Ethernet over the mains supply

Discussion in 'Home Networking' started by speckled hen, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. speckled hen

    speckled hen Guest

    Has anyone tried/used/tested any of these devices that use the home
    240v wiring. I think some of the names are "powerline and home plug"
    Just wanted to know the pros and cons with using these devices
    speckled hen, Jan 12, 2007
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  2. speckled hen

    Chris Whelan Guest

    Yes, I used a pair of them at my Son's house where wireless was too
    unpredictable, and cabling was not an option.

    I used Solwise 14Mbps units. There is a faster standard now, but the ones I
    used are OK for his needs. (Extending Internet to a bedroom.) They have
    proved perfectly reliable over 12+ months.

    They just plug in and work. Software to monitor the connection is supplied,
    but I never used it.

    Expensive compared to cabling. Slow if you need to transfer big files. They
    will not work from one house to another, even if the houses are on the same

    <pedant mode>

    Domestic supply voltage in the UK should be described as 230V.


    Chris Whelan, Jan 12, 2007
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  3. speckled hen

    Jeff Gaines Guest

    Why? My incoming mains is 239.50 Volts.
    Jeff Gaines, Jan 12, 2007
  4. speckled hen

    NoNeedToKnow Guest

    Two of my friends are using them, bought from different sources.

    As has been said, cost is one thing against, but to give it fair
    comparison, I suppose it also depends how costly it would be to re-
    decorate rooms after cabling is put in via attic (in one case there
    were three adaptors to allow internet access to be provided from one
    room to two other rooms, where all were on the same floor but there
    would be some lengthy cable runs, and it would also have needed to
    be changed later, which was not needed using power adaptor method).

    In the other case, cable would have been cheap but unwelcome as it'd
    have been a run from the bedroom/"home office" down to the room with
    the master socket - the dining room.

    With the benefit of hindsight, I'd now recommend buying a router
    from Solwise (one of the Billion models, I think) which already
    has the powerline adaptor on it, as the extra cost is low IMO.
    NoNeedToKnow, Jan 12, 2007
  5. speckled hen

    Chris Whelan Guest

    Chris Whelan, Jan 12, 2007
  6. speckled hen

    Jeff Gaines Guest

    Jeff Gaines, Jan 12, 2007
  7. speckled hen

    Chris Whelan Guest


    Chris Whelan, Jan 13, 2007
  8. speckled hen

    Kevin Vivian Guest

    As others have said, they work straight out of the box. But mine only
    work at a tenth of the speed of the stated capacity despite modern
    wiring and no unusual appliances in my home. This is okay using my
    broadband internet connection but hopeless for normal LAN use.

    Kevin Vivian, Jan 14, 2007
  9. speckled hen

    Doug Weller Guest

    You can get faster units though. I take your point, on my wired network
    transfer between PCs is very fast. Still, I think I'm going down this
    route too, I don't want to cable and I have DECT phones that might
    interfere with wireless.

    Doug Weller, Jan 14, 2007
  10. speckled hen

    ChrisR Guest

    I returned mine after I could not get them to work on different ring mains
    in the same house. To a socket a few yards away, fine; but to the other end
    of the house, on a different fuse on the consumer unit, nothing. Would have
    been great if it worked, but buy from somewhere you can return to if

    I ended up paying someone to do a professional job of installing a run of
    CAT5 cable for not much more than the cost of the units.

    Chris R
    ChrisR, Jan 14, 2007
  11. speckled hen

    David Wade Guest

    You possible have multiple rings with MCBs instead of fuses which could
    filter the signal out..
    David Wade, Jan 18, 2007
  12. speckled hen

    Kevin Vivian Guest

    Indeed I have. If this is a known problem it is the first I have read
    about it. Rather an important caveat for buyers that ought to be more
    widely published, not least by the sellers...
    Kevin Vivian, Jan 18, 2007
  13. speckled hen

    Dave J. Guest

    Less of a joke than you might think, power=volts*current - domestic leccy
    co meters measure Ampere-Hours, not Watt-Hours. Also, if you're looking at
    the power you get from a specific device the power is proportional to V^2
    so the effect is even more pronounced from that POV. Still relatively
    minor at the end of the day.

