The Waving Flag: Hardware

Saturday 27 May 2023


Things change and sometimes not always for the better.  Recently, I've been trying to figure out why my desktop computer kept dropping its connection to the internet.

Late last year, very late last year, I moved house.  Things have generally gone well: the internal decorating is done (for now), the paperwork is all sorted, and we've started doing the garden and sorting the garage.  Of course all this work has nothing to do with technology so read on.

One of the early "wins" was the smooth transfer of my broadband account.  The new router worked like a charm, at the speeds promised, and the Wi-Fi is stable.  I even managed to get my TP-Link TL-PA4010P(UK) AV600 powerline adaptors to work first time.  This is important as my desktop doesn't have a Wi-Fi card and because I prefer the stability of a wired connection.

The wired & Wi-Fi speeds were the same so I was initially very happy with the powerline adaptors.  Sadly, in the intervening months I've discovered they have a nasty habit of dropping the internet connection.  This happens at random intervals and it always seems to happen at the most inconvenient moments.  In my previous house the adaptors were used to wire a smart TV so I'd not noticed the problem before.

Problem Solved
I struggled for weeks trying various cabling and software fixes to no avail.  My google-fu didn't help either: my searches were inconclusive and often simply unhelpful.  That is until I stumbled across a blog entry that offered a solution to my problem (web archive link).

The solution involves replacing the 2017 firmware on the adaptors with the more recent 2020 firmware using some Linux software.  Windows & Mac users can use the software provided by TP-Link.  So, I read the tutorial(s) installed open-plc-utils, checked it was working properly, and then followed the steps from the blog (very carefully).

There was a tense moment when I updated the first adaptor: failure would have rendered it useless or, to use the technical term, "bricked".  I'm pleased to say everything went well and, more importantly, I've not had a dropout since.

Closing remarks
The tutorial is excellent and I recommend it to anyone with a similar problem.

1 comment :

Vexillia said...

Update: this firmware fix has the adaptors working as they should, and I've not had a dropout in two weeks.

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