Is the IR blast from Harmony Elite connectable at the dock?

Even with the latest update enabling all IR outputs, my projector seems too far away. In the old setup, a Harmony ELite with associated IR blaster did the job.
So I was wondering if the Logitech IR blaster could be connected to the UCR2’s dock without breaking anything…
Technically, it should fit. How much power can the connectors deliver? What is the risk of the Logitech blasters drawing more power than the driver circuitry can deliver and burning something out in the UCR2 dock? Has anyone tried this out yet?

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I would have tried but the jacks don’t even fit. The plugs from my harmony blasters are too thin compared to the sockets of the dock. Are yours different?

no, the same here. I ordered a 2.5mm jacks and 3.5mm plugs. But I’m afraid that won’t work, because the German thread mentions a 68Ohm series resistor (for the IR diodes), so the blaster probably gets too little current.

I too see that the built in ir emitters of the dockings station is not very powerful. Even my tiny ultra cheap credit card sized remote is more powerful. Is there a more powerful ir-blaster that is possible to connect to the ir output? (the included ones are less powerful then the built-in)

That’s very unlikely because the limiting factor appears to be the power output of the dock, so no matter what you connect, it will be weak. The whole IR situation is unfortunately quite the disappointment (especially if you are coming from Harmony Elite)…

One idea would be to connect a powerful IR blaster with an own amplifier to the R2 dock plugs (what is the correct English word for these connection terminals?). I don’t know if such a device exist and is available anywhere? If not then hopefully UC will develop such a device and maybe with a Wifi connection to the remote.

Maybe a device like this:

That looks promising, but don’t know about the IR strength of this extenders and you have the extenders for positioning. Is there nothing existing that is like the IR blaster of a Harmony Hub?

The Marmitek mentions blaster LEDs, but also that one of them is only intended for a compartment in a cabinet. I have something like this (allbeit with three emitters/blasters) in use. In my experience, such a solution is sufficient for compartments, but no more. Mine can’t reach my projector on the ceiling at a distance of 4-5m, only the Logitech Blaster can do that at the moment.

Has nobody reverse engineered the Logitech yet? It can’t be rocket science to blow out IR with a lot of power :wink:
Or how many volts and amps the Logitech needs? Then you could consider a small box like this as an intermediate circuit:

  • Loop USB power through for the dock and draw power from there
  • an IR receiver diode and the jack plug with control power stage for the Logitech Blaster inside.
    And then place the whole thing so that it receives IR from the dock cleanly and passes it on to the blaster.
    Just a few thoughts from someone who basically knows what components do, but is unfortunately a complete looser when it comes to circuit design

Predicting a similar scenario for my equipment. I want to keep the dock on an end table, my TV (IR based) is on one side of a wall and all the AV equipment (AVR, Nvidia Shield, Cable box, etc.) is in a cabinet on the other side of that wall. I have a pass-through for cabling and was hoping that something like this might work:

Any recommendations?

I had the same issue - the IR signal from the UCR2 dock did not reach my projector about 5m away. I bought a cheap 2.5mm to 3.5mm audio adapter like this one:

and connected one of the two IR blasters from my Logitech Harmony Hub (I think it came with my Harmony Ultimate One) to it and the signal now reaches my projector.

+1 to this … I just reused my IR blasters from my old setup with 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapters. Works fine.

I tried that (stereo adapter 3.5mm → 2.5mm adapter) too on both R2 I have. In the one room the blaster is working in the other too but not with my beamer. Think I have a problem with the IR codes (the TV is working with the blaster, but not the beamer. I also reduced the distance to under 3 m for tests).

Would the adapters need to be mono rather than stereo to pass the full signal perhaps?


OK, to exclude the distance the next step was a wirless transmitter, that delivers the received IR via RF to a receiver and then the receiver sends the IR-command directly to the sensor of the beamer.
No luck at all with my beamer. I have a setup where I can test in parallel the old Logitech Harmony Elite and the Remote 2. The transmitter is working with the Logitech. Seams that the Remote 2 can not send the format for my beamer or has some kind of dirty signal that the beamer cannot decode (See other thread, where I asked for the codes for the JVC N5).

I bought the Sewell transmitter and receiver to solve a similar problem, and was disappointed. My Harmony 900, with its blaster positioned about 4’ from the equipment rack in a neighboring alcove, could not only reach the rack but could bounce off the screen and hit the projector behind. With the R2 dock in the same position, not even close. I would have to hold the dock aloft and about 3" from the projector to hit it. I placed the Sewell receiver on that rack and the emitter on top of a window frame just to the side of the projector screen. It is an easy reach for the handset that came with the projector, but no go here. Although I wanted to avoid it, I ended up putting the receiver by the projector and attaching an emitter to its IR window, blocking it from other sources. If I had known about this weakness, I would have just used the IR channel on my HDMI to CAT6 system feeding the projector, which would also require a stick on the IR window.

One problem with the Sewell emitter may be that the IR bulb sticks out of the surface, creating an essentially hemispherical radiation pattern, whereas most IR handsets have the IR diode in a cavity that directs the radiation forward. I may consider building a reflector for that emitter. I may also consider building an amplifier for those Harmony mini-blasters (I now have 4 of them). They do light up from the dock–I used a 3.5mm-2.5mm adapter–but not with the intensity of the Harmony blaster. For now, though, what I have is working and I am turning my attention to more urgent problems.

The Harmony 900 was a generation behind the Elite. It had a handset almost identical to the Harmony One (which I also had) but could send through a diode mounted on the handset, or through RF to an IR “blaster” receiver (but not both, for some reason). It has served me well for many years, but the buttons are starting to get flaky.

One good thing about the Sewell: it has a visible LED on the receiver and transmitter, so you can see when it’s picking up a signal from your source and sending it to your destination. I could immediately see that the weakness was the IR emitter to projector route. I can see if an IR diode is flashing by looking at it through some digital cameras (but not my iPhone, for some reason) but holding all that stuff together for troubleshooting got old.

The tip-ring-sleeve adapters work fine. the tip on the mono plug hits the tip on the stereo jack and the sleeve hits the sleeve. The ring may or may not contact the sleeve, but it doesn’t matter. Nothing gets shorted.

When I find it, I’m going to try my Buffalo distribution block. It expects to see an “eye” as input, so it may need either something to block the DC on the input or an opto-isolator (either one made from an emitter and eye or off the shelf one). But it’s sitting in a box in the attic right now and I can’t find it. I abandoned it after getting my RF Harmony. Failing that, or not finding it, a simple transistor circuit should work, probably just an emitter follower with a couple of resistors to set the base bias. There shouldn’t be any need to demodulate and re-modulate the signal in that situation, even though some repeater circuits I found do just that.

If I manage to design something that works to drive the Harmony blasters I will post it.

There’s lots of information on IR circuits, if you search the Web.

I foresee a good blaster would be a nice add-on item for Marton to extend the product line. Many of us have legacy equipment we want to control that is not WiFi enabled. A well designed WiFi blaster would be awesome.

I would much prefer a revision 2 of the dock with proper blasting behavior built in, instead of again having to have two devices sitting around…

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