Notifier Onyx 640 to Modbus TCP QuickServer Gateway

A FieldServer protocol gateway that provides data exchange between Notifier Onyx 640 and Modbus TCP.
QuickServer is a high performance, fully configurable, cost effective Building and Industrial Automation gateway for integrators to easily interface devices to networks in commercial buildings and industrial plants.
The Modbus TCP Driver allow the FieldServer to transfer data to and from devices over Ethernet using Modbus TCP Protocol.
The NFS-640 Serial driver allows the FieldServer to record data from Notifier Onyx Series NFS-640, NFS2-640 and NFS-320 Fire Panels over RS-232.
Max Points: 250, 500
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Quickserver Gateway (Serial-Ethernet)

QuickServer is a high performance, fully configurable, cost-effective Building and Industrial Automation gateway for integrators to easily interface devices to networks in commercial buildings and industrial plants.

System integrators worldwide have benefitted from the value of the powerful line of interoperability gateways offered by FieldServer. Now, QuickServer adds to that value by running the same robust FieldServer protocol conversion software on a highly cost-effective platform backed by the experience, engineering expertise and proven technical support that integrators have come to expect from FieldServer.

QuickServer (Serial-Ethernet) is available in two series:

The FS-QS-1X10 Series is preloaded with two BAS drivers (two RS485 serial ports and one Ethernet port) Drivers from a list of over 150 protocols. There is a basic QuickServer that can handle up to 250 points and an enhanced QuickServer that can handle 500 points.

The FS-QS-1220 Series is preloaded with two BAS drivers (one RS485 serial port, one RS232 serial port, and one Ethernet port) Drivers from a list of over 150 protocols. Each QuickServer can handle up to 500 points.

Each QuickServer includes browser-based tools to make it easy to set-up QuickServer and perform diagnostics including determination of status, network settings, node information, map descriptors and more. The USB flash drive also includes the Discovery utility to determine what FieldServers are on a network.

Modbus TCP

The Modbus TCP Driver allows the FieldServer to transfer data to and from devices over Ethernet using Modbus TCP Protocol. The Modbus TCP driver uses port 502. This port is not configurable. The driver was developed for Modbus Application Protocol Specification V1.1a" from Modbus-IDA. The specification can be found at The FieldServer can emulate both a Client and a Server simultaneously on the same ethernet port.

The information that follows describes how to expand upon the factory defaults provided in the configuration files included with the FieldServer.

There are various register mapping models being followed by various vendors. To cover all these models FieldServer uses the following three Models

  • Modicon_5digit – Use this format where addresses are defined in 0xxxx, 1xxxx, 3xxxx or 4xxxx format. A maximum of 9999 registers can be mapped of each type. This is FieldServer driver’s default format.
  • ADU –Application Data Unit address. Use this format where addresses of each type are defined in the range 1-65536
  • PDU –Protocol Data unit address. Use this format where addresses of each type are defined in the range 0-65535.

The key difference between ADU and PDU is for example if Address_Type is ADU and address is 1, the driver will poll for register 0. If Address_Type is PDU, the driver will poll for address 1.

Note 1: If vendor document shows addresses in extended Modicon (i.e. 6 digit) format like 4xxxxx then consider these addresses as xxxxx (omit the first digit) and use either ADU or PDU

Note 2: The purpose of providing 3 different ways of addressing the Modbus registers is to allow the user to choose the addressing system most compatible with the address list being used. At the protocol level, the same protocol specification is used for all three with the exception of the limited address range for Modicon_5digit.

Notifier ONYX NFS-640

The NFS-640 Serial driver allows the FieldServer to record data from Notifier Onyx Series NFS-640, NFS2-640 and NFS-320 Fire Panels over RS-232. The FieldServer primarily acts as a Passive Client receiving unsolicited messages and updating the status of a Notifier Fire Alarm Panel.

The main purpose of this driver is to record the status of Fire Alarm System detectors and modules in a bit oriented Data Array. It is limited by the information that the Notifier Panel broadcasts in the form of text messages through its RS-232 communication port. The accuracy and timeliness of the data is therefore limited by the frequency of update messages that the Notifier Fire Panel issues.

