Wiring for IR repeater? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-20-2003, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I am building a house and will be installing my HT in the family room until I can build a dedicated HT in the basement. I was thinking of possibly running some wire (before the drywall goes up) for an IR repeater, among other things. The reason I want to do this is because the equipment rack will have doors on it and will be located behind the couch. The screen will be in front of the couch.

My question is: What is the best solution for this setup and what kind of wire should I run inside the wall?

I don't really know the equipment involved, but was thinking of an IR repeater on the screen wall. The IR signal would then run via cable to the area of the equipment rack. Then there would be some kind of IR distribution node with the 1/8" female phono plugs (??). Then cables would go from the node to each piece of gear with the "eyes" that attach to the IR port.

If this makes no sense, please straighten me out. It is very difficult for me to do internet research, as my computer and the internet is very slow. I am going to buy a new one after I move out of this hell-hole called Saudi Arabia.

Normally, I would have done more research before posting, but I know the knowledge is here waiting to be tapped. If responders could provide correct equipment names, manufacturers, and possible vendors, that would be great.

Thanks alot for your assistance.

Mark Giovannetti
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-20-2003, 05:31 PM
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Mark,

For the IR extension, you need to run 18/3 (3 conductor 18awg wire). I used thermostat wire which was rated for inwall use.

I did the exact same thing in my theater using Xantech products. To replicate you would need:

780-10 J Box Receiver (inexpensive and fits nicely in a single gang box w/ decora plate)

789-44PS One zone connecting block with Power Supply

284M Dual Emitters


For installation, you install a single gang electrical box on your front wall. Run your 18/3 cable from the box to your equipment rack location. Your J Box receiver will install in this box and connect to one end of your 18/3 cable. Cover with a decora plate.

On the other end, mount the connecting block and plug in the small DC power wallwart into an available AC outlet. The other end of the 18/3 cable terminates on the mounting block.

Plug your Dual emitters into one of four 1/8" mini-plug connections and stick the emitter end onto the IR windows of your AV equipment.

Simple and fairly inexpensive. A good source to buy the equipment is www.worthdist.com.

See www.xantech.com for details of the parts.
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-20-2003, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply, Robert. I started thinking if I wanted to add another IR repeater upstairs to control the sources for the whole-house audio. In such a case, would I just the run 18/3 wire from a J box upstairs to the J box at equipment rack location and then get a dual-zone connecting block?

Thanks very much for your help.

Mark
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-21-2003, 05:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by giomania
Thanks for the reply, Robert. I started thinking if I wanted to add another IR repeater upstairs to control the sources for the whole-house audio. In such a case, would I just the run 18/3 wire from a J box upstairs to the J box at equipment rack location and then get a dual-zone connecting block?

Thanks very much for your help.

Mark
If you want the IR repeater upstairs to control the same equipment, then your single zone block would still suffice. You can wire several receivers in parallel to the same connecting block. So, all you would need is one more 18/3 wire to the receiver location (your bedroom) and another receiver (J-box type or any other type).

You also have the option of distributing IR through existing Coax (RG6 eg), but it requires equipment on both ends to merge the IR in with your RF video, and then strip out the IR on the other end. BUT, if you know for a fact where you want to have IR receivers, and you have the chance now with the walls down, run the 18/3. If you don't want to buy a spool of 18/3 and have some extra cat-5 laying around, you can use that as well and just double up on the conductors. Cat5 has 8 wires, so you could use two pairs of wire for each of the three conductors you need for IR, and still have two wires left over. Just another option.
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-21-2003, 10:13 PM
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18 gauge is overkill unless you are planning on having a mile between the receiver and the connecting block in a Xantech system. 24 gauge is good for up to 200 feet, 22 gauge for up to 600. Xantech also recommends using 4 conductor cables although you can use 3 conductor cables. The fourth conductor can be used for status. If you don't have access to wire sized in American Wire Gauge (AWG), which is the gauge we are talking about, you can find tables to convert to the appropriate metric size or whatever is used where you live on the internet.

FWIW in the U.S.A., in most places, we would have to use cable rated for in-wall use. My guess is that in Jeddah, or anywhere else in Saudi Arabia, that may not be a constraint. Or is it?
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-21-2003, 11:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Colm, the house I am building is in Virginia, so I have to meet code. I am currently posted in Jeddah and will be returning this summer. Thanks for the wire advice.

Someone else advised using Cat 5 and combining two conductors for each terminal connection. I was thinking that Cat 5 might be the smart way to go?
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-22-2003, 07:50 PM
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Cat 5 cable is composed of 24 gauge wires. So, a single wire should be good for up to 200 feet using the Xantech figures. OTOH it would not hurt to double up if you want to. FWIW, if I had a lot of wiring to do with Cat 5 at the same time as I was installing the IR system, I might use Cat 5 just because I had it on hand. Otherwise, there is nothing to be gained from not using 3 or 4 conductor cable of the appropriate size, unless you have another use for the extra wires. Also, keep in mind, that some IR installations in electrically noisy environments may require shielded wire. Cat 5 is not shielded.

As far a electrical codes go, I believe all the Cat 5 your are likely to buy is CM rated, which should be fine just about everywhere. For other wire, look for a CM, CL2, or CL3 rating.

The good thing is that whatever you decide, you should be able to find it at your local big box home improvement store.
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-23-2003, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Colm
18 gauge is overkill unless you are planning on having a mile between the receiver and the connecting block in a Xantech system. 24 gauge is good for up to 200 feet, 22 gauge for up to 600. Xantech also recommends using 4 conductor cables although you can use 3 conductor cables. The fourth conductor can be used for status. If you don't have access to wire sized in American Wire Gauge (AWG), which is the gauge we are talking about, you can find tables to convert to the appropriate metric size or whatever is used where you live on the internet.

FWIW in the U.S.A., in most places, we would have to use cable rated for in-wall use. My guess is that in Jeddah, or anywhere else in Saudi Arabia, that may not be a constraint. Or is it?
True Dat...The only reason I normally recommend 18/3 is that it is more readily available (commonly used for thermostat wire), and it is more impervious to breaking during pulling. Sometimes you will luck out and find a spool of 22/4 which is routinely used for security wiring, and that is another viable alternative.
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-23-2003, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, I have the following wire lying around:

Belden 9553 (3 pr 18AWG, shielded), type CMG 105C

Belden 8770 (3x18, shielded), type CM

What would you guys recommend I use?

Thanks for your help.

Mark
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-23-2003, 09:52 PM
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Either is fine. I'd use the 8770 just because it is easier to pull unless you want the status line for Xantech, which is optional. I don't use it. Actually, you can get the status line by using the shield drain line for ground if you need to. It is only 20 gauge, but that really isn't a problem. I forgot to mention that shielded cable will give you less range than unshielded because of the capacitance added by the shield. So, with the 18 gauge, you will only be able to go 2500 feet instead of 5000 feet, still farther than you will likely need. Don't forget to ground the shield at the connecting block end.
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