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View Full Version : Report on powerline ethernet (five weeks later)



Omri
2006-09-27, 21:41
Five weeks ago I switched from using my Squeezebox 3 wirelessly to powerline ethernet, specifically a pair of Netgear XE104 85 Mbps wall-plugged switches. I selected the Netgear XE104s based upon a review by Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal. I had already decided to try the powerline ethernet solution, but his article helped me to select which unit to buy.

Installation on a Macintosh/iTunes system was painless and took less than 10 minutes.

I am delighted to report that for me powerline ethernet has been a resounding success. In the last five weeks I have not had one instance of dropouts or stuttering. This has been paradise compared to my experience with wireless. I had purchased my Squeezebox 3 in February 2006, and was using it wirelessly. About 70% of the time it worked beautifully, but 30% of the time it was totally unreliable.

My only regrets are that: 1) I spent an extra $50 on the wireless/ethernet Squeezebox combination, 2) I wasted so much time struggling to get wireless to work, and 3) it took me so long to find a solution. This was extremely frustrating, and I would not have persevered if I did not think that the Squeezebox was one of the best audio devices I have purchased

It is obvious from the Slim Device forum that many people have had a lot of problems with wireless streaming. Of course, you donít hear from people for whom it is working perfectly, and they indeed may be the majority. But from my perspective, wireless is simply not ready for prime time. (Incidentally, I had the same problems earlier when I used the Airport Express to stream music, but eventually Apple figured out how to solve the stability problems. It is a pity that Slim Devices has so far been unable to do the same, since it is a far superior product to the Airport Express.)

On a final note, after finding Nirvana, I decided to buy another Netgear XE104 for my other Squeezebox 3. However, since Mossbergís article came out, the price of the unit has gone up, and many online retailers are out of stock.

AndrewC
2006-09-28, 01:27
Interesting report - I'm thinking of doing exactly the same thing. My WiFi connection was always good in my last house but I've just moved and the walls are thicker :( Still trying to decide whether to try powerline or just add a wireless repeater.

WSLam
2006-09-28, 02:36
A friend has bad experience with Level One powerline ethernet adaptors. He tried another brand and it works. So just do not use Level One with the SB3.

flipflip
2006-09-28, 04:28
Thanks for the report, Omri.

I can confirm your findings. I'm using three hispeed home plug adapters (2 x devolo, 1 x netgear w/switch) with complete satisfaction.

I can add the following.

Usually speed to one adapter (or: one room in my flat) is far below 85 mbps. It goes down in steps to 11 mbps. Usually it is around 45 mbps. The same happens independently from the adapter used (i tried both there). I reckon it happens because there is a cascade of socket multipliers (is that the word?) and lots of devices plugged in. I think that devolo addresses this in their FAQ where they say that other devices and socket multipliers might interfere with the adapter.

The conclusion is that a connection via two adapters might not be adequate to copy large amounts of data over it. But even 11 mbps will be enough to drive a Squeezebox. E.g. when I ripped a new CD it will take some time to copy the flacs to my SlimServer server (see my signature).

flip

cunobelinus@mac.com
2006-09-28, 04:28
Very interesting, although I am one of those for whom SB2 works
flawlessly on wireless (Airport Extreme from an eMac boosted by
Airport Express in the same room as the SB2) - or, at least, it does
for more than 95% of the time. There's the odd irritating glitch, but
that's about it.

I wish I could say the same for the the TV streaming aspect of of
Elgato's Eyehome, though, which plain doesn't work over wireless
(although everything else about it does), freezing and jumping more
or less constantly. Wireless obviously can't cope with the bit rate
there. So, thank you very much for the recommendation, Omri. I'm
looking up UK prices as this mail sends, and since the SB2 is in the
same room as the EyeHome box, it may well end up on ethernet over
powerline, too.


