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Timed power line data communication



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With the ever increasing demand for data communication methods, power line communication has become an interesting alternative method for data communication. Power line communication falls into two categories: one for data transmission between sites in the power grid and the other for home or office networking. When considering home or office networking, existing methods are either too slow for tasks other than simple automation, or are very fast with a higher cost than necessary for the desired function. The objective in this work is to develop a lower cost communication system with an intermediate data transmission rate.At first glance, power line communication looks like a good option because of the availability of power outlets in every room of a building. However, the power conductors were installed solely for the purpose of distributing 60 Hz mains power and, for data signals, they exhibit very high attenuation, variable impedance and there is radio frequency shielding. Furthermore, many of the 60 Hz loads produce radio frequency interference that impedes data communication. Previous research has shown that much of the noise is time synchronous with the 60 Hz mains frequency and that the majority of data errors occur during these periods of high noise. This work develops a power line communication protocol that coordinates transmissions and uses only the predictable times of lower noise. Using a central control strategy, the power line 60 Hz mains signal is divided into 16 timeslots and each timeslot is monitored for errors. The central controller periodically polls all stations to learn which timeslots have low noise and it then controls all transmissions to make the best use of these good timeslots. The periodic polling allows the system to adapt to changes in electrical loading and noise. This control strategy has been achieved with modest complexity and laboratory measurements have shown throughput approaching 70% of the modem bit rate.



LAN protocols, home networking, Data communication, power line, synchronous noise



Master of Science (M.Sc.)


Electrical Engineering


Electrical Engineering


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