Using Pluto via ethernet USB adapter

Discussion about this major DATV Project. See https://wiki.batc.org.uk/The_Portsdown_Transmitter
g3yjr
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 1:37 pm

Using Pluto via ethernet USB adapter

Post by g3yjr » Fri Apr 09, 2021 4:55 pm

I wanted to control the Pluto from Portsdown/Langstone via an ethernet connection.

I obtained an ethernet-USB adapter containing an RTL8153 chip https://g3yjr.wordpress.com/2020/12/01/ ... -ethernet/ and I tried Pluto and it worked fine over ethernet with both Portsdown and Langstone. Then it stopped working. I tried lots of things, but couldn't get it going again. When I tried to ping the Pluto on the fixed IP address I had given it, Pluto was unreachable. So this wasn't a problem with Portsdown/Langstone.

I bought another adapter containing an RTL8154, this time with a couple of LED lights on it for "LINK" and "ACT". It worked with both Portsdown and Langstone. I disconnected the ethernet cable and reconnected it. It has never worked since!

I have plugged both adapters into a Linux PC and both are detected and I obtained the MAC address for each.

It seems that the Pluto is ignoring both adapters. I've tried dropping the Pluto's power supply volts from 5.19 V to 4.77 V. It made no difference. I don't understand what is going on.

Pluto still works fine via USB. I power the Pluto from a RasPi PSU.

What might the problem be? Is there a way to force the Pluto to engage with the adapter?

73 Graham

g0mjw
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Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:15 am

Re: Using Pluto via ethernet USB adapter

Post by g0mjw » Fri Apr 09, 2021 5:01 pm

As always how are you powering the Ethernet adapter? You MUST use a Y cable. OK must is perhaps too strong. You WILL have problems if you do not use a Y cable.

Mike

g3yjr
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 1:37 pm

Re: Using Pluto via ethernet USB adapter

Post by g3yjr » Sat Apr 10, 2021 12:05 pm

Hi Mike,

See my blog link above for connections. The adapter gets its power from the Pluto's USB port. The Pluto is supplied from a RasPi PSU, so there's plenty of current available. The LEDs on the adapter look lively, whatever that means; some power is getting there.

The Pluto draws an extra 40mA approx., when the RTL8154 adapter is plugged into it.

What would a Y cable achieve?

The adapters have worked, but they stopped working.

Graham
Last edited by g3yjr on Sat Apr 10, 2021 2:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

g0mjw
Posts: 1583
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:15 am

Re: Using Pluto via ethernet USB adapter

Post by g0mjw » Sat Apr 10, 2021 1:52 pm

g3yjr wrote:
Sat Apr 10, 2021 12:05 pm
Hi Mike,

What would a Y cable achieve?
A working system? How about you try it and see? Your problem may well be elsewhere but eliminate power issues first.

I had similar issues, things worked on an off. Reliability not good. Powering it off the PI or a 5V 1000A supply makes no difference. The weakness is within the Pluto OTG 5V drive power capability. These Ethernet adapters also can't drive very long cables. Not normally an issue.

Mike

g3yjr
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 1:37 pm

Re: Using Pluto via ethernet USB adapter

Post by g3yjr » Sat Apr 10, 2021 2:20 pm

OK Mike, the adapter draw seems to be about 40mA.

I'll give a Y adapter a go.

Do you have a Pluto working via Ethernet?

73 Graham

g0mjw
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Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:15 am

Re: Using Pluto via ethernet USB adapter

Post by g0mjw » Sat Apr 10, 2021 2:26 pm

Yes - mine has been remote in my conservatory for almost a year now.

Mike

g8lce
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:26 am

Re: Using Pluto via ethernet USB adapter

Post by g8lce » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:46 am

Using a Pluto via a LAN can work really well. I have used this setup for a while but I do get problems as I try different things but there are several things I find help.
Rebooting the Portsdown 4.
Rebooting the Pluto (power off then on ).
Getting the right network address for the Pluto.
Having the right network address in the Portsdown 4's Pluto configuration menu.

I have tried DVB-S, DVB-T and Langstone and all seem to work.
The other problem can be trying to do something that the Pluto cannot do like Mpeg-2 etc.
Lastly I did at one time find that when trying to load firmware onto the Pluto I had to format the Pluto memory (as shown on Windows computer as SD memory in file manager) before loading firmware.

Martin G8LCE

g3yjr
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 1:37 pm

Re: Using Pluto via ethernet USB adapter

Post by g3yjr » Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:35 pm

g8lce wrote:
Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:46 am
Rebooting the Portsdown 4.
Rebooting the Pluto (power off then on ).
Getting the right network address for the Pluto.
Having the right network address in the Portsdown 4's Pluto configuration menu.
Yes those are the sort of things I try Martin. I don't think I tried updating the Pluto firmware, I just added the "Beta for the brave" DATV software.

I'll try rejigging the power supply next.

73 Graham

G8GKQ
Site Admin
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Re: Using Pluto via ethernet USB adapter

Post by G8GKQ » Mon Apr 12, 2021 4:05 pm

Hi All

Watching this topic with interest, but:

Although I have made best efforts to make the Portsdown work with network-connected Plutos, it is not a configuration that I test or support. The intention has always been that the Portsdown should be a stand-alone unit during operation, and so I only test with a USB-connected Pluto (and at different times, with a USB-connected LimeSDR, and also a USB-connected DATV Express).

The current build has been very reliable with a USB-connected Pluto during testing in my shack and out portable; adding network configuration testing just gives me too many variables to test (especially without having the services of a properly established testing team).

I would be very happy to incorporate any specific code modifications for reliability improvements that anyone can send to me.

Dave, G8GKQ

g3yjr
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 1:37 pm

Re: Using Pluto via ethernet USB adapter

Post by g3yjr » Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:55 pm

G8GKQ wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 4:05 pm
Although I have made best efforts to make the Portsdown work with network-connected Plutos, it is not a configuration that I test or support.
OK Dave. I think my problem is with the Pluto end of things. It doesn't want to play with Portsdown or anything else, even though it has worked over ethernet with both Portsdown and Langstone. I'll let you know if I make any progress.

73 Graham

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