On 28 Sep 2006, at 05:41, Omri wrote:

>
> Five weeks ago I switched from using my Squeezebox 3 wirelessly to
> powerline ethernet, specifically a pair of Netgear XE104 85 Mbps
> wall-plugged switches. I selected the Netgear XE104s based upon a
> review by Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal. I had already
> decided to try the powerline ethernet solution, but his article helped
> me to select which unit to buy.
>
> Installation on a Macintosh/iTunes system was painless and took less
> than 10 minutes.
>
> I am delighted to report that for me powerline ethernet has been a
> resounding success. In the last five weeks I have not had one instance
> of dropouts or stuttering. This has been paradise compared to my
> experience with wireless. I had purchased my Squeezebox 3 in February
> 2006, and was using it wirelessly. About 70% of the time it worked
> beautifully, but 30% of the time it was totally unreliable.
>
> My only regrets are that: 1) I spent an extra $50 on the
> wireless/ethernet Squeezebox combination, 2) I wasted so much time
> struggling to get wireless to work, and 3) it took me so long to
> find a
> solution. This was extremely frustrating, and I would not have
> persevered if I did not think that the Squeezebox was one of the best
> audio devices I have purchased
>
> It is obvious from the Slim Device forum that many people have had a
> lot of problems with wireless streaming. Of course, you donít hear
> from
> people for whom it is working perfectly, and they indeed may be the
> majority. But from my perspective, wireless is simply not ready for
> prime time. (Incidentally, I had the same problems earlier when I used
> the Airport Express to stream music, but eventually Apple figured out
> how to solve the stability problems. It is a pity that Slim Devices
> has
> so far been unable to do the same, since it is a far superior
> product to
> the Airport Express.)
>
> On a final note, after finding Nirvana, I decided to buy another
> Netgear XE104 for my other Squeezebox 3. However, since Mossbergís
> article came out, the price of the unit has gone up, and many online
> retailers are out of stock.
>
>
> --
> Omri
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --
> Omri's Profile: http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=6506
> View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=27990
>
>

SteveEast
2006-09-28, 07:23
Just to add that I've been using an SB3 wirelessly for over 6 months and I NEVER have dropouts or any other wireless problems. I use a Belkin Pre-N Router (F5D8230-4) which is currently giving me an 85% signal at about 30' through the basement ceiling to my SB in the lounge.

Steve.

lrossouw
2006-09-28, 10:35
yes me too

had aboslutely no issues on belkin wireless g router\dsl modem combo. i do live in smallish house and most of internal floors and walls are wood which would help.

no issues when using cordless phone and microwave either.

kevin
2006-09-28, 10:57
Very interesting, although I am one of those for whom SB2 works
flawlessly on wireless (Airport Extreme from an eMac boosted by
Airport Express in the same room as the SB2) - or, at least, it does
for more than 95% of the time. There's the odd irritating glitch, but
that's about it.

I wish I could say the same for the the TV streaming aspect of of
Elgato's Eyehome, though, which plain doesn't work over wireless
(although everything else about it does), freezing and jumping more
or less constantly. Wireless obviously can't cope with the bit rate
there. So, thank you very much for the recommendation, Omri. I'm
looking up UK prices as this mail sends, and since the SB2 is in the
same room as the EyeHome box, it may well end up on ethernet over
powerline, too.


You might find that if the Airport Express is configured for WDS (as a repeater), that the range will certainly be extended, but your latency may rise and bandwidth may drop significantly. A better solution in that case could perhaps be to use the Airport Express as a bridge, rather than a repeater, and then anything within wire-able range of the AE could be connected through a switch to the AE and your latency and bandwidth should improve (at least a bit anyhow)...

But video is just bigger. 802.11g even in best case scenarios (no interference, open field testing) with consumer grade equipment usually only gets you about 20Mbps tops... Sometimes slightly more.

Kyle
2006-09-28, 11:31
I'm also using a Belkin Pre-N with about a 30-40-foot distance through numerous walls in my house. Although my signal is anywhere from 35-75%, my music streams flawlessly 99% of the time. I can't say I never have a problem, but no more than once a month or less.

cunobelinus@mac.com
2006-09-28, 11:57
It is configured for WDS, as a repeater, I think.

