Wireless IR to RF repeater

I've become a decent fan of the wireless TTL that is in canon's flashes these days (assuming you have at least one expensive one that can act as a master). However, it is a very limited system. I had an assistant with me at the wedding last weekend and was trying to use a slave on a monopod that he was carrying for some shots. It was very inconsistent. Even when we were indoors and he was only a few feet away from me if everything wasn't lined up just right, his strobe wouldn't trigger. I ended up going back to a previous setup where I attach two strobes directly to my bracket. One pointing at the subject and the second one pointing up to provide a bounce off the ceiling (when appropriate). I'll post some images of the result after the bride has seen them. In the past I've used pocket wizards for this type of stuff but they don't provide the benefits of TTL. So, you either have to set them manually or run with them judging the exposure themselves. I almost always went with the latter in the film days, but with the clipping that can occur in digital I'm nervous to go that route. This lead me back to thinking about a way to run radio wireless instead of the built in IR. One way would be to try to create a hot shoe that reads the instructions from the camera and then map the IR signals and try to clone. Another way that I just thought of would be to create an RF repeater. The basic idea is to create a little RF transceiver that goes in front of the IR ports on the canon strobes. It would simply capture the IR signals then convert them to RF for transmission to the other unit where it would be received and transposed back into IR. Seems like it should be possible even if the timing and communication is a bit tricky. Of course, this could also be setup to play nice with my master wireless controller described at the bottom of this post.