RT Cunningham


My Wi-Fi Powerline Extender Kit is now a Useless Pair of Bricks

Wi-Fi powerline extender Before I left the United States in 2014 (where I was staying temporarily), I bought a TP-Link Wi-Fi powerline extender kit through It was a good idea back then. What I didn’t know was that I wouldn’t be able to use it for very long after returning to the Philippines.

It wasn’t an expensive kit. I don’t remember the exact price, but I know it was well under $100.

A Wi-Fi Powerline Extender can be a Good Idea

Of course, it all depends on your electrical wiring. If both ends of the extender are on the same circuit, it’ll work well as long as you don’t have certain appliances on the same circuit.

The powerline extender I bought was for 110 volts. While the standard current for homes in the Philippines is 220 volts, I had a 110 volt line coming into my house. The 110 volt line on the street was separate from the 220 volt line and had its own transformer down the road.

The key word in that last paragraph is “had”. I had it set up from December of 2014 through April of 2015. That’s when it started to refuse to work correctly. The feedback from it kept resetting the wireless DSL router.

Electric Company Shenanigans

What my wife, Josie, found out later was that the 110 volt transformer needed to be serviced. In their wisdom, the electric company decided to remove it altogether. We no longer have a 110 volt current coming into our house, but we have a bunch of useless 110 volt outlets in every room of the house.

Perhaps I’ll get an electrician (and a good one lives near us) to convert them to 220 volts since the 220 volt outlets are right next to them. And then I’ll probably need to have cosmetic work done to hide the extra wires. Whatever. It’s not going to happen this year.

We don’t have many 110 volt appliances left in the house. We have automatic voltage regulators for the ones that remain, like the small TV in my daughter-in-law’s bedroom. Josie brought it with her from the states sometime before 2012. It was the one she was using before she bought a much bigger TV.

I won’t replace the Wi-Fi Powerline Extender

Although I could probably buy a 220 volt version (and I see that carries them), I’m not going to bother. I can get multiple Wi-Fi range repeaters for the price of one powerline extender.

I probably won’t do that either.

I can sit in my outdoor man-cave (the area under the carport) and get a pretty good signal as long as no one else is using my connection, which is most of the time. I cut off everyone who doesn’t live in my house back in March. The kids begged me for the password a few times and stopped when they finally realized I wasn’t giving it up.

When I’m in my bedroom, I connect my laptop to the router by wire. I only use the Wi-Fi for it when I’m down in my outdoor man-cave. The heat index rose to a point in mid-April where I haven’t been able to work outside of my bedroom, where the air conditioning keeps me cool. I hope to be able to return to working outside when the rain of the rainy season finally arrives.

I don’t know what I’ll do with my useless pair of bricks (the Wi-Fi powerline extender kit). I’m starting to collect a lot of useless electronics that weren’t useless when I bought them.

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By RT Cunningham
May 14, 2016