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Corinex AV200 Powerline and CableLAN

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March 24, 2006 5:28:37 PM

While the timing of HomePlug AV's arrival remains unclear, DS2's rival powerline networking technology is gaining momentum. Tim Higgins finds out why.
March 26, 2006 8:28:53 PM

Hello.
Great article.

I was lately on Cebit 2006, where I was visiting Corinex and Intellon stands. There where close together (only a wall). Now ( from article) I have truly seen that the both firms cannot works together. I have only hope that the Corinex will be a winner of this challenge. Homeplug AV is only home solution, Corinex can creates WAN using many Powerline devices. Cabling a office block should not be any problem... I hope the performance will stay on high level....

SmokeH
March 26, 2006 8:39:07 PM

All of the "click image to enlarge" links in the review are currently broken.

Also, when I look at http://www.myvsat.com/s.nl/sc.14/category.32/it.A/id.103/.f, it says "included filters will guarantee zero interruption to the rest of your electrical grid." The review did not mention any filters being included with the product. Was this perhaps a recent addition by Corinex, possibly to address the interop/co-existence concerns?
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March 27, 2006 4:20:45 PM

HomePlug was originally designed to be an in-home only networking solution, but has been expanded to also be capable of BPL (Broadband over Power Line) WAN just as DS2's proprietary chips. Here is an article about it that was originally published by BPL Today: BPL Today, March 13, 2006
March 27, 2006 4:23:45 PM

70Mbps is reasonable for a best case throughput. Another test you need to run is what happens when a "noisy" appliance is turned on in the same room with one of the Corinex boxes.
April 2, 2006 2:11:09 PM

Quote:
All of the "click image to enlarge" links in the review are currently broken.

Sorry about that. Now fixed.

Quote:
Also, when I look at http://www.myvsat.com/s.nl/sc.14/category.32/it.A/id.103/.f, it says "included filters will guarantee zero interruption to the rest of your electrical grid." The review did not mention any filters being included with the product. Was this perhaps a recent addition by Corinex, possibly to address the interop/co-existence concerns?

No filters were included with the powerline product, so I'm not sure what that description is referring to.
May 1, 2006 8:21:58 PM

I was browsing Corinex's website and came accross the CXP-AV200-WME. They are the "home" version of the product you reviewed. They are the "wall mount" type but seem to have the same specs as the device you reviewed.

In addition, on their website they are selling the US version at $199 for a pair of these (Not including Tax & S&H, NO idea how much that'd be).

That seems like a much better deal than $160 for one.

BUT I can't seem to find anyone here in the US that carries these. Anyone seen them?

Thanx
May 9, 2006 12:40:56 AM

I just received a couple of these units, and I do not recommend them to anyone!

Background info, this is not in a home installation, but an commercial/industrial one. We are trying to extend a segment of our network using the powerlines, since we are prohibited from using wireless. And yes I explained all of this to the sales rep from Corinex before we purchased.

Currently we are utilizing a pair of Linksys Homeplug devices, and while they work, we occasionaly run into problems, and we would like additional throughput to the segment.

However, when I install the Corinex units, I could not keep the segment up for longer then 10 mins before the remote unit had to be power cycled. And even during those 10 mins we received quite a few corrupted packets, just pinging the remote unit. See below.

I contacted Corinex multiple times trying to get some support, days have passed and still no one ever got back in touch with me, even as I am writing this. I left messages, as well as spoke with people who assured me that someone would contact me. And now I am trying to return these units for a refund, however they are now telling me that it is against company policy

I don't know how all of you feel about customer service, but this is unacceptable.

I am currently researching an industrial strength application for our solution. I figured that the Corinex units would work better than the Linksys units we are using now, boy was I wrong.

Lesson learned, do not buy from Corinex!

Herb

Ex:

[herb@onohi:~/] ping 192.168.1.29
PING 192.168.1.29 (192.168.1.29): 56 octets data
64 octets from 192.168.1.29: icmp_seq=26 ttl=255 time=1023.3 ms
wrong data byte #0 should be 0x70 but was 0x6f6f b0 5b 44 ba 3c 0 0
8 9 a b c d e f 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 1a 1b 1c 1d 1e 1f 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 2a 2b 2c 2d 2e 2f
64 octets from 192.168.1.29: icmp_seq=27 ttl=255 time=70.9 ms
64 octets from 192.168.1.29: icmp_seq=28 ttl=255 time=646.4 ms
64 octets from 192.168.1.29: icmp_seq=29 ttl=255 time=2226.1 ms
wrong data byte #0 should be 0x74 but was 0x7272 b0 5b 44 3f 3d 0 0
8 9 a b c d e f 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 1a 1b 1c 1d 1e 1f 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 2a 2b 2c 2d 2e 2f
64 octets from 192.168.1.29: icmp_seq=30 ttl=255 time=1230.1 ms
wrong data byte #0 should be 0x74 but was 0x7373 b0 5b 44 69 3d 0 0
8 9 a b c d e f 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 1a 1b 1c 1d 1e 1f 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 2a 2b 2c 2d 2e 2f
64 octets from 192.168.1.29: icmp_seq=31 ttl=255 time=247.9 ms
64 octets from 192.168.1.29: icmp_seq=49 ttl=255 time=28.7 ms
64 octets from 192.168.1.29: icmp_seq=101 ttl=255 time=2277.7 ms
wrong data byte #0 should be 0xbc but was 0xbaba b0 5b 44 71 49 0 0
8 9 a b c d e f 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 1a 1b 1c 1d 1e 1f 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 2a 2b 2c 2d 2e 2f
64 octets from 192.168.1.29: icmp_seq=116 ttl=255 time=113.7 ms

