IR Distribution

IR Emitters

So you've created your IR network, now you need to relay the IR signal to each device you want to control.  IR emitters connect using a standard headphone jack like you'll find in an iphone or a good old fashioned Sony Walkman!  There are many IR emitters to choose from and as long as the connection fits all brands i've tried work.  There are 2 main types of IR emitter.  They are:

Single Device IR Emitters

Single device IR emitters normally attach to the IR receiver of the device you want to control.  Most come with a peel off sticky back plastic so you can stick it directly onto the infrared receiver.  If you can locate the IR receiver on your device, in theory this is the most reliable way to control anything via IR.  Because the IR emitter is directly on the receiver there is very little interference so the signal should be strong.  But if you have lots of devices to control it can be a pain attaching all the emitters.  Below is a picture of the Lab Gear single device IR emitters supplied with the Labgear MRX120 ir decoder.


Stick on single device IR emitters are also useful for controlling TV's in rooms from Node 0. You can use Cat 5 to run the IR signal from Node 0 to your TV.  Normally you would do this to control the TV from an IP device emitting IR.  Read the next section.

IR Flood Emitters

As the name suggests these IR emitters are designed to flood a location with infrared. If you have all your devices in one location such as Node 0 and you don't have problems with IR conflicts(except Sky - read here) flood emitters do the job well.  I use 3 flood IR emitters for a 42U rack as an example.  Below is a picture of a QED IR flood emitter.  The screw holes look useful, and i sure they are when mounted on wood.  But mounting on a 19" rack normally means you need to use tape!


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