This project came about due to my folks cable company switching over to all digital. Like most folks they had been replacing their TVs with digital ready LCDs over the years so did not figure this would be a major issue. BUT... the cabled company's digital system will ONLY work with their cable box and they charge a rental fee per month per box with no option to buy your own. Currently my folks have 5 TVs but only ever watches 2 of them at any one time. Instead of renting 5 boxes they wanted to just be able to use just 2 boxes on multiple TVs. The splitting of the output signal is easily accomplished with standard cable TV splinters. But needed a way to control the cable box from the various remote locations.
Since there are tvs in multiple rooms they needed a multiple input and single output IR system. Looking around I found multiple systems that had a single input and multiple outputs for use in cabinets but not much for multiple inputs that was for a reasonable price. In the end I decided to just make my own system. I installed 3 IR-RX driving a IR-TX to one cable box and 2 IR-RX driving a second IR-TX on the second box. Both cable boxes were mounted in the basement near the cable lines and all the IR-RX and IR-TX were wired up with standard 4 conductor phone wire. So far ~6 months in no issues with the system. Folks picked up some cheap universal remotes and programmed to the cable boxes and left them in each room.
The design is as universal as I could make it. There are multiple ways it can be used some examples are:
1.) Single in single out. This is the setup is normally used for taking a signal from outside a cabinet to the inside.
2.) Single in multiple out.
3.) Multiple in single out. I used this setup for my folks.
4.) Multiple in multiple out.
5.) Remote IR receiver for a micro controller.
6.) IR transmitter for a micro controller.
7.) IR trip wire.
Depending on what your end use is you will need a varying number of IR-TX and IR-RX kits. For the basic use case you will need 1 IR-TX, 1 IR-RX, hookup wire, and a power supply.
For the hook up wire just about any low voltage hookup wire will work. I used 4 conductor telephone wire since it was cheap and easy to obtain at any home improvement store. At a minimum you need 2 wires (ground and signal) between all the IR-TX and IR-RX on the circuit. With only 2 wires each IR-TX and IR-RX will need it's own power supply. 3 conductors or more is the best option as it allows for power to be transmitted along with the signal so only one power supply is needed.
For the power supply a old wall wart from a USB hub was used. Any power supply with a output of 7.5Vdc to 12Vdc at 1A or greater is sufficient to run multiple IR-RX and/or IR-TX. I have personally tested 2 IR-RX and 3 IR-TX on a single 7.5Vdc @ 1A wall wart with no issue.
The bill of material for the IR-TX is:
The bill of material for the IR-RX is:
IR-TX and IR-RX kits are available here:
The PCB gerber data and micro firmware can be found on my website here: http://www.wire2wire.org/IR_repeater/IR_repeater.html
Also needed is a 9V battery and a battery snap or alligator test clips for testing only.