The types of Notifier messages supported by this driver are summarized in Appendix C.1 of the manual. A detailed table showing each type of panel message the FieldServer recognizes and the effect that it has on the status of points in the data array is presented in Appendix C.2 of the manual. The device status to the data array mapping is also provided in Appendix C.2 of the manual.

It is possible to connect through the CRT Port., however the use of this port restricts the use of Notifier Networking, thus a fire panel connected to a Noti-Fire-Net will not be supported. If the CRT port is used, the FieldServer can actively request the status of all points, devices and zones on a periodic basis. This status request is configurable from 5minutes with no upper bounds. Note that communication through this port does not equate to Port Supervision. Refer to Appendix A.1 of the Manual.

The panel must output messages in English. For Notifier 640 Onyx firmware with Spanish firmware (as sold in Mexico and other Central and South American markets) please refer to the fact sheet ‘FST_DFS_Notifier_NFS-640 (Onyx)(Spanish)’


Quickserver Gateway (Serial-Ethernet)

  • Operating Temperature: -40 to 75℃ (-40 to 167°F)
  • Relative Humidity: 5-90% RH non-condensing
Power Requirements

9-30V DC or 12-24V AC
(RS-422 = 15-30V DC or 12-24V AC)
(M-Bus = 12-24V DC)
Current draw: @ 12V

  • FS-QS-1010, FS-QS-1210, FS-QS-1220: 240 mA


  • Slave: 550 mA @ 12V
  • Master (1 Slave): 580 mA @ 12V
  • Master (64 Slave): 980 mA @ 12V
Physical Dimensions
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 4.5x2.9x1.6 in. (11.5x7.4x4.1cm
  • Weight: 0.4 lbs (0.2 Kg)
  • Input voltage: 24 V DC nominal: 10-30V DC

Configuration/Diagnostic utilities

  • Capacity: 250 points FS-QS-11XX. (500 points FS-QS-12XX)
  • Table, Wall or DIN rail mount
  • Baud: 4800, 9600, 19200, 38400, 57600, 115200
  • Start Bit: 7, 8
  • Stop Bit: 1, 2
  • Parity: Even, Odd, None
LonMark Certification on the QuickServer FS-QS-1XX1-XXX
  • SPID: 80:00:95:46:00:84:04:01
  • Profiles: 0000 - Node object (1), 0001 - Open Loop Sensor Object (5), 0003 - Open Loop Actuator Object (5)
  • Ethernet: 1, 2
  • Parity: 10/100 BaseT
  • TUV Approved: to UL 916, EN 60950-1, EN 50491-3 and CSA C22.2 standards
  • BTL Mark:
  • LonMark Certified: (FS-QS-1011 and FS-QS-12X1)
  • RoHS Compliant
  • GOST-R Certified
  • CE and FCC


Block Diagrams

imports/blockDiagrams/LP Modbus.jpg

Additional Information

Modbus - MK10 and 32 Bits Numbers

Scaling in Modbus

Modbus does not provide a method for transporting large or Floating Point numbers or a mechanism for scaling analog values. A 16 bit word can only contain values in the range 0-65535. Only whole numbers are permitted. To work around this many server device manufacturers use multipliers and document them in their manuals. For example, to report a temperature of 58.5 the device reports a value of 585, and makes a note in the manual that the master should scale by 10. This scaling is achieved by adopting a convention between the client and the server.
What about large numbers > 65535
Modbus does not provide a mechanism but 3 important schemes are widely used.

Long Integers – Two consecutive 16 bit words are interpreted as a 32 bit long integer.

MK10 values – Two consecutive words are used. The 1st reports the number of units and the 2nd reports the number of 10,000’s.

Floating Point Numbers – Two consecutive words are used and a scheme. These schemes are conventions and not all servers or clients support them.

The protocol does not identify these big numbers. Only the vendor docs do.
What we mean by this is – if you look at the byte stream in a Modbus message there is no way of telling whether you are looking at two consecutive 16 bit words, or two consecutive words that should be interpreted as floating point, long or MK10 formats. Because of this you always have to look to the vendor docs.

Modbus - Reading Vendor Modbus Maps

Reading Vendor Modbus Maps


If you are reading the documentation for sensor blocks, valves, and other devices, you must keep in mind that some vendors may document their hardware in different ways.

According to the Modbus standard, addresses are simply integers from 0 to 65,535 with the different address ranges being referred to as coils, holding registers, etc. However, some vendors will document their hardware using numerical prefixes which are not actually part of the Modbus address. This originated from some models of PLCs which used the Modbus communications protocol, and which also used numerical prefixes in their internal data table. This is similar to using “I”, “Q”, “V”, etc. as address prefixes in IEC type PLCs.

However, it is important to remember that these numerical prefixes are documentation methods and are not part of what the Modbus protocol itself sends as part of the messages. A difference in documentation methods does not affect the compatibility of the protocol itself.

These prefixes are they mentioned anywhere in the Modbus standard, but the following shows how they are typically used in documentation based on this older convention:

  • 0xxxx – Coils.
  • 1xxxx – Discrete inputs.
  • 3xxxx – Input registers.
  • 4xxxx – Holding registers.

Note that there is no 2xxxx address prefix.

In addition to numerical prefixes, some documentation will refer to protocol addresses (addresses start at 0), while other documentation will refer to data model addresses (addresses start at 1). That is, the first holding register may be 0 or 1 (or 40000 versus 40001 using prefixes). However, this has no bearing on what gets sent over the wire as a Modbus message. For a Modbus protocol message, the lowest address is always “0”, not “1”.

Modbus - Protocol Specifications
Modbus - Flavors of Modbus

Flavors of Modbus


Binary Protocol.
Active Master-passive Slave
Supported by FieldServers, QuickServers, CAS gateways



Similar to ModbusRTU but for each byte in an RTU message, there are 2 bytes in an ASCII message. The 2 bytes are the humand readable form of the single hex byte.
Eg RTU byte = 0x03 (Hex). ASCII bytes = ‘0’ and ‘3’ ie 0x30 and 0x33
Active Master-passive Slave
Supported by FieldServers, QuickServers



Modbus had the limitation of a max of 9999 items of each type. Ie only 9999 holding registers. However the protocol message allows 65k items to be addressed. JBUS allows all 65k items to be read/written. Other than that it is identical to RTU
Active Master-passive Slave
Supported by FieldServers, QuickServers, CAS gateways



Uses TCP/IP connection based Ethernet communications
Encapsulates RTU messages and adds a header.
A single slave can respond to multiple masters
Many slaves ignore the NodeID field in the message.
Supported by FieldServers, QuickServers, CAS gateways


MB Plus:

Proprietary coax networking layer
2 Mbits/sec
Supported by FieldServers, CAS gateways


Table 2 Modbus Registers
Modbus - TCP
Modbus - Minimum Function Implementation
Modbus - Convert between Modbus Flavors
Modbus - Digitrip 3000
How Real (Floating Point) and 32-bit Data is Encoded in Modbus RTU Messages
Modbus - C#
Modbus - Modhopper
Modbus - 32 bit numbers
ModbusTCP - Modbus Transaction Identifier
Modbus - There are (were) a Max of 9999 points of each data type
ModbusTCP - What type of protocol is Modbus TCP
ModbusTCP - What functions can be performed by Modbus TCP to retrieve information from a device
ModbusTCP - What do you have that can help me convert my Modbus TCP data
ModbusTCP - What is the minimum subset of functions that a Modbus slave device should implement
ModbusTCP - We want to check the communication between our device and personal computer, so we need the 232 communication software
ModbusTCP - If I am converting from Modbus to Modbus, how difficult is it to Convert Serial (RTU) to TCP/IP and TCP/IP to Serial (RTU)
ModbusTCP - Can you give me an example of a Modbus/TCP to BACnet/IP configuration
ModbusTCP - How can I use Modbus Scanner to Write Registers of Digitrip 3000 (Protective Relays) Controls
Modbus - What is Modbus? (extended article)
Modbus - What is the Modbus Transaction Identifier
Modbus - Can you give me a list of Useful tools and applications for Modbus
Modbus - How do I Test Modbus communication
Modbus Scanner - What News Do You Have Regarding The CAS Modbus Scanner
Using PuTTY for serial COM connections (HyperTerminal replacement)
Modbus: Testing Modbus communication
Low Power Wireless Modbus
Modbus FAQ
FS-8704-03 – Modbus TCP
Modbus: Minimum Function Implementation
Modbus Protocol Specification
Modbus Specifications and Implementation Guides
MODBUS Exception Responses


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imports/logos/Logo Notifier.jpg

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