Author Topic: Powerline adaptors  (Read 1371 times)

Wombat

  • Is it supposed to hurt this much?
Powerline adaptors
« on: March 06, 2020, 06:42:54 pm »
I have given up on my attempt to get CAT6 cable across to my workshop through the disused heating oil supply pipe.  I can get 10 metres of the required 11 through it, so I excavated back 1.5 metres and tried again, and I can only get 9 metres down it now...  Enough!

So, I need to get internet to said workshop, as the wifi on my pathetic BT super wonder Ultrafast smart hub is shit, and barely makes it 3/4 of the way across the house, let alone across the yard and into the olde-worlde Faraday cage (i.e. corrugated iron barn) that houses my workshop.  Powerline adaptors, folk have said, and they do allegedly work on different ring mains.  So, the question that I can't find the answer to in manufacturers blurb is: Can I feed its signal via a network switch?  The crap BT router/hub thingy only has 3 ports, rather than the claimed 4 (well there's 4 sockets, but one of them is the input, so it doesn't count) and they are currently occupied by 1. the feed to the PC, 2. the feed to the living room stuff (TV and other media equipment), and 3. the NAS, which sits right alongside the hub.  I've got a spare way on the switch in the living room, but not a spare socket to power it (apparently they don't like adaptors/power strips/whatever) the office has enough power sockets, but no available data port, so suggestions as to how I get power and data to a powerline adaptor are welcome.  I don't want to buy a network switch only to find it won't work! 

All this, just to listen to the bloody radio in my workshop!  There is bugger all FM or DAB signal in our area anyway, and expecting to get a signal inside a workshop that is lined with foil faced insulation, inside a corrugated iron clad barn, is living in fairyland.

If small radios had aerial sockets, I'd install an aerial on the barn, like the monstrous thing I've installed on the house, but they don't and anyway I'm reluctant to make the barn look like a dwelling, I prefer to maintain the pretence its just a barn.  I've got a wifi extender thingy, which "sort of" works, in parts of the workshop, when it feels like it, but I just want a reliable signal for radio and internet.
Ideas?  Yes, I know its my fault for living in the sticks...
Wombat

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2020, 07:59:52 pm »
I have given up on my attempt to get CAT6 cable across to my workshop through the disused heating oil supply pipe.  I can get 10 metres of the required 11 through it, so I excavated back 1.5 metres and tried again, and I can only get 9 metres down it now...  Enough!

Are you pushing?

Try sucking a thread down the pipe with a vacuum cleaner, then use that as a drawstring.


Yeah, no problem going via a switch.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2020, 08:11:05 pm »
Electricians fish tape?
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

Wombat

  • Is it supposed to hurt this much?
Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2020, 08:26:16 pm »
I have given up on my attempt to get CAT6 cable across to my workshop through the disused heating oil supply pipe.  I can get 10 metres of the required 11 through it, so I excavated back 1.5 metres and tried again, and I can only get 9 metres down it now...  Enough!

Are you pushing?

Try sucking a thread down the pipe with a vacuum cleaner, then use that as a drawstring.


Yeah, no problem going via a switch.
I've tried both blowing and sucking (!) but the problem with sucking a fine thread down there is that it had water in it, and I made the marginal decision to displace and lubricate it with WD40, which means it'll never be dry again (but then it will have had dried residue from heating oil, and rainwater and atmospheric dirt in it).
Blowing was done with 100psi from my compressor, sucking by monster workshop vac.

I think therefore, I'll buy the things, try in living room on existing switch,  and if it doesn't like the power extension lead thing, buy another network switch and put it in the office.

Thanks!

Wombat

Wombat

  • Is it supposed to hurt this much?
Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2020, 08:30:54 pm »
Electricians fish tape?

Bin there, done that, both with unassisted pushing, and with airflow assistance from my compressor. 

No dice. Obviously it's in a shallow arc, from ground level at each end, to about 300 below ground in between. Annoyingly it's not a specific obstruction,  it goes in about the same distance from either end. I thought I was being clever using an existing resource, but no....
Wombat

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2020, 08:42:39 pm »
I've tried both blowing and sucking (!) but the problem with sucking a fine thread down there is that it had water in it, and I made the marginal decision to displace and lubricate it with WD40, which means it'll never be dry again (but then it will have had dried residue from heating oil, and rainwater and atmospheric dirt in it).
Blowing was done with 100psi from my compressor, sucking by monster workshop vac.

