Found: 2.5 mm extension cable for Harmony 900 blaster - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-23-2011, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello all,

I have a Home Theater with a Lutron Spacer System for lighting, and a Logitech Harmony 900 for control. The problem is, not all my dimmer switches are in line-of-sight of the main blaster or mini-blasters. What I needed was an extension cable.

I had one for my older, Harmony 890, which used 3.5 mm connectors. It's mini-blasters were designed to stick on the device it was controlling. That worked for my projector, but not my lights. I had to point my 890 at each of the three gangs of lights to work. Definitely lacking the cool factor.

Once my 890 started dying (after six years of use) I got a 900. Its mini-blasters could control my lights, but only if located properly. I needed extension cables, but nobody sold them.

Fortunately Blue Jeans Cable came to the rescue. I sent them an email, and Andrew and I worked on the specs.



Here is one of the cables I was shipped. It looks great. Note that the connectors are stereo. It's wired so that it will work with the 900's mono mini-blasters. (You can click on the photo for a larger image.)



Here is the entrance to my theater. You can see the 4-gang box on the right, clearly out of view of any seating position. I decided to put the blaster under the arm railing on the left.



Here is a wider shot. You can see how turning around to aim the remote at the stairs wasn't an ideal solution. You can also see how any blaster in the equipment rack wouldn't help me, either.



I marked the location of the bottom of the arm railing.



I drilled a ΒΌ" hole in the wall and poked my fish stick down.



Here it is coming out under the stairs.



Pull string attached.



Arm railing back in place. Mini-blaster attached with a square of double-sided tape.



Securing the wire under the stairs. The connection is wrapped in green gaffer tape.



Pardon the fuzzy photo, but here is the main blaster in the door of the equipment rack. (Currently it's attached to the door with tape. Soon to be semi-permanently mounted with Velcro.) Note the two BlueJeans cables attached. The other one goes...



...to the other mini-blaster on the projector's downrod. It can control the PJ, as well as the the other two lighting gangs.

I'm a happy camper now, thanks for the folks at Blue Jeans Cable (forum sponsors, btw.) Give them a shout if you need something. sales@bluejeanscable.com

- Marc
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-23-2011, 10:27 PM
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Thank you for posting this. I have the 900 too. I've spent some time figuring out how to wire everything...I wish there were more than 2 ports on the blaster.

Did Blue Jeans just bridge the R and L on the stereo cable making it mono?
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-24-2011, 04:33 AM
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You could have used CAT cable and spliced into each end or installed a 2.5mm female adapter on each end.

To get more than one blaster on each port you can use a splitter or make your own with CAT cable.

This is in the FAQ sticky thread:

Extending IR Emitters and Receivers
You can extend the length of the IR emitter and receiver cables by using patch cables or splicing into another type of cable. The simplest way to extend the cable is to use a mono male/female with 3.5mm (1/8") connectors, or 2.5mm in the case of the Harmony 900. These cables can be purchased at most places like Radio Shack and Monoprice.

The custom method is to run a cable, such as CAT5, and splice it into an existing IR cable. You simply pick a color from the CAT5 cable and match it on both ends to the wires in the IR cable. Doing this is destructive to the IR cable since you are cutting it in half. A method that I recently used was to connect a female 3.5mm solder type connector to each end of a CAT5 cable. I then used a 3.5mm male/male mono cable to connect the extender to one end of the CAT5 cable's female connector. Then on the other end I simply connected the existing emitter to the other CAT5 cable's female connector. No IR cable was harmed in the process.

I actually took that method one step further since I had a spare Ethernet port located at the source and destination. For my CAT5 cable I used a spare network patch cable and cut it in half. I connected a 3.5mm female connector to the end of each patch cable, I think I used the blue and orange wires. I then simply plugged the patch cable into the existing pair of wall jacks to complete the circuit. If you don't have an existing unused Ethernet port you could still use the method to terminate your CAT5 cables. If you no longer need to route IR then that cable can be reused for your home network.

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post #4 of 4 Old 10-24-2011, 05:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scl23enn4m3 View Post

I wish there were more than 2 ports on the blaster.

I hear 'ya. It ain't cheap, but you can pair another blaster (and therefore two minis) to your 900.

Quote:


Did Blue Jeans just bridge the R and L on the stereo cable making it mono?

Here's what Andrew said:

Quote:


To be clear, stereo plugs can still be used for this application, only the wiring would be different. The tip would be wired to transmit the signal, and the sleeve or ring wired as the ground of the signal; making it effectively a 2.5mm TS connector. The only thing I can think that may cause this problem would be on the 2.5mm input of the projector; if the 2.5mm female connector had its internal sleeve (pin 2) terminal too far forward, it would not come into contact with the sleeve (pin 3 of a stereo connector), and make contact with only the ring of the connector, which was left unwired. If this was the case (however generally sleeve connection is farther back in the connector to insure proper seating on the tip), I could see how the ground connection might be severed and potentially cause this problem. However, I'm thinking the issue may more likely be the extra lengths of cable being added, rather than improper wiring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

You could have used CAT cable and spliced into each end or installed a 2.5mm female adapter on each end.

To get more than one blaster on each port you can use a splitter or make your own with CAT cable.

True. I tried the DIY route, but I never found the 2.5 mm connectors. I spent some time on Google and stopped by a Radio Shack and had them search their catalog without success.

I thought about just unsoldering the cable where it enters the mini-blaster and just adding extra cable there, but the BJC solution was far less time consuming.
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