Why does my Powerline extenders have drop outs?

September 14, 2014 at 14:31:01
Specs: Win7, intel
Hi, I recently purchased a Netgear Powerline extender kit, consisting of two extenders.
Installation was simple and all was well except for an occasional drop out. I contacted Netgear and after several attempts to rectify the prob they replaced them with another pair. The prob didn't go away.
I was running Vista Home on a laptop and had the thought it could be related to Vista, so I ran a Linux Live cd for a couple of hours and again drop outs occurred. At this point I assumed my power must have a fault but decided to live with it.
In the last week I put together a tower containing a fairly modern powerful setup running Win7 Professional 64 bit and since then ( running for five days ) I haven't had a single drop out.
I am now of the opinion that the dropouts were something to do with the laptop. Would appreciate any thoughts on this. When I got a drop out I simply switched off the power, waited till the three lights went out and then turned it back on, it then took about 15 seconds to get the connection.

Eddie.

message edited by eddiebelfast


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#1
September 14, 2014 at 15:48:28
Not sure if this has any bearing on your situation but Devolo (in Germany who I think pioneered this system) advise "not" to plug homeplug adapters into long flying lead extension power bars etc. (the sort that are a single lead feeding two or more outlets) but to go straight in to a wall power outlet directly. This to apply to all adapters. They suggest signal attenuation can be significant when using power bar extensions...

My own experience has occasionally seemed to support their view, but not always.

Also, although most homeplug adapters (regardless of manufacturer) allegedly work straight out of the box - and that has been my general experience - i have found it useful to run the basic software that many arrive with. Devolo provide a utility which in effect registers each adapter, allows to accept the default encryption key, or to redefine that key. I have found that utility useful once or twice to resolve an apperent dropped connection event via a given module/adapter; regardless of the encryption aspect.

I have a printer that is accessed over homeplugs - one of which connects to a D-link parallel port server. The printer is upstairs (former study/office). Most of the time it works fine - connects and the data trf to server is max...; and then suddenly and for no detectable reason it will fail to connect the D-link to the lan, at the least suddenly drop significantly if not actually lose connection. Substitute another homeplug in the same outlet - no improvement. However use another adapter or another outlet (just outside that study/office) and it will work perectly and at max speed and no drop off etc.

The two outlets are on different ccct. breakers, and the study cct. Is not on the same
fusebox as the one just outside that room. That other "fuse box" includes an RCD/GFI - while the study one doesn't... Whether or not it is RCD/GFI which impinges here - not sure; but based on discussions here recently, and my own experience I am inclined to think it does... Though why sometimes and not others?

Also I am wondering if it's a router issue... I have ip addresses for all my network devices, but of course that doesn't apply to the any of actual homeplug adapters.

You reboot your laptop and all is well; that hasn't ever worked for me. The "study" connection will work OK or not as it pleases... Occasionally pinging the server ip address will sort of resolve it, but not always. The "situation" is independent of which computer - Macbook, MacMini, Acer Windows laptop - is involved...


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#2
September 14, 2014 at 17:10:06
Just to add that if, like me, you are forced to use extension blocks then insert the adapters to the socket nearest to where the cable comes into it.

Sorry, can't think of a good reason why the Vista had drop outs but the Win 7 was OK.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#3
September 15, 2014 at 01:02:13
A long shot... It "might" be a firmware issue as the problem in your case seems to affect only one OS? Devolo have a firmware upgrade available for their kit - at least for the 85Mbps modules I'm using. Possibly Netgear have a similar upgrade?

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#4
September 15, 2014 at 06:38:19
Thank you Gentlemen for your replies.
The extenders are plugged into the wall, I knew that the use of power strips was not the best.
Re Firmware, the original pair had the latest firmware installed whilst the replacements haven't.
As stated, both Vista and Linux had the same prob that's what made me think it might be the house wiring, but that's gone out of the window ( no pun ) which only leaves the laptop!

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#5
September 15, 2014 at 06:50:14
Have you been able to check that house wiring is OK - especially with regard to the earth/ground connection? And also do you have an RCD/GFI in any of the ccts. - especially those where the modules appear to drop out?

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#6
September 15, 2014 at 10:48:35
You probably already know but the PowerLine adapters must not be powered via a surge limiters as they will wreck the digital signal.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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