Yesterday I wandered into an electronics store intending to buy nothing and walked out with an old computer, a “dmx ProFusion X Digital Media Manager”.
From what I can tell this was designed to play music in a store. On the back it has connectors that convert the standard 3.5mm audio outpus to RCA’s that I’m assuming go to amplifiers.
When I walked to the register with the PC, the clerk was wondering why the machine was on the floor in the first place. He told me he couldn’t sell it because the hard drive was still installed and still had music on it. I asked if he could sell it without the hard drive, he agreed, ripped it out, and I was on my way.
It came running a VIA C3 CPU at 800MHz and with a whopping 128MB of DDR333, but it came in a nice case for a project. It’s face has 7 buttons and an LCD. It attempts to display a DMX banner as soon as power is applied. By attempts I mean that about half of the display is dead.
Inside, the front panel is powered using a floppy disk style power connector and interfaces using a 10 pin ribbon that occupies two a 2 port USB header on the motherboard. The USB device presents itself as a standard FTDI serial to USB interface. After some trial and error, I discovered that it runs at 19.2k baud and the buttons are mapped to send a single digit for each:
- Style Up
- Style Down
When I send text to the display at the same baud rate it appears to display on the LCD, but since the display is broken it’s hard to see if the correct text is displayed, and I haven’t found what to send the display to set or reset the cursor position or clear the display.
I replaced the motherboard with and old socket 757 motherboard and a 1.8ghz AMD CPU, and I plan to make this a music jukebox at some point. It’s burried deep on my todo list for now and if I come up with anything worth sharing I certainly will.