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opinions on IR repeaters....


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18 replies to this topic

#1 of 19 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted March 07 2005 - 08:06 AM

hi all -

anyone here have experience with ir repeaters? i saw some on this website that seemed to be a good deal.

http://www.iautomate.com/infrared.html

question is i thought ir repeater setups were really expensive, like several hundred dollars. this website makes me believe i could do it for just a couple hundred. another issue is that it appears to only let me do four components...i have quite a few more then that.

anyway, just wondering if anyone here has done it or has any comments.

thx!
 

#2 of 19 OFFLINE   Chip_Slattery

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Posted March 07 2005 - 01:40 PM

Depending on your needs you should be able to put together an IR system for a couple hundred dollars or so. Take a look at Xantech products (www.xantech.com) as they are considered among the best and most reliable in the field.

I just recently purchased a complete IR system capable of controlling up to (10) ten components for around $250.00:

Xantech 791-44 Connecting Block - $60.00
Xantech 781RG Power Supply - $12.00
Xantech 480B-30 DinkyLink Receiver - $100.00
Xantech 284M Dual Emitters - (5 @ $13.00) - $65.00

The 791-44 connecting block is actually capable of controlling up to twenty components by adding more emitters.

Prices are approximations...there are quite a few Xantech dealers out there so shop around for the best prices on the pieces you need.
Chip Slattery
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Fox Path Theater (under construction - updated 11/25/05)
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#3 of 19 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted March 07 2005 - 05:21 PM

that's great info chip...thanks. i think i may mimic your product selection as well. they have so many different options...sheesh!

have you actually installed this stuff yet? i'd be curious as to your process...
 

#4 of 19 OFFLINE   Chip_Slattery

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Posted March 08 2005 - 12:23 AM

Ted,

I haven't actually set it all up yet but it seems pretty much plug-and-play.

I did test it briefly, however. I am using an emitter to control my Lutron Grafik Eye lighting control, so I ran CAT5 cable from my equipment room to the Grafik Eye location as it is further away than the standard emitters will reach. Long story short, I had to splice the emitter onto the CAT5 and wanted to test my connections before closing up the last section of drywall. I plugged the connecting block into an outlet, plugged the DinkyLink receiver into the "IR RCVR" jack, plugged the emitter cable into one of the emitter jacks and that was it. Pointed my remote at the DinkyLink receiver and had complete control of the lights.

Had I known that Xantech made 50' emitter extension cables(#780-44) I could have saved myself the trouble of using CAT5 and splicing the emitter. Live and learn...

Let me know if you need any specifics on my setup.
Chip Slattery
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Fox Path Theater (under construction - updated 11/25/05)
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#5 of 19 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted March 08 2005 - 05:29 AM

glad it worked for your chip. i'm moving into a new home, and (luckily) my master closet is on the opposite side of my media niche. so i think it will be quite painless to punch through the common wall and setup my rack inside my closet.

i probably won't do this right away, but i'll definitley let you know if i have any questions.

thx again!
 

#6 of 19 OFFLINE   tony_bradley

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Posted March 09 2005 - 02:59 AM

Chip,

Two questions for you:

1)What type of cable is required from the Receiverto the connection block?. I prewired my room with CAT5 going from my equipment cabinet to the front of the room (where the IR sensor will be) because Niles requires CAT5 to the sensors. I know some brands require coax. I haven't put up my drywall yet, so just curious.

2)How many Sensors will your Hub accept? I really need a Hub that can handle (2) sensors as I need to control some components from the gym outside the HT. Someone told me once that you can just hook two CAT5 cables into the HUB (one going to one sensor, and the other going to the other).

If you can answer those two questions for me, I would greatly appreciate it.

#7 of 19 OFFLINE   Chip_Slattery

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Posted March 09 2005 - 03:20 AM

Tony,

Quote:
1)What type of cable is required from the Receiverto the connection block?. I prewired my room with CAT5 going from my equipment cabinet to the front of the room (where the IR sensor will be) because Niles requires CAT5 to the sensors. I know some brands require coax. I haven't put up my drywall yet, so just curious.
Xantech says you can use something as simple as 2 conductor 24 guage wire. I had also run CAT5 so I just used a couple of twisted pairs from that. Given that your drywall is not yet up I would highly recommend simply buying the extension cables offered by Xantech. Why bother with the hassle of cutting and splicing when you can buy a prepackaged solution? If I had to do it again that's what I would do.

Quote:
2)How many Sensors will your Hub accept? I really need a Hub that can handle (2) sensors as I need to control some components from the gym outside the HT. Someone told me once that you can just hook two CAT5 cables into the HUB (one going to one sensor, and the other going to the other).

According to Xantech you should be able to do this without too much trouble. Take a look at p.2 from the 791-44 instructions:

791-44 Instruction Manual

The diagram shows multiple receivers "daisy-chained" back to the connecting block, but Xantech recommends home-runs from each receiver to the block if you can.
Chip Slattery
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Fox Path Theater (under construction - updated 11/25/05)
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#8 of 19 OFFLINE   MikeTC

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Posted March 09 2005 - 06:12 AM

Ted & Tony,

If you have eight or less components to control, you could also go with a 789-44 controllers. It could control up to eight components (two emitter with each of the four connections) and cost a little less. You may want to check out some kits that Xantech offers that comes with one controller, one receiver, one power supply and 4 emitters that is a great deal if you could use it as your starter and add-on as needed.

Chip,
Quote:
Xantech says you can use something as simple as 2 conductor 24 guage wire. I had also run CAT5 so I just used a couple of twisted pairs from that. Given that your drywall is not yet up I would highly recommend simply buying the extension cables offered by Xantech. Why bother with the hassle of cutting and splicing when you can buy a prepackaged solution? If I had to do it again that's what I would do.


