Hardwiring the Xantech ML85 IR Receiver to a Connecting Block

I recently added a Xantech ML85K IR repeater kit to my theater room. All of my equipment sits in the back of the room and I needed a solution for my remotes to work while pointing them at the screen as one would normally do.

The challenge with this kit is that the IR receiver comes with a standard 1/8″ (3.5mm) stereo mini plug designed to plug right into the 789-44 connecting block. Unfortunately, the cable in only 7 feet long and I needed to run over 30 feet through the walls and ceiling.

In this case I had two options:

  1. Use a 50ft stereo mini extender cable (or a 20ft and a 10ft)
  2. Use CAT6 wire

As I already had CAT6 laying around and it was better suited for in wall use, I decided to cut off the end of the IR receiver and splice the wires. The only problem is that Xantech doesn’t provide the mappings between wire color and function. They do however tell us what the tip, ring and sleeve of the mini-jack do.

So to make this work I did the only logical thing: I cut apart the mini jack to figure out the mappings my self. So you have them, here are the mappings:

  • Tip > White > Signal
  • Ring > Black > Ground
  • Sleeve > Red > +12VDC

While this works for the ML85, my guess is that it will work for other Xantech IR receivers as well.

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