After having gone the CAT5 route on my IR distribution runs, I decided to try standard 1/8” headphone extensions for my friends theater build. I ran 2x 25 foot extensions and a single 50 foot extension. All runs worked fine, and were very easy to connect. The extensions are stereo (3 conductor) while the IR flashers are mono (2 conductor) this was not an issue, it works fine this way with 2 of the 3 conductors of the extension being shorted into a single conductor on the mono flashers. For mounting, two of the extensions went to plasma and projector where the connections where just taped together and the slack was stuffed in the wall/soffit with just the IR emitter wire coming out of a hole in the drywall (hidden). The third one went to a LV box mounted on a stud. I used a zip tie with a hole mount in it attached to the stud to hold the extension end inside the wall so it would not fall, and a blank plate with a small hole in it for the IR emitter wire to come out. I got the extensions from monoprice.com. CAT5 is useful for other things (RS-232, triggers, etc) but if you just need IR and your runs are fairly short, this was an easy way to go. This should/could also work for a IR receiver - my Xantec IR receiver uses a standard stereo 1/8" plug on it, and this might also work for that (did not try this).
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3/14/08 at 8:27am