Controlling multiple speaker zones with a single keypad

MikeLaurel | August 15, 2006
Technical Bulletins

Controlling multiple speaker zones with a single keypadThe MDS-6A Music Distribution System has up to six speaker zones that are normally controlled by up to six Model MCS-1A or MSC-2A Keypad Zone Controllers.

In some larger installations, the MDS-6A can be installed with more than one pair of speakers per room. For maximum output power, each pair of speakers is wired to an individual speaker zone output on the MDS-6A. In these types of installations, it is desirable to control multiple MDS-6A speaker zones from a single keypad. From two to six speaker zones can be controlled from a single keypad. In addition, instead of a single keypad, two keypads can be used in parallel to control the multiple speaker zones.


Linear’s OpenHouse® Model H628 Cat-5 Data Hub can be used to bridge the MDS-6A keypad zone inputs to allow the control of multiple speaker zones from a single keypad. The H628 is an RJ-45 to Cat-5 patch panel that can be mounted in a structured wiring grid cabinet or used independently.

Refer to the figure below for wiring details.

  1. Install the MDS-6A and speakers.
  2. Route Cat-5 wiring between the MDS-6A and the keypad location. Connect the Cat-5 wire to the keypad.
  3. Set the dipswitch in the keypad to zone 1*.
  4. Using a 110 punch-down tool on the Model H628 Data Hub, follow the Cat-5 color code and use eight wires to connect the left most 110 connector to the connector next to it.
  5. From the second connector from the left on the H628, bridge the solid green wire (third from the top) across to additional connectors to the right. Bridge as many connectors as the number of additional speaker zones to be controlled by the single keypad.
  6. Mount the H628 near the MDS-6A.
  7. From the Cat-5 wire leading to the keypad, plug the RJ-45 connector into the left most RJ-45 jack on the H628.
  8. Plug a Cat-5 cable from the MDS-6A keypad zone 1 input to the second RJ-45 jack from the left on the H628.
  9. For each additional speaker zone to bridge, plug a Cat-5 cable from each MDS-6A keypad zone input to the additional bridged RJ-45 jacks on the H628

* NOTE: Zone 1 is used as an example, any zone can be used for the shared keypad’s zone.

PDF: TB2006-004