My recent minor tribulation with the new firmware (the SB2 having a
hissy fit and refusing to connect wirelessly, maybe because I'd typed
in the WPA2 password wrongly the first time, until I'd reinstalled
the firmware) led me to try connecting it to the AE via ethernet. I
expect that this is the explanation (of which I had no appreciation
at all until this) for the reason I was so pleased with the result.
The EyeHome, though, does not in itself have wireless, so the AE MUST
be used as a bridge for that - and I still can't get it to work
properly. 20Mbps tops would explain that, too. I wonder if I could
try it with the Netgear, 8345GT which allegedly chucks out
108Mbps...... Thanks, Kevin. Very helpful suggestions, and food for
thought!

On 28 Sep 2006, at 18:57, kevin wrote:

>
> You might find that if the Airport Express is configured for WDS (as a
> repeater), that the range will certainly be extended, but your latency
> may rise and bandwidth may drop significantly. A better solution in
> that case could perhaps be to use the Airport Express as a bridge,
> rather than a repeater, and then anything within wire-able range of
> the
> AE could be connected through a switch to the AE and your latency and
> bandwidth should improve (at least a bit anyhow)...
>
> But video is just bigger. 802.11g even in best case scenarios (no
> interference, open field testing) with consumer grade equipment
> usually
> only gets you about 20Mbps tops... Sometimes slightly more.
>
>
> --
> kevin
>
> Kevin Pearsall - Slim Devices Technical Support Manager
> support (AT) slimdevices (DOT) com - +1.650.210.9400 ext. 3
>
> SB2->Bryston 4B-ST->Von Schweikert VR-2 // SB2->Rotel RSP-1066 &
> RMB-1075->B&W DM604S3 & Hsu VTF3mkII
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --
> kevin's Profile: http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?userid=5
> View this thread: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=27990
>
>

exile
2006-09-28, 12:41
it's great to hear that some people have absolutely no problem with their wireless but it's more instructive to hear that there are a lot of problems overall with the technology. I too suffered through months of wireless problems with my sb2 and then one day I just wired the damn box and shazam, there were no more problems with my music listening.

wireless technology is a wonderful advancement but it's defintiely in it's infancy.

Jeff52
2006-09-28, 12:58
I agree with you Exile. I finally changed to homeplug ethernet for my audio room connection to the squeezebox in the basement because of wildly fluctuating wireless strength resulting in occasional dropouts. I could not find any other interfering networks using Netstumbler so it must be some other type of RFI. Changing wireless channels and security protocols did not solve the problem. The remaining squeezeboxes are located much closer to the wireless router and have no problems.

j.e.f.f
2006-09-28, 20:08
Let me stir the pot a little... Reliable wireless DOES exist... check out the products made by Ruckes Wireless (http://www.ruckuswireless.com/).

I played around with these at work, and I was able to stream high definition video wirelessly -- at 801.11g speeds!! I've since bought an access point for home, and while I still get the occasional drop out, it is VERY infrequent... way better than my linksys WRT54G was.

One disadvantage is the lights on the top of it can get quite annoying, so don't put it in a visible location...

anyway.. my $0.02

ianstuart
2008-06-22, 19:29
I also have problems with dropouts in the wireless connection but my experience has not been so favourable. I have two receivers and a controller and an SB3. The SB3 has worked flawlessly but I have had nothing but problems with the Duets. I bought a Netgear Range Extender, which helped at first but now the connections on both of the receivers started dropping out. Even though the Controller and the computer are showing about 70 strength for the connection. Logitech's "Help" desk has been no help at all, basically blaming it on Netgear. If Logitech can't deliver a product that is plug and play with the number one router how does it expect to sell to anyone besides network engineers?

Pale Blue Ego
2008-06-23, 08:40
I've been using (4) Netgear XE-102 units for several years with zero problems. The cost was negligable because using Powerline networking allowed me to buy the $50 cheaper wired-only Squeezeboxes (now no longer available).

Paying a professional to run cat-5 or cat-6 cable is also a viable option. I had a guy run ethernet to 2 rooms for $110, and ran another cable myself for the cost of the wire.

