Powerline ethernet?

24 Jan 2010 . Edited: 24 Jan 2010

I am looking for a simple solution to add to MBED for powerline networking. Ideally it should be a power supply that also has a regular RJ45 socket so it can both power the MBED and give it connectivity for no-new-wires home installations.  I see a lot of activity around this technology (Atheros/Intellon, Intelogis).

Does anyone have any experience using powerline network adapters?

25 Jan 2010

Hi Ilya,

I'm very interested in powerline networking as well, I know there is some eurpoean standard for home automation... KNX?

I know there are some nice MAXIM chips for powerline ethernet, MAX2990, MAX2981 and MAX2986, the 2981+2986 combo is particularly nice since it allows connection to a 10/100 line, MII interface or usb1.0... Unfortunately I don't think MAXIM wants to sell the 2986 except at volume, and the 2981 is already  $7.50 in 1k volume. Not to mention the 2986 is a CSBGA(!).

25 Jan 2010

I'm not sure if this discussion also includes any power over ethernet applications but the cookbook page has a project that uses power over ethernet modules to power the MBED from an RJ45 connector.  If you have already found this link then please forgive me =)



25 Jan 2010

About 8 years ago I did some stuff with the TDA5051A from NXP - it's an FSK mains modem, I think up to 2400 baud. Not Ethernet, but home solderable and fairly cheap. I've not looked into that for some time as Zigbee modules fit my needs better.

I do use powerline ethernet at home to connect my TV to the server. I use the Netgear 85Mbps kit and though 85Mbps is a nonsense I have no problems streaming media.

25 Jan 2010


tt198@... wrote:
I'm not sure if this discussion also includes any power over ethernet applications ...

No, I don't want to mix the two.

Powerline networking allows setup without laying new wires in a home environment. Setup of such devices only requires plugging into an (already existing) power receptacle. As an example I have an idea to make a networked irrigation controller. In most people's houses it will be really painful to connect irrigation controller to the network, but there is an existing power receptacle because existing controllers are all plugged in.

Power-over-Ethernet needs Ethernet cables but dismisses need for mains power. POE is a nice idea, but how many homes have POE installed?

Let's keep this thread dedicated to powerline networking.


26 Jan 2010

Not exactly the most fun solution, but you _could_ just plug the mbed ethernet into one of these:

At 25$... it might be cheaper and less time consuming to figure out those modules....

26 Jan 2010

Finding a module which is also a power supply is a dream. But from what I saw ongoogle we are not there yet. Even the modules that are available need powerline coupler of some sort - can't connect mains directly to them (from what I gathered). So a discounted box like Michael mentions (thanks Michael! I forgot to check out newegg) will work. That will certainly unblock me for the irrigation controller. Though it is a one-off solution while it lasts. I guess prices will gradually go down if market picks it up and there will be more offerings. Going IEEE standard will play a good role in that.