Yeah, I'd say that sounds like 'Enough!'
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2020, 08:52:19 pm »
Set of electricians duct rods or for budget version 2.5mm galvanised garden wire


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SoreTween

  • Most of me survived the Pennine Bridleway.
Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2020, 09:29:58 am »
You'll be fine, I have a devolo plugged into a 6 way power strip under my desk and connected into a switch. The other devolo is in Mrs Tween's barn fully 80 meters away. I've never tested the bandwidth but it's had extensive use for listening to intertubes radio.
2020 targets: None
There is only one infinite resource in this universe; human stupidity.

tonycollinet

  • No Longer a western province of Númenor
Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2020, 10:00:08 am »
Can depend on the wiring. My experience (admittedly from about 15 years ago  :o ) is that it is not good on different circuits connected only at the distribution board.

tonycollinet

  • No Longer a western province of Númenor
Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2020, 10:08:28 am »
This is another option if the powerline turns out not to work...

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wireless-Waterproof-Installation-Controller-EAP110-Outdoor/dp/B01N4EGN6H

(or similar)

marcusjb

  • Full of bon courage.
    • Occasional wittering
Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2020, 10:41:11 am »
Along similar lines - something like a Ubiquti Nano stuff will give good results and not huge money (bit more than a powerline adapter, but particularly if you are jumping across dis boards, this will give higher performance overall).  I've seen Ubiquiti used on a number of projects I've worked on (usually some of the more hardcore point-to-point boxes, but sometimes the Nanobeams)

https://www.broadbandbuyer.com/products/30942-ubiquiti-ns-5acl-kit/

It's my back-up plan for the new garden office building; but as the sparks has to run armoured electrical cables up there, I am positive we can get some Cat6 up there as well.
Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2020, 10:45:24 am »
I run Powerline adaptors between the office in the house, and a shed some 30m away connected via its own armoured spur. Perfectly ok for streaming. This over (soon to be replaced) 40 year old wiring. As an aside, my Sonos bridge with line of sight also works fine over that distance (gotta have tunes when fettling   ;D)
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2020, 12:35:16 pm »
If you can get line-of-sight, then using a wireless access point and a wireless client will work over long distances with directional aerials. With omni-directional aerials you will get 50 m with no problem

About 15 years ago, we had internet delivered with directional aerials to the old house over a distance of 1.5 miles. The wireless client aerial can be seen on the chimney here:- https://www.zoopla.co.uk/property/holly-cottage/barton-road/carlton/nuneaton/cv13-0db/5771051#image-1

This was how far it had to go:-
Quote from: Kim
Paging Diver300.  Diver300 to the GSM Trimphone, please...

Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2020, 01:39:48 pm »
My experience of power line networking is 30 years old. I'm curious, does vacuuming (or other motor use) affect them still?

Wombat

  • Is it supposed to hurt this much?
Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2020, 03:58:05 pm »
Eek!  Hope not, as said workshop contains a milling machine, lathe, various electric fettling machinery, etc.  I shall report on my experiences, powerline adaptors ordered.  It's only 15m or so from my living room, which is itself 10m+ from the router in my office.  I was surprised at the feebleness of the BT wifi, considering their adverts where it is touted as the most powerful available, but its nowhere near as powerful as the wifi on my old Virgin/Netgear router, which comfortably managed to get up the 30m long back garden to my brick workshop, from the front of the house.  I was interested to note the stuff about directional aerials.  Hmm, that might've worked, its direct line of sight from the lounge window (and adjacent handy barge board/roof of the bungalow) to the window in the tin edifice of my barn.
Wombat

Powerline adaptors
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2020, 02:40:45 pm »
I run Powerline adaptors between the office in the house, and a shed some 30m away connected via its own armoured spur. Perfectly ok for streaming. This over (soon to be replaced) 40 year old wiring. As an aside, my Sonos bridge with line of sight also works fine over that distance (gotta have tunes when fettling   ;D)
If your Sonos bridge works why don’t you just use the cat5 socket in the back of that to get interweb ?


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ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2020, 05:20:37 pm »
Powerline just works here on different rings and The Asbestos Palace's interestingly shonky wiring. The kindly donation of a better wifi device upstairs makes up for the very feeble BT wifi (that barely escapes the nest under the stairs – admittedly not the best location, but that's where the phone line is, and yeah, yeah, we should have had it relocated when we had the place refurbished). Anyway, a pair of powerline adaptors connect those. Last time I bothered checking they were running around 150Mb/s. They're older models (probably 8ish years old).

