(Above: Powerline bandwidth before/after pond pump disconnect)
As Emo Philips said in his portrayal of clumsy shop teacher Joe Earley in Weird Al’s “UHF”, “Is my face red!” (after shearing off his thumb with a table saw.)
In the just-previous post, Powerline vs. Ethernet wiring, I had attributed the lower bandwidth of the theater room Powerline adapter to “circuitous wiring”. In fact, the problem was due to an electrically noisy pond pump on the outside of the wall.
How did I discover this? Two days ago, I had a Mohu Sky 60 outdoor antenna installed on the roof by Video Revolution (more about this in a coming post). That evening, Netflix was painfully slow in the theater room. Yesterday, I noticed that even MP3 music was taking a long time to load on the Raspberry Pi in the theater room. I figured the antenna might have something to do with it, as the most recently changed element of the setup, despite the fact that it was attached only to a TV in the den.
After satisfying myself that the new antenna wasn’t the cause by disconnecting it completely, I was stumped, and started casting around for another culprit. When I finally got around to unplugging the outdoor pump, I had my Joe Earley red-faced moment. The pump had been interfering with our Powerline for years.
Not that the lowered bandwidth had been a problem. It was always adequate for our streaming media. I had no previous experience with Powerline and didn’t know how much bandwidth to expect.
I had overlooked the pump as a possible interference source because it was “out of sight, out of mind”. I will probably install an AC filter or have an electrician do it.
See the dramatic before and after “Link Rates” at the top of this post. Actually, a “before” shot yesterday would have shown only 5 Mbps for the theater room and 70 Mbps in the den.
When the temperature is higher this weekend, I’ll check to see what made the pump become even noisier than before (it’s unnecessary for the fishes’ health in cold weather, anyway).
Some might take this kind of problem as an argument for Ethernet wiring over Powerline. It probably is, but like Joe Earley (below), I will push ahead, and wait on getting the house wired until I find a more pressing need for it. At the least, it’s an education!