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Power Line Adapter Woes - Can you help?

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,112
Registered: 30-07-2007

Power Line Adapter Woes - Can you help?

I am wondering if any of you folks can help me out with an annoying problem with power line adapters? I suspect the bottom line is that it is probably something to do with how my house is wired but I would like to exhaust other possibilities! I did wonder if it was a DHCP problem but with my limited knowledge it seems that the adapters work as an automatous group without being assigned IP addresses from the router?
So the basic problem is that periodically the devices connected to the TP-Link devices lose their connection and the device either has to be restarted or reset to regain the connection. Following are some ancillary facts that might help to narrow it down:
This has happened with two different routers.
This has also happened with two different (sets) brands of power line adapters.
I have tried the default PLA set up and a custom network setup, it doesn’t seem to make any difference.
My current router app can see the devices and reports their MAC addresses (IP addresses not available).
I’ve don plenty of MAC / IP address reservation tests as well as a free for all. I even reserved IP addresses for the MAC addresses of the PLA just in case.
Any ideas?
23 REPLIES
nanotm
Pro
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Registered: 11-02-2013

Re: Power Line Adapter Woes - Can you help?

it happens all the time with mine, I just switch off the power line adaptors and then switch them back on to fix the problem the equipment can be left running so long as the powerline adaptor restarts the connection comes back
I suspect the problem is my router trying to maintain all the upnp connections for Skype (seems it creates a new virtual server every time someone opens Skype and makes a call) whatever is the cause of the problem its a minor annoyance and nothing more
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,112
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Power Line Adapter Woes - Can you help?

To you it might only be 'a minor annoyance and nothing more' but not for me:
Dropping the connection in the middle of a multi player console session IS annoying.
Dropping the connection in the middle of a smart TV iplayer session IS annoying.
Dropping the connection in the middle of a PC video streaming session IS annoying.
If anyone has anything positive to add that might help eliminate the problem I would be be very grateful
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
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Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Power Line Adapter Woes - Can you help?

Have you tried Devolo's ?
I have about a dozen connected around the house, with various levels of link quality, and have never needed to restart any of them.

When yours fail,  do the adaptors themselves stop being part of the mains network,  or are they apparently still connected together but not passing ethernet traffic ?
nanotm
Pro
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Registered: 11-02-2013

Re: Power Line Adapter Woes - Can you help?

if there the same make model and version of adaptor they should need a reboot once a week to prevent the clogging up, if its more often then something else is going wrong or there likely faulty, check the manufacturers website to se if there is a firmware update for them if not then think about getting them replaced the powerline adaptors don't last forever and if your supply has a lot of spikes /dips they may be ageing faster than designed, if your router is dropping the DHCP sessions then perhaps it needs rebooting to cope with the number of things connected to it, the cheap ones often cant handle more than a handful of devices being used at the same time through Ethernet connections
I have a soho router for that reason and 6 powerline adaptors, as well as an assortment of switches round the house, the cheap routes I tried kept falling over (many of them are only specked for 4 devices in use at a time wired and up to 8 wireless its a limitation of the ram and chipset)  
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
Community Veteran
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Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Power Line Adapter Woes - Can you help?

Quote from: nanotm
if there the same make model and version of adaptor they should need a reboot once a week to prevent the clogging up,

? WHAT ! ! !
Mine have always been left on and have remained connected for years ! - even during thunderstorms.
nanotm
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Registered: 11-02-2013

Re: Power Line Adapter Woes - Can you help?

cheap ones aren't as good as though, the first set I bought were 30 quid each and lasted 4 years (without being turned off) the new high speed ones cost 10 quid each and need rebooting every week to avoid problems, I dare say if I spent more money on them I wouldn't have the same problems
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
Thanks: 292
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Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Power Line Adapter Woes - Can you help?

I've bought all my dozen or so Devolo homeplugs, one at a time (as my network expanded), of eBay for as little as £0.99 each.  Tongue
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,112
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Power Line Adapter Woes - Can you help?

Tried two different brands of Powerline adapter the current ones are TPlink TL PA411 AV500's Less than a year old.
Tried two different routers, current is a D6200 capable of handling large numbers of devices.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,112
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Power Line Adapter Woes - Can you help?

@purleigh
I would guess they are all still connected but not transmitting date If you can tell me what to look for (other than no flashing data light I will check next time it happens.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Power Line Adapter Woes - Can you help?

On mine, there are three multi-coloured LEDs.
The left hand 'power' lamp, indicates that there is main power applied to the plug. but may extinguish if the homeplug goes into power saving standby mode when it detects that the ethernet port no longer has a connection (such as the connected device being switched off).
The middle 'house' indicator, only lights when the adaptor has established a network connection to other homeplugs via the mains wiring.
"Off" is not connected, "green" is a good connection, "amber" is a slow connection, and "red" is a very slow connection.
When data traffic is being transferred through the adaptor to the mains network this indicator flashes the relevant colour, and when the data traffic is idle then the indicator is on and not flashing.
The right hand 'network' indicator, shows when an ethernet cable is connected and that a link is established to a powered device.
I think it's 'off' for disconnected, 'green' for 100Mbps, and 'amber' for 10Mbps.
Again, this indicator flashes when ethernet traffic is present, or is on and not flashing when connected with no data being transferred.

If your homeplugs have similar indicators, then you should be able to deduce whether the stalled plug is still connected to the mains network, whether ethernet traffic is present, and whether traffic is being passed between the mains network and the ethernet connection.
Wink
Superuser
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Power Line Adapter Woes - Can you help?

I prefer to use the Solwise range of devices (Just personal choice) and have been using them for about 6 years without any consistent problems.  Number in use varies, but currently 8 including 4 points neatly integrated into a 2 gang 13Amp socket.   Very neat in the workroom!
As in Purleigh's response, my units just get left on for months with no issues.
OK so why my response?   I loaned a working pair to a colleague to 'try'.  Now he lives in an older cottage with electrics of varying vintage and odd routes for power ring etc and he had problems.  Initially the units really didn't want to work,  Checking the cabling, Consumer Unit, sockets etc for 'loose' connections - and finding a few, the situation improved significantly.  It's now usable, but still has the odd sulky moment..  It's a straw to clutch at and is fairly easy to implement a check?
Maurice
beeceegee
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Registered: 27-11-2012

Re: Power Line Adapter Woes - Can you help?

+ 1 for Solwise
I have a couple (of the 200AV variety)  to take the connection from the studyto a separate router behind the telly, plus an odd dinner plate sized round one, with 6 x 3pin sockets and 3 x ethernet ports, which goes behind the hifi stand and feeds the Onkyo receiver
WTF
Grafter
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Registered: 14-09-2012

Re: Power Line Adapter Woes - Can you help?

I can recommend the BT Hotspot 500.  I got a set a couple of months back, plugged both bits in and everything just worked immediately - and has continued to just work without any reboots at all (touchwood).
My guess is that, given there have been problems with two different brands, the OP's issue is probably related to the house's wiring.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Power Line Adapter Woes - Can you help?

I have 2 x 1Gbs (allegedly) adapters connected via wall sockets
plus 2 x 80Mbs adapters connected via extension multi-sockets over the same mains circuits.
Neither pair ever drops out.
Since all my connections end up at a 100Mbps switch or router, I'm always going to be throttled.