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Showing posts from March 22, 2009

Powerline Ethernet fun and secrets.

Many 200 Mb/s powerline adapters nowadays are based on the INTELLON 6300 chipset.
Despite what can be thought looking at them, they are all using the same hardware and firmwares.
I heard many people with Netgear XAV101 or Linksys PLK 200 or PLE 200 having problems after firmware updates and many other people with other brands having much more problems because of lack of support or configuration/upgrade utilities.

So let me explain a few things I learnt studying them.

Many of 200 Mb/s powerline ethernet adapters follow the "HomePlug AV" standard. (85 Mb adapters use HomePlug 1.0 standard which is completely different).
This standard uses ethernet broadcast packets using the HomePlug AV protocol.

The interesting thing is that their firmware is made of two different parts:
a .PIB file (Parameter Information Block) and a .NVM file (the code itself).
In the P.I.B. there are many interesting things:
The branding (mac address, device name, etc) and the tone map.

I tested many firmw…