IMO it's worth the effort for 100% reliability, not to mention speed and security.

sebage
2008-06-23, 13:45
Another delighted powerline customer here. There is little more frustrating than a drop out in the middle of your favorite song. Wireless works great in my apartment for my laptops, but there is nothing quite like a rock solid data connection for streaming to the SB3. I'm not beating up on the squeezebox wireless card, just that it doesn't work 100% of the time in my environment where Netstumbler finds over 25 other competing networks.

I also run an SB1G and having that wired up is a must when you are feeding it lossless files!

stubill
2008-06-24, 18:03
I was on the verge of returning Duet due to constant problems - I now run 2 after buying Panasonic Powerlines on offer from Amazon - the day I started using them was the day I started loving the Duet.

Cry Havok
2008-06-25, 09:20
I'm using some rebranded boxes ("Dabs value") with my SB3 that had previously been wireless. I've actually found that wireless was more reliable, but given that I have to push the network test to the maximum before I get any loss with the powerline adapters, I'm not that worried.

Besides, it means I no longer have a WiFi device operating about one foot from my head while I sleep ;)

herts101
2008-06-25, 14:13
Installed a pair of Novatech Addon 85mbs Powerline adaptors last night (£47 total at http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/specpage.html?NOV-PL2) and they work brilliantly.

Had been having trouble getting wireless reception in my backroom for a 2nd Squeezebox. I originally bought a Hawking wireless extender but although this boosted my laptop signal to 80-100%, the Squeezebox still stuttered and generally went to a complete stop. It also rather annoyingly meant that I effectively had two wireless networks in the house as the extender used a seperate SSID.

All confusing, complicated and not working.

The Powerline adaptors on the other hand were simplicity itself to install. One plugged in upstairs by the computer, the second one in the back room. They linked up to each other right away, and once I'd realised that I had to plug them straight into sockets, rather than through a 6 way adaptor I had music streaming in no time.

Seriously thinking of moving my 1st Squeezebox and Wii to Powerline now as well to reduce the amount of radio waves bouncing round my house.

Can't recommend this approach highly enough.

morris_minor
2008-06-26, 03:12
Well - I can add my tuppence-worth to the throng of satisified powerline users (Maplin 4-port switches in my case). My lounge SB3 is wireless - but is only 15 feet from the router in the next room, with a glass door in between. The SBR however is much further away in the kitchen, and powerline connection is flawless (even with one end plugged into a power strip).

The controller however is an issue, since the wireless signal in the kitchen is fairly flakey; but as I leave my laptop on the kitchen table for most of the time (which doesn't have wireless issues, and have just discovered Moose - what a great little program this is!) - it doesn't really matter.

I use the controller mostly with the SB3, which is too far away from my favourite chair to have the display readable.

It seems to me that if your house isn't already CAT-5'd, then powerline is the way to go unless your wireless is really sorted.

Bob

andynormancx
2008-06-26, 03:32
With all these success stories, I thought I'd add a little note of caution. I started using the 14mb adapters a couple of year ago, as I was getting fed up with how unreliable my wifi link between my house and my garage (were my servers live) was becoming.

The 14mb adapters were brilliant to start with, I really was getting very nearly the max throughput. That lasted for a year or so.

At some point they took a big dive in speed, so that they were only running at 7mb or so. I tried swapping them out, moving them around, unplugging all other mains devices in the house etc but they stayed stuck at 7mb. I can only assume that a new source of noise was added somewhere, in one of my neighbours' houses.

I lived with that for a while, but after another few months the speed had dropped to <2mb and was becoming fairly unusable.

At that point I decided to buy a set of 200mb adapters. I bought some Netgear ones first and they were completely hopeless, they just couldn't cope with whatever noise there is on our mains, they were no faster than the 14mb ones. I then tried the Devolo ones, they were better.

However they don't get anywhere near 200mb, most of the time the best I can hope for is 20mb, which is much better than the 14mb were managing at least.

I have since found what caused the drop from 7mb to <2mb, we added a set of wireless dimmers for the lights in our living room, which clearly dump some nasty noisy onto the mains (when I unplug those I can push the Devolos to 40mb or so). Unfortunately the dimmers are staying.

