DMX receivers "hang off" the DMX512 lines...which means that all receiver inputs and outputs are shorted...which means that if any receiver in the chain is switched off , it will still thruput the DMX512 signal.
32 loads means that 32 recievers can be connected to the output of one transmitter...though the decision to distribute receivers is based more on geographical location and cable lengths then anything else.
We use splitters to branch of the DMX512 signal to different sets of receivers depending on where they are located.
The definitive rules for DMX512 always don't work perfectly (as most of us have painfully found out !!)It's all a mixture of cable types used, fixture models used, rig geography and cable lengths. For example, we ALWAYS put dimmers and intelligent fixtures on ,not just different branches but usually on completely different splitters. There too, we divide different dimmer rack makes/models on different legs of the splitter dedicated for the dimmers
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