Russound MCA-C3 without keypads


New Member

i stumbled across this forum while searching for ways to control my MCA-C3 without keypads (specifically the thread I'm not allowed to post links to, but its name is "whole house audio"). I browsed a bit through the forums and found lots of interesting (and way to sophisticated) stuff, so I hope someone can help me with this.
I'm currently figuring how to implement multizone A/V in a flat I'm renovating. A few starting points were:

- I hate keypads / cluttered walls
- I do not like any devices in plain sight that don't have to be
- I only need volume, source selection and on/off control in the different zones. Media can be controlled via Android or IOs.
- I do want to work with IR remotes. Can't be bothered to unlock my phone's screen, start up some app, then choose the zone I'm currently in just to turn down the volume a bit.

So I right now, I'm thinking a PC with 2 HDMI out and 6 channels (7.1 Soundcard, not HTPC, a real pc to work with) in a rack in a closet next to a Russound MCA-C3 and a Playstation 3. 2 HDMI outs from the PC and 1 from the Playstation are distributed to 8 locations in the flat (all within 45 feet) with a 3x8 Switcher/Splitter which is connected to RNET via Myrobridge.
Now, I thought I had it all figured out, until Russound quashed my dreams: I wanted to run tiny IR receivers to each zone, plug em in the suspended ceiling and directly into the russound. So that when I'm in Zone A and select audio source 5, then audio source 5 starts playing. I could then just take the remote with me, go into the next zone, press the exact same button and now in that zone audio source 5 will start.
I asked Russound tech support (and sorry if they are reading this, I know it's not good style to publish emails) who answered almost immediately:

- Unfortunately, I find your keypads hideous (and unnecessary in this setup). Is it possible to directly connect your SaphIR directly to the Amp? If not, what part do I need in between? I'm considering just putting them in the suspended ceiling.

answer (crucial bit):

There is no way for an Saphir IR repeater to control the MCA-C3.

I do realize, that the particular piece of hardware I chose could not possibly work. But I somehow disagree about the general possibility of using room-specific IR receivers to run that system. Why? Because I could just buy the hideous keypads, which have Aux IR inputs, leave all of them in the rack and run some IR extenders to the rooms. at about 100$ a piece, that would be a little expensive for keypads that are just lying around in a rack.

Do you have any solution for me, that is less wasteful? I'm open to pretty much anything that meets my requirements of "invisible" but incomplicated choice of volume and source in the different zones.



Senior Member
I think you need to find people who are familiar with IR control of the MCA-C3. If you don't have luck here, perhaps a much shorter post at custom installer's lounge would be appropriate. Keep it to the basic elements, but include the important details.

I think some kind of RF remote should work, though I don't understand why the IR extender system wouldn't work.

From your post, it seems that you want a simple, single handheld remote control.

I haven't seen it (or know that it really exists), but have you tried the iOS app? Might be easier than you think. iPod Touch might be the trick.

I'd figure out why a single remote can't control the system, and then go from there. I think there are remotes that can be configured for that purpose - multiple zone control, with zone assignable signalling.

Good luck, and welcome to CocoonTech.


I'm not sure a single remote would be able to control the zone's volume without the keypad through IR. In my current setup, I have a Russound Cav6.6 and to be able to control the volume in my particular zone I have to set my remote control on IR and aim it at the keypad while everything else is controlled through RF which then converts to IR to my particular component.

i'm re-doing my entire setup and I will also be removing the keypads but I will be controlling the system with HomeSeer and via serial port connection on the Russound.


New Member
@ Neurorad

Sorry for the unnecessary details, thanks for reading it anyway. I tried all kinds of apps, including russound and find them acceptable to control media, but too inconvenient for the three basic tasks I mentioned. Thanks for the Remotecontrol hint. Going to head over there to see if they have some third party solutions IR sollution to suggest which I could plug into Russound's serial port.

@ Both replies

I do not want only one remote. What I really want to do, is buy 10 HTD RC6 Remote controls (on/off, 6 source buttons, volume, mute)
for 10$ each and put them anywhere I want. And no matter which one of those I have in which zone, I only have to point it at the IR receiver of that zone and it will control only this zone. What I want to avoid is have one remote that is terribly complicated to use, or remotes assigned to zones. It should not only have a WAF, but really a total stranger who visits for the first time should at least be able to turn the volume up or down in the zone he just is in.

just got confirmation that my rather wasteful solution would at least work.

@ dos46
The way you control the CAV right now, minus the keypad is exactly what I'm looking for.


Senior Member
What you want to do is control the MCA-C5 with cheap IR remotes, from each zone.

I think there is a way to do it with equipment from Xantech and Global Cache, but I don't know any of the details.

A GC device can convert IR to serial control. The MCA-C5 has a rear serial port, for control.


New Member
Thanks! And "cheap" is not necessarily the main point, but simple and CC format.

Xantech is what I got as a tip from remotecentral too. Will look into that, but if it's too much hassle, I'll just buy the keypads, maybe even use them in the kitchen and bathroom and just use the rest as IR router. Was worth a shot though.

btw, thread is here:

I did get my answer quite fast, but not a lot of fans over there... It's funny, because that is the same exact attitude I got live from 6 different custom installers. If I told my customers what they want and what they dont want as bluntly as they did, I couldn't afford any of that system. I'd be out of business. The first thing I said every time is "I appreciate the quality of Sonos, but I do not like it both because of pricing and usability" and each and every one of them ended up trying to do nothing else than talk me into that. The margins on that system have to be huge.


Senior Member
Yeah, I saw your thread there.

I don't think there is much margin on Sonos, but there are margins on amps and speakers that go with it.

The Xantech and GC combo will take time and effort to figure out. You may want to consider an installer, who has done it before.


New Member
Would love to hire a pro. Know anyone in Vienna, Austria? ;).

That is my problem. I'm not cheap, but the people here don't even know the brand names I mention.


Senior Member
1080p Audiovisuelle System gmbH, in Vienna, found through the cedia website.