    Dave J.
    Dave J., Jan 19, 2007
  14. speckled hen

    Chris Whelan Guest

    Yebutt did you read the link?

    The voltage supplied to your house will not have changed by even a millivolt
    as a result of the harmonisation. All that has happened is that the
    tolerances have been tweaked.

    FWIW, supply authorities only ever guarantee the frequency of the supply,
    never the voltage.

    Chris Whelan, Jan 22, 2007
  15. speckled hen

    Dave J. Guest

    Aha, no I must admit I didn't, though I did read (having just looked)
    similar at the time of the 'change'. However, when I say I read a similar
    article, it didn't mention the different tolerances between the former
    220v nominal areas and the 240 ones. At that point, I read it to be
    changing universally to 230V -10 percent + 6 percent tolerance.
    Okeedokee. What I guessed from earlier readings was that over several
    decades the 'average' RMS would slowly drop because economic pressure
    favours setups that provide power at the bottom end of the voltage
    tolerance, but only for new installations as the gains aren't worth
    rewinding generators or substations (hence the 'over several decades'). I
    also figured that the way the power meters were set up *wouldn't* change
    and we'd end up being slightly ripped off. I'd be interested if there are
    any nationwide surveys I could watch and see if my guess is anywhere near
    the mark.
    I thought they did specify the voltage as part of their contract, just
    within a fairly wide range.

    TBH I reckon I'd favour a reduction because of a childhood experience
    that's stuck in my brain involving a 1:1 120ma isolation transformer and a
    full wave rectifier. If the supply hadn't been plugged into a 3way adaptor
    that I was able to kick out of the wall I possibly wouldn't be here today
    :) 320v DC is a *nasty* thing to get a good hold of....

    That said, if our voltage had been 110 nominal it would have been a 1:2
    isolation tranny... I needed 150/200v regulated to power the valve stuff I
    loved playing with and I was dumb enough to try using the unreg output
    from my homemade PSU (fondly remembered, pretty to look at, black painted
    thing with outstanding neon regulator valves) to allow me to draw more
    current than was permissible from either of the reg outputs and at a
    higher voltage, trying to get max last stage power on some or other
    daft-plaything. Probably caused by being so overjoyed at "getting past" my
    Dad's child-welfare concerns[1] that I forgot the 'don't forget the other
    hand' rule.

    I've always been ambivalent between 240 and 110, 240 needs thinner cabling
    but 110 (so only 155 peak) is *so* much more survivable, even with wet

    [1] Funny reminisce itself. Never forget what *can* be achieved, by an
    early teenager, with an everlasting parts collection, within the
    restriction of 'everything must be powered from that 24v (*AC*) power
    supply' ;)

    Dave J.
    Dave J., Jan 23, 2007
  16. speckled hen

    Newshound Guest

    No such luck; the supply companies operate right on the top limit, which
    just happens to be near enough 240, otherwise they would be losing sales.
    Newshound, Jan 29, 2007
  17. Is it right that when the harmonisation of voltage across Europe was
    introduced, power companies didn't actually change anything (eg the turns
    ratio of transformers) - that the permissible range of voltages is such that
    both Europe (nominally 220V) and the UK (nominally 240V) come within the
    230V +/- X% limit?
    Martin Underwood, Jan 30, 2007
  18. speckled hen

    Rob Morley Guest

    [email protected] says...
    Precisely. European equipment should be built to handle the variations,
    but the supplies themselves haven't changed.
    Rob Morley, Jan 30, 2007
  19. speckled hen

    Chris Whelan Guest

    Yes. As I posted on 22:01:07!

    Chris Whelan, Jan 30, 2007
  20. speckled hen

    Dave J. Guest

    They'd be 'losing sales' in one respect, but in terms of joules in for
    pennies out, surely they're better off as the supplied voltage falls?
    Given that the customer pays proportionally to ampere hours rather than
    kilowatt hours?

    Dave J.
    Dave J., Jan 30, 2007
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