So, powerline Ethernet isn't always problem free. I have probably now spent as much time messing with it as I did with wifi before.

When I get time I'll probably go back to what I had before wifi, i.e. real Ethernet. But that involves punching a hole through the office/garage wall again and making it much neater than before ;)

jbart1965
2008-11-21, 16:24
I just bought a pair of powerline adapters because my farthest room, an attic two floors above the wireless router, suffered drops, especially in the morning. Another receiver, however, is still connected wirelessly.

Question is, how I can I tell the attic receiver is connected via powerline and not wireless. My test signals shows a low connection. All I did was plug everything in and connect the receiver via Ethernet to the powerline adapter.

DeVerm
2008-11-21, 19:56
I just bought a pair of powerline adapters because my farthest room, an attic two floors above the wireless router, suffered drops, especially in the morning. Another receiver, however, is still connected wirelessly.

Question is, how I can I tell the attic receiver is connected via powerline and not wireless. My test signals shows a low connection. All I did was plug everything in and connect the receiver via Ethernet to the powerline adapter.

You have to push the button on the receiver and re-configure it with the ethernet cable connected. You're still on wireless now I think. You should see the choice/selection for wired on the controller while re-configuring it.

cheers,
Nick.

mswlogo
2008-11-21, 23:07
Wireless most certainly works. You may of had some interference or something but it indeed works. My daughters runs fine.

I have a WebCam setup for security in a summer home and used the Powerline stuff thinking it would be more stable. It was not. I finally installed a Wireless solution and it's been rock solid. Everything bounces back during powerfails etc.

So you find what works for you. I don't think it's fair to say SlimDevices wireless solution is not ready for prime time.

jbart1965
2008-11-22, 09:00
Thanks DeVerm. I redid the setup and connected to the powerline adapter. Worked great for a few minutes then lots of drops. A network test showed a steady 100% bar, suddenly a quick and brief drop to zero. This pattern persisted and I could not get a reliable signal, so the powerlines go back today. My house was built in 1933 and the attic has new wiring, unlike rooms on the bottom three floors. I have to assume it's my old wiring causing the problem.

Weird problem with Squeezebox. I cannot get a good wireless signal when accessing the music on my harddrive during the morning, at least not in the attic. Oddly, my laptop says the Wi-Fi signal is 'excellent, usually 88% to 100%, in the attic.

Starting later in the morning or early afternoon the problem disappears. Fortunately, Squeezenetwork usually works fine any time of the day. I set the buffer to 30 seconds just in case (not sure if there's a downside to that).

I may try a WiFi extender to see if that fixes the problem. (I bet an updated Squeezebox Duet receiver with N capability would eventually solve my issues in the attic).

MeSue
2008-11-22, 09:08
Thanks DeVerm. I redid the setup and connected to the powerline adapter. Worked great for a few minutes then lots of drops. A network test showed a steady 100% bar, suddenly a quick and brief drop to zero. This pattern persisted and I could not get a reliable signal, so the powerlines go back today. My house was built in 1933 and the attic has new wiring, unlike rooms on the bottom three floors. I have to assume it's my old wiring causing the problem.
We use powerline for a squeezebox that is out in my husband's all-metal workshop. When we were setting it up, we had to try a few different outlets for the powerline adapter that comes from the router before finding one that worked without drops. Of course, the most convenient outlet didn't work, so we had to use one across the room with a longer cable. Just wanted to suggest that in case you hadn't tried it yet.

dwilliams01
2008-11-22, 10:14
I'm also using a Belkin Pre-N with about a 30-40-foot distance through numerous walls in my house. Although my signal is anywhere from 35-75%, my music streams flawlessly 99% of the time. I can't say I never have a problem, but no more than once a month or less.

I also use Belkin pre-n. Essentially, never a drop problem. I think that the n-based access points really up the reliability and certainly up the range. I know of others that have had major problems with reception with b and g level access points and have upgraded to n based units and now have no problems either.

