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Network Problem, Probably HomePlug

Discussion in 'HDR-FOX T2 Freeview Recorder' started by Black Hole, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Black Hole

    Black Hole Felinos Guru

    The net-x EPL-9200 HomePlug AV pair I use for my HDR-FOX appear to have gone phut. I say "appear to", because this has happened at around the same time as I was fiddling with networky things elsewhere, and I don't accept coincidences easily.

    The reason I am posting in the HDR-FOX section is because I only realised there was a problem when my HD-FOX failed to connect to it late last night, and when I went looking there were some very strange symptoms which made me suspect the HDR.

    When the HD failed to mount the HDR drive, I tried DLNA and the server was not found either. Usually a reboot puts things right so I tried - and it didn't. I then looked at Menu >> Settings >> System >> Internet Settings >> Configure LAN to see what was what.

    I have my router configured to allocate the same IP address every time by DHCP, and the Humax settings were indeed on DHCP but the IP address and net mask showed completely weird values. Being late I assumed this was some consequence of my network fiddling, so I switched to manual and set the normal values by hand. "Apply" just said the connection had failed however. So I gave up and used iPlayer from the HD instead, leaving the clean up until the morning.

    Today I fired up the HDR and looked at the Internet settings again, only to find the setup still on manual but with different values than the ones I set last night. At this point I got worried about the HDR-FOX - would a factory reset sort it or was it buggered? I checked over the router config and that seemed OK, everything else was working and on its usual address. Leaving no stone unturned I then bypassed the HomePlug link with a long Cat5, set the HDR back to DHCP, and everything returned to normal. Put the HomePlugs back in and it all falls down again.

    It can stay like that (long cable) for the time being - I have other things to worry about, but I now have another job on my list to access any kind of config interface the HomePlugs have and see if they can be rescued. The RS site said the last contact with my HDR was at midnight, so presumably they fell over in the short period between midnight and when I was stymied.
     
  2. af123

    af123 Administrator Staff Member

    Was the weird IP address 169.254.X.X by any chance? Not sure what you mean by weird netmask but the usual netmask for 169.254.0.0 is 255.255.0.0.

    Addresses in that range are automatically assigned by the DHCP process whenever it fails to acquire an address from the DHCP server. The range is registered to Microsoft for this purpose.

    Alternatively, were the addresses something like 192.2.X.X? These are the default addresses that the Humax interfaces initialise with - I've always assumed it is for some sort of factory testing.
     
  3. socrates

    socrates Member

    Are you saying the HDR had no network access at all or just that it couldn't see the HD? You used iPlayer from the HD - is the HD connected directly to the router or via Homeplug? ( just trying to visualise your setup ).

    Don't suppose you have or can borrow a third plug so you can check out which is faulty?
     
  4. Black Hole

    Black Hole Felinos Guru

    The HD has its own direct link to the router, only the HDR-FOX was on HomePlug (at the moment), and no I don't have another but I am thinking of investing in a Devolo setup with pass-through mains and three Ethernet sockets.

    Yes, the weird values were the default ones af123 suggested (I think), but what really threw me was the way the HDR-FOX had transmuted my manual values from 192.168.1.68 to (IIRC) 192.168.2.100. It is this aspect which is worth keeping an eye on, because I can't think of a reason these would have changed (in manual setting) other than some kind of misoperation in the HDR-FOX (possibly brought on by external circumstances).
     
  5. Ezra Pound

    Ezra Pound Well-Known Member

    I think af123 is saying that the Humax will replace ANY Manually set IP address with 192.2.X.X (or should that be 192.168.2.X), it's just that in your case it was quite similar to the factory testing default to start with
     
  6. socrates

    socrates Member

    I can recommend the Devolos - I have 3 plus 3 Airport access points, because my house layout restricts wireless coverage. One of them is in a wing served by a separate distribution box and although this greatly reduces speed its still fine for web browsing etc. The one serving the HDR is on the main circuit board so no worries.
    I would imagine that your Homeplugs are like the Devolos and have little you can configure - just device name and security. There is an option to factory reset ( not much point if you can't change much ) and update firmware ( not seen any updates yet ). So if its bust its bust - you haven't had any power cuts or surges by any chance?
    If you do decide to buy look out for a triple pack - when I bought it was only a fiver or so more than a double so you can identify if one is faulty and you have a spare.
     
  7. socrates

    socrates Member

    Oh - the other thing I forgot is mains interference. I had a dodgy charger plug which put so much crap back into the mains that it knocked out the network on the one distribution box ( though not the main one ).
     
