* Posts by UKQRM

9 posts • joined 17 Jan 2009

Ofcom refuses to interfere on powerline networking interference


View from UKQRM founder

My thanks firstly to The Register for reporting on this issue.

I often feel a great deal of surprise when I look back to my first ever experience of BT supplied PLT, back then I thought that the authorities would not tolerate such a thing and it would all be over very quickly!

Shocking then that the authorities not only tolerate but encourage it.

Some may wish to write of radio listeners as 'geeks' or 'sad O's' while disagreeing with this as you might imagine I would point out that this is not the first time that ordinary members of the public have noticed something disturbing and raised the matter!

The small man can and should not fear standing up if he feels something is wrong.

While initially BT, Comtrend, HPA, Ofcom and others were able to say "Its just a minority" now it could be you! No it really could! the new breed of PLT has conclusively been shown to disable DAB and FM broadcast radio! and experienced engineers have shown it can disrupt other more essential services such as air craft ILS and much more.

As PLT becomes 'smart' and is able to ramp up its power to preserve its network, imagine then all houses in your street using it? DAB and FM would be pointless, stereos and other audio equipment would start to relay the noise of the PLT as has happened already!

And because PLT is in fact radio transmitters, separate networks will and already do see each other and adjust accordingly, more and more radio noise as each seeks to preserve its connection.

Come the time when there is a disaster (and lets hope it does not kill anyone) and the enquiry shows that it was caused partly of wholly by PLT, then those who should have acted, those who have acted dishonestly will not be able to say, they did not know!

Its not just a few of us having our chosen hobby removed, it could well affect everyone very soon.


Faster broadband for free?


BT taking with one hand and trying to give back with the other?

The irony of this situation has really amused me and others to!

So BT has noticed that a interference from other equipment cause a slow down in your broadband!


Well of course, yet BT is the biggest most destructive peddler of just such equipment!

What you ask? why their Comtrend Power Line adaptors they want you to use with BT Vision.

These things flood the mains wires with wide band noise 24/7 and have been shown in tests to drop your broadband speed.

Just try it if you don't trust me.

Use one of the real time speed checking web sites, unplug both or all PLTs you have and do a reading, then plug them in again and do a reading!

If you use other than Comtrend PLTs make sure they are transferring data when you do the test.

So yes well done BT interference does slow down broadband but you are responsible for most of it anyway!


Solwise Piggy 6 multi-device powerline network adaptor


Very surprised at the editors comments!

Well I am surprised at your comments Mr Smith!

You ask for proof which is a very fair thing to do, but then I note you say that you want shortwave broadcasters removed so you can stream them over your power line adaptor.

I can only assume that you forgot to add the :-) or ;-) indicating that this was just a joke and not to be taken as the serious view of an editor on the Register?

Proof that power line Ethernet does cause harmful interference can be had easily by visiting the UKQRM web site.

www.ukqrm.org and looking for the video page.

Here you will see and hear the problems demonstrated.

The reasons for this are also clearly explained.

The thing is, UKQRM represents those who use shortwave every day, there are hundreds of thousands of us, from broadcast listeners like myself to amateur radio operators.

The we have the professional users such as long range aircraft communication, search and rescue, military, shipping and many more besides.

You will see why statements that appear not to give a care about this boil our blood.

You may be interested to know that the UK Government has said that power line adaptors must comply with the EMC regulations 2006 (not just claim it but do it)

It has been our experience when having some of these adaptors tested that they fail to comply by a very wide margin.

This means that they must be on our market under very questionable circumstances!

Those planning to buy these products may like to consider the cash outlay if and when they become banned and are removed from the market and use.

We at UKQRM are not living in the past or against technology! why would we be, its great and may of us use the latest technology to work with our radios, digital modes and so on.

The amateur and shortwave listener market is very big indeed.

What would you say to the large number of businesses and suppliers who make hi tech shortwave equipment? are they to just roll over and give up because people are too lazy to install proper, secure wired links for their home networks?

I hope once you have taken the time to understand this situation you may feel that we have a legitimate complaint?




'Interfering' BT Vision attracts campaigner glares

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In reply

Well, I guess that's more fair than I expected!

If you want to make sure you could look around and see if anyone has any wire antennas etc nearby you.

That would be the proactive thing to do.

Knocking on doors is something that terrifies a lot of people.

They just don't know who is going to answer, ok so you will be nice but there is no guarantee.

Its ok for a big ugly like me but imagine a frail person!

Anyway, I am glad to see you would have taken another route if you had known about this!

For that I thank you and hope that you may yet choose this other route later.




By Anonymous Coward Posted Tuesday 20th

Yes maybe he is just trolling but he has said he would remove them if he finds out "actions are _certainly_ affecting someone" well, I can state categorically that yes they are!

There must be a SWL within 500 yards of him.