--- 192.168.1.29 ping statistics ---
273 packets transmitted, 9 packets received, 96% packet loss
round-trip min/avg/max = 28.7/873.8/2277.7 ms
July 2, 2006 3:33:16 AM

Tim, thanks for the informative report.

One big worry with this powerline gear is whether there is an issue with radio interference.

Would you please include the following tests:

(1) Borrow a shortwave receiver, tune into a overseas shortwave station (e.g. BBC) and let us know the results with the modem switched on and off.

(2) Find someone who has a mobile HF radio transmitter (eg. police, ambulance, fire, marine, aircraft, 4wd club, amateur radio) and get them to park their vehicle nearby and transmit a test signal on a number of H.F. channels.

Again, please report the results.


Thanks ............. Zim
July 2, 2006 6:58:59 PM

Quote:
One big worry with this powerline gear is whether there is an issue with radio interference.

I think you may be confusing home powerline networking gear with BPL (Broadband over Powerline) technology. It is BPL that has had some amateur radio operators up in arms due to alleged interference issues.

At any rate, I won't be including the suggested tests in the review, due to time and logistical issues. Sorry.
July 4, 2006 5:04:54 AM

Tim,

> I think you may be confusing home powerline networking gear with BPL

Not so. Any Powerline system which uses HF is a big worry for interference.

It is not just Hams who are worried. All of the HF services are at risk.

Pretending that only Hams are effected is a trashy ploy.

At least please try listening to Shortwave with the modem switched on.


................ Zim
July 7, 2006 10:37:36 PM

Quote:

One big worry with this powerline gear is whether there is an issue with radio interference.


Powerline products using DS2 silicon can support "programmable notches",
which means that the chip can be configured to avoid specific
frequencies (for example, ham radio bands, or any other), without
requiring any hardware change, and then the powerline adapter will simply stop using those frequencies. This programmability is required because different countries may have different (and evolving) regulations regarding which frequencies can be used by powerline devices or which radio services may need special protection.

Specifically, the product reviewed by Tim Higgins (Corinex AV200), allows the user to enable notches in ham radio bands (see Figure 9 at http://www.tomsnetworking.com/2006/03/24/corinex_av200_...)

Generally speaking, BPL products sold in USA must comply with FCC Part 15 rules regarding EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility). FCC requirements have been designed to provide a reasonable level of protection to other
electronic devices and to radio spectrum users. FCC Part 15 includes limits regarding maximum radiated signals and conducted signals.

This "reasonable level of protection" does not mean that interference
situations will never happen to any other device or to any radio service. This is not something specific of powerline communications products. Just think of what happens when your cell phone is very close to a TV or to a regular radio: sometimes you'll hear the familiar noise pattern generated by your cell phone, although the problem disappears if you just move your cell phone away.

Compliance with the FCC Part 15 rules and the programmable notching
feature of DS2 technology guarantees the best EMC behaviour and that in any case of interference with any type of radio user, not only radio amateurs, the problem can be mitigated rapidly with no cost.

Chano Gomez
VP, Technology & Strategic Partnerships
DS2
March 1, 2007 11:53:01 PM

Well, at least you admit that Power Line modems cause serious Radio Interference.

Let me ask you a specific question: I'm listening to my favorite Shortwave stations when a Power Line modem starts up and wipes out my reception.

How do I get your company to notch out those particular SW frequencies?

I am entitled to listen to SW broadcasting by International treaty.
How do I get ALL of the SW broadcasting bands protected ?

Thousands of SW listeners and HF radio operators are awaiting your answer.

And once again note that I am not talking about Ham Radio.

..............Zim
August 4, 2008 8:02:02 PM

Greetings from UKQRM on Yahoo groups.
We are just getting to grips with this terrible technology which is an assault on our right to tune in freely to world radio broadcasts.

Its causing upset between neighbours and the supplying companies.

