IR Signal Seems to be Weak

My original universal remote control setup was from Universal, or, now, URC (Universal Remote Control, I think).  I used remotes that sent out an IR signal and a radio signal.  The base station picked up the radio signal and sent it out through one of three IR emitters.  One emitter was mounted directly to my HDTV, one to my speaker bar, and the other was mounted to the bottom of a shelf, on the front edge.  From that spot, the signal was easily received by my DVR, blu-ray player, MacMini, Squeezebox Classic, and an HDMI A/B switch box.  It was also strong enough that the light switch on the wall across the room could be controlled from that IR emitter as well.  (That was about 12 feet from the emitter to the light switch with an IR receiver built in.)  The cables from the Power Blaster MRF-100 were over 6' in length and the IR emitter could be as far as 12' from the receiver, but for a number of components, it was within a foot of the IR receiver.

I am aware of the difference between an IR emitter and a blaster, but I haven't used enough different devices to be sure that they are always easily distinguished physically.  The emitters I'm talking about are about the size of the emitters I got with my iTach.  They fit into a smaller jack than on the iTach.

I am still changing over to using my cell phone or some low end tablets for controlling my devices and I'm running into trouble.

First, I have confirmed I am using the right codes, just in case that might be considered an issue.

I've found that I have to have the emitter from my iTach mounted directly on my DVR, with the emitter almost directly over the IR receiver.  If I don't do that, if the IR emitter is as much as 2" away or not directly in front of the DVR IR receiver, then it will not respond to signals.

I have the same trouble with my HDTV and my sound bar.  In fact, the signal from my iTach is so weak, I have a concern that when I mount the IR emitters right over the IR receivers, that it can block the signals from a regular remote if I have to use one.

I have tried the IR blaster.  I've found that if I have it set up right, it can actually control my lights from 12' away, but I have to have it angled just right.  Since the blaster has a flat mounting strip, with a bend in it (somewhere from 30-45 degrees), and the LED part of the blaster on the bent part of the mount, I experimented by taping it to the bottom of the shelf where I mounted the emitter for the previous system.  That didn't work, since the bend blocked the IR signal.  I finally found the best way was to mount it sideways.  The problem is that by doing that, the blaster was unable to send the signal to the light switch as well as all the components on the shelf.

Since there is only one jack for a blaster on an iTach, but two for emitters, I'm concerned about how I can make sure I can get the IR signal to all my devices.

I even took one of the emitters from the other system, bought an adapter so I could plug it into the iTach, and tried it in the emitter and blaster sockets, but that didn't make a difference.

In other words, with the other system, signals are easily seen by my devices, but when I use an iTach, the IR signals are much, MUCH weaker.

Can I boost the signals?  Could I be doing something wrong?  If I use multiple blasters, all from the 3rd port (the blaster port) on my iTach, will using multiple blasters weaken the signal for each one?

Is this an unusual problem?  Shouldn't the emitters be working with the devices from at least an inch or two away?  (I'd think being 6" away should not be a problem, so I'm surprised they have to mount directly over an IR receiver to work.)

Thanks for any help or feedback on this, since, after spending money on an iTach and a remote control program for Android, this could actually break the system and make it impossible for me to use the iTach as an IP2IR device.


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