[ALUG] Mesh wireless

Nev Young alug at nevilley.org.uk
Wed Apr 12 10:42:14 BST 2017

On 12/04/17 09:03, Mark Rogers wrote:
> On 11 April 2017 at 18:06, <steve-ALUG at hst.me.uk> wrote:
>> However, I also think that network over mains has a bad reputation.
> I have quite a lot of experience of network over mains (my company
> used to sell it), and generally it works pretty well - certainly when
> compared with wifi, which is the market it competes in. One issue I've
> heard with it is how it affects others: a typical UK house has a mains
> ring, and rings work like antennae broadcasting the signal.
> Security-wise that's easy to deal with by encrypting (and all devices
> do this by default as far as I know), however it can mess around with
> radio ham enthusiasts and therefore isn't particularly liked amongst
> that group. As I'm not a radio expert I don't know how big a problem
> it really is (compared with all the other modern radio "noise")
> though.
I'm not a radio expert either, but I am a fully licensed radio ham.
My only personal experience with power line adaptors (PLAs) was a fellow 
ham who had severe radio noise which we traced to the PLAs in his house.
Stories abound about PLAs. It is clear that the good ones are very good 
and meet all the requirements of EMC (electromagnetic compatibility).
Sadly some do not, usually having the RF filters removed to reduce cost. 
OFCOM have very strict rules about unlicensed RF emissions and if you're 
unlucky enough to have a bad PLA then you are responsible for fixing it.
Of course if nobody is affected or complains then you're in the clear 
but if you are 'making enough noise' AND refuse to do something about 
it, then you will get a knock at the door sooner or later. Many OFCOM 
investigators are also radio hams.
Most places have a local amateur radio club and they will usually be 
happy to offer testing and advice if you have any concerns.
Of course it's not just hams who could be affected by a bad PLA. 
Emergency services and air traffic control also come to mind.

As with so many things in life it's the bad few that tarnish all the rest.


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