Its causing interference that extends 100's of feet from the property with it installed and wiping out everything within that property in one case!

There is a basic and simple fact that seem to be ignored every time.

If you hang a short wave transmitter on the end of a unscreened long length of wire! guess what? It will transmit! and you don't need very much power to get a considerable distance.

All this talk of notches is pointless beyond the point of clearly admitting that these things are wide band unlicensed transmitters.

If you are going to notch for one service then you need to do it for all.
The problem there is that the HF spectrum is in use in its entirety, there is no free allocation.

So by all means fit notches you need just one from DC to 30 MHz should do it!

Sorry if I seem impolite or harsh but having my ability to tune into shortwave that I have enjoyed for the last 30 years has got me very mad!

Even NATO is very concerned about this!

Comments welcome, join the UK fight back on UKQRM on Yahoo groups.
Anonymous
August 4, 2008 8:45:38 PM

It is something of a tragedy that this year and a half old discussion has to be revived because the legitimate concern raised by "zim" would seem to have been ignored by the perpetrators of the fatally flawed engineering that caused it in the first place.

The previous two posts nail the issue perfectly. The "spectrum mask" issue is a save-face solution because DS2 has been contacted by legitimate users of the radio spectrum and asked to knock it off. Unfortunately, masking is doomed as an effective solution anywhere besides in company PR. To be completely effective, it would have to notch out most of the band in use, namely ~2 to ~28 MHz.

These devices are already (in some cases) being falsely advertised as giving a 200 MBPS throughput when the real world case is far, far lower. Were the notches to be effectively implemented, there would only be a few small spaces in the radio spectrum left for the DS2 chipset to transmit (and transmit is what it does, 24/7, forever, whether or not it has any data to send). The already overspec'd throughput would most likely get even slower due to Shannon's Law.

The fact that a DS2 industry representative would vanish when "zim" caught him in typical industry save-face PR is very, very telling.

Let me update you on what has transpired in the period. The use of DS2 chipsets, WITH the spectrum mask enabled, by Comtrend adapters sold as part of the BT Vision home video system in the UK has led to several cases before that country's version of the FCC (OfCom). These are being taken seriously as radio spectrum abuse, in violation of international treaties that have been in effect longer than any of us have been alive.

A similar problem with the Corinex equipment being discussed in this thread has led to similar cases in Portugal. In this case the "spectrum mask" is NOT in use, and the entire HF band is being wiped out in a radius in the hundreds of feet.

The problem is addressed somewhat better in the HomePlug standard, which requires the unit to stop transmitting if the data buffer is empty. Of course, this too is something of a partial solution, since if millions of these things are deployed someone will always be sending somewhere.

The issue is not one that can be resolved by "spectrum masking." I would refer people to the Monteria database of HF signal intercepts. It is a large book the size of a phone directory and about 2" thick, in type so small most people need a magnifying glass to read it. It shows, possibly, maybe half of what's on HF, and there are thousands of stations in it.

Short wave is NOT dead, despite claims from companies who would like to kill it. The band used by these power line networks has very, very few clear spaces that are not in daily use by licensed services protected by international treaties, many of which are considered essential to the public safety and the military defense of nations.

The laws of physics guarantee that these two different uses of HF radio will never co-exist. The only solution, and one that became apparent last year when the DS2 guy ran out of talking points, is to get this stuff off of HF radio. Until this happens, it will be fought until there is no HF radio user left to fight it. This will be a very, very long time.
August 4, 2008 10:21:49 PM

Radio Junk Yard Dog , what a splendid and spot on reply.
Can't add anything to that save to say! if you value your right to tune into the world freedom to listen to what you want outside of your countries own broadcasts then you need to stand up and fight these dreadful devices!

Good luck

UKQRM
August 6, 2008 12:25:58 PM

Gentlemen,

We in the UK have been campaigning against the use of radio transmitters connected to the supply cables for the purpose of data transmission. Many yeas ago the PLT systems were tested and abandoned as they created much interference on the HF spectrum.

All of the various adaptors that are now being marketed use similar technology and will create interference to HF spectrum and generally raise the noise floor to the detriment of licensed users such as broadcasting, military comms, safety comms etc. The argument that notches have been inserted in the transmitted spectrum that will stop interference is totally flawed and actually demonstrates that the devices cause interference and the notch is just a fix. It only reduces the radiated field and does not eliminate it.

All HF users are against these systems and NATO and the MIL have raised their concerns - so should we.
Any RF generator connected to unscreened wiring will radiate a significant signal over the spectrum we cannot change the laws of physics. It would appear that the manufacturers do not have any RF experience or they would not try and market such devices.

There is a ground swell of opposition against these devices in Europe and our friends in the US must take action now or they will suffer the same fate.

Regards to all

Peter T
!