simple/dumb DIY IR questions - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-13-2007, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm working on installing an IR distribution setup, and have some really basic questions about hooking up the cables. specifically about how to connect phono jacks to the cables.

I have a basic xantech kit with a sensor, control block and sensors. all of this uses 3.5 mm mono jacks. what I want to do is have the sensor installed at the front of my room, run a ~20' cable back to the control block in my cabinet, then run another ~20' cable to my projector for one of the emitters.

I picked up 2 IR Emitter keystone jacks at parts express for this, and unfortunately the instructions are very vague. I want to connect cat5 to these jacks, and terminate the remote end with a 3.5 mm phone jack (philmore part no 502v).

I'm unclear how the cable should be connected between the 2. the IR emitter jack has +/- terminals, and my phone jack is a stereo jack, with the normal tip/middle/sleeve connectors (I mistakenly got a stereo jack rather than mono, but believe this should still work).

the 2 questions I have:

- the philmore part does not document which connector is the tip and which is the middle. one is squared off and the other is rounded, but I have no idea how to tell which is which. every how-to site I've googled seems to skim over this point, so I suspect it's so basic as to be understood.

- how do I relate the +/- terminals on the IR emitter jack to the phone jack connectors? the instructions gloss over this as well.
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-16-2007, 08:58 AM
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Tip is usually positive and the sleeve would be ground on the phono plug.

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post #3 of 6 Old 05-18-2007, 06:46 AM
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It might be easiest just to try it one way and if it doesn't work, switch it. It won't hurt the emitter.

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post #4 of 6 Old 05-19-2007, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks guys, I did find a little more info:

stereo vs. mono - apparently stereo is used for the incoming signal (receiver line) and mono is used for the emitter. I don't know if mixing these up would cause any problems. The original emitter keystone jacks are mono, so I ordered a receiver jack as well.

the last thing I don't know is how to determine which is the tip and which is the ring on the phone jack. originally I was thinking I needed to solder this part, but I should be able to test first, then solder things when I get it working.

I'm working on this this afternoon, will report back my findings.
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-19-2007, 09:40 AM
 
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The input is a 3 conductor plug (stereo) bacause it carries power and ground to the receiver, and signal from the receiver.
The outputs (emitters) are just IR LEDs, with an anode and cathode connection.

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the last thing I don't know is how to determine which is the tip and which is the ring on the phone jack

It doesn't matter, just keep it consistent from end to end.
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-19-2007, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks all.

got everything working now. was familiar with soldering, but hadn't done in a while. after some initial struggles, a quick web search gave some good tips.

hand-wiring the cables to the plugs and testing before soldering helped out greatly.

wikipedia had a good entry on "jack plug" that described how the pieces of the plug (sleeve, ring, tip) match to the normal signals (ground, left, right). one of the problems I ran into is that xantech's IR signals are attached differently (gathered from pdfs on xantech's site). normally the ground is attached to the sleeve, but for IR the ground is attached to the ring. I had originally assumed the ground was always the same and tried combinations of the other two without success.

stereo plugs appear to sometimes work in the place of mono plugs, but definitely not always. the mono keystone jack I had didn't allow the stereo plug in enough and was picking up the ring instead of the sleeve. this puzzled me for a while, until I popped open the keystone jack to verify.

very happy now that I got it all wrapped up and everything's working well. just adding these comments for reference.
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