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  1. #1

    TP-PA4010KIT causes BT Smart Hub router to lose broadband connection!

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    I've been using a pair of TP-PA4010 V1.20 (UK) powerline adaptors with no issue for a few months. Today I had BT broadband installed (router is a Super Hub) and now have a bizarre issue. The broadband and router work fine until I plug in the TP-PA4010 (one next to the router, one in a bedroom), at which point the Super Hub loses its broadband connection (flashes orange). Once I unplug the TP-PA4010 the Super Hub reconnects within a minute or so.

    I've looked about online and I'm not the only one experiencing this so it appears to be some kind of weird compatibility issue. I've updated the firmware on the 4010s and I assume the Smart Hub is up to date (no option to check on the admin page). I've yet to find any solutions though! Any experts on here who have heard of this and perhaps a fix?

  2. #2
    This happens when your house wiring runs the (possibly unshielded) phone wire in the same wall pipes as power wires. Since DSL and PLC use the same frequency range, power wiring is never shielded, and legacy phone wiring rarely is, you don't want these two near each other. Good practice in house wiring has always had these separate, for in the days of analog telephony, you'd get audible distortions.

  3. #3
    Move the adapter a little far from the mode, don't plug them into the same socket.

  4. #4
    How strange! The telephone wire comes through beside a window and tracks along the bottom of the wall to where the connector box is. I can see its whole run and it doesn't share routing with power cables at any point (unless they are running parallel within the wall, but this seems unlikely and goes against building regs). The telephone wire passes within about 30cm of the power socket where the router is plugged in, and the powerline adaptor itself is located about 20cm from where the router is plugged in, in a different power faceplate.

    I will try plugging the powerline adaptor into a different socket, there is one that is a few metres away, hopefully I have a lead long enough. Thanks for the help, guys.

  5. #5
    If that's not it, your router may have a poorly designed power brick that allows the PLC "noise" to strike through to the router's internal electronics. Try a powerstrip with an integrated filter, or - elegantly - use a PLC with power passthrough, for these bring said filter.

  6. #6
    That makes a lot of sense! I have an old set of powerline adaptors somewhere (80Mb/s I think!) which have the power passthrough - I will test your setup with these and if it solves the problem replace my TP-PA4010s.

    Now I think about it I have a bad feeling that I only have one of the old adaptors - would the bedroom TP-PA4010 talk to an old Comtrend PLC adaptor? I think I remember reading that PLC adaptors should be inter-operable.
    Last edited by Flips; 11-09-2017 at 11:47.

  7. #7
    No it wouldn't - the original HomePlug standard at 80 Mbit/s is not compatible with anything that came after it. [All the newer stuff does retain full compatibility, all the way from 200 to 2000 Mbit/s.]

    So better try plugging the router into a power strip that has a line filter in it.

  8. #8
    Man I came to the right place. With such an (I thought) unusual problem I didn't hold out much hope of getting a helpful response. You guys are awesome!

  9. #9
    Even though the old Comtrend adaptor isn't compatible with my TP-Link, its filter works just fine. I plugged the router in via the Comtrend and now all is working.

  10. #10
    Heh. Well recycled.

  11. #11
    Well, I spoke too soon. It was ok for a day or so then went back to being the same. I tried moving the PLC over to the other side of the room in a different socket but if anything it made it worse. Really pretty annoyed with how much time I've wasted on this. I've read that my ISP supplies untwisted ADSL cables so I've bought a twisted one (v. cheap) just to eliminate that.

    After that I suppose I'll have to look at new PLCs. All seems very weird to me though. It was working absolutely fine on Saturday when I was streaming high quality video over the PLCs for most of the day. Since then I can rarely even get online, let alone stream.

  12. #12
    If you really suffer PLC signals coupling into the phone/DSL wiring, then changing PLCs won't help - they all do the same thing on the same frequency range. While disturbance of critical analog radio (like police and emergency services) is carefully avoided through gaps in the PLC frequency spectrum, avoiding DSL disturbance is flat out impossible - simply because DSL a broad, continuous spectrum.

    The one thing you can do is improve your phone wiring. If it's outside of the wall anyway, replace that with a shielded twisted pair cable, like those used for gigabit ethernet.

  13. #13
    Yeah I kind of thought as much to be honest. When the broadband was installed the engineer brought the telephone line inside (it wasn't connected previously) with a thick cable, via a small junction box. The thickness of this cable leads me to believe it's probably twisted/shielded. The wire that comes from the socket to the router though is, I suspect, not. One thing that does worry me a little bit is that they used the telephone faceplate left by the cable company, which is also somehow wired into the cable that comes into the flat (which we no longer use). I may remove this connection as part of my ongoing troubleshooting.

  14. #14
    Incidentally here's some recent research for anyone of an engineering set: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1509.00453.pdf

  15. #15
    Neat, thanks! Good luck with your "home improvement"!


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