DPL / PLC (Digital Power Line / Power Line Communication)
Field Test Report
by P. Mateus

NEW. 2004.01.24
DPL / PLC (Digital Power Line / Power Line Communication). Click here >>


The goal for this test is to the estabish a (sub)local area connection solution using DPL/PLC technology, integrated with other local area network equipment and solutions (UTP and WiFi oriented) and to cross benchmark them. Two DPL/PLC - Ethernet bridges were acquired at Niposom . The unitary cost was, at corporate rate, 67 Euros + VAT. Model is a "PLB11 Powerline Bridge" (ref. PWL11BRI / PLU 11).

Package contains:

1 Powerline bridge unit
1 DC power adapter
1 Encryption utility CD (Intellon Software/Drivers User Guide, PDF approx. 270k)
1 Quick install guide  (GIF, approx. 140k)
1 Category [UTP] 5 cable

Product specs:

Standard: IEEE802.3 , IEEE8023.u
Port: 10/100Mbps Ethernet RJ45
Privacy: 56 bits DES encryption
Data rate: Up to 14 Mbps
Conformance: FCC, CE

External photos

DSC05585.jpg (128180 bytes) DSC05583.jpg (113650 bytes) DSC05586.jpg (210326 bytes)
DSC05579.jpg (123229 bytes) DSC05580.jpg (127732 bytes) DSC05581.jpg (162258 bytes)

Internal photos

DSC05578.jpg (153187 bytes) DSC05572.jpg (177767 bytes) DSC05573.jpg (247533 bytes)
DSC05575.jpg (188131 bytes) DSC05576.jpg (222421 bytes) DSC05577.jpg (224573 bytes)

Network Connection Test
Existing network consisting of a ADSL 768/128 connection based upon a Alcatel Home Speed Touch modem (with a Alcatel splitter) connected to a LinkSys BEFSR41V2 router with a 10/100 4 port switch, paired with two repeating LinkSys WAP11V22 (running modified D-LINK 900 firmware) WiFi Access Point 802.11b.

Room layouts and plug positions ( JPG, approx. 135k )
Main (blue) and Alternative (red) PLB11 setups

Network_2003_08_30_DPL.jpg (47388 bytes)

Detailed Network Diagram; DPL, LAN and Wireless
| JPG, approx. 46k | PDF, approx. 42k |

One UTP 5 RJ45 cable (5 meters) was extended from the LinkSys router/switch and connected to one of the PLB11 bridges, already connected, with a 6 power ports electrical extension, to the home power plug. The other PLB11 bridge was connected also to a 6 power ports electrical extension on a different room. A IBM ThinkPad R32 laptop, with built in 10/100 NIC, was connected, wih a 1,5 meter UTP 5 RJ45 cable to that PLB11. Both PLB11s were powered up, all lights went OK (both for the powerline and ethernet activity). The laptop NIC was able to receive immediatly a valid IP from the internal DHCP (provided by the LinkSys router), and internet/web browsing access was immediatly tested with success. Tests followed to two different rooms also with success.

DSC05589.JPG (202017 bytes) DSC05590.JPG (114502 bytes) DSC05592.JPG (111490 bytes) DSC05594.JPG (87983 bytes)

From left to right: main DPL setup; alternative dpl setup; detail of IBM laptop with Linksys WiFi adapter; main ADSL modem, router and WiFi access point setup.

DPL # 1,
WM Video, 8 sec.
Transmission lights blinking
aprox. 70k

DPL # 2,
 WM Video, 8 sec.
Transmission lights blinking
aprox. 75K


Benchmark: Power Line, WiFi and LAN

A IBM ThinkPad R32 laptop, running Windows XP, with built in 10/100 NIC and one extra 11M LinkSys WiFi PCMCIA adapter (WPC11 V3), was used for benchmark. As server there was a Windows 2000 Adv. Server 10/100 NIC based file share, connected to the LinkSys 10/100 swith via UTP. WiFi access was provided via LinkSys WAP11 AP.
Tests performed


Power Line:

Minimum = 19ms, Maximum = 148ms, Average = 37ms
0% loss

Minimum = 22ms, Maximum = 121ms, Average = 32ms
2% loss

Minimum = 18ms, Maximum = 145ms, Average = 31ms
0% loss


Power Line:

Minimum = 236ms, Maximum = 599ms, Average = 252ms
1% loss


Minimum = 239ms, Maximum = 394ms, Average = 249ms
12% loss


 Minimum = 235ms, Maximum = 335ms, Average = 243ms
0% loss

One file, 48.12 Mbytes zip archive, LANMark File Copy
LanMark FileCopy: Version 8.2.181 1999


Power Line:

--Send-- --Receive--
Min: 5.25 - 5.31 --MBits/s
Max: 5.25 - 5.31 --MBits/s
Avg: 5.25 - 5.31 --MBits/s
0 errors
[ Avg Send and Receive: 5.15 MBits/s ]

(Signal Coverage >90%):

--Send-- --Receive--
Min: 4.45 - 2.35 --MBits/s
Max: 4.45 - 2.35 --MBits/s
Avg: 4.45 - 2.35 --MBits/s
0 errors
[ Avg Send and Receive: 3.40 MBits/s ]

 --Send-- --Receive--
Min: 80.77 - 57.97 --MBits/s
Max: 80.77 - 57.97 --MBits/s
Avg: 80.77 - 57.97 --MBits/s
0 errors
[ Avg Send and Receive: 69.37 MBits/s ]

All serial numbers and unique part number identifiers were digitally removed from the photos. 2003. Copyrighted by P. Mateus, All rights reserved. No image or text, as a all or in sections or samples, can be reproduced without formal request and authorization. There is no sponsor or partnership of any kind between the author and any of the brands or companies refered. This is a private and independent report.