Goodsounds
2008-11-22, 11:01
Thanks DeVerm. I redid the setup and connected to the powerline adapter. Worked great for a few minutes then lots of drops. A network test showed a steady 100% bar, suddenly a quick and brief drop to zero. This pattern persisted and I could not get a reliable signal, so the powerlines go back today. My house was built in 1933 and the attic has new wiring, unlike rooms on the bottom three floors. I have to assume it's my old wiring causing the problem.

Weird problem with Squeezebox. I cannot get a good wireless signal when accessing the music on my harddrive during the morning, at least not in the attic. Oddly, my laptop says the Wi-Fi signal is 'excellent, usually 88% to 100%, in the attic.

If you're in the US, I have one suggestion before you toss the powerline stuff. US houses are frequently wired with two phases (two different 110 supplies, to keep it simple). Outlets throughout the house (and often in each room) are mixed between the two to spread the load. Powerline signals reputedly don't always cross phases readily, and so adapters on different phases can be nonfunctional. If your server side adapter is plugged into a circuit on a different phases from the one in the attic, you could have problems. The suggestion, is try the server side adapter in a different wall plug. It may or may not make a difference.

Plan B suggestion - there are do-it-yourself signal boosters, that take about 5 minutes and require ZERO technical capability. We're talking glue, aluminum foil and paper or cardboard. Google, you'll find many choices. I did this and the improvement was shocking. Alternatively, you could try buying new antennas for your router. Boosting the signal is a way to get the result without disturbing the status quo (if you choose to get a new router or repeater).

Oh, I forgot - maybe you're getting interference from neighbors or in-house devices. Try netstumbler to see if you're on a crowded channel, check your wireless phone frequency.

Good luck

DrNic
2008-11-22, 16:02
Whilst I don't use powerline, I have not too long ago just finished CAT 6'ing the whole house. Bliss.
Wired is the new wireless....

PS Wireless did work for me, but I now have oodles of bandwidth in comparison and its _totally_ secure.

Honva
2008-11-23, 00:03
For those with powerline adapter, I have a question.
Does the adapter work if plugged in a UPS(uninterrupted power supply)? My area has short power outage every few days.
Thanks.

MeSue
2008-11-23, 08:07
For those with powerline adapter, I have a question.
Does the adapter work if plugged in a UPS(uninterrupted power supply)? My area has short power outage every few days.
Thanks.

The ones I have, which I bought several years ago, specifically say not to plug into a UPS or even a surge protector. I don't know if newer ones have that same limitation.

DeVerm
2008-11-23, 08:55
For those with powerline adapter, I have a question.
Does the adapter work if plugged in a UPS(uninterrupted power supply)? My area has short power outage every few days.
Thanks.

That should not work on a good UPS (which would be the on-line type). Even with a stand-by type, it could detect the adapter as being something unwanted on it's output and shut down or something.

cheers,
Nick.

DeVerm
2008-11-23, 09:02
If you're in the US, I have one suggestion before you toss the powerline stuff. US houses are frequently wired with two phases (two different 110 supplies, to keep it simple). Outlets throughout the house (and often in each room) are mixed between the two to spread the load. Powerline signals reputedly don't always cross phases readily, and so adapters on different phases can be nonfunctional. If your server side adapter is plugged into a circuit on a different phases from the one in the attic, you could have problems. The suggestion, is try the server side adapter in a different wall plug. It may or may not make a difference.

Plan B suggestion - there are do-it-yourself signal boosters, that take about 5 minutes and require ZERO technical capability. We're talking glue, aluminum foil and paper or cardboard. Google, you'll find many choices. I did this and the improvement was shocking. Alternatively, you could try buying new antennas for your router. Boosting the signal is a way to get the result without disturbing the status quo (if you choose to get a new router or repeater).

The multiple phase thing is for most homes in the developed countries and for sure in western Europe (up to 3 phases in most houses). I still don't understand why they don't market a device that'll bridge across them all but I think it's because of safety and regulations (like you're not supposed to open the box with the 3-phase busbars).

