Shortwave radio enthusiasts are up in arms about Homeplugs – and the local interference that they can create.
What is a Homeplug? These are used in situations where you need to run a broadband connection around your home, but you can’t, or don’t want to, use wi-fi. Homeplugs come in packs of two – a transmitter and a receiver, and use the mains wiring in your house to transmit data.
Homeplugs (also known as Powerline adapters) are becoming quite common, and are readily available from the likes of Maplin, Dabs.com and BT. They’re supplied by BT as part of their digital TV offering, BT Vision, for circumstances where it’s not easy to connect the BT Vision box directly to a BT Home Hub.
So, what’s the problem? Well according to the site UKQRM, these powerline adapters are causing significant interference between 3Mhz to 30Mhz, which is the band used to pick up shortwave radio, affecting reception of a number of shortwave stations hundreds of feet away from HomePlugs.
Just who uses Shortwave these days though? Well, apart from the overseas stations that you can get on shortwave, the band is used for marine and aircraft traffic, as well as radio amateurs and an International radio service called DRM (Digital Radio Mondial)
There’s an active petition to the UK Government to get these devices banned – see the Petition to save shortwave
UPDATE: We featured this story in Show 32 of our podcast. Got a comment? Please add it below.
(Thanks to Mike Carrington for bringing this to our attention)