How to Make an IR Extender

Written by david gitonga | 13/05/2017
How to Make an IR Extender
Infrared extenders allow you to control electronic devices remotely in a house. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

If you have ever wanted to control your television, stereo or any other electronic device located in another room with your remote control, you can do so with an Infrared (IR) extender. You can mount a transmitter to receive infrared signals, either on a wall, ceiling or on your TV, to work with your remote control. This means that the electronic device does not need to be visible to be controlled via the remote.

Select an appropriate MSU. The type of MSU will depend on the number of components to be controlled and the number of IR sensors to be used. Some MSUs will allow control in zones, such as rooms or sections of a home. When selecting a kit, note the photodiode. A photodiode with a highlight response will allow a wider IR wavelength response. For example, a photodiode with a light response of 850 nm will respond to an IR wavelength of between 400 nm and 1,100 nm. This means it is compatible with all remote controls. A remote voltage should also be considered when buying materials for this project. A remote with a higher voltage usage has a stronger light output, which translates to a higher wavelength. One-touch wide-range IR controllers are available that allow one remote to control all devices, turn and switch inputs and extend functionality with feature buttons.

Hook up the IR Main System Unit (MSU) near the equipment to be controlled. Ensure that it is either wall-, ceiling- or surface-mounted on the face of the TV.

Install the IR sensor and ensure that it is within line-of-sight from where you want to use the remote. The sensor needs to be positioned where it can be seen from any area of the room, allowing you to use the remote from anywhere in the room. Ensure that the wire from the sensor is long enough to extend to the back of the MSU. A Cat-5 cable extension is preferred if the wire is initially not long enough.

Wire the sensor by ensuring that all the wires from the devices to be controlled are directed to the wire connectors behind the MSU. A Cat-5 cable has eight wires, but you do not have to use all of them.

Wire the flashers by running each of the wires from the "Flasher Output" section of the MSU to each item to be remotely controlled. Flashers are located on one end of the wire, and they direct signals to the devices to be remotely controlled by positioning them over the IR eyes of the devices. The other end of the wire is a 1/8-inch mini connector that plugs behind the MSU.

Things you need

  • IR sensor
  • IR Main System Unit (MSU)
  • IR flasher
  • IR extender kit

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