The home-made antenna-reflectors work very good but the best start would be a good "n" type router (has MIMO technology) which works for "g" clients too.

ciao!
Nick.

Lesu
2008-11-23, 12:48
The multiple phase thing is for most homes in the developed countries and for sure in western Europe (up to 3 phases in most houses). I still don't understand why they don't market a device that'll bridge across them all but I think it's because of safety and regulations (like you're not supposed to open the box with the 3-phase busbars).

The home-made antenna-reflectors work very good but the best start would be a good "n" type router (has MIMO technology) which works for "g" clients too.

ciao!
Nick.

Well, the last time I looked, the UK was in western Europe and I think we qualify as developed, but I don't know of a normal household with 3 phase supply. 3 phase is normally restricted to factories and workshops.

DeVerm
2008-11-23, 14:14
Well, the last time I looked, the UK was in western Europe and I think we qualify as developed, but I don't know of a normal household with 3 phase supply. 3 phase is normally restricted to factories and workshops.

Well... I am confident you have it but it's invisible, you have just the regular UK 1-phase outlets in the house. But the cable coming into the house will most probably be 3-phase and enter a box that has 3 busbars, one for each phase. You will probably have multiple 16A breakers and if you have more than a couple, they will be spread over the 3 phases. So yes, you could make a true 3-phase power by running extension cords from different outlets in the house and just using the hot-wires from each. I shouldn't have told this... don't play with it if you're not sure what you are doing.

Also, many homes in the UK will have electric stoves, ovens or waterheaters that use 3-phase power. When you call the electrician for making an outlet for them, he will open the box to the three busbars and pull the wiring from it, no need to dig up the cable...

The reason they do the 3-phase is that the neighborhood-transformers are 3-phase and they want to balance the load not just over the neighborhood but within each house.

cheers,
Nick.

Goodsounds
2008-11-23, 16:23
Well... I am confident you have it but it's invisible...

I see, maybe only you can see it?

Comments on this topic within the last few months suggested that one phase residential supply was the norm in the UK. If so, then powerline connections there would less frequently have a "phase problem" than (what I have heard) is often the case in the US. In that earlier discussion, it was also mentioned that there is some device available to allow powerline signals to span different phase circuits.

As far as I know, three phase residential supply is quite uncommon in the US. Elsewhere, I don't know, but I would be curious to know why it would be done. It would seem unnecessary and so an avoidable cost and effort.

It is not completely implausible that a Dutchman floating up and down with the tide in Panama is an expert on global building codes and practices. Your comments suggest otherwise. My comments had caveats to limit what I said to what I felt comfortable with my knowledge of, and I think that's a good practice. I try to do that with all my postings on this site.

Tot later,

Lesu
2008-11-24, 04:21
Well... I am confident you have it but it's invisible, you have just the regular UK 1-phase outlets in the house. But the cable coming into the house will most probably be 3-phase and enter a box that has 3 busbars, one for each phase. You will probably have multiple 16A breakers and if you have more than a couple, they will be spread over the 3 phases. So yes, you could make a true 3-phase power by running extension cords from different outlets in the house and just using the hot-wires from each. I shouldn't have told this... don't play with it if you're not sure what you are doing.

Also, many homes in the UK will have electric stoves, ovens or waterheaters that use 3-phase power. When you call the electrician for making an outlet for them, he will open the box to the three busbars and pull the wiring from it, no need to dig up the cable...

The reason they do the 3-phase is that the neighborhood-transformers are 3-phase and they want to balance the load not just over the neighborhood but within each house.

cheers,
Nick.

No I'm sorry but that isn't the case. You would be hard pushed to find a 3 phase stove, oven or anything else for the home in the UK. The incoming supply is normally single phase, I watched 2 guys rewiring my entire home 6 months ago and it's not 3 phase, even on the supply side. The local transformers probably are, but that's normally where it stays.
In fact the electricians were telling me about a rich guy's home they had just wired, which had so many downlights installed that the power required was close to overloading the normal domestic supply. In that particular case they were seriously considering going to 3 phase, but that would have involved a new incoming cable from the supply company.