How do I pair the eGauge with a HomePlug adapter?

Overview

By default all HomePlug-compliant PLC devices use the same encryption key - this means that, out of the box, any HomePlug-compliant device should be able to connect to any other HomePlug-compliant device without any adjustments. However, if there are multiple HomePlug adapters in the same location, or if there are security concerns regarding PLC traffic, it may be necessary to pair an eGauge with its HomePlug adapter. This is typically not required for most installations.

This article has instructions for pairing eGauge devices with their respective HomePlug adapters. Also included are instructions to rescue an "orphaned" device (that is, an eGauge or HomePlug with an unknown encryption key). These steps typically cannot be performed remotely, and require physical access to both the eGauge meter and the HomePlug.

In new installations, pairing is optional but not required. The eGauge and HomePlug adapter should communicate out of the box. If they do not communicate, there is likely a distance or installation issue; pairing will not correct these issues.

The internal HomePlug MAC address may be different than the MAC address printed on the meter label. For pairing EG4xxx meters, use a MAC address one higher than the one printed on the label. The MAC address on the label is what the LAN will see; the "internal" address that is one higher is used on the powerline network.

Contents

HomePlug Basics

    What is HomePlug and how is it used?

    Technical And Environmental Considerations

    How Secure is HomePlug Communication?

Changing the HomePlug Encryption Key (pairing)

     Push Button Method (EG301x meters)

     LCD Method (EG41xx meters)

     HomePlug Adapter Push Button Timing

Push Button Pairing Process

Pairing through the eGauge user interface

Recovering an Orphaned Device

     Via eGauge UI

     Via Vendor Software

HomePlug Basics

 

What is HomePlug and how is it used?

HomePlug is a Power Line Communications (PLC) specification used to transmit networking data over standard power lines. Thus, all HomePlug devices are PLC devices, but not all PLC devices use HomePlug. It is commonly used to create a network bridge  in a location where Wi-Fi can not work or is not convenient. Think of the HomePlug adapter as a "translator" that can convert an Ethernet signal into a form which can be sent over existing power lines, and vice versa. HomePlug adapters may commonly be referred to as "HomePlugs", although this can be confusing.

HomePlug adapters are commonly mistaken for wireless (WiFi) devices. Standard HomePlug adapters have no wireless component. A physical connection to an outlet and a router (via Ethernet) is required.

Typically, one HomePlug adapter is connected to a router with Internet access, and another is placed elsewhere in the building so Ethernet-capable network devices may connect to it. eGauge meters have a built-in HomePlug adapter, so only one HomePlug adapter is required when using an eGauge. Examples of common HomePlug adapters are shown below: