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Old 10-17-2009, 04:43 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 9,346
Default Powerline Networking...works!

My new special phone (CapTel i800) arrived earlier this week followed by the arrival of the ethernet switch (to provide more ports as my dsl modem only has one...it was $9.99 with $1.99 for shipping from newegg.com) and finally, the Actiontec HLE0850-01K (85mbps Ethernet Adapter Twin Pack) I ordered from amazon.com ($59.99 with free shipping vs. buy.com $78.35).

I had set up the ethernet switch earlier in the week and it works just fine. With my system shut down, I unplugged the dsl cable box's ethernet cable from my pc and plugged it into the switch box, then plugged an ethernet cable from my pc's ethernet card into the ethernet switch box--the switch does not come with any cables and luckily I had an extra one--and then plugged in the power adapter from the switch box into an electrical outlet booted up my pc and everything worked...'-}}

I finally got a chance this afternoon to get the new phone and poweline networking set up and tested. I first set up the phone in my den/office where my computer equipment resides to make sure the phone would work--it requires a broadband connection for the captioning to work--and aside from the annoyances of having to crawl around on the floor and underneath tables to get at plugs and whatnot, the phone worked just fine...

The next step was to try the powerline networking. There are 2 units (and 2 ethernet cables) in the kit. I attached the ethernet cable to one unit, plugged the other end of the cable into the ethernet switch box and plugged the unit into the wall socket--you need a "direct" connection.

Took the phone and the other powerline networking unit (PNU) into my living room, plugging in the phone's power and the telephone jack and plugging the ethernet cable from the phone to the PNU. Then I plugged the PNU into the wall socket. Everything looked good until a "no ethernet connection" message displayed on the phone.

I tried plugging in the PNU into a different electrical socket that is closer to my den/office but that didn't help--my condo has metal wall studs rather than wood so I was concerned that would cause problems. I was getting a bit worried that this wasn't going to work until I thought maybe it's the ethernet switch that's the problem so back in the den, I decided to try a different switch port choosing the one on the very end rather than the open port right next to the port I'd used for the dsl modem and when I walked back into my living room, the phone was not displaying the "no ethernet connection" message and when I tested the phone, it worked...'-}}

The last step was the try the phone when the PNU was plugged into the living room electrical socket I had tied first and that worked too!

Very exciting and on the whole fairly straightforward.

There is a CD included in the powerline networking kit containing drivers and I'd not installed the drivers until I ran into trouble with the "no connection" message on the phone but installing them didn't fix the problem. After I'd gotten everything working, I tried executing the driver software again and now that I had a solid connection, it "saw" the powerline network and I changed the encryption key from the default value clicking on the "set local device only" button.

If/when I get FiOS, I know that I will need to determine what sort of encryption I'll need but I guess I'll ask the FiOS installation tech about that...

Anyway...so far, powerline networking appears to be quite straightforward and with this particular kit, easy to install...

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