Devolo Powerline AV500+ network problems

I recently moved my buro up one level to the first floor, next to our bedroom. As I don’t want our bedrooms to be bathed in wifi radiation all the time, I’ve bought and installed 3 develo powerlines AV500+.

Devolo DLAN 500 AVplus
Devolo DLAN 500 AVplus

You connect one of these devices to your router via a network cable, and plug it in a socket. Then you connect up the others. Your network data is passed along via the powerlines, without needing to put wifi everywhere (plus it’s a hell of lot faster – these ones can go to up to 500Mbit per seconds, fast enough to stream movies to your ps3 !).

I used to have 2 older Devolo devices, but those were manual setups – you needed to connect them to your computer, and run a config program to set the network ip address and other settings. It worked, but it was a nerd tool.

These AV500 ones are much more sophisticated and just work out of the box. Plug them in, hook up the network cables, and they just work. Excellent !

Additionally, if you want to, you just press a button on each and they set up an encryption between the devices. This is a way to prevent your neighbour – who may be on the same power network as you – from plugging in a similar device and getting access to your computers and NAS (Network Attached Storage).

You can also configure them via the DLAN cockpit program, which scans for them and shows them in a graphical way letting you change settings, etc.

The one I bought have integrated plugs that have an integrated filter that filters out the oscillations of the computers / networked devices that they work for.

The problem

The problem I had was that upstairs I was constantly loosing my network connection. It worked for a time, and then suddenly would shut down again. The other devolo in the living room worked just fine.

After some trial and error (involving a switch, a router and some reboots) I noticed that I had to unplug the devolo downstairs connected to the router, and then it would work again when I reconnected it.

Further investigation via the DLAN cockpit program showed that there was one thing different – the version number of the upstairs devolo was lower than the others.

So I upgraded this one to the same version as the other Devolo’s and hey presto the problem seems to be solved – my network connection has been consistently up for the last 48 hours !

So, the conclusion is that all Devolo’s need to be at the same firmware level. ¬†Thought I would share it with you for those who might have similar problems.

[Please note that this did *not* solve all my problems completely, please read the followup if you are still having problems]

 

My HD Recorder KISS DP-558 is dead. So is the Kiss website.

Kiss Technology is dead

After 4 years of usage, my Kiss DP-558 recorder is dead. Done. No longer working. And the Kiss website is down as well. Cisco/Linksys has taken over and shut down Kiss Technologies. More’s a pity that they never *did* anything with what they bought…

A mains current failure that came and went made sure that it died an agonizing death, always switching on and then switching off again. I’m sorry to see you go mate, you earned the ‘wife-acceptance’ trophy, which is hard to come by.

So I’m looking for a replacement. I’ve finally settled on a Emtec S800 (I originally bought the S800H, but this only has a digital tuner, not an analog, and we’re still (stubbornly) analog.

Still, no more Electronic Program Guide to pick and choose from. And still no H.264 (which the S800H did have) codec support. And no more having something decent looking under your televison that fitted in with the Hi-Fi equipment.

Bummer.

Shiny Stuff: Sony Reader PRS-505

After more than a year of watching it go for the same price on Ebay without the price dropping, I finally cracked and bought me a Sony Ebook Reader, model PRS-505. The day after I ordered, Jeff Bezos from Amazon announces that the Kindle is now available worldwide for the price of about 200 euros, about the same price I bought my reader from Ebay. Not sure if I am happy about that or not.

Perhaps happy – maybe there will be more english books available to buy on our side of the ocean ? Sometimes I want to buy an ebook and get a refusal. Something to do with rights that can be sold seperately on either side of the ocean… and this is sometimes not done on both sides, or at the same time, so only one side of the ocean is served, so to speak.

Very frustrating, that is: seeing an ebook you want to buy in the eshop, wanting to buy that ebook and not being able to buy the frickin digital file.

First impressions of my Sony PRS-505: it’s small, and fairly heavy. It’s got a Sony memory stick reader, but also a SD card slot. Guess which card is cheaper to buy ? You guessed right, the SD card. I slotted in a 2GB card.

The buttons on the side are functional, but hard to press. But the e-ink page is phenomenal !

Once you get over the page refresh blackout (every time you change a page, the screen refreshes) it’s a delight to read. The e-ink paper is very sharp and clear. It charges over USB. So far I read a few hundred pages, and the battery level hasn’t even budged !

Using Calibre, a cross-platform ebook manager, I can organise my ebooks on my computer, and then transfer the one I want to read to my Sony ebook.

So far, so good. I’ve been taking it along on road trips and short vacations, and it’s holding up well.