The extension cables is for the emitter not the receiver that Tony is asking. CAT5 will work in his situation and I don't believe Xantech has a pre-made cables for receiver run. One note on using Cat5 is pair the wires so you could daisy-chain some of the receivers. I agree, home run are the best.
MikeyTC

#9 of 19 OFFLINE   MikeTC

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Posted March 09 2005 - 06:47 AM

Sorry Chip, Xantech do have pre-made mono cables but the longest is 10ft.
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#10 of 19 OFFLINE   tony_bradley

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Posted March 09 2005 - 07:32 AM

Exactly...I was talking about the REceiver, not the emitters. I only have experience with niles, but you just use the twisted pair into the Sensor. Sounds as though I can use my CAT5 from the Xantech sesor to the Hub.

When you say HOMERUN, does that mean I would Take a CAT5 from each Sensor and run it to the Xantech block, connecting all 4 wires (2 from each sensor) into the block? Niles makes Hubs that accept multiple sensor inputs.

Is it possible then to use the 791-44 Hub, Home run two CAT5 cables to it, and connect all 4 wires into the same inputs of the Hub?

I have CAT5 Cable run to the front of the HT room and to the Gym outside the HT room.

#11 of 19 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted March 09 2005 - 07:52 AM

okay, now i'm a tad confused with the wiring.

can these xantech blocks take *both* mini-plugs, as well as bare wire? i looked at the diagrams, and it looks like it's a mini-plug receptacle?

since it looks like there's mini-plugs at the ends of the emitters, i thought that was the way to go?
 

#12 of 19 OFFLINE   tony_bradley

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Posted March 09 2005 - 08:11 AM

Ted, I think we are talking two different pieces of the puzzle. The Sensor will accept your Infrared Signal from the remote. It will then transport that signal via CAT5 (the pairs of the CAT5 should plug right into the sensor (no ends on them)..that is what I'm trying to clarify as this is how the NILES systems work). Back to the signal. It is transported over (2) of the twisted wires to the HUB which will take this infrared signal and send it to the outputs (Emitters). The emitters plug into the Hub via the phono plugs (again, only NILES experience here)and the 'flasher' end goes up against your equipment. So, the hub sends the IR signal to the output through the phono plug connector to the emitter. They call it a 'flasher' because the diode of the emitter actually flahses. It's very quick, but you can normally see a little jitter to it. Based on the frequency sent from your remote, it flashes faster or slower to ouput the exact frequency and operate the equipment.

I hope that makes sense. The only part I don't know about is the Sensor..does it take plain CAT5. Some systems utilize CAT5, others utilize Coax. Sounds like Xantech will use plain twisted pair CAT5

#13 of 19 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted March 09 2005 - 08:19 AM

oh..i get it. it does look like some of the xantech ir receivers have a mini plug connection...but some do not. maybe this will help...one of the products (480-00) appears to use a 3-conductor wire.

http://www.xantech.c...older/i_480.pdf
 

#14 of 19 OFFLINE   Kevin_F

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Posted March 09 2005 - 08:37 AM

Using these repeaters, does the device need to be seen in order for the remote signal to work? If I am at the front of the room and I have my equipment at the back, blocked by my riser, would the remote work using a repeater?
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#15 of 19 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted March 09 2005 - 08:44 AM

they don't kevin. that's the whole point of these repeaters. you can tuck the equipment out of sight, then simply run the wiring as necessary.

1. put one ir sensor in the front of the room
2. run a wire from the sensor to the block (located in the back of the room)
3. attach the ir emitters from the block to the front of each piece of gear.

easy as pie (at least in theory). Posted Image

take a look at this pdf for a schematic

http://www.xantech.c...der/i_79144.pdf
 

#16 of 19 OFFLINE   Kevin_F

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Posted March 10 2005 - 01:11 AM

Thanks Ted, I will read it through and see how it looks. From what I read above, the whole package costs about $250?

How do you guys like the whole thing?
"I'm never trapped"

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#17 of 19 OFFLINE   kumar

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Posted April 07 2005 - 04:03 AM

Bought 291Kit - Xantech from hometech for 87 bucks. Spliced the receiver end and spliced a Cat5e cable. Connected Orange, Orange White with the Red 12V, Green, Green White with the White Ground, Blue, Blue White with Black IR signal. Plugged the RJ45 end into the Wall Jack. Walked to the equipment closet. Identified the Family Room wiring into the equipment rack. Connected the RJ45 plug into Radioshack's RJ45 Female-Female Extender. Spliced another Cat5e cable Connected Orange, Orange White to the 12V input, Green, Green White to Ground, Blue, Blue White to IR Signal In. Connected the included IR Mouse emitters to the equipments. Went back to the family room at a touch of button my cable is on. another remote, AVR is on, another remote DVD is on.

Its a song.. .the whole process took less than an hour. SWEEETTTT.....

Now, I am in the look out for a good Universal Remote (OOoops! did I say Pronto TSU 7000?... hmmm not able to justify myself to throw in 700 bucks for that. Help me Obe Van, you are my only hope!)
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#18 of 19 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted April 07 2005 - 05:42 AM

awesome kumar ... that gives me hope! Posted Image
 

#19 of 19 OFFLINE   kumar

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Posted April 07 2005 - 06:27 AM

.. yeah I already feel like a IR PRO Posted Image Just Kidding!
I thank myself for one hundred and forty second time for going ahead and laying the cat5, tv, phone structured wiring when we built the house. Eventhough, I know I could have done it in less than half the cost the builder charged us. Posted Image
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