Thursday Dec 27, 2007

Ethernet over mains working

Following on from my earlier ethernet over mains post I have now purchased enough ethernet over mains bricks to from two separate networks one for each fuse box and each network now claims 85Mbits/sec. So currently I have:

Sun Ray <~~~ Ethernet over Mains ~~~\\
                                     > HUB <~~~ Ethernet over Mains ~~~\\
Sun Ray <--- Cat 5 Cable -----------/                                    > Switch --- Server
Sun Ray <--- Cat 5 Cable -----------------------------------------------/1

Which is less than ideal as the picture frame Sun Ray is connected via two Ethernet over mains hops and one of those is shared with another Sun Ray however until the rest of the house moves are done it works. At that point the switch will live where the Hub currnetly is so no Sun Ray will be more than one “mains hop” away from the server. The picture in the frame refreshes in about 2 seconds which is o.k and it is not loosing the connection to the Sun Ray server, which means it has returned to being a practical solution.

The ethernet over mains bricks coped much worse when there was one on one fuse box and two on the other compared to when there were just two bricks one on each fuse box.


1If ascii art is good enough ascii art will do. The answer is invariably wanted as fast as possible, pretty does not make it more right.

Wednesday Dec 19, 2007

Ethernet over Mains

Since the whole house is not wired with Cat 5 cable I have had to use Mains over ethernet to provide some networking. However after our building works the mains in our house is now split in two with two fuse boxes (containing circuit breakers and RCDs) which then have separate tails leading to the electricity board fuse.


1Needless to say the computer that drives the Sun Rays is on one mains fuse box and the Sun Ray in the kitchen is on the other.

You can see the effect of the extra hop in the screen shot. Rather than the maximum 85Mbps when the two mains bricks are on the same fuse box that reduces to a paltry 13 Mbps thanks to the hop to the Electricity board fuse and back. This explains why that Sun Ray photo frame sometimes looses connection with the server when updating the picture. The other Sun Ray in Sues Office works like a dream2.

Clearly using these to form a network between buildings would not fly. That does however not stop me from being paranoid enough to have blotted out the ethernet addresses and passwords from the screen shot.

I can see that if in the final network set up I have to have devices on both fuse boxes I will have to run them as separate networks which will cost me one extra mains over ethernet brick.


1Yes this is a windows only application. However I did grab this screen shot using a VNC session on Solaris.

2Except when the server will occasionly on booting negotiate the ethernet switch down to 100Mbs rarther than 1Gb at which point things are much more sluggish, so I have a cron job that checks the speed and warns me of this.

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This is the old blog of Chris Gerhard. It has mostly moved to http://chrisgerhard.wordpress.com

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