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  1. #1

    Network Test: Wireless vs. Homeplug

    Hi Everyone,

    I have an issue that I am trying to resolve. I have a Duet, and am running version 7.0.1 - 19705 of Squeeze Center. I initially installed the Duet wireless, (server computer wired to router, wireless connection to Duet receiver) but was having occasional problems getting it to properly play flac files. It would work about 80% of the time, but there were times when it would not be able to find my library, or would stop playing. I figured I was having interference issues, since I can pick up about 4 other networks in my house. I decided to try a set of homeplugs to see if it would work better (Netgear HDX101). I now have the system set up ad hoc using the homeplugs. It seems to work much better now, as I have not had any dropouts in days.

    My question though is about the Network Test in Squeeze Center. When I was running wireless, I would get very good Network Test results at the 1500 kbps rate (most were over 100% with just a few at 90%.) With this result, I was still getting dropouts though. With the homeplugs, when I run the 1500 kbps Network Test, my average reading is 40%, with quite a few lower than this. I do not hit 100% at all, yet my flac music files seem to work better.

    I know I should be worrying about the final result (how it works), but if this homeplug setup is not going to work well in the long run, I want to be able to return them and not waste the money. Has anyone else seen this type of situation, and is it indeed cause for concern?

    Thanks for the input.

    Pat

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I can't say I've ever done an official test with my netgear powerline xe102's but I can attest to the fact that I have virtually perfect connections on my three slimboxes-all of them connected via powerline. I've had this setup running consistently for about six months.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the reply, I am hoping that will be the case in my situation. I am a bit troubled by the crummy network test numbers that I am seeing, but it is working better than wireless so far. I hope I don't run into problems in the future.

    I would be curious to hear others experiences also.

    Thanks, and keep the music playing!

    Pat

  4. #4
    Founder, Slim Devices seanadams's Avatar
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    If your homeplug adaptors are on opposing power line phases, then you may be able to get a vast improvement by making some minor changes to the wiring in your breaker panel.

    To figure out if they're on the same phase, first identify the breakers for the outlets that the homeplug adaptors are connected to.

    Then measure with an AC voltmeter across two of those breakers*. If you get about 0V, they are on the same phase (good). If you get about 240V, they are on different phases. To change the phase that a circuit is on, swap it with the wire going to the breaker immediately below it. (miniature "dual" breakers count as the same breaker here).

    Swap wires as needed until all circuits powering homeplug devices measure 0V against each other. An electrician can do this for you in a few minutes.

    * you can also figure it out visually by counting spaces, but using a voltmeter is faster and more reliable.

  5. #5
    Senior Member pfarrell's Avatar
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    Network Test: Wireless vs. Homeplug

    seanadams wrote:
    > To figure out if they're on the same phase, first identify the breakers
    > for the outlets that the homeplug adaptors are connected to.
    >
    > Then measure with an AC voltmeter across two of those breakers*.


    If you don't know what you are doing, please hire a qualified
    electrician to do what Sean suggests.

    Sticking random probes into live power is not a good idea.

    --
    Pat Farrell
    http://www.pfarrell.com/


  6. #6
    Senior Member bigfool1956's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanadams View Post
    If your homeplug adaptors are on opposing power line phases, then you may be able to get a vast improvement by making some minor changes to the wiring in your breaker panel.

    To figure out if they're on the same phase, first identify the breakers for the outlets that the homeplug adaptors are connected to.

    Then measure with an AC voltmeter across two of those breakers*. If you get about 0V, they are on the same phase (good). If you get about 240V, they are on different phases. To change the phase that a circuit is on, swap it with the wire going to the breaker immediately below it. (miniature "dual" breakers count as the same breaker here).

    Swap wires as needed until all circuits powering homeplug devices measure 0V against each other. An electrician can do this for you in a few minutes.

    * you can also figure it out visually by counting spaces, but using a voltmeter is faster and more reliable.
    This is only relevant if the OP is in North America, in the UK and the rest of Europe virtually no homes have 2 or 3 phases connected, and if they do the cross-phase voltage will be around 440V - which is extremely hazardous. Fingers out!
    there is a lofty lonely lohengrinic castle

  7. #7
    Senior Member simbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfool1956 View Post
    This is only relevant if the OP is in North America, in the UK and the rest of Europe virtually no homes have 2 or 3 phases connected, and if they do the cross-phase voltage will be around 440V - which is extremely hazardous. Fingers out!
    If musictappy could tell us where he/she is it would help. I know of a good tweak to UK-based HDX101's that can have a dramatic impact on performance.

    On a similar note, my SB3 mains adaptor has a detrimental impact on the performance of my Homeplug network. Admittedly I haven't had the same issue with my Duets adaptors.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by simbo View Post
    I know of a good tweak to UK-based HDX101's that can have a dramatic impact on performance.
    Do tell, I have a set of HDX101s sat in their box because they are hopeless on my mains.

  9. #9
    Founder, Slim Devices seanadams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfool1956 View Post
    This is only relevant if the OP is in North America,[...]
    Can't you tell by his accent?

  10. #10
    Senior Member simbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andynormancx View Post
    Do tell, I have a set of HDX101s sat in their box because they are hopeless on my mains.
    Oh, seeing that you've asked. Full details here, but here's the rundown:

    These devices can be accessed remotely (there's even a web UI if you enable it!). One of the settings on there is for "notches". This is, in effect, something enabled for UK boxes that ensures it complies with European radio interferance laws. Switching this option off will probably improve performance (possibly by as much as 50%) but could upset your CB-radio-weilding neighbours. I, of course, do not condone such actions. ;-)

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