  8. tonybonner

    tonybonner Member

    Strangely enough my bedtime reading last night was this PC Pro article about problems with homeplugs :- http://www.pcpro.co.uk/realworld/378583/a-simple-solution-for-homeplug-problems

    The main part of the article will be irrelevant as it concerns multi-phase power supplies but if your problem turns out to be a noisy mains you might find the last 6 paragraphs useful.

    Haven't used homeplugs myself so can't add any personal experience.
     
    Black Hole likes this.
  9. socrates

    socrates Member

    Interesting article. I've just checked the reported speed of my Devolos - they are all the mini model nominally rated at 200 mbs. The 2 on my main circuit report around 160 to 180 mbs talking to each other. The one in the wing where I am writing this comes in around 20 mbs talking to either of the others.
    This wing ( not as grand as it sounds ) was a separate dwelling with its own supply but was rewired with its own distribution box feeding of the main one. The main circuit is pretty ancient. So in my case at least the units work well on the old circuit and whilst they take a substantial measured hit across circuits it is still vastly better than my previous wifi setup. I've been able to relocate my modem to the main phone point so I now get around 5mbs broadband instead of 1 - 2 and wifi access throughout.
     
  10. Black Hole

    Black Hole Felinos Guru

    As an aside, could you not create a separate HomePlug network in the "wing" with a wired link to bridge to the main circuit?
     
  11. socrates

    socrates Member

    I could but it's quite a long way, the building is listed, the walls are 2 -3 ft thick........ Even the slowest part of the network is comfortably faster than my broadband so why bother? I have heard stories of similar cross circuit connections operating much slower ( 1mbs or less ) but its not a problem for me.
    Incidentally the 2 on the main circuit are on the same floor ie the same circuit breaker. I may try one on a different floor/breaker to see if that is the cause rather than being on a separate distribution box per se.
     
  12. Black Hole

    Black Hole Felinos Guru

    Fair enough, just wondered if you had thought of it.
     
  13. Black Hole

    Black Hole Felinos Guru

    Thanks for posting the link. Interesting background, might come in handy one day.
     
  14. Black Hole

    Black Hole Felinos Guru

    I don't see why it should replace values in a manually set config, except during a restore factory defaults cycle (there hasn't been one of those). The 169.254.X.X / 255.255.0.0 defaulted when I had DHCP set and the HDR couldn't contact the DHCP server (because of the broken HomePlug link).
     
  15. mayoman

    mayoman New Member

    I find I am researching a problem with my new HDR that has the same "undocumented feature" using the 192.168.2.xxx subnet. It will not connect through DHCP to my TP-Link td-w8961nd router (through wired ethernet), and while it will connect when set to manual, the connection is so bad as to be useless (maybe 1/4 of ping requests respond normally). PC connects fine, and when I tried my old Belkin router the HDR connected almost perfectly. The almost is because, despite being set to manual rather than DHCP, the HDR still managed to change its IP address to one assigned from the Belkins DHCP pool....
     
  16. Black Hole

    Black Hole Felinos Guru

    We have seen problems reported trying to get the Humax to connect to a router by WiFi, but I don't recall seeing the problem you describe using a cable (discounting my case with a broken HomePlug link).
     
  17. mayoman

    mayoman New Member

    The fact that my old router works made me wonder if there was a particular protocol that my new router is enabled for that the HDR doen't like?
     
  18. Black Hole

    Black Hole Felinos Guru

    Like what? IPv6 maybe? I'm not sufficiently knowledgable to know what impact IPv6 is going to have. Either way, if the Humax is corrupting manual settings there has to be a bug somewhere.
     
  19. mayoman

    mayoman New Member

    I'm not too well up on the fine print of network protocols myself & unfortunately the TP-Link gives me lots of options but a very poor explanation of their impact, or why its not routing to the HDR properly. If there was a known bug with either the HDR or TP-Link it would be great starting point. I'll keep at it & if I find the cause I'll post back.
     
    Black Hole likes this.
  20. af123

    af123 Administrator Staff Member

    It sounds like a duplex mismatch - the Humax will auto-negotiate the Ethernet settings but if your TP-Link has them locked/forced to 100Mb/s, Full-duplex for example, the autonegotiation packets will not be sent and the Humax will default back to half-duplex and you will see packet loss.

    (Definitely not IPv6 related - the Humax kernel doesn't support it anyway, the only device in my house that isn't on IPv6 now!)