Nik's Technology Blog

Travels through programming, networks, and computers

Powerline Ethernet Adapters Interfering with Fibre Broadband

I'm a fan of Powerline Ethernet adapters, I've had some Devolo AV 200 adapters running happily for a number of years connecting my desktop PC to the broadband router.

Since moving house and upgrading to Fibre broadband I've had no end of issues with my broadband. The broadband signal kept dropping off and requiring a router reboot.

I originally thought the issue was down to my broadband provider, but I eventually pin-pointed the issue down to the powerline adapters. I could make the broadband connection fail instantly just by trying to download something via the Devolo adapters.

They seem to interfere with my broadband signal. This could possibly be due to the internal wiring in my house. The master socket has been moved and it probably runs near a mains cable. It turns out that VSDL2 operates at 17Mhz and AV2 Homeplus operate at 2-80Mhz.

To prevent my broadband connection from dropping off when using the powerline adapters I had to place them several metres away from the fibre broadband router, which partly defeats the object of not having to place Ethernet wires everywhere.

I even tried upgrading my powerline adapters, but I found that they made my broadband connection drop off even when I place them several metres from my fibre router. The new powerline adapters use the Homeplug AV2 specification, which uses both the neutral and earth cables of the household wiring.

After many hours troubleshooting, reading this post and sending back the new powerline adapters I have now wired my desktop PC to my router with cat5e. The result is a much better internet experience and higher throughput.

Resolving ADSL Synchronisation Set-up Problems

After installing ADSL recently I encountered several problems getting my USB Alcatel Modem to synchronise on the line. I tried everything, or so I thought...

After changing ADSL filters and phone cables from my USB modem to the phone socket I still was unable to get the little green LED on the front of the modem not to blink. According to the manual this synchronisation LED should switch from blinking to a solid green after booting the machine. However there was either a problem with my phone line or a problem between my master phone socket and BT's exchange.

I phoned my ISP and after confirming everything I had done he had run out of ideas for me to try. Before calling BT and fork out £60 on a call-out charge I thought I'd check the phone extension that extends the master socket upstairs. I unplugged the upstairs phone and tried synchronising.

BOOOM!...It worked!

I tried plugging in a different phone upstairs, but still the same problem. So it can't be the phone I thought. It must be the extension cable. Since ASDL runs at high frequencies a bad termination of the phone socket upstairs must be to blame for the problem, perhaps causing the signal to reflect and cause interference on the line.

So for now we can either have an upstairs phone or an ADSL connection. Oh well... one phone isn't so bad!

BT Trials 'Midband' a step away from Broadband?

BT is testing what it has coined 'Midband'. It's primarily for homes in the UK that cannot at present receive BT Broadband. BT broadband currently covers 77% of BT's network, other areas are currently being upgraded where there is demand.

Midband will feature an always-on connection, and run at 128kbps.

Experts think they will probably use ISDN for this service, using ISDN's 16kbps D-Channel for the always-on connection, which can be used for receiving emails, and the 2 B-Channels (64kbps each) for simultaneous data and voice.

If this is the case then dialling up will be necessary, although ISDN dial-up is significantly faster than a traditional modem.