As a bonus, they're simple and faff-free, plug them in, press the buttons. Never noticed any disruption when other electronics are doing their stuff. The Arlo security thing is also connected via a powerline adaptor since it has to sit somewhere where it has line-of-sight (via the patio doors) to the camera by the garage at the bottom of the garden. One day I ought to move the Sonos Boost from the understair nest though for reasons it doesn't recommend powerline adaptors, however, I generally ignore instructions (it mostly works, other than for all five speakers dotted around the house, I can have downstairs or upstairs, I blame the Hell portal under the hallway floor).
!nataS pihsroW

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2020, 05:25:38 pm »
Powerline adaptors are just The Devil's Radio ineffectively[1] confined to the mains wiring.  As with anything else RF, whether or not it actually works is a suck-it-and-see proposition.


[1] Ask a radio ham.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2020, 07:30:23 pm »
Ours work fine 99& of the time. The one nearest my laptop will start dropping connectivity to the base adaptor for about 2 minutes then start working again and be fine for several hours and do it again. Probably something banging noise onto that ring main. Haven't worked out what it is as by the time I decide to do something about it it fixes itself. Sometimes its fine for days. Seems to happen in spurts.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2020, 07:34:17 pm »
I was surprised at the feebleness of the BT wifi, considering their adverts where it is touted as the most powerful available, but its nowhere near as powerful as the wifi on my old Virgin/Netgear router, which comfortably managed to get up the 30m long back garden to my brick workshop, from the front of the house.

It's probably possible to switch the Wi-Fi off on your BT thing and just use it as a modem, and then (if you've still got it) use the Virgin thingy as your Wi-Fi. You do have to make sure only one of them is doing DHCP and NAS if using the LAN sockets.

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2020, 08:10:15 am »
I've used powerline adapters for ages, on my 3rd set

They all seem to last 3 or 4 years then something goes pop

The current batch are easy to pair

Also have previously used a directional wifi antenna.  Standard modern wifi dsl routers don't have plugs for adding a massive radiator. 
Audaxing Blog follow @vorsprungbike on

SoreTween

  • Most of me survived the Pennine Bridleway.
Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2020, 09:45:34 am »
[1] Ask a radio ham.
I did consider that and so checked for conspicuously large antennae around & found none1. Plus the house walls are 2' thick solid stone, most of the distance is in armoured cable and the barn walls are 18" solid stone. Still, when upgrading my main switch I bought one that takes SFPs, if a neighbour asked I'd run a fibre instead as the power cable is maxed out when the kiln is running. Two motivations would tip the hassle balance.

1I missed one, just outside my search range, it's the size of a transit van roof rack, for FM and aligned almost perfectly perpendicular.
2020 targets: None
There is only one infinite resource in this universe; human stupidity.

Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2020, 11:56:49 am »
I've used powerline adapters for ages, on my 3rd set

They all seem to last 3 or 4 years then something goes pop

Exact same experience here, 3 or 4 years go by and one suddenly decides to stop working, usually with some browning around the pass-through socket, and finding a single one that is compatible with the existing one is nigh on impossible so they get junked and replaced as pairs.

If I ever get the house rewired I'll get proper network cabling in but with a recent rejig of things I don't really need the powerline adapters any more. The three things that need 1Gbps connections between themselves (laptop, ESXi server, NAS box) are now all right near each other and plugged into a single switch. Everything else only needs BB downloads speeds (currently ~60Mbps) and the wifi (with a separate BT disc to extend coverage a bit) can handle that with no problems.

Semi-regular hoovering (including upstairs and downstairs flats) and I don't notice any problems with the powerline adapters and neither of the other flats have complained about random interference from the powerline adapters (we are obviously on different mains spurs).
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2020, 12:16:08 pm »
My original TP-Link powerline adaptors have been running 24/7 for about 8 years (they're only restarted by house moves and powercuts). There's a newer one for the Arlo, despite being different models, they all play well together at whatever the speed limitation of the slowest part of the network, and can be bought as singles.

The only demanding network thing here is writing backups to the NAS, which is a bit slow, but runs in the background anyway. Everything else is limited by the 60ish Mb/s FTTC internet.
!nataS pihsroW

rr

Re: Powerline adaptors
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2020, 02:51:37 pm »
What Ian said, plus I've had a good connection in our garage which is 20m from the house on a separate spur off the consumer unit, with its own RCD and breakers.

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