Maybe you thought that subject line can't be true but I am afraid it is!
Power Line Adaptors or PLT as supplied by BT (Comtrend) and available at many computer stores are bad news.
They have come onto the market by exploiting a loop hole in the EMC regulations and with a significant push from the EU.
The problem is that they use part of the radio spectrum called short wave that is already in use; they pump radio energy into your mains wires, your wires then act as antennas and broadcast your digital noise far and wide.
Do a Google for UKQRM and find their web site, it’s in my sig file as well.
Here are some basic details for you.
Shortwave radio has amazing properties allowing world-wide communications. It's been in use since Marconi made his first transmissions.
Many millions of people tune into shortwave radio everyday to hear broadcasts from the USA, Russia, China. Canada, the UK and a host of other world locations.
It is also used by radio amateurs who communicate with each other over vast distances and at times of national emergency, it acts as a backup communications network, which is vital to us all.
It is a way of life for many who may be housebound, those who wish to keep in touch with events from their home country or who enjoy learning about language and traditions from other countries.
Shortwave radio frequencies sit between the top of medium wave radio and the bottom of the FM broadcast band.
Shortwave is also inhabited by the military, aircraft, shipping, airsea rescue and a host of other essential services, who are all licensed to use the frequency band.
Then came powerline adaptors!
These gadgets have nothing to do with getting people on-line with computers.
They are used to transfer video and data from one room to the next without any direct connection!
They do this by sending wide-band shortwave radio signals along the electricity power cables of your house!
As these power cables were not designed for radio signals they act as aerials radiating the output of the powerline adaptors far and wide outside of the house.
Interference of up to 500 meters has been reported.
This is where the problem lies.
Just one house using these adaptors wipes out the reception of short wave radio in your local neighbourhood!
Even NATO has published concerns about these devices, and yet they are streaming onto the market here in the UK.
If one examines the regulations (Electro Magnetic Compatibility and Wireless & Telegraphy act 2006) these power line adaptors seemingly should not be in use, as there is no way they can meet the required standards!
UKQRM is a non profit users group, working with many other radio groups to defend shortwave radio.
Ofcom the radio spectrum regulator here in the UK has finally acknowledged the problem and is looking at legal actions.
I offer this information to assist others in making a choice, doing the right thing and acting with due care for their neighbours.
This is also a real risk of conducted noise getting into audio equipment!