Is my powerline adapter at fault?

Discussion in 'Networking, Internet, Web Applications & The Cloud' started by chssvl, May 7, 2017.

  1. chssvl

    chssvl

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    I recently switched ISP to one that offers fibre-type connectivity (an ethernet connection comes straight into my flat). However, since I live in an old flat, it was too much of a hassle to route the ethernet connection all the way to where I needed it, even though the distance is short (about 15ft/5m).

    Anyhow, the guy who came to install the service recommended I use a powerline adapter. I bought the TP Link 4010PKIT (see AV600 Passthrough Powerline Starter Kit - TP-Link). The way I have it set it up is that I have the ethernet cable coming into the flat, it plugs straight into the powerline, it comes out through the other powerline and then I connect it to the router (i.e. powerline before the router).

    The problem I been having is that I sometimes lose connection for a brief moment. I haven't been able to identify a pattern but seems to happen when I'm streaming something - or it could be that it is only noticeable then. It is not related to appliances or lights being turned on, which I know is a common issue with powerlines. The odd thing is that it happens for only a few seconds but all the lights on the router and powerline light up as if nothing happened. However, since I use my PS4 for streaming it is really annoying as it causes the console to logoff from the PSN and then I have to restart it to continue watching whatever it is that I'm watching. It is not an issue with the PS4 as I get buffering with the tablet or the desktop - both desktop and PS4 are connected via ethernet to the router, so it's not a WiFi issue either.

    I'm currently testing it without the powerline (I have a long ethernet cable going through the middle of my kitchen and living room) and it seems to be working fine.

    I guess that the fault lies with the powerline, but my question is, is it this powerline in particular or is it that a powerline just won't do the trick? I don't want to spend more money on a better powerline only to find out that the problem persists.

    Thanks as always
     
  2. rjfvillarosa

    rjfvillarosa Moderator Staff Member

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    Have you tried it with the router connected before the power line adapters?
     
  3. Bob338

    Bob338

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    I use those, used them in two different houses in two different setups, and I've never had a problem with them. Are you sure it's not the streaming source?
     
  4. chssvl

    chssvl

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    Hi. I tried connecting the router before the power line adapter and had the same problem.

    I'm, 90% sure it's the powerline adapters. Yesterday I tried the setup that rjfvillarosa mentioned and after a couple of hours I got a disconnection. Before that I used a long ethernet cable to avoid the powerline adapters for about 3-4 hours and no problems. It could be that I was just lucky, but all signs point to the powerline adapters.

    The disconnection is very brief. I used some internet connection monitoring software and, when it happens, it lasts for about 10-15 seconds and then comes back without me having to do anything. If I'm watching on my desktop it's not much of an issue as the buffer is probably large enough to cope. But on the PS4 it's an annoyance as it disconnects from the PSN so you have to wait for it to reconnect and by then Netflix throws out an error message.

    I've read that this can happen when you turn something on in the house but it happens without us doing anything. Not sure if something someone else is doing in the building could be the culprit.

    Thanks
     
  5. rjfvillarosa

    rjfvillarosa Moderator Staff Member

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    I think I would find a way to run the cable neatly and hidden all the way through to your router.
    Is your fuse box fitted with an RCD?
     
  6. edfair

    edfair

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    Both powerlines on the same side of the supply? Have run across a problem when they were on opposite.
    Applies to 120/240 service.
     
  7. chssvl

    chssvl

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    Thanks for the replies. Yes, both are on the same side of the supply (I think) and I do have an RCD (just found out that these things even existed!). Could this be the issue?

    I think I'll probably go full wireless. I've now plugged in the ISP router straight to the connection coming into the flat (into the kitchen to be precise) and then my Airport Express into it - a bit of a shame as it means I can't airplay to my Hi-Fi but can't have it all, I guess.

    Getting pretty good speeds (close to the 100Mbps that my ISP advertises, vs the 65-70 that I got with the powerline) over the 5GHz WiFi. 2.4 GHz, which is what the PS4 supports, is a different story as I live in a block of flats and there's a lot of interference. However, I managed to place my ISP's router (which only supports 2.4 GHz) in a way that beams straight in the direction of the PS4 (or so I believe) and managing to get ca. 25-30Mbps, good enough for HD Netflix.

    I always preferred wired connections but at least it's stable now.

    Thanks for the help as always!
     
  8. reggie14

    reggie14

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    Powerline networking can be finicky. I use it, but I've had some unexplained stability problems recently, too.

    If you have coax running through the house, another thing to consider would be MoCA adapters. I use these.
     
  9. rjfvillarosa

    rjfvillarosa Moderator Staff Member

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    Not a common issue. But!!
    I have seen instances where the transformer in an RCD, when using powerline adapters, has had the same effect on a router as some electrical appliances like fridges, freezers and washing machines that use large motors.

    "That is the algebraic sum of all the electric currents meeting at any point in a circuit must be zero, otherwise the circuit will be broken. In a RCD the incoming supply, phase and neutral, passes through an iron core or toroid, which acts as the primary winding of a current transformer"
     
  10. Blaster3

    Blaster3

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    this side of the pond, we use gfci (ground fault circuit interrupter) which is similar to your rcd ( GFCI - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )... when we are in close proximity of one while using a cell phone, it triggers the fault, sometimes momentarily other times fully, which requires resetting the gfci...
     
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  11. rjfvillarosa

    rjfvillarosa Moderator Staff Member

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    I haven't come across a situation where a mobile phone tripped an RCD but nothing surprises me. I'll keep an eye open for that one.
     
  12. Blaster3

    Blaster3

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    i believe newer phones are ok, i been visiting a friend in an icu at a local hospital, and i asked about using the phone & they said as long as it's a newer 'smart phone' it's ok, butt older phones wreak havoc with the electronic monitors... possible someone in his building is using one, or he has 'older' devices/ games???
     
  13. Blaster3

    Blaster3

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    i wonder if his incoming lan is within close proximity of the rcd and placing the adapter near it causes the trigger event. he states not having the issue now that he ran a lan cable to his router ( further away from the incoming line)

    EDIT: meaning the outlet where he places the adapter, could be close nough to trigger under heavy use, ie: streaming...
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
  14. chssvl

    chssvl

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    Hadn't heard about these MoCA adapters, but that is indeed an option to consider, albeit a bit pricey, at least on this side of the pond.

    I do wonder if maybe the whole problem stems from some electrical device in one of the neighbouring flats. The building where we live is relatively new (1998 or so, I believe) so the wiring should be good enough and, again, it's a small flat so there shouldn't be that much of an issue. But, anyhow, I guess I've been a bit unlucky. It's been insightful, though.
     
  15. rjfvillarosa

    rjfvillarosa Moderator Staff Member

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