I have a problem of crackling through the speakers while the hifi is on idle. The crackling gets worse while I am working at my home computer, and worse when I am streaming or working online. I am sure it is caused by my network of powerline adaptors that supplies all the smart tv’s and pc’s around the house.
Does anyone know of a device that will enable me to filter out this interface that is obviously being picked up through the earth of my amplifier power sockets?
(I do not want to remove my powerline adaptors from my house as I need them for my work)
Are you sure you can’t use something other than Powerline adaptors? They are horrible things that put loads of noise on the mains and cause all kinds of problems. If cheap alternative is to use something like a network of Apple Airport expresses and an Airport extreme. Otherwise there are Mesh type systems that are now very affordable.
My Adaptors are TP-Link AV1200. I have 8 of them. They work well for TV and PC’s, but if there is an alternative that does not demand loads of extra wiring I am open to suggestions. Wi-fi does not work owing to the size of house and thick walls.
Better dealt with at source and this means getting rid of the Powerline adapters. They are awful things from an EMI perspective and should never have been approved in the first place. If you really can’t install wired Ethernet then as others have suggested, there are very good wireless solutions around. @Mr.M who works with this type of kit may be able to advise on a good solution.
I used two for a while to get a signal to a smart TV in the bedroom where WiFi wouldn’t reach. They worked OK, but interference was obvious on various devices round the house as you’re describing. In the end I bit the bullet and ran an Ethernet cable through the loft.
Popping up as saw my name mentioned.
Generally things like Powerline adapters work just fine and solve the problem of not having to run Ethernet cable all around your home. They do like most things come with compromises, as they are basically piggybacking on your mains cabling they have the potential to add noise/interference to other equipment you have connected to the same circuits.
Most things won’t display any issues but sensitive Hi-Fi equipment can and does have co-existence issues at times with HomePlug.
It seems to have been mentioned above but your best approach is probably to bite the bullet and invest in a higher specification meshed Wi-Fi solution. How this is setup and how you connect to it will depend in part on the layout of your property and the building construction.
If you can then look at equipment that is aimed at the Enterprise market but that is straightforwards enough to setup and use that it would be considered appropriate for use in a residential setting. Obvious examples would be Ubiquiti and Ruckus, both of which will give you solid performance and products you can extend and modify over time as needed.
There is no cheap/quick/easy way of getting the best out of the network, I’d suggest you invest in some decent Wi-Fi access points that are able to be extended and ideally that are future proofed to support your needs today and for some years to come.
Things to look out for in those products would be certification for Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi EasyMesh.
These are both quite new but they are now becoming available in retail/consumer grade equipment even, an example would be the Orbi range from Netgear for example.
Raise a hand if you want any other pointers on type of kit to shortlist, setup and positioning and optimisation and I’ll do what I can to guide you.
Hi as Richard says above Powerline adapters are terrible things with regard to interference. By the very way they operate they produce phenomenal amounts of RFI.
RFI will affect sensitive equipment, such as sensitive audio, radio and test equipment.
RF voltages are carried along the mains and conducts through the space in your house… your mains wiring and appliances effectively become a near field radiating antenna.
This RFI depending on the interference caused can be directly audible as a crackle or buzz, or can cause low level distortion and loss of detail which may not be directly audible but associated with a hardening of the sound or making the audio more ‘brittle’ or ‘digital’ sounding.
Therefore the secret is to remove these devices and replace with a wifi solution or Ethernet.
Wifi has come on in leaps and bounds since powerline adapters were first introduced on the market and in my opinion has largely rendered powerline adapters redundant.
A home EasyMesh based wifi system will work almost certainly better, and won’t cause the RFI side effects and there are many products on the market now. If you’re in the UK the BT Whole Home or Wifi Disc products are a great cheap plug and play solution that appears popular and has good reviews.
At a technical level powerline adapters are also none ideal as they don’t offer true duplex Ethernet. Naim equipment expects either Ethernet or wifi connectivity to the media server or router for optimum operation.
The better powerline products have a passthrough mains socket. This is a noise filtering socket. Please ensure that ALL mains products near or around the homeplug device is being powered through this filtering socket.
I have a few powerline devices connecting through to the barn and a couple of network printers in a spare room. At each location I have the powerline device direct into the wall. Then a multi-way power strip plugged into the filtering passthrough socket and EVERYTHING local plugged into the multi-way socket.
People moan about noise from homeplug devices but the mains noise thrown out by things like switch mode power supplies and bad power supplies is much worse. In fact follow this policy and you might well find the powerline system works much better.
I had a number of TP Link Powerline units, I hated the noise that I would get on the phono stage (Superline) so now I have eliminated them with a 16 port switch in the loft and Cat 6 running down to sockets in each bedroom. (HiFi is in the spare bedroom. I have a WiFi extender but I’m not that impressed with it. I don’t know much about MESH so will read up on it, I assume it’s fairly good?
I have a dedicated mains circuit for the HiFi but that didn’t help when I tried powerline adapters. I would get annoying ticking noises all the time, even when on mute and with the volume turned right down. Turned out I didn’t need them anyway as the WiFi signal from BT router is plenty strong enough for the Sky Q box, despite the Sky engineer telling me it would be too far from the router when he installed it. I’ve now added a BT WiFi disc and the signal is strong throughout the house. 1930’s brick build semi with a loft extension.
SMPS, designed properly have case screening and mains inlet filtering to minimise radiated and coupled emissions (crappy, cheaply made wall wart devices excepted). Homeplugs are designed to do the opposite with radiated emissions dependent on the wiring setup in the house.
I wholly agree that eliminating the source would be most ideal. And I will look at investing in the Mesh wifi-network for the future. However the future is filled with financial uncertainty so my question still stands regarding a filter option? as I do not have any sensitive audio, radio and test equipment besides the one Naim hifi.
@solwisesteve has come closest to a solution by utilising the filter at the powerline through socket. This has indeed killed the crackle which was linked to my PC graphics. Good advice.
But still not perfect because I can still hear faint 50Hz mains hum.
Is there a device that will filter all interference coming from the mains plugs?
The filtering built into (good) homeplug passthrough sockets is generally very good. We’ve tested trying to use a powerling unit piggy backed through a second powerline device and the ‘filtered’ unit didn’t pick up any signal which, to me, would indicate that the signals weren’t getting through the first units passthrough socket. Mains hum could be from something else. Powerline devices send signals in the megahertz range not the 50hz range!
We’ve also tested the Tacima mains filter blocks and they also block homeplug signals.