BT quietly recalls shocky adapters
Comtrend even quieter
BT is quietly sending out replacements for Comtrend adapters, warning users of dodgy models not to touch them if they can't be disconnected first.
The telecommunications company is recalling the ethernet-over-mains networking boxes on the grounds that the casing can disintegrate, and tells users to switch off the mains connection before touching the kit - or to call the hotline if that's not possible. It is posting out replacement devices and pointing those who receive a package at its supporting website. Comtrend, meanwhile, has been silent on the matter.
Apparently customers who have not received a package have nothing to worry about.
BT won't tell us how many packages are being sent out, only that it's a "tiny percentage" of the 300,000 users who previously received the networking kit. Evidently the number is high enough to make it worth setting up a website and organising a support line, but not enough to warrant a press release or report to the European register for product recalls (RAPEX).
To be fair to BT, the Comtrend devices have UK (three-pin) plugs on them, so anyone pushing one into an EU power outlet will have bigger problems than a potentially-fragmenting case.
The devices are supplied to customers of BT Vision, and controversial as they have been demonstrated to generate huge amounts of interference - with recent models knocking out FM radio, and everyone from the Civil Aviation Authority to the BBC concerned about the lack of regulation on the devices. The replacement units BT is sending out will probably be just as prone to creating radio noise, but hopefully less prone to electrocuting people.
BT reckons it knows every single person who has a dodgy unit and will send out replacements to all those people, and therefore there's no reason for alerting anyone else. But just in case you picked out a cheap mains networking unit at a car boot sale, or worry that BT might have forgotten your address, then you might like to check the model numbers just to be sure. ®
Sounds more like mains-over-ethernet!
You'll hear no audio interference because the frequencies generated are not in the audio spectrum. HF isn't 20Khz, it's more like 28Mhz. *Most* people's ears can't actually hear that kind of frequency -if you can though, you'll save a ton on buying CB equipment.
They gonna contact all the sellers/buyers on ebay too then?
"hopefully less prone to electrocuting people"
Now why did the bofh in me scream the opposite?
Especially seeing as, by definition, the owners of these devices are BT customers. Electrocution should be the norm, surely :)
Now, where did I put that cattle prod?
A long time coming and no need for RAPEX?
This problem was perhaps first brought to the attention of BT by this customer:-
Way back in February 8(
Currently a RAPEX report is not needed as the DHP10F devices with the casing fault :-
...these particular products have only been supplied to BT
for use in the UK, the recall does not affect Comtrend products supplied
in the EU. There is no requirement for a Rapex notification to be
issued where measures taken relating to the risks cannot go beyond the