO THIS TERMINAL!

I use a NevoConnect controller that outputs RS232 via a standard Serial Connector. To connect the two I purchased a standard Serial cable and cut off the end I didn’t need, the other I connected to the NevoController. In order to identify which coloured cables corresponded with which pins on the RS232 cable I cu all the plastic insulation off of the redundant connector so I could see which coloured wires were soldered to which pins.

I have no way of knowing if all RS232 cables use the same colour codes but in my case they were:

ADA Bus – RS232 – Colour

Terminal 1 – Pin 5 – Yellow
Terminal 2 – Pin 2 – Brown
Terminal 3 – Pin 3 – Red

I suggest you check the termination on your cable, should you choose that route and not assume mine are universal.

Remember, your first port of call should be with your dealer, this method is not supported.

Let me know if it works for you!


Adam 🙂

2 Responses to “Controlling ADA Processors via 2-Way RS232”

  1. me again! I reckon I could cut an RS232 cable as you’ve done, but I haven’t got that 4 way molex adaptor on the back of mine.

    Could you send me a picture of yours at some point please?
    Having had them missing on some Genelec in-wall speakers and having sourced replacements from RS components (Phoenix Contacts btw) I reckon I could get a replacement based on a photo.
    Failing that I’ll call Stone Audio, where I purchased it from and who installed/calibrated it, they must have taken it off!

    Once I’ve got this though, is it easy enough to set up the Nevo (I’ve Pronto, Logitech and iRule experience) is there a set of “codes” or a “device” available for the ADA? Ta.

  2. Hi Nathan,

    I am pretty sure the plug is then 4-Way shown on this page.

    The Nevo is more complex than Harmony but probably similar difficulty to a Pronto. For RS232 just use the codes in the Manual, you can enter them manually (Add Device -> Add Serial Device -> Create a new Serial device). Just make sure you remove the commas from the Hex so you only have a space between the 7 pairs of characters.

    There aren’t any current ADA products in the Nevo Database last time I looked.

    Adam 🙂

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