A 11 light bulb gets hot because of the fact its making light.

Anyway heat is not the question here.

Just because its easy or convenient does not make it right.

It would be easy for me to speed when I go and visit my mum who is quite unwell! it would give me a nice bit of extra time there.

And most probably I would not get caught by the police.

So should I do it? should I say to myself, oh screw anyone that I might kill, this is going to be good for me???? is that the world you wish to inhabit?

You could easily run cables to carry your data around your flat without 'installing' them in any way.

If you wanted to you could do it. Just run them loose with a little tape to hold them in place.

If you wanted to you would find a way around it.

What would you have done if there was no PLT?

Anyway the trolling alert is well made and I am very encouraged to see that Paul Banacks says once he learnt of the issue he stopped using them! thats an example of a fine person that does not think just of themselves! getting more rare these days sadly!

Cheers for now


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Re: By Anonymous Coward

By Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 19th January 2009 13:20 GMT

As taken from here: http://www.comtrend.com/dbase/upload/PowerGrid902_R1.pdf

Powerline adaptors use less than 5w each, so assuming a pair is in use, that's 10w. Not so great, but do-able.

Put your hand on yours and tell me thats just 5 watts??

You know, your selfishness really surprises me.

I wish you lived near me, it would be good to make you the 1st legal test case.

As you are, it would seem infringing the conditions of your TV licence and knowingly causing harmful interference with no concern for the victim.

What if there is a elderly person near you who's only fun in life is listening to the amazing world of shortwave radio?

And now because of your attitude and inability or lack of interest to find an alternative they have lost everything?

Don't doubt it! probably a large number of shortwave radio listeners fall into this category.

They won't be well connected via the web etc, they will just be carrying out their harmless interest and now, because of BT and Comtrend and the other shameful PLT makers and distributors their life has been spoiled!

But I guess you are a product of the modern world and don't give a stuff for anyone.

Long as you are ok eh!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Storm In a Tea Cup

It would be tempting to respond in a very angry manner as it looks on the face of it that you are simply ignoring the facts.

As an engineer X or otherwise I have to credit you with a degree of technical understanding?

This is not about just BT customers!

This is about the person that lives upto 200 meters from the BT customer who finds his shortwave radio is being interfered with by the BT customer.

You claim to be surprised that people have reported this to Ofcom!

Well my friend, if you suddenly found you could no longer watch your TV I would imagine you would complain.

Many hundreds of thousands of people still listen to shortwave radio and regard it as their primary hobby or entertainment.

The shortwave equipment is ever more sophisticated with many new computer based radios.

However, when you introduce a Comtrend adaptor to the neighbourhood, no matter how good your shortwave radio is, it can not function.

And this is because the PLT does not comply with the required regulations.

I am just about prepared to accept that BT was taken in by the CE mark etc but they now have more than enough evidence to show there is a serious problem and I would expect BT to conduct tests themselves or take note of those that have been done.

PLT is totally antisocial, irresponsible and pointless.

I accept that BT will step in and remove them when a problem is identified (in some cases) but when they fail to convince their customer to stop then it leave open just the Ofcom route or taking legal action against the user of the PLT.

I can see this day getting very close.



@Consider this #2

And you are saying I've not done my research at all?

LOL I've done little else over the past year.

No, sorry you misunderstood what I was saying.

The video I was referring to was the video for this article.

That is without any doubt Comtrend adaptors.

Apart from that my dear fellow I 100% agree with what you have said.

The cost of a easy to set up wireless router would seem a far better option for all concerned.

Of course the other issue often overlooked is the extra power used by PLT systems! they get hot quite quickly so it must be a good few watts! not that green an idea either then apart from causing radio pollution far and wide as well of course.

I have been surprised at the number of constructive comments here! must be a good readership.





Consider this #3

Hey sorry for posting anonymously last times, did not notice the tick was in place.

OK, another interesting fact here.

I have only tried this with Comtrend adaptors but there is no reason to assume it won't work with others.

Time and time again various 'pro' plt groups say that these devices are not radio transmitters!

Therefore they don't come under the same rules.

So explain this then....

If you take a set of Comtrend adaptors, plug one in your house and one in your neighbours house (assuming you live on a normal housing estate) you will find they connect up quite happily!

The only way they can do this is if each device is picking up the transmitted 'radio' signals from the other.

So what does that make them then?

OK, there will be those who won't accept that, so what about Comtrends new power grid 902s that specifically allow for this near network pick up and agree on which part of the spectrum they will use?

These things are radio transmitters, wide band and disruptive jammers.

But it does not matter anyway as they have been shown to fail the required EMC regulations.

They may be very convenient for the simpleton who can't run a cable or set up their wireless router, but the fact is they are (in mine and a number of others opinion) probably illegal.

Have a look at this web link for a similar case that Ofcom has dealt with seemingly properly.


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