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Furse Digital to DMX


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At the moment at school we have a very old Furse system that runs on the Furse digital system and not DMX. We are not in the position to upgrade the system to a full DMX one and when the dimmers and working fine we see no need to do so.


The problem we have is that the desk is slowly disintergrating and will cost quite a bit to fix/replace.


What I want to know is that is ist possible to somehow make a converter to change the furse digital signal into a nice DMX 512 signal that we can use our DMX board on. We did try just plugging in the DMX board into the Furse digintal system but it popped several resistors in the board. Is there any interface that can be used between the two different system


Thanks in advance



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Yes, cct sell them.

£300 for the 18 channel one I think, will edit in a link.



Regal FMX to DMX Conversion Kit 12-way Rack £315.00

Regal FMX to DMX Conversion Kit 18-way Rack £360.00

Regal FMX to DMX Conversion Kit 24-way Rack £405.00

(that is the right way round for what you want to do)




Worth bearing in mind you'd be looking at atleast £300 for a new 6 way DMX dimmer.

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realistically, how many dimmers do you have? You look as if you have to buy a new control, so you are going to have to spend on that. You can buy the interface for £400 to run 4 dimmers - but to be blunt, how long are these going to last? - so it's not really cos effective. 4 cheap dimmers will cost you around £165+vat each.
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Paulears is quite right, the converter is more of a solution where budget is tight.


However, despite not being especially keen on them, ours (now replaced) have been working for years, and I expect there's life in them yet.


Edit: I didn't get a 'new post' warning but, paulears, the OP says his dimmers run of FMX and their FMX board is in a bad state and they want to use a DMX board with the current FMX dimmers.

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Our furse board is disingtergrating but we have a DMX board that is working fine that is used in the dance studio in the moderner block. I want the converters so that I can use the DMX board on the Furse system. Sorry for any confusion.
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One of our performance spaces with a 24 channel FMX desk & dimmer is being demolished in a year or so. I suspect they'll end up in a skip so when the time comes, if anyone wants them...


(They're not rebuilding an equivalent space for us though :) )

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Getting back to the OP.... you don't tell us much about your existing install (model numbers etc) - the more information you can supply, the more likely we are to be able to supply a useful response. Without details, all we can do is speculate.


So basically, you want to be able to control some FMX dimmers from a DMX desk. Rather than trying to convert DMX to FMX, which is an expensive option, do your dimmers have analogue inputs? If so, you could forget FMX, and use a DMX-to-analogue converter, which would be far cheaper (about 100 quid for the Botex 72-chan unit), simpler, and would probably have more residual value....

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The FMX system is not digital, so plugging in a DMX desk is never going to work.

FMX is an analogue multiplex system. I would put the spec on the Blue Room WIKI, if I could work out how to put a jpeg on it!


I have tried to describe the protocol below in a sort of pseudo digital way:


The protocol is based on channel ‘bytes’ of 560us wide. Each ‘byte’ is made up of eight 70us ‘bits’. ‘Bits’ are output in the order 1-8.

The ‘bits’ have the following function within a ‘byte’:


Synchronisation ‘byte’: Bit 1 & bit 2 - +12V

Bits 3 - 8 - 0V


Null ‘byte’: Bit 1 - +12V

Bit 2 - 8 - 0V


Channel data ‘byte’ Bit 1 - +12V

Bit 2 - 0V

Bits 3 - 6 - Channel data level (see Note)

Bits 7 - 8 - 0V


Note: The channel data level is 0V for full brightness and +10V for zero brightness.


The ‘bytes’ are output in the following order:


Sync, null, channel 1, channel 2, channel, 3, channel 4, channel 5, channel 6,

null, null, channel 7, channel 8, channel, 9, channel 10, channel 11, channel 12,

null, null, channel 13, channel 14, channel, 15, channel 16, channel 17, channel 18,

etc. for up to a maximum of 96 channels, then the pattern repeats.

There is no gap between 'bytes'.


The standard connector for these racks is a 5 pin ‘bleecon’ connector (like a 5 pin din, but latching). There is a socket both on the rack and on the desk.

The pinout is Pin 1 = +24V, Pin 2 = -24V, Pin 3 = 0V, Pin 4 = Analogue control signal (as described above).



To convert from DMX to FMX you either need to get the racks converted (as previously mentioned, approx £400 for a 24 channel system + fitting), or build yourself an interface converter box.


If you pm me I can let you have the details of a converter box I have built and used successfully at Ivanhoe College, Ashby de-la-Zouch. (For Ashby Musical Theatre Group)

It needs some electronic construction skill and I can let you have the software for a suitable donation to a charity.

It will cost you approx £100 to build and will run up to 36 channels. (if you have more, then the software could be modified up to the 96 that FMX allows)



Shez, I would be interested in the rack and desk when your 'performance space' gets demolished. Which school is it?

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