IR Extender System LEDs are Used for
and System Troubleshooting
The IR extender system LEDs are a valuable tool when setting up and troubleshooting the IR extender system
Every installer needs to understand and use the IR extender system LEDs when setting up a custom IR extender system installation.
Every repeater (IR-250/350) has a green LED, every connecting block (IR-100) has a green LED, and every flasher (IR-E1) has a red LED. These LEDs are for signal confirmation, to show the IR remote control signal is actually passing through each component of the IR extender system.
There is no system "On" LED.
All system LEDs should be off all the time except when a hand-held IR remote control signal is passing through the system.
When a hand held IR remote control is aimed at the repeater and a button pushed all LEDs will flash for a fraction of a second confirming a command signal is passing through the IR system. When no command signal is passing through the system all LEDs should be off.
If the LEDs are on (bright or dim) or flickering when no hand held IR remote signal is being sent ambient noise (a signal(s) similar to a hand-held remote signal) is triggering the IR repeater sending false signals through the IR extender system. The LEDs are a great help when setting up and troubleshooting an IR extender system.
Perhaps an explanation of what noise is will be useful. Infrared (IR) is just heat waves. It can come from many sources: the PN junction of an IR LED (hand-held remote control); a frying pan; the sun; the mercury in florescent lighting as the tubes fire; the human body (i.e. IR motion detectors); and more. If the heat wave (IR) is vibrating with a component about the same frequency as a hand-held IR remote control it will enter the IR extender system exactly where the hand-held remote does. This is the noise we are talking about.
Random noise can flash the confirmation LEDs once in a while in no set pattern. This type of noise is usually harmless and does not affect system performance.
Steady noise can flash the LEDs so often they look on brightly all the time, our eyes are too slow to see them flash. The LEDs can also be on but dimmer than their full brightness if the duty cycle (time they are really on) is much less than 100%.
Even though an IR extender system can function perfectly with some noise present it is always best when setting up a room's IR repeater to minimize the noise getting into the system. This is especially for multi- room IR extender systems since the noise from each room is additive when it reaches the IR-100 connecting block.
Eliminating or minimizing IR extender's system noise will optimize the systems performance.