IR distribution help

jduncc

Member
I'm looking to distribute IR from my downstairs family room through my cat5 structured wiring to the IR port in my digital cable box. I'm looking for some help to determine exactly what parts I would need. The cheaper the solution the better.

It looks like I could use this device in my bonus room upstairs:
http://www.automatedoutlet.com/product.php...&cat=116&page=1

Then connect the 3 wire input to one of my cat5 jacks. I'd like to have the IR receiver next to the TV, so one of the in-wall/wall plate solutions wouldn't work. Also It looks like I'd need a male to male cable to go from the emitter block to the back of my cable box.

Thanks for your help.
 

bfisher

Active Member
I would (and have) made a custom connection using a CAT5 connector on a stand-alone IR receiver (3 wires) (something like a Xantech 291-10). I usually use stereo mini-jacks instead of CAT5 connectors, but since you already have the CAT5 jack, no sense making it difficult ;)

Depends on your cable box, but likely you can just attach an IR emitter (flasher) to the IR sensor on the front of the box. These flashers pass through IR so you can still control it locally as well.
 

jduncc

Member
I'm still a little confused on what I need to buy.. I'll explain in a little more detail about what I want to do.

First, I have one digital cable box in my tv room. This is modulated throughout my house. I want to be able to use an IR remote control in two other rooms in the house so that I can change the channel, etc. All the locations have cat5 run to them. To receive the IR singnal in the other two rooms, I need a little sensor near the tv, homefully something that won't stand out too much.

Also, I purchased the usb-urit that I plan to use with homeseer. I would like to hook this usb-uirt to my ir network within the house..

Thanks!
 

smee

Senior Member
I use Xantech stuff to distribute my IR. It includes something similar to the Buffalo module referenced above.

I started with a Xantech 291-KIT Hidden Link Kit. It includes an IR receiver (that would go in each room), a module like the Buffalo one, a power supply, and mouse IR emitters. The receiver in the "remote" rooms is a 1"x2"x3" box. It's pretty unobtrusive and could sit anywhere. There are other receivers as well that are easier to hide.

The 789-44 Connecting Block (like the Buffalo one) sits near the equipment you want to control. You need to run 3 wires (out of your cat5) between the block and the receiver (power, ground, signal). You plug IR emitters into the block and connect them to your equipment. You could also use a single blaster but I use individual emitters.

You can connect more than one receiver to the same system. Just run all the wires back to the block. You may be limited by run length and available power from the power supply but I doubt you'll have problems with the system you described.

In my system, I have 2 receivers, a connecting block, and another smaller block - all wired into a single zone, but controlling equipment in two different rooms. I have the wiring for 3 zones, but I haven't gotten around to using it yet (1 pair of cat5 for power/ground, the other 3 pairs are zone-x/ground (x=1,2,3)).

One of the receivers is next my PC running HomeSeer and with a connected USB-UIRT. You can build a direct link between the USB-UIRT and IR wiring, but I use a receiver anyway. I do this so that I can use hand-held remotes in that room. If I only had the direct connection and no receiver, I couldn't do that. I have an emitter plugged into the back of the USB-UIRT and stuck to the front of the receiver. This allows both automated and manual control through that receiver.

The USB-UIRT can control up to 3 zones. I will feed those into my 3 wired zones when I get around to it.

This description is based on the Xantech stuff that I use. Working with Buffalo or anything else should be similar. I believe that the Buffalo and Xantech stuff are compatible with each other but I'm not sure about others.

I don't think Buffalo has a receiver similar to the Xantech Hidden Link IR Receiver. They do have one that's made to mount in a wall or cabinet, though, which would be less obtrusive.

If you decide to go with Xantech, make sure you shop around. The variation in prices is extreme. Also, you can wire some of this stuff pretty easily yourself if you want to. Some of the connecting blocks that are sold are really nothing more than some jacks and wiring - and maybe a few resistors (it depends on the function of the block). I went with mostly commercial stuff when what I needed was available and not too expensive because I felt the time saved could be used on other projects.

I bought most of my stuff from Worthington Distribution. This was before some other places were around (like Automated Outlet).
 

jduncc

Member
SMEE - thanks for all your help!!

I bought two of the kits, and they just came in today. The hidden link IR box came with a 7 foot wire, this is what I need to actually connect to a cat5 jack to run to my upstairs. Do you see a problem with this? Then when I cut the headphone jack off the wire, the 3 wires would then be run into my cat5 , then from cat 5 into the connecting block, right?

thanks.
 

GadgetBoy

Active Member
What are we talking in price (roughly) for the Xantech? I went to the Worthington site and it is requesting a password to see the prices on the IR equipment.

Just looking for ballpark. Also noticed that Martin does not carry alot of Xantech (a search returned 1 product)

Thanks,

Jim
 

Mike

Senior Member
I used one of these in a wall jack:

http://www.cablestogo.com/product.asp?cat%...=2224&sku=37036

Just have to be careful putting the wires in (it is the push down and insert rather than screw in or the like).

Some xantech stuff can be found on www.hometech.com if your not finding it elsewhere. Some good deals to be found on ebay though occasionally as the xantech stuff can be quite pricy at full price. I got a 4 zone ir unit for $70 'new' (which it appeared to be) which normally goes for twice that at a decent price.
 

smee

Senior Member
jduncc said:
SMEE - thanks for all your help!!

I bought two of the kits, and they just came in today. The hidden link IR box came with a 7 foot wire, this is what I need to actually connect to a cat5 jack to run to my upstairs. Do you see a problem with this? Then when I cut the headphone jack off the wire, the 3 wires would then be run into my cat5 , then from cat 5 into the connecting block, right?

thanks.
What you describe should work fine. One approach, or a way to test without cutting anything, would be to get an inline 1/8" stereo jack (from someplace like Radio Shack) and connect it to an RJ45 plug. Just use a short piece of cat5 between the two. It will require soldering to the jack, of course. A cable a couple inches long would work fine.

This is assuming that you have a RJ45 jack in the wall.

But anyway, what you describe is, more or less, what I'm doing. I have the cat5 terminated in different ways at different locations.
 

smee

Senior Member
GadgetBoy said:
What are we talking in price (roughly) for the Xantech? I went to the Worthington site and it is requesting a password to see the prices on the IR equipment.

Just looking for ballpark. Also noticed that Martin does not carry alot of Xantech (a search returned 1 product)

Thanks,

Jim
When I got mine, Worthington's prices were much lower than others I found.

Since they have it password protected, I don't want to say what they charge.

However, if you email them they will send you the password right away. I didn't have any problems getting it.
 

Squintz

Senior Member
I am thinking of getting the "4 Emitter Connecting Block #532" from www.automatedoutlet.com but I am finding that the price for the emitters and receivers are fairly expensive for what they are. Can I just use solid state components from radio shack to do the same thing. I am not worried about hiding the Diodes.

If so which diodes should i buy? I need 2 emitters and 2 receivers so that I can relay signals from multiple rooms back to